Posts tagged wearable technology

A woman points to icons that represent IoT.

A Crash Course on the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept in the computing world which defines the notion that ordinary physical objects can be connected to the Internet, and can have the capability of identifying themselves to other connected devices. This is extremely important, because any object which can digitally identify itself to others becomes something much greater than it would be on its own.

Whatever the object is, it no longer relates just to its owner but can be corrected to an endless number of other machines.

If this description sounds a little nebulous, it’s understandable, since it’s a somewhat difficult concept to grasp. The digital innovation expert who coined the term IoT, Kevin Ashton, put it this way, “If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things – using data they gathered without any help from us – we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss, and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing, or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best.”

What Can IoT Do?

There’s a subtle capability included within this quote which you may have missed, but which is the central concept behind Version II of the Internet itself. The original Internet was entirely comprised of data created by humans, but in its second incarnation, the Internet will also include vast amounts of data generated entirely by objects, without human intervention.

Another important point made in the quote by Mr. Ashton is that some of the data generated by objects relate to performance and everyday operating conditions, and back-end software can evaluate this data. When such data is analyzed and compared against other data, it can provide extremely useful information about the status and performance of the object sending the data. That’s how we know if a device is not operating correctly and can make necessary replacements as soon as possible. However, this capability is only one of the many uses advantages which will result from objects connected to the Internet of Things.

Smart Homes

One of the ways that the Internet of Things will change life in our everyday world will be through the greater adoption of smart technology in the home setting. Although there have already been several ways that IoT technology has improved life, even more, are just around the corner. Today you may have your coffee pot, your thermostat, and your Amazon Echo connected to the IoT, but even more innovative ideas like this are currently being tested and readied for production. Expect to see IoT versions of washers, dryers, refrigerators, security systems, and lighting systems very soon.

A self-driving car powered by IoT.

It’s predicted that IoT will eventually result in self-driving cars, and other exciting automated innovations.

Wearable Devices

Last year, approximately 85 million wearables were sold in this country, and within two or three years, that figure is expected to exceed 400 million. In the broad category of wearables are included fitness trackers, virtual-reality headsets, smart watches, and other devices. All of these wearable devices are generating literally tons of data, for which practical uses have not even been defined yet. To be sure, there are endless possibilities and potential applications for this data, and when some of these are put into practice, the Internet of Things will become a far busier place.

Smart Cars

One of the most tantalizing uses of IoT technology is in smart cars, which are now very close to becoming a reality. In a few years, more than 80% of all vehicles on the road will be connected to the Internet. This will increase the potential for navigational guidance, diagnostic tools, and most exciting of all, self-driving cars.

The automobile industry has made major investments in exploring the potential for IoT technology relative, and as a result, self-driving cars are a virtual certainty in the near future. Many such cars have already been built and tested, and have performed admirably under controlled conditions – which means general rollout won’t be far off.

Business Applications

The Internet of Things will affect more than just individuals and will change the way we do business. For instance, physical inventories will no longer have to be conducted by employees spending their entire weekend in the warehouse, because smart devices will be able to track inventory automatically.

Inventors and creators of appliances and other gadgets will be free to get creative in developing new devices which can provide consumer benefits by being connected to the IoT.

The number of employees working remotely or from home will increase dramatically in the future, as more devices are connected to the IoT, permitting closer integration with work facilities.
Businesses will closely analyze all that data which is being generated by objects connected to the Internet of Things, and a great deal will be learned about where they should put their focus regarding where to innovate, what to innovate, and how to innovate.




Will Smartphones Have Foldable Screens in the Near Future?

An image of a smartphone. It does not have one of those foldable screens.

Are you excited for smartphones having foldable screens?

Recently, top smartphone designers have been toying with the idea of foldable screens. This is a very exciting development. Because over the past few years, enough progress has been made for it to be a possibility.

The Samsung Galaxy Round proved that a screen could be curved and flexible. And LG’s G Flex went even further with Samsung’s design plan. Its great durability impressed users. Both phones, however, were stepping stones. Not the final result.

A move towards a more flexible design is exciting for a couple of reasons. Many critics say smartphone design has plateaued. They think everything looks the same now. A spark of innovation like this will prove them wrong. Also, for the many clumsy people out there living with cracked screens, this sounds like an awesome idea.

