Posted By Simon Montford on January 11, 2017
CES 2017 has drawn to a close for another year, so I have featured some of my highlights from the show that include robots, wearables, drones, smart home tech, smartphones and cars. In addition, gadgets announced at CES have been included on this month's featured products page. We don't usually feature them from major OEMs like Samsung, Nvidia, HTC, Huawei, and LG because most of the really cutting-edge innovations tend to come from independent makers and startups, but every January we make an exception.
Guest post by Jakub Lubonski on October 13, 2016
I'm the CEO of a Polish technology company that has been intensively working for more than a year on creating the perfect bin, which can recognise, categorise, and sort trash as it is placed into it. The Bin-e is a response to the growing problem of segregation of garbage in places where waste is produced the most. According to recent statistics, every year Europeans produce over 213 million tons of garbage, of which only 30% is recycled!
Guest post by Jessica Groopman on September 27, 2016
Amidst the whirlwind of technological advancement, from the proliferation of sensors to form factors to new modes of interaction to software intelligence, many product companies make the grave mistake of over-complicating connected versions of their products. Too many buttons on a screen, too many levels to tap through to accomplish a task, too many features in an app, too many sensors (and not enough value) to justify a low battery life…
Posted By Simon Montford on September 12, 2016
Next week I will be moderating "Interface Evaluation: Selecting the Optimum Interface for Smart Home Control" at the IoT Smart Summit, at 2.40-3.20pm on 21st September, with guest panellists: Diego Oliva (Founder, Glue), Joacim Westlund (CEO, FLIC), Kyrre Wathne (CTO, Viva Labs), Sam Woodward (Customer Education Leader, Lutron), Ricco Borring Winther (Director of Sales, Z-Wave Europe), and Philip Steele (Founder, nCube Smart Home).
Posted By Simon Montford on May 18, 2016
I watched the two-hour Google I/O 2016 address so you don't have to. If you missed it and have two hours to spare feel free to click on the Youtube video (below). If you don't have time, or just can't be bothered, then here's an overview of everything that was announced, plus a bunch of screen shots as a picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 15, 2016
Today I attended day one of the Wearable Technology Show at ExCel, London. This is the third consecutive year I have been to the event, so it was interesting to see how the show has grown in stature over the past few years. Back in 2014, the show's debut took place at London Olympia, and was a far more modest affair. It was, however an exciting time, as back then the major players were conspicuously absent; it was almost exclusively attended by a passionate bunch of wearable tech pioneers, and a few plucky little startups. Since the arrival of major players such as Sony, Samsung et al the whole shebang has become a larger, more polished production.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 8, 2016
Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona from the 22nd-25th February 2016. It is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, and I was there to cover the show. In my opinion, the most significant trends this year were 5G, 2-in-1s, faster SOCs from Intel and Qualcomm, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things. In addition to a more detailed explanation of these trends, as well as my other key takeaways, I'll also give you a few of my survival tips - particularly useful for the uninitiated!
Posted By Simon Montford on March 6, 2016
Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona from the 22nd-25th February 2016. It is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, and I was there to cover the show. Here's a selection of photos and videos taken during my week in Spain. As it was my first time attending the conference, I found it overwhelming! Due to the bus and metro strike, getting around the city was a major challenge, but getting to and from the conference centre was a breeze compared to the real challenge of finding my way around the vast series of halls that played host to thousands of the world's leading mobile technology companies, with the exception of Apple.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 5, 2016
Most of today's consumer drones are controlled via short-range signals like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or radio airwaves, so their capabilities are severely restricted, unlike military UAVs such as the Predator, that can be operated by a person located thousands of miles away. By utilising a 5G cellular network, however, a consumer drone could theoretically (regulation aside) be controlled from anywhere and have limitless range just like military drones do today. Currently 4G is incapable of providing this capability because it can't offer real-time feedback as there's simply too much of a delay between when you send a signal and when you get a response, known as latency.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 25, 2016
Scottish tech startup Nautilus Beam Ltd (based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom) came second last night in the prestigious TechCrunch Pitch-Off that took place during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Co-founders Dr Tim Willis and Simon Montford pitched their smartwatch text app Tusi to a crowded room of tech startup entrepreneurs, and a panel of investors. In addition to winning tickets to TechCrunchDisrupt New York in May, the founders also won a 4G-enabled Panasonic Nubo camera. Immediately after their successful pitch, the company released a public beta of Tusi for Google Wear devices, which is available to download for free from Google Play.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 24, 2016
Yesterday I attended what for me was the highlight of the entire show so far; Keynote 8 of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: "Qualcomm & MERCEDES AMG Petronas Formula One Team". The event was billed as a keynote speech by Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, but it turned out to be more of a "fireside chat". I live broadcast the panel via Periscope, which consisted of Derek Aberle (Qualcomm’s president), Lewis Hamilton (Formula One World Champion), and Paddy Lowe (Executive Director, Technical Mercedes AMG Petronas). The session was moderated by Nicki Shields, TV Presenter & Journalist for Formula E & CNN.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 17, 2016
IoT Tech Expo took place in London, 10-11 February 2016. The event covered many different industry sectors including Manufacturing, Transport, Health, Logistics, Government, Energy and Automotive. Exhibitors from across Europe showcased cutting edge technologies, and over 200 speakers shared industry knowledge and insights. As an official media partner, I attended on behalf of WEB3//IOT. Here are my highlights of the two day event.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 12, 2016
As a media partner, WEB3//IOT was invited to cover the IoT Tech Expo, which took place in London on the 10-11 February. The event covered many different industry sectors including manufacturing, transport, health, logistics, government, energy and automotive. Exhibitors from across Europe showcased cutting-edge technologies, and over 200 speakers shared industry knowledge and insights. As I wandered through the expo area, I came across an exhibitor called ThingWorx, that provides an apps platform that makes it easy for developers to build, deploy and evolve applications for the IoT.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 10, 2016
Have you ever been dissed by a robot? Until today, I hadn't either. It's a weird feeling, being rejected by an inanimate object that doesn't even know you exist, but yet you can't help feeling dejected. I almost wanted to tap it on the shoulder and give it a piece of my mind and say "didn't your parents teach you any manners?", but what would that have achieved? It isn't human, so has no parents. Instead, I just had to take it on the chin, leave my dignity where I stood, and walk away. Pepper is cute, but boy can it act like a little brat!
