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Entries in Technology (182)


AR Contact Lenses (video)

Is this the future? Google glasses may just be the beginning. Augmented reality contact lenses may be the next wave of keeping you always on and connected to the digital world. Another step towards becoming bionic. Would you?


Hunter S. Thompson Macintosh Commercial (video)

Really?!?!? This is a "flash back Friday" that I definitely missed the first time around. But still incredibly poignant for Apple today. I assume it was shot sometime in the 1990's. Nice gem for Apple! 



SensFloor - A Truly Smart Floor

With the population ageing at a fast rate, companies are looking to produce smart products that aid in the ageing process. 

SensFloor bu Future Shape is a conductive rug that can detect movement and call for help if someone has fallen over - pretty much turning the floor into a touchscreen, touch sensitive communication device. 2-millimeter-thin radio module imbedded textile act as an underlay fitted under carpets or other floor coverings. The radio modules track the speed and direction of movements and convey the information to a separate control unit, which analyzes it in real time. The smart combination of the sensor signals enables the switching of orientation lights, controlling of automatic doors, fall detection, intrusion alarm, activity monitoring, leakage water detection as well as presence recognition.  

The rug was recently installed in a nursing home in Alsace, France. It monitors 70 rooms and turns a light on when a resident steps on the floor, and calls the nurses’ station when it detects that someone has fallen. 

Alex Steinhage, SensFloor research and development director, said in an interview with Dezeen, “In the first four months, we had 28 falls discovered by our system and none were false alarms. One nurse told us that she wouldn’t have seen one of the falls because the person fell on the far side of the bed where she wouldn’t have been discovered.” 

Smaller mats can be placed bedside to notify of falls or someone trying to get out of bed without assistance. 

There are so many possibilities to this floor technology. I can see this becoming a normal part of smart homes to track and respond to families' needs.  



Tomorrow's Smart Home, Today

We've seen a lot of "smart home" products. This is a great example of how our "smart homes" will be integrated into every aspect of our life — even when we are out of the home. 

2014 will not only be in the introduction of more "smart home" products, but the integration of these products into our daily lives. 


IBM's Computer Generated Food Truck (video)

It's a food truck that uses computing to reinvent your favorite foods. IBM teamed up with the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) to cook up dishes based on the recipes generated by the recipe-generating program that is part of the company’s research on “computational creativity.” The machine is tasked to create surprising yet flavorful recipe ideas no cookbook has ever thought of in order to enhance human creativity.



Next stop, SXSW in Austin. What would you create? I'm on the burrito or dumpling path.



The Next Language

Right now there is a grand stratification between programmers and nonprogrammers. I don't think this is changing nearly as fast as it needs to, but it's possible something else is coming along to alter the dynamic. In the future the language we speak to code applications and communications with our interfaces will surely be different than the computation required now by “programmers”. A preview of this lingo is called the Wolfram language and is introduced by Stephen Wolfram in the video below. If you look closely, I think you'll see a style of human computer-interface that will be common to children who are now being born and forward into the next 10 to 20 years. These ideas of plug-and-play are occurring in such products as the Korg little synth as well as that Google modular telephone that's just being introduced now in concept form. This is programming as a building block concept, as easy as sticking objects together which are pre-populated with algorithms and data about the world. Starting from scratch or coding from first principles limits practice, and is something that rarely exists outside hard-core programming study. Even in the kitchen, cooking has changed over the last 25 years (think like a chef) and the 25 years before it (Hamburger Helper?) and the hundred years before that (pre-ground flour) into something that is more modular. 3-D printing introduces us to a world where a kind of ur-goop will allow us to make components that can be stitched together via recipes for more complicated goods (utensils, tools, weapons, transport). This will affect everything from the way we use our products to the way we talk about ourselves and the world. It is in fact a redefining of reality.


MegaFaces: Giant 3D Selfies at Sochi (video)

Sochi Winter Olympic Games are taking selfies to the next level. Created by designer and architect Asif Khan and commissioned by Russian telecoms company MegaFon, a 2,000 metre-squared cube in the Olympic pavilion features a kinetic facade that can recreate the faces of visitors from 3D scans that are made in photo booths installed within the building. 


According to Valentin Spiess, CEO at iart, the process of creating a selfie at the pavilion is as "fast and simple as using a commercial photo booth". 


I wonder how many selfies of the selfies have been taken...



Apple's Forgotten Designs

Not every innovation and design makes it into the hands of the consumer.  Here are a few Apple deisgns that never made it. I'm sure there are tons more in the Apple archive beacuse you have to go through many design phases to be as iconic as Apple. Love that the touchscreen tablet was already in design production in 1984!


Study for an Apple flip phone, 1983. Designed by Hartmut Esslinger and frog design.


Prototype for 'BabyMac', 1985. Designed by Hartmut Esslinger and frog design.


Study for a touch-screen MacBook, 1984. Designed by Hartmut Esslinger and frog design. 

'20th Anniversary Mac', 1997. Designed by Jony Ive. 


eMate 300 laptop for students, 1997. Designed by Jony Ive.