So, how far away are we from having foldable screens? Who’s the closest to making this a reality? Will it be as life-saving and practical as everyone thinks? There aren’t any definitive answers to of those questions yet, but here’s what we’ve found.

The Future of Foldable Screens

In June, Lenovo debuted a prototype for a phone called the CPlus. It’s a very interesting looking phone. Not only is it bendable, but it can also roll up and be worn on a user’s wrist. The phone-watch combo can be a game changer. But the CPlus’ release date is still a few years away. Lenovo says it won’t be out until 2020.

Other top companies are working on their foldable designs, too. Recently, Apple has patented the idea for a flexible iPhone that can clip onto clothing. And reports have shown that they’ve had the idea for a foldable design for a while.

In order to make this a reality, Apple has partnered with LG. Designs have already been drawn up and they plan to start producing them in 2018. Samsung, Google, and Microsoft have also expressed interest in working with LG for screens of their own.

Foldable screens offer a lighter, more durable option for smartphone users. It’s a design that feels more like a futuristic dream than something only a few years away from being released. But companies like Apple, LG and Lenovo are very close to making this dream a reality.

A Watch That Keeps You Awake

A Watch that Keeps You Awake: When You Must Not Sleep

Nodding off at the wrong time is a bigger problem than you might expect. Whether it is behind the wheel of a car after a long day at work, or, you are experiencing the 2:00 p.m. post-lunch crash, people are always looking for strategies to stay awake. In today’s technology rich environment, there are more than just alarm clocks to wake people up. There are devices whose function is to keep people awake, including a headset that warns people when they are falling asleep. Unfortunately, even if you have these devices, remembering to set the alarm, or forgetting to put on the headset, can also be a problem. However, something that people wear without a second thought is their watch. Thus, the idea for a watch that keeps you awake was born.

The new spark watch has a time feature just like any other timepiece. Where the spark watch differs is it has two motion sensors. One sensor checks for movement; the other tracks the frequency of the movements. The user-specific algorithm is then made to track the movement patterns of the user. If the watch thinks that it has not moved for too long a period of time, it vibrates and wakes up the wearer. When you are ready to turn in, or if you want to take an afternoon nap, simply remove the watch or turn off the vibration mode.

The spark watch is lightweight, waterproof, and features a color LED display. Even though the watch is in production, the batteries on the prototypes lasted for almost 7 days of use. Nevertheless, the company is trying to find a battery that will last even longer.

If you could use a watch that keeps you awake, all that is needed to reserve it is $50, one-third of the projected resale price. That is, of course, assuming that they make it past the prototype phase and into full production.

Alarm Bracelet Protection

Alarm Bracelet Protection: Safety on Your Wrist

How many people subject to crime could have changed the circumstances and the outcome, if they had only needed to press two buttons in order to summon help? Although there is no way to know the answer to this question we do know that the world can be a dangerous place. A Dutch company is working to give women, or anyone for that matter, an extra level of protection in the way of Safelet. Safelet is an alarm bracelet protection device. It gives the person wearing it the ability to activate an alarm that sends out their location by way of their smartphone. When the wearer senses danger, it can be triggered quickly and easily by pressing two simple buttons. Clearly, this would be a lot easier than trying to make a phone call during an emergency situation.

Setting up the bracelet simply requires syncing it with an app on your smartphone. You can the set your desired level of security, including who you want to be alerted, when you signal that you are in danger. You can choose between alerting your family, your friends, those in the Safelet group, or, you can even alert the police.

The alert system is quick and easy. Pushing just two buttons immediately sends your information to your pre-decided recipient or groups. This is much faster and simpler than pulling out your phone, making the call, and describing your location. With Safelet, your GPS location is automatically provided to your emergency contact via your message. The bracelet is also equipped with a microphone that, if previously set up, will record on activation.

Safelet is an alarm bracelet protection device that could help women all over the world feel safer and more secure. Additionally, even though women might most benefit from this device, men could use it too. Currently, the bracelets are still in production. However, they can be reserved for less than one hundred dollars, which is a good deal less than what the (estimated) final price will be. When available, they will be offered with global shipping.

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