Coming This Year: AI, VR, IoT, Robots and Self-Driving Cars

The Internet, digital medical devices, blockchain, gene editing, drones and solar energy all found their tipping point in 2015. What will 2016 bring? Some experts predict we’ll see “the inflexion point” in virtual reality and holodecks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous cars, robots and space exploration. Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt has publicly stated that AI will solve the world’s hard problems, including population growth, climate change, human development and education. Continue reading Coming This Year: AI, VR, IoT, Robots and Self-Driving Cars

Internet of Things: Five Years of Chaos as Verticals Emerge

When SIGFOX executive Thomas Nicholls thinks about the Internet of Things, he sees its greatest strength as being similar to one of Superman’s powers. “Superman could hear a call for help through walls and at a far distance,” he said. “That’s what IoT is. It’s about enabling us to know what’s happening in the physical world and respond. And it will change and disrupt all industries.” In a CES discussion moderated by Mobile Ecosystem Forum executive Rick Fant, participants predicted that IoT is about to shift into high gear. Continue reading Internet of Things: Five Years of Chaos as Verticals Emerge

The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

Amazon is throwing its hat into the IoT ring with a new service for developers through its Amazon Web Services division. The beta service, named AWS IoT, was introduced during the company’s annual AWS conference in Las Vegas. It is designed for developers looking to link Internet-connected devices — from smoke alarms and other household appliances to smartwatches and fitness trackers — with other hardware devices and applications housed on remote servers. The idea is that devices would communicate with each other and take commands from computers. Continue reading The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

21 Bitcoin Computer Enables Machine-to-Machine Payments

When Andreessen Horowitz established Bitcoin startup 21 Inc., the goal was to turning Bitcoin into an Internet protocol or common language between connected devices, enabling machine-to-machine payments. The company just unveiled its first product and first step on the path to that end. The 21 Bitcoin Computer, which will go on sale Monday for $400 and ship in November, is aimed at developers, not consumers, and offers the Bitcoin protocol as a feature of its Linux-based operating system. Continue reading 21 Bitcoin Computer Enables Machine-to-Machine Payments

Wi-Fi Alliance Debuts Wi-Fi Aware for Quick Device Connection

After three years of research and development, the Wi-Fi Alliance released Wi-Fi Aware, which instantly connects Wi-Fi-enabled products with devices, applications or information without an Internet connection or mobile data. Wi-Fi Aware software works continuously in the background, sending out short messages that dramatically lessen power consumption. With a Wi-Fi Aware smartphone, a user could find nearby services, videogame players or anyone from a high school friend to a business colleague. Continue reading Wi-Fi Alliance Debuts Wi-Fi Aware for Quick Device Connection

Google Launches Location Tracking Tool to Compete with Apple

Google is launching Eddystone, a new format that uses electronic beacons to track users’ locations and link their smartphones with nearby objects. Its purpose is to provide useful information to users, such as electronic bus tickets when they’re detected near bus stops, or information on paintings when they are touring museums. Google is competing against Apple’s iBeacon technology, which was released in 2013. Eddystone will be open to multiple platforms and will include features that work on both Android phones and iPhones. Continue reading Google Launches Location Tracking Tool to Compete with Apple

Sony Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Employee Projects

Sony launched First Flight, a crowdfunding platform/online store for its employees’ projects seeking outside funding. In the company’s Creative Lounge, employees and outsiders can develop pitches and construct prototype products. Some of these nascent projects have been presented to senior Sony executives, and Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has given the Seed Acceleration Project (SAP) a relatively large amount of autonomy. Among the more developed products is the HUIS programmable universal remote. Continue reading Sony Launches Crowdfunding Platform for Employee Projects

Target Display Educates Shoppers About the Connected Home

Target recently joined forces with Local Projects, the New York design studio that worked on the interactive installations of the 9/11 Museum, to build a new retail space and test lab in San Francisco that leverages interactive storytelling to help illustrate how smart products work. Open House is arranged as a 3,500-square-foot model home filled with the latest Internet-connected gadgets, from Drop’s smart thermometers and scales in the kitchen to Withings’ wireless blood pressure monitors and Sonos speakers in the bedroom. Continue reading Target Display Educates Shoppers About the Connected Home

