The UK-based chip designer’s new operating system is among several efforts, including the work of standards groups and a new wireless protocol, designed to speed the adoption of the Internet of Things. http://ift.tt/eA8V8J
Nick Cicero is the Director of Client Strategy at Expion. This post originally appeared on the Expion blog. It’s that time of year when kids go back to school, football is starting, baseball is ending, Mr. Autumn Man is walking down the street with his coffee, and television’s top shows come back for their big premieres. At this point, it’s pretty well-documented that Twitter has been positioning themselves in the mind of network execs as a platform complimentary to TV, and user numbers seem to support their claims. In fact, 85 percent of users active on Twitter during primetime TV…
The Bad Astronomer writes Astronomers have found a new asteroid, 2014 OL339, that is a quasi-moon of the Earth. Discovered accidentally earlier this year, the 150-meter asteroid has an orbit that is more elliptical than Earth’s, but has a period of almost exactly one year. It isn’t bound to Earth like a real moon, but displays apparent motion as if it did, making it one of several known quasi-moons.
In my recent article, Women ARE Raising Venture Capital, I said, there is no bias among Silicon Valley VCs against women. I got an earful on that one. What? There are hardly any female VCs. So few female CEOs. So few blah blah blah. Right. Yes. I know. But it is what it is. How […]
We’re probably all familiar with the brace position—that curled up posture passengers are advised to adopt in the event of an emergency plane landing. The details of the proper way to get into that position, however, might not be universally known.
View from the Wing points out some tips learned in a British Airways flight safety awareness course: Keep your feet flat on the ground, bend forward as far as possible, and keep your head down. You probably already know that drill. Here’s an interesting part, though:
Your dominant hand goes on the back of your head. Protect that hand by placing the other hand over it. Do not interlock fingers. The goal is to ensure that the bones in the stronger hand aren’t broken so you can eventually unbuckle the seatbelt.
US airlines’ brace positions recommendations are a bit different, according to Wikipedia. Passengers are advised to put their hands on the back of the seat in front of them rather than on their heads, but still the advice is not to intelace your fingers, but rather hold one wrist. (If there’s no seat in front, either grab your ankles or put your hands under your legs while grabbing the opposite forearm.)
Sonos’ pop-up Studio in New York reminds me of summer camp, where you were never sent home without something to show your parents. Except instead of a popsicle-stick sculpture, Sonos sent me home with a speaker I built myself.
OK, so I didn’t exactly build the speaker I was sent home from scratch. The driver is the actual 3-inch component from Sonos’ excellent Play:1 speaker, so it’s not like I coned the driver or attached the magnet. I did construct a cardboard enclosure around the driver and attach the wires, which required a little hot glue gun action and some wire crimping—nothing fancy, but enough to give a set of unskilled hands a taste for the tech.
The speaker doesn’t sound awesome, by the way. Not especially surprising since the enclosure is made of cardboard and not MDF.
This being an "art and technology" event, of course, Sonos added layers of customization to the process. The folks at the 3D modeling software company AutoDesk laser engraved the words "Yay Gizmodo" onto the cardboard in two ways. (You think of something better on the fly, ok?) First, the actual waveform of the sound it makes when I say "Yay Gizmodo," and then the words themselves.
Sounds of New York City
Besides the speaker workshop, the Play:1 was also used to make a a large interactive map called "Sounds of New York City," by collaborators Swedish Creative AgencyPerfect Fools, and musicians Daniel Kessler and Joseph Fraioli of Big Noble.
The map consists of 180 exterior shells of the Play:1 which have each been filled with LEDs and loaded on little stepping motor platforms that can move in and out. The wall of LED-filled shells forms a large image in much the way a huge Times Square LED billboard does. Each Play:1 is basically a pixel, and together the lights form a stylized map of the 5 boroughs of New York, which you interact with using a Kinect camera.
As you wave your hand over each of 41 different parts of the city, a wall of Play:1 speakers plays back a song relevant to that spot on the map. So when I waved my hand over Bushwick, I heard "Umi Says" by Mos Def, who grew up there. Each motion activates a change in the map as well: The Play:1 enclosures slide around back and forth and flash like a nightclub. (You can see all the songs plotted on a Google map here.)
The overall show has the feeling of a giant promo, but between the art installations and the musical performances, Sonos does an admirable job of making the marketing an easier pill to swallow. As brands as diverse as Red Bull and, er, Gizmodo have learned in recent years, marketing doesn’t have to be the evil process of jamming product down people’s throats. You can simultaneously promