Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 20, 2012 09:57 AM
Headphone lines are running into every ear and the world is constantly staring into its smartphones, seemingly hoping to be sucked into a virtual mobile world. It does not seem that anyone wants to go without their data at any second of their lives. After all, it could be crucial to know the so-called “Nasty Factor” of a pitch as it happens in the fifth inning of a game in April or to see a celebrity Twitter spat unfold in real time.
The good folks at Google and Oakley want to help you, the teeming data-driven masses, see just what is shaking at all times. Google’s “Project Glass,” which quickly became nicknamed Google Glasses, got some publicity recently when it emerged that the company was developing specs that would allow for data to be projected onto the lenses. Now Bloomberg is reporting that Oakley — also making some noise as an official sponsor of the London 2012 Summer Games — has been working on a similar product since 1997.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 19, 2012 11:14 AM
While Apple's Siri chats with iPhone-happy celebs and Microsoft brings voice-recognition to Windows Phone via Bing, AT&T has been in the speech recognition business for more than a decade (dating back to the Bell Labs days) with AT&T Watson, which it's now opening to other mobile developers with APIs being released in June.
Not to be confused with IBM's Jeopardy! champ of the same name, AT&T's voice recognition tool transcribes spoken words into text on the fly. In the video above, AT&T highlights how it's making Watson accessible to other developers, who can integrate this technology into their own mobile apps — including in-car connected systems, as AT&T talked up at CES this past January.
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 19, 2012 10:03 AM
As the Windows team blog puts it, "Nothing takes the fun out of a foreign vacation faster than an afternoon spent deciphering street signs or pointing randomly at menus." That's why Microsoft has released a new version of Bing's free Translator app for Windows Phone, one that you just point at the foreign-language text on (say) a menu or sign, scan the text and get a translation overlaid on the image in your preferred language, all thanks to augmented reality.
The pitch: "Now you can point your phone camera at printed text—street sign, dinner menu, train schedule, newspaper headline—and the app will translate it. If (you) wanted to ask a stranger for directions to the Eiffel Tower, (you)could also just speak into the phone in English—and wait a moment for the French." It's like “automatic subtitles for everyday life,” as Bing puts it. So should Siri worry?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2012 05:00 PM
IKEA today previewed its seventh annual Ikea PS collection, showing at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan Furniture Fair) and arriving in European stores in August. But the bigger buzz was its move into home electronics, with the new Uppleva (Swedish for "uplifting") hybrid HDT/home entertainment center.
Integrating RCA's HDTV system into a flat-pack entertainment unit, the TV-embedded furniture "comes in three designs and will be sold first in Sweden, France, Poland, Germany and Italy in June, with a few more markets due to launch in the second half of the year," according to the Associated Press. "By the first half of next year, it will be available worldwide, with the cheapest costing about 6,500 Swedish kronor ($955)."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2012 11:09 AM
Pebble has set a record as the biggest crowdfunded launch in history, all for a new class of device (an e-paper watch?!) pitched to backers via its Kickstarter page. Credit the description for the chic, digital-savvy smartphone accessory:
“Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.”
Pebble received $500,000 funding in a day, reaching $1 million in investments last week just 28 hours after launch on Kickstarter. By midnight Friday, the little e-paper wristwatch that could had pushed past the $1.5 million mark with 35 fund-raising days remaining. Now it has passed the $3.5 million mark.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 4, 2012 11:33 AM
Remember all the buzz about Google Googles, using pictures to search the web? The company today unveiled an Augmented Reality spin of the concept out of its R&D lab: Project Glass, which embeds the web in a modern-day spin on x-ray specs. It's purely spec-ulative, but gives a fascinating view of how Google envisions the future. So get ready for voice-controlled instant notifications in your field of vision.
Google described the AR glasses as: "We believe technology should work for you — to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don't. A team within our Google[x] group started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. Follow along with us at http://g.co/projectglass as we share some of our ideas and stories. We'd love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?"Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Janger on March 30, 2012 05:32 PM
Google this week posted a fascinating video on YouTube showing Steve Mahan, who is blind, driving to Taco Bell on his own, using Google’s pioneering self-driving technology. (It is captioned for the deaf, and audio-described for the blind.)
Google points out Mahan drove this car as an experiment on a “carefully programmed route.” Still, it is a brilliant and necessary application of a technology that was developed with the goal of making driving safer for everyone, eliminate traffic jams, and bring people to their destinations without getting lost. Just as the automobile changed the world at the beginning of the 20th century and introduced the so-called automobile culture, self-driving cars will impact how we live our lives in the 21st century.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2012 03:03 PM
Over the last 10 years or so, Procter & Gamble's Connect + Develop program has forged hundreds of relationships with outside vendors and inventors that have led to myriad big new products for the company — including the Crest SpinBrush, Swiffer Dusters and Olay Regenerist — have brought refinements and ingredients that weren't thought of or available internally, and have helped lead a surge in innovation at the Cincinnati-based giant.
Connect + Develop is still at it in a more challenging era, including looking for ways to out-license Procter & Gamble brands, products, processes and ideas as well as bringing still more interesting stuff from the outside in. And while archrival Unilever has been generating some buzz recently with news that it is setting up a new online platform as part of its own "open innovation" strategy, the head of P&G's longer-tenured operation believes Connect + Develop remains well in the lead among the company's competitive set.
"They got quite a bit of publicity, and that's cool," Jeff Weedman, P&G's vice president of global business development, told brandchannel. "I expect us to do well in an open marketplace."Continue reading...