Guest post By Ben Butchart on May 5, 2016
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to “own the future” you should probably talk to John Curtis, co-founder and CEO of Revolutionall World. I heard him speaking at the regular IoT EDI Meetup (organised by Simon Montford of web3iot.com) on Wednesday 27 April, at Napier University’s Merchiston campus, an event which had attracted an eclectic mix of knowledgeable people working on subjects as diverse as algorithm design, apps for wearables, renewable energy strategy and big data.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 5, 2016
In an ideal world all buildings constructed today would be "smart buildings"; intelligent spaces that use cutting edge design and construction methods, eco-friendly materials, and automated technologies to reduce environmental impact, and improve the comfort, safety and well-being of occupants.
Guest post By Rob Dobson on April 1, 2016
Things related to the coming day are forgotten pretty routinely in the morning rush, especially in relation to children. I’ve made a couple of things to help with this in the past (a calendar-printer and projected calendar) – but both of these assume that parents or children bother to look at them in the morning. Recently that hasn’t been happening and we’ve missed a few music lessons and the like which occur at irregular times during the week.
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 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 4, 2016
Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona from the 22nd-25th February 2016, and remains the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. Here are a few of my favourite products of the show. The reason why I was fortunate enough to be there, was that my business partner and I, together with some of the UK's most exciting technology companies, were selected to join a British delegation organised by Scottish Development International (SDI), and United Kingdom Trade & Industry (UKTI).
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 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 Dec 23, 2015
A Hungarian startup called Codie, that successfully raised $96,306 back in May 2015 via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, has started shipping its robotic toy. The device offers a fun way to teach kids how to code. The campaign was so successful that it raised one third of its funding goal in only two days, and ended up exceeding it by 115%.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 9, 2015
Brick 2015 is coming to town this weekend. The Lego-themed event will take place at the Excel conference centre in London's Docklands Dec 11-13. Not only will there be seasonal displays such as a snowman constructed using over 250 thousand bricks, but attendees will also be able to checkout Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Batman-inspired Lego creations. In addition, SmartBrick will be there.
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 Nicola Osborne on Oct 29 2015
18:15 - 18:20 Simon Montford (WEB3//IOT) @simonmontford
The theme tonight is the maker revolution – the opening up of industrial technologies to amateaur makers. Maker Culture contributes 30 billion to the global economy, so this is a big and growing thing, with Internet of Things at the centre (the recorded livestream can be viewed here).
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 29 2015
One of my passion projects is organising and hosting IoT events such as meetups, hardware hackathons, and conferences in Edinburgh and London. As an entrepreneur I also start businesses. My most recent venture is a text input and word prediction technology called Tusi, that has been designed specifically for very small touchscreens; ideal for smartwatches, interactive domestic appliances, and in-car touchscreen interfaces.
Posted By Keesjan Engelen on June 25, 2015
Q1 of 2015 saw a record 128 electronic projects raise at least $100K each on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Reaching $100K is often considered a successful campaign, and many think that the founders can take this money to a factory and just get the stuff made. The 4 out of 5 hardware campaigns that don’t manage to ship in time show that most teams still underestimate the DFM (Design For Manufacturing) process. A number of factors complicate things:
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 Feb 21, 2015
A startup called Neptune has taken an entirely new approach to smartwatch design. It's founder, Simon Tian believes your smartwatch will take centre stage and your smartphone will become its trusty, but far less intelligent sidekick. The company recently announced the Neptune Duo, that'll not only be able to run Android Lollipop, but the device will also come with wi-fi, 4G, NFC, and GPS. In other words it will be capable of replacing your smartphone.
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 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 Jan 26, 2015
Canary, the complete home security system, is about to go on sale in the States at a RRP of $250. The Canary received a great deal of attention when the company exceeded its funding goal of $100,000 on Indiegogo, back in July 2013. The Canary attracted an impressive two million dollars' worth of pre-orders, and also closed an additional $10 million round of funding led by Khosla Ventures.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 20, 2015
Nixie, the wearable drone, was one of our favourite gadgets of 2014. After several months of intense development, the team demoed a working prototype at CES 2015. With a quick flick it flew off the wrist, and with a simple gesture to tell it where to fly, Nixie zoomed a few metres in the air and snapped a pic - no remote control was needed. The brief video of the demonstration is worth a look...
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 18, 2014
Today Virgin Media announced ‘KipstR’, a wearable wristband prototype that pauses TV as you sleep. It was created by a couple of young "Makers" called Ryan Oliver (15) and Jonathan Kingsley (14) after they were commissioned to help create it by Virgin Media, as part of an initiative between the media company and Manchester Creative Studio, called "Switched on Futures".
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 4 2014
Look out Google, there's a new kid in town! Move aside Project Ara the Finns are at it again. Although very similar in principle, you can't help thinking that what ever this Scandinavian consortium come up with, one thing's for sure - it's going to look good! As is their way, the Finnish like to place simplicity at the forefront, which in this case means fewer swappable components. The phone has only three parts; 'The Brain' (processor and camera), 'The Heart' (battery), and 'The Spine" (chassis and screen) - far less compared to Project Ara, which calls for three times as many in their current iteration.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 25, 2014
"The Cube" by London-based Emoshape has created an Artificially Intelligent (AI) 'emotionally aware' home console called Emospark that appears to 'read' human emotion in order to make the human operator feel better. Did anyone see that rather depressing movie 'Her' (check out the movie trailer on Youtube)?
Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 12, 2014
According to a recent announcement on Twitter, 3.8 million Raspberry Pis have been sold. The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, open source microcomputer that is being increasingly used to operate connected devices that make up the IOT. According to the Pi Foundation, the creators originally expected to sell a total of 10,000 devices - how wrong they were!
Although popular in the West, there is a big push by the Pi Foundation to get the juicy little low-cost devices into the hands of consumers, particularly kids, in low-to-middle income countries.
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