Category Archives: Internet of Things

AI and the Die Progress Unit (or why the future is getting exponentially cooler)

How does the Law of Accelerating Returns apply to technology? This is a great article that delves into the hockey stick graph of future tech. It’s long, but well worth the read.

Here we are, standing in the present, with our linear experience of time and history. We can’t see the future upswing in progress, but we’re standing on the precipice of accelerating change.

Exactly how close are we to an unrecognizable future?

Well, the Internet of Things brings with it a promise of sensors and devices that can evolve virtually every part of our lives, from our homes to healthcare. Pair that with the promises of augmented reality, virtual reality, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, and the future starts to become unrecognizable to the world we live in today.

But we’re still standing right in front of the precipice. We’re waiting for the Internet of Things to catch on. We’re mastering an increasing number of Artificial Narrow Intelligences, but have yet to make the leap to artificial general intelligence.

To quote the article,

To be human-level intelligent, a computer would have to understand things like the difference between subtle facial expressions, the distinction between being pleased, relieved, content, satisfied, and glad, and why Braveheart was great but The Patriot was terrible.

One things for sure, great technological change is happening. Perhaps exponential change isn’t that far away.

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Misfit Debuts A New “Swarovski Shine” Wearables Collection Featuring Crystal Jewelry, Solar Charging

Continuing our tour of new wearables that are actually pretty…

TechCrunch

Misfit, the maker of “connected” products including smart home items and its flagship wearable device, the Misfit Shine, has today teamed up with Swarovski to introduce a new product line focused on bringing a more fashion-forward sense to its wearables collection. The Swarovski Shine Collection, as it’s called, combines Swarovski’s crystal jewelry and Misfit’s activity and sleep tracking technology in two new wearable products and nine accessories, jointly designed by both companies.

Notably, one of the two wearables is also solar-powered – a first for Misfit, and for activity/sleep trackers in general.

Both wearables are waterproof – one of them being a clear Swarovski Shine with a crystal face, and the second, a violet Swarovski Shine that uses a patented technology that allows the device to power itself without the need for batteries. Previously, all of Misfit’s small, round Shine devices came with a small tool that allowed you to fairly easily pop…

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The Ring Is Real

Being able to use custom gestures to control smart devices? Awesome! There’s a new Precious in town.

TechCrunch

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It’s been almost a year since Takuro Yoshida and his team blew up Kickstarter with the Ring, a wearable that uses simple wand-like gestures to control gadgets in the home.

Promises abounded: You’ll be able to control the lights in your home with the flick of a finger. You’ll be able to change the song on your iPhone, turn up the music, or even snap a photo.

And then, as is the case with many hardware projects, Logbar (the company behind Ring) ran into a few obstacles. Manufacturing was delayed, as the team worked to make the device smaller and more (truly) wearable, and other delays put the product months behind schedule. In fact, early backers only received their units in December of this year.

But all that said, the Ring is still an attractive wearable, in my opinion. We caught up with Yoshida at CES…

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These 5 trends will change social media in 2015

This is an interesting look at the world of social media change as we head into the new year. The landscape is broadening and deepening, and the note about IoT at the end is certainly most intriguing.

“The challenge in 2015 will be how to more intelligently integrate the fast-growing Internet of Things with social media. This might start with tapping users’ social graph — their unique network of friends and followers — in better ways. A very simple example: a smart fridge that tracks your Facebook Events, sees you’re planning a party and how many people have RSVP’d and alerts you to make a beer run. By listening to social media in more sophisticated ways smart devices stand to get even smarter in the year ahead.”

Financial Post

To gauge how much you followed changes in social media this past year, here’s a pop quiz: 1) Which new social media network is known as a “virtual bathroom wall” and is already causing concern among Canadian school officials? 2) Which platform recently drew one million signups in just five weeks — eight times as fast as Facebook — with promises to share its ad revenues with users? 3) Which messaging service now allows users to transfer money using just their debit card information, free of charge?

If you had no idea they are Yik Yak, Tsu and Snapcash, don’t worry. Just a few months ago, almost no one else did either. The pace of social media change has always been brisk and is now accelerating, leaving in the dust entrepreneurs and businesses who are struggling to incorporate new tools.

In the interest of getting ahead of the curve, here’s…

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Let’s Call The Amazon Echo What It Is

“One-click purchase becomes no-click purchase.” Exciting! Yet also totally dangerous with regards to impulse-shopping sprees.

TechCrunch

bill

This morning, Amazon announced a new device called Echo.

With a built-in, cloud connected, “always on” microphone, the Echo can listen for your voice “from across the room.”

You can ask it about the weather. You can tell it to set an alarm. You can ask it for information about Abraham Lincoln.

It’s a personal assistant in a tube!

But let’s be clear here on what this thing is beyond that — or what it will be.

Amazon is not in the business of telling you whether or not it will rain tomorrow.

Nor is it in the business of waking you up in the morning.

Nor is it in the business of teaching you about dead presidents.

Amazon is in the business of selling you things — and that is why Echo exists.

For now, Echo’s shopping-centric functionality is limited to helping you add things to your shopping list.

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How the smart home will evolve

“The question on my mind with regards to the smart home these days is the following: Will software be abstracted from hardware? Or put another way, will hardware descriptions and communications protocols move to the software layer?”
This is the question on all our minds, especially as we develop what we hope will revolutionize this market.

Gigaom

The question on my mind with regards to the smart home these days is the following: Will software be abstracted from hardware? Or put another way, will hardware descriptions and communications protocols move to the software layer?

It’s a question that was debated at last week’s Structure Connect conference and one that has important implications for how quickly the smart home sees mainstream adoption.

Right now we have some very successful point applications in the home. The Nest thermostat and the cloud recording device Dropcam, which is now owned by Nest, are two examples. But smart lighting like Philips Hue or smart door locks from a companies like Kwikset and August will pick up steam over the next few years.

We also have the introduction of some promising platforms from the likes of SmartThings, AlertMe, and Revolv (although Revolv’s platform doesn’t seem to have much of a future after its

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