The Next Google Glass

When speaking to customers, colleagues and friends about wearing a Google Glass, we always end up talking about how small (and therefore less visible) these things are going to get. So it’s obvious that Google is focusing on making the current model look more attractive by partnering with specific partners. So next iterations of Glass should look more slick than the model I have. But a recent announcement and patent show that Google is also working on a real next generation of devices for your face.

It has been known for a while now that Google is working on bringing smart contact lenses to diabetes patients in order to alert them when their blood sugar falls to dangerous levels. The technology at work here are biometric sensors that are designed to read chemicals in the tear fluid of the wearer’s eye.

Now Google has secured two patents in order to do so.

Smart_Contact_Lens2

The picture above shows how Google is planning on making the lenses fit. The plan is to both communicate and power the electronics-embedded contact lens with a pair of antennas. This could eventually end up in juts one antenna according to the patent.

You might wonder how you will be able to see trough a chip on our eye? Next to transparent materials, the patent notes that the substrate is too close to the eye to be in focus and it’s positioned away from the center of the eye and, thereby, away from where light is transmitted to the retina.

The point here is that this specific project is wonderful if your a diabetes patient. But the potential for applications of this technology far exceeds only this context. If they can get the technology right, this could well be the future of Google Glass. [Read more...]

5 Friday To Do’s: Google X, Heartbleed, Passwords and Glow in The Dark Highways

I’m always thinking about new ways to structure and share content. We at VINT write our own blogposts, share cool content from other parties here on the blog and also tweet interesting stuff we find on the web. Lately I am really into the format of a curator who shares several types of content in one post, like The Atlantic is doing with their 5 Intriguing Things series and what MIT is doing with the curated reading list.

So to kick off a experiment with a new format: here are 5 things for your friday or the weekend to read, watch, do, be surprised by and to share.

To watch: Visis the Google X lab
Google X isn’t like most R&D labs. Fast Company was granted first-of-its kind access into Google’s top-secret research laboratory, where “moonshots” trump real-world feasibility, and failure is openly encouraged. In this video you will get a grasp on how innovation works at at Google X and how they work towards fast prototyping. Really inspiring. 

To read: It’s Time to Encrypt the Entire Internet
Following the HeartBleed bug, it has become clear (if it wasn’t already) that (cyber)security is one of the main issues that we have to deal with to shape the future. In fact, it’s time for the web to take a good hard look at a new idea: encryption everywhere. Wired. [Read more...]

We Will Live Again

WE WILL LIVE AGAIN looks inside the unusual and extraordinary operations of the Cryonics Institute. The film follows Ben Best and Andy Zawacki, the caretakers of 99 deceased human bodies stored at below freezing temperatures in cryopreservation. The Institute and Cryonics Movement were founded by Robert Ettinger who, in his nineties and long retired from running the facility, still self-publishes books on cryonics, awaiting the end of his life and eagerly anticipating the next.

Foggy interfaces and other human machine interactions

hci
It’s probably the most important conference on Human-Computer Interfaces: The CHI2014. A short promo of what can be expected this years on conference.

One of the projects that will be presented is from the University of Bristol and is called “MisTable”. The project is headed by Professor Sriram Subramanian and Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, and contains a tabletop system that combines a conventional interactive table with personal screens built using fog, between the user and the tabletop surface. [Read more...]

The Future Of Ownership: How The Sharing Economy Will Change The Way We Live

Scrolling on Twitter, I came across a presentation called the Future of Ownership. This slidedeck tracks and traces the evolution of the collaborative economy and it’s one of the best I’ve seen so far.

Reasons to share stuff instead of owning stuff is obvious most of the time: the average car gets used one hour a day, there are 80 million power drills in America who only get used an average 13 minutes, and an average NYC Airbnb host makes $21,000 a year sharing his apartment.

In the slides the collaborative economy is defined as:

The traditional narrative of amassing material goods and personal ownership is changing. Driven by economics, a desire for experiences, the dematerialization of reality and the collapse of traditional power structures, people are looking to share objects and experiences while working together to create a better future.

[Read more...]

From the Hanover Fair 2014′s Digital Factory Hall

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the world’s biggest industrial fair in Hanover. All should definitely check out the Hannover Messe 2014 website to get a quick overview of what you have missed.

