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.
Posted By Simon Montford on November 24, 2016
The run up to the festive season is always a busy time for event organisers and delegates alike. Peak conference season means there are so many to choose from, but in order to get the best ROI it's vital to remain laser focused. This is primarily because there are not only financial costs that need to be accounted for, such as travel and accommodation, but also intangible ones. Everything from the amount of emotional energy expended (if you don't feel exhausted after a conference, you're not doing it right), to opportunity costs - time is (or should be) your most valuable asset. Here's a look back at some of the events I attended last month, that were definitely worth expending time and energy for!
Posted By Simon Montford on October 28, 2016
Last week I attended the 3rd annual Commercial UAV Show. I can't believe it's been a year since I covered the previous event, and wrote "There's no business like drone business". It took place on the 19th and 20th of October at ExCeL in London. The first thing I noticed was that the number of exhibitors and attendees appeared to be down compared to the previous year. I felt, however, that the quality of companies and delegates had increased. Last year l got the impression that many who attended were there out of curiosity. While milling around the expo floor, I came across an industry analysts with a remit to gather data and obtain market intelligence, an entrepreneur scoping out commercial opportunities, and an intern who had been dispatched on a fact-finding mission by her boss.
Posted By Simon Montford on June 9, 2016
One of the coolest things to come out of CES in Vegas this year was a life-size drone that's capable of flying passengers autonomously in the air for up to 20 minutes. The self-driving aerial vehicle is called the Ehang 184, and the company responsible for creating it has just been granted clearance for takeoff in order to test it over the skies of Nevada.
Posted By Paul Bradley on May 23, 2016
It’s just the beginning for 5G. Yet if you look at the already extensive amount of media comment on the subject, it’s obvious that the industry has a clear idea of the services that it hopes 5G will support, in Massive IoT and in other sectors. What’s less certain is just how the technology will develop - indeed standardisation activities are just commencing.
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 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 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 Jan 9, 2016
The International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) is the world’s gathering place for the consumer technology industry. Held in Las Vegas every year (Jan 6-9), it has acted as a showcase for innovation and breakthrough technology for more than 40 years. Today it is one of the world's leading technology events.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 5, 2016
This is part two of a post that relates to my predictions for technological innovation in 2016, and beyond (see Part 1). My previous post covered Artificial Intelligence, smarter smart materials, intelligent connected devices, and humanoid companion robots. These technologies, and the ones I am about to cover, are truly ground breaking, and will make 2016 another exciting year.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 12, 2015
According to the BBC, the Japanese police are in the process of setting up a special unit that will protect important buildings and areas throughout Tokyo from bad drones. New recruits will be trained to fly large industrial-sized drones, the type normally used by the oil and gas industry to inspect industrial assets like pipelines and flare stacks, to remove smaller drones out of the sky.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 12, 2015
The Parrot micro-drone and hydrofoil only costs £139.99 ($179.00). It is essentially, well, a small drone attached to a hydrofoil, but what a great combo! As the boat surges forward, carried by the Parrot, it is lifted almost entirely out of the water to reduce drag, thereby making the boat go faster. The micro-drone propels the boat forward by rotating upwards.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 11, 2015
ONAGOfly is a micro-drone with an on-board camera so it can take stills and record video. It can be controlled via a smartphone and comes with infrared obstacle avoidance. Pledges start at $179 for the first 200 units, and $199 thereafter. The company's estimated shipping date is February 2016.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 30 2015
Amazon released further details about a fleet of delivery drones that the company hopes will soon be used to carry packages directly to it's customers, within thirty minutes of an order. The design allows it to fly both vertically and horizontally, and is similar to Sony's VTOL drone. Amazon's drone has a range of 15 miles, but it's top speed has yet to be revealed.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 29 2015
We have three fantastic speakers lined up for tomorrow's event "Future of Drones". It will be live broadcast via Periscope from 7pm GMT. To join us simply download the app, search for "WEB3IOT", click the follow button, and the live feed will appear on your phone or tablet. If you can't join us on Periscope, the talks will be available to view on Youtube. Here's an overview of the event...
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 20 2015
From hero to zero, the Zano drone failed to take off. Having been one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of 2014, the team behind the doomed project concede defeat. The company raised over £2m worth of pre-orders from 12,000 supporters, and it now appears that the majority of those that paid £170 to own one will have nothing to show for it.
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 Kevin Skaggs on Oct 6, 2015
According to a recent report by BI Intelligence, the market for commercial/civilian drones will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% between 2015 and 2020. Drones are being utilized by an increasing number of industry sectors, for all kinds of different applications. Drones are everywhere! To help you decide which drone is best for you, we have complied a short list of the best drones for beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 26, 2015
One of the most frustrating things about operating a drone is flight time. This is because the limitations of battery technology prevents most drones from flying for more than 25 minutes. This is why Holger Willeke decided to build a hybrid powered drone called the Yeair, that can fly for 60 min at speeds of upto 60mph.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 21, 2015
Lily claims to be the world's first "throw-and-shoot camera" drone, however, I'm pretty sure I have already seen other similar products that can fly autonomously, if thrown in the air. Take Nixie for example. If you look at this Youtube video (2:56 /4:31), you will see one of the company's co-founders demonstrate this feature at CES back in January. Other "selfie drones" worth checking out are Zano, Air Dog, and Hexo+.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 21, 2015
The FAA have in the past been accused of bullying commercial drone business out of the skies, through overly draconian legislation. Chief among those that believe the FAA is responsible for hampering the growth of the fledgling commercial drone sector is Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot and currently CEO of CyPhyWorks. She previously said at a conference that the FAA’s approach to opening up the airspace industry-by-industry is a mistake. "It restricts access to groups that have the strongest lobbying power, stacking the deck against companies developing new technology.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 16, 2015
The ELF is a nano drone that's being developed by a Chinese company called Elecfreaks. The company's campaign video does a great job of making me really want one, primarily because you can use the ELF to not only take "dronies", but also "remote view" using the accompanying cardboard cutout AV headset, during flight. Although extremely cool, neither feature is however unique.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 11, 2015
Nano drones such as the Zano, Anura and Nixie are growing in popularity. Unlike the aforementioned nano drones, this one's pretty basic, but that's reflected in the price. The creators have intentionally kept things simple, and cost-effective as they want their Nano Drone to appeal to first-time users. Not only is it very easy to operate, but the company's patent-pending impact guards have been designed to protect the drone's blades from hitting the ground or getting damaged during wall or ceiling collisions.
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.
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