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 4, 2016
This Sunday it's Super Bowl 50, so it's time to start getting ready for the big game! As a 49ers fan, however, my enthusiasm for NFL has understandably somewhat dwindled compared to previous years. Let's face it, the 49ers sucked this season! Thankfully my misery will soon turn to joy as I have some good news to report. Microsoft will soon get Hololens into the hands of us consumers, and when they do - it will be a game changer, literally! Augmented reality (AR) headsets, like this one, will soon make experiencing live sports events, such as the Super Bowl, a totally immersive and awesome experience.
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 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 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 Dec 16, 2015
Pillow Talk is a smart pillow that connects to a wristband via an app. It works by live streaming the sound of your loved one's heartbeat directly to the pillow thanks to a tiny little speaker. I met Joanna Montgomery, founder of Little Riot, the company behind the product, at TechCrunch Disrupt in London last week. She was extremely passionate about her product, and provisionally agreed to speak at our LoveTech event that will take place in Edinburgh on 15th February 2016.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 15, 2015
Hello Barbie is set to become one of the hottest toys this holiday season. The wi-fi enabled doll comes with an app that enables the plastic princess to record and play back speech. Sounds like fun, until parents discover that hackers could utilise vulnerabilities in the toy's software to spy on their children! It could also be used to collect personal data, such as the home addresses of children and recordings of them talking to the doll.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 14, 2015
Experts have been talking about the potential of wireless charging for a while now, but so far not a single commercial product capable of wirelessly charging has entered production. I remember watching a TED talk by Eric Giler of MIT, in which he told the audience that within the near future, our wired lives would become untangled. He then went on to demo a prototype wireless charging technology called WiTricity, which back in 2009, when he did the talk, was supposed to be a "near-to-market" invention.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 14, 2015
Luke Roberts, the makers of Fluxo, claim that it's the world’s first smart LED lamp. On the basis that I've come across plenty of smart bulbs like the Misfit Bolt and the Hue, but never a smart lamp, I'll assume this claim is correct. Like the aforementioned smart bulbs, FLUXO can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet, enabling an entire room to become dynamically “painted” with whatever colour you desire, at the click of a button.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 10, 2015
MATRIX is a smart hub for the home and workplace that can be used to carry out a wide range of tasks. Its creators have designed it to be open, which means third party developers can produce apps that can be used to utilise its incredible versatility and power. The company's Kickstarter campaign, which is about to end, has so far raised over $100,000.
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 Stephanie Rieger on Oct 21, 2015
Between 2000 and 2010, Bryan and I lived a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. We moved more than fifteen times, including stays of varying lengths in three continents, six countries, three Canadian provinces, and four cities in the UK. After five wonderful years in Scotland, we’ve recently moved once again!
Posted By Domantas Cibas on July 13, 2015
The IOT//EDI Hackathon happened quite some time ago, but finally I decided to sit down and write about it. So, here’s a brief overview of how it went for me and the team. Finally, Edinburgh got its very first hardware hackathon, which took place on 28-29th May (the second day of the hackathon took place alongside the IOT//EDI Conference on 29th May).
Posted By Simon Montford on April 20, 2015
There are plenty of home automation systems available to purchase these days. In fact consumers are spoilt for choice. Two of the greatest problems, however, faced by most people who are thinking of buying smart home tech is configuration, and compatibility. A Chicago-based startup claims to have solved both problems.
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 March 12, 2015
Disclaimer: I've known both Hermione and Ben Way, founders of Quiet Night, for many years and so, for the sake of my readers, I will do my very best to be as objective as possible! Quiet Night is the ultimate parent-friendly appcessory that will delight both parents, as well as the youngest member of the family. This is because the device plays soothing tunes that keep babies occupied and happy, leading to a 50% reduction in crying. They say silence is golden, so I believe this product has huge potential.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 12, 2015
Last weekend I attended one of a series of Intel Hardware Hackathons, sponsored by IBM (BlueMix), Intel (Edison), and RSComponents, which took place at FabLab in London. The event was part of a multi-city initiative by Intel to raise awareness of the IoT among the startup community by bringing together software engineers (aka "Hackers") and connected hardware enthusiasts (aka "Makers"). It is hoped that by doing so, innovative prototypes that use Intel's "Do-It-Yourself" Edison circuit board, will be developed that showcase the UK's talent for all things IoT, as well as the board's capabilities.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 2, 2015
Beam is a small 100-lumen projector (commonly known as a Pico project or mini beamer) that can be connected to any light socket. It is capable of 20,000 hours of operation, contains an LED light, two 2-watt speakers and 8GB of storage capacity. Any electronic device can be connected to Beam, including mice, keyboards, game controllers, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers, and smartwatches.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 20, 2015
The smart home of the future will be packed with all kinds of weird and wonderful products, but how will we choose to control them? Will people prefer to use voice commands, gesture or sound? Well a Japanese-based company called Interphenom think we will use sound. The company's "listening assistant" is a device called Listnr, which enables products like the Philips Hue smart light to be controlled using sounds such as clapping, finger clicking and floor stamping.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 18, 2015
Crowdfunding veterans, Evoz are running another campaign on Indiegogo for their "Evoz Parenting Monitor". Like many other home security devices, the Evoz enables parents to capture video and still images as well as interact remotely via their smartphone and tablet. What's different about this baby monitor, however is that it offers what Evoz calls a "toolbox" for parents that includes advice forums, and in-app expert parenting advice.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 17, 2015
Flicks is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker that's not only an audio system but also an HD LED projector that can display images of up to 100 inches (254 cms). Movies and TV shows can be streamed via HDMI media devices such as those produced by Amazon (Fire), Google (Chromecast), and Roku. In addition, music can be streamed from a tablet or smartphone. Depending on which model you buy, battery life ranges from 4-8hrs (movie watching), and 28-56hrs (music streaming).
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 16, 2015
Within only three hours, Eero received $100,000 (£65,000) in pre-orders, and two days later they amassed over $1 million (£650,000)! Goes to show that if you can solve pain points that consumers immediately identify with, extracting money from their wallets can be as easy as pie! Of course I don't mean that in a bad way, because those that hand over their cash are more than happy to do so if the technology acquired makes their lives better.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 11, 2015
The SEER is a VR headset that provides much better visibility than Google Glass, Meta 1, and even Air Force fighter pilot helmets - it's capable of providing a horizontal field of vision that exceeds 100 degrees. Furthermore, the SEER's far less expensive than "propriety" headsets such as the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 10, 2015
The Displio is a diminutive e-ink gadget which can be programmed to display all kinds of information. It comes with an API as well as a growing number of widgets that are being developed by Draugiem Group, a Latvian IT company that is the brainchild of the Displio. The device comes in white, black, red, blue, green, yellow, and grey $99 (£65). A special edition wood version is also available for $119 (£78).
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