Ericsson: 70 Percent of World Will Have Smartphones by 2020

There are currently 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide, and while developing markets have been leveling off, less mature markets are starting to experience significant growth. According to the latest annual Mobility Report from Ericsson, we should expect to see 6.1 billion smartphones in circulation by 2020, at which point phones will exceed the number of active fixed line subscriptions globally. Ericsson projects that the total number of mobile subscriptions will reach 9.2 billion in five years, as less developed markets continue their expansion. Continue reading Ericsson: 70 Percent of World Will Have Smartphones by 2020

Mary Meeker: Internet Growth is Slowing, Video Remains King

Analyst and venture capitalist Mary Meeker has released her annual Internet Trends report, noting that nearly everything is now being optimized for mobile, online video continues its upward trajectory, global Internet user growth is finally showing signs of slowing (as is smartphone adoption), the on-demand economy is healthier than ever, and diversity increasingly matters to the tech industry. Interestingly, Meeker points out that video was responsible for 64 percent of Internet traffic and 55 percent of mobile traffic last year. Continue reading Mary Meeker: Internet Growth is Slowing, Video Remains King

Invention Machine Quirky Puts Emphasis on Internet of Things

In 2011, Manhattan-based Quirky turned a college student’s idea for an adjustable power strip into a successful retail story. Since then, the company, which has deemed itself somewhat of a digital destination for inventions, has helped commercialize nearly 400 products. Quirky has initiated a corporate partnership program and is gearing its focus towards Internet connected products such as light switches and air conditioners that can be controlled by smartphones or a Wi-Fi network at home.  Continue reading Invention Machine Quirky Puts Emphasis on Internet of Things

Monotype Makes Small Fonts Legible on Tiny Digital Screens

Monotype, a company that specializes in fonts, has designed a new technology called Spark, which can be used to scale down fonts to be legible and attractive on smaller screens found on smartwatches, medical devices and vehicle dashboards. Spark provides font flexibility, which is especially important with so many Internet connected devices hitting the market. The company claims that the new software makes fonts on tiny screens look as clean as they would appear on an iPhone or computer display.

Continue reading Monotype Makes Small Fonts Legible on Tiny Digital Screens

Gartner Predicts About 25 Billion Connected Devices by 2020

Research firm Gartner recently made a number of interesting forecasts related to the Internet of Things, notably that there will be 4.9 billion connected devices in use this year, up 30 percent from 2014. We should expect 25 billion connected things by 2020. The research firm also anticipates that by 2020, connected kitchen appliances will contribute at least 15 percent savings in the food and beverage industry. And Gartner says there will be 250 million connected vehicles with automated driving capabilities within the next five years. Continue reading Gartner Predicts About 25 Billion Connected Devices by 2020

Smart Home Push Continues, Despite Slow Consumer Adoption

Numerous tech giants, startups and telecoms have recently introduced new smart home products, hubs, sensors and apps, yet consumer adoption has been comparatively slow, as people take their time getting comfortable with the concept. However, that did not slow manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Whirlpool from demonstrating new connected appliances at CES. And while major players including Google, Lowe’s, Apple and others continue to push various smart home solutions, progress of the digital home has so far been incremental. Continue reading Smart Home Push Continues, Despite Slow Consumer Adoption

Intel Promotes its RealSense 3D Camera Technology at CES

At CES, a wide range of companies showed or discussed products that are becoming more aware of their surroundings, largely due to improved sensors. This will enable tablets, phones, cars, drones and other devices to interact with people and each other in more sophisticated ways. This could also require significant upgrades to camera tech. While Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for Xbox was built to use gestures for game control, the tech has proven more far-reaching, especially in robotics research. Now Intel is aiming to take the next step with 3D sensors. Continue reading Intel Promotes its RealSense 3D Camera Technology at CES

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