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 9, 2016
As everyone in the free world knows, it was Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, and due to the 8hr time difference between London and San Francisco, live coverage of the game didn't commence till 11pm. This meant that an early night was out of the question; not a great start to my busy working week. In fact, I didn't hit the sack (no pun intended), until 5am so when my alarm went off at the usual time, I felt more than a little bleary-eyed.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 1, 2016
As a species we are becoming more and more connected. Today fitness trackers are pretty basic, but tomorrow they will become embedded precision instruments capable of monitoring our health 24/7. Our cars will be self-driving, our homes will be operated by powerful artificial intelligence, and one leading academic recently predicted that robots will be able to read our minds by 2030 - welcome to the future!
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 4, 2016
Expect to see some very exciting technologies come our way in 2016. There is no doubt that the pace of innovation will continue to accelerate, resulting in a glut of new consumer devices that, only a few years ago, were products of our imagination and props in science fiction movies. For example Tony Stark's A.I. assistant, J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System), featured in the Iron Man series of movies, looks like it will become a reality this year.
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 23 2015
Earlier this week I attended the Commercial UAV Show, which was a two day event that took place on 20-21st October 2015 at ExCeL, London. I decided against getting a conference pass (you can check out the agenda here), because what I really enjoy about events is the opportunity to network. By meeting the exhibitors, and chatting with attendees I was able to gain a huge amount of industry knowledge within a very short time.
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 21, 2015
October 21st 2015 was, I mean is, the day that Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) traveled to, from what was then, the year 1989. They predicted hoverboards (then | now) and Google Glass (then | now), but nowhere in the movie were self-driving DeLoreans ever mentioned. Well a group of Stanford University grads have "hacked" one of Britain's most iconic sports cars and made it drive like a total lunatic! The driverless DeLoren is even capable of drifting like a champ!
Posted By Simon Montford on April 27, 2015
I came across this solar-powered car that is entirely made from 3D-printed parts! It was created by a group of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University undergrads in February. It has around 150 3D-printed parts, and it took 4 months to assemble. It has a top speed of 40 km/h (25 m/h), so I'd imagine it's intended exclusively for urban use.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 10, 2015
A US-based startup called NoFlyZone wants to control the airspace above your home in order to prevent drones from flying over peoples' private property. They coordinate with drone OEMs to automatically prevent them from flying where they're not wanted. The company enables anyone to register (US only) via their website, but there is no guarantee that OEMs will honor their requests. Although a few companies have agreed to comply it's early days, so it will probably take time before major players such as DJI will jump on board.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 5, 2015
The battle of the smart home is starting to really heat up. Every week a fresh batch of products grab our attention, but how will we choose to control all these new and exciting devices? Will we use something like Reemo or Nod that utilizes gesture control, or will we communicate with an A.I. assistant like Cubic, EmoSpark, Ubi, RobotBase or Jibo using voice command? Will there end up being one device to rule them all, or will we use several methods?
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 2, 2015
Robotbase, located in New York, is a startup that has developed a robotic personal assistant for the home and office. With only 68 hours to go, the company has smashed its funding target on Kickstarter. The personal robotic device uses advanced facial recognition software to not only identify humans but also read their moods. In addition to doing things like setting alarms and scheduling appointments, it can also control connected devices around the home or office via wifi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth LE.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 14, 2015
It is estimated that by the year 2020, up to 100 billion devices will be connected to the web. In technological terms, five years is a blink of an eye, so OEMs need to adapt now or die later. Samsung's CEO, Boo Keun Yoon, recently appealed for more openness within the industry as he wants gadgets and appliances from different manufacturers to easily share data so that conflicting silos won't hamper adoption. He also said that within five years, all Samsung hardware will be IOT enabled. In my mind calling for openness is a euphemism for "if we don't gang up against Google & Apple, we're screwed".
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 12, 2015
Last year I wrote a guest blog for TechDrive about how I believe the auto industry will be transformed by artificial intelligence. As an addendum, I'd like to briefly explore how smart cars of the future may one day be controlled by us humans. Firstly, I have a hunch that within the next few years almost every major OEM will be selling us an autonomous vehicle, which means in-car systems will be used primary for two purposes - entertainment and productivity.
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