The Netherlands – my home country – had mounted a high-power Partner Country showcase themed “Global Challenges, Smart Solutions.”  I myself was mainly attracted by the Digital Factory Hall, where SAP, Dassault Systemes, IBM, PTC and many others from all over the globe were intensely discussing their offering and the future.

To pay homage to partner country Holland, Sogeti partner Dassault Systemes presented as an eyecatcher the roadster from their Dutch customer Donkervoort.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I learned so many new things during my stay in Hanover, I just wouldn’t know where to start. Luckily, there always is a lot of background material. For instance:

1 – Do you want to know what’s behind PTC’s acquisition of ThingWorx?

2  – Learn about the 10 predictions by Machina Research for the IoT and M2M world, e.g. the dawning realization of the evolution from M2M to IoT.

3 –  Provocative insight: the Big Data Analytics star will rise . . . and fall. The value of data is in having a monopoly on the right kind of data. Or in being able to use it in some clever way. But the market will come to realize that there isn’t much value in the actual analytic part of Big Data Analytics.

Read all this and more in the first 2014 issue of the M2M Journal, and download the PDF.

The New Rules of Robot/Human Society

Two weeks back I kicked off what has become a small series of posts on robots. The first post was about if robots will take your job, a study from Oxford University last year found that 47% of U.S. jobs are potentially at risk. The second post kicked of with the following line: “Hey, it’s friday, so why not think about a future in which I for one will obey my robotic overlords”. In this post I shared a small experiment that was aimed to find out how far people would go in obeying the commands of a robot.

Today I want to close the series with a video produced by one of my favorite YouTube Channels called PBSoffbook. They produce awesome video’s on a whole range of topics. This video deals with a society in which robots and humans live side by side. 3 interesting questions: How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? And who is responsible for a robot’s actions?

Pitch: How a World of Smart, Connected Things is Transforming Manufacturers

Schermafbeelding 2014-04-09 om 10.11.061. Capabilities of Connected Things:
- Personalize/Customize: Products can be efficiently tailored by the end user or manufacturer before or after a product is sold.
- Monitor Condition/Operation: Products can assess their own condition, performance, and the operator’s inputs and status.
- Monitor Environment: Products can assess the external environment through sensors and data sources.
- Remote Control: Products can be operated remotely in real time.
- Service/Upgrade: Products can be serviced, upgraded and enhanced instantly and from anywhere.
- Autonomous: Products are capable of self-operating, learning, updating, and correcting by analyzing real-time data.

2. Impact of Connected “Things” on Manufacturers:
- Value is Shifting from Hardware to Software.
- Value is Shifting from Product to Cloud.
- Value is Shifting from Product to Service.

3. The Response:
- Transform How Products are Created.
- Transform How Products are Serviced.
- Transform Business Models.

4. The 7 Forces of Transformation:
- Digitization
- Globalization
- Regulation
- Personalization
- Software-Intensive Products
- Servitization
- Connectivity

Source: PTC 2014 

Wearable Intelligence: Glass in Healthcare and Energy

One of my thoughts on Google Glass is that it might not be a consumer product after all. Glass is perfect for people working in the field who need information on the go and also need to keep their hands free.

A company called Wearable Intelligence is focused on bringing Glass to some parts of the workforce. They provide a modified version of Glass and have set up pilots in Healthcare and Energy. Check out the video’s.

Diversity in Mobile: So What About The Rest of the Wearables market

A lot of firms are stacking up numbers and graphs to show you how big the wearables market is going to be. Market analysis is pretty optimistic. According to IMS Research, the wearables market is poised to grow from 14 million devices shipped in 2011 to as many as 171 million units shipped by 2016. In a more recent estimate, ABI Research pegs the wearables market at 485 million annual device shipments by 2018. Others say the global annual wearable device unit shipments will cross the 100 million milestone in 2014, and reaching 300 million units five years from now.

This slide by Business Insider sums it all up and it clearly shows two dominant form factors: the smartwatch and activity trackers.

What I think is the most interesting thing about this slide is the part dubbed Rest of Wearables market. As I have noticed before, wearables are a very diverse product category. This weekend I came across an infographic illustrating this argument very well. It shows just how diverse this new mobile form factor actually is, both in hardware shape and size and on the application side as well. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Feel like something is missing? Please share your thought in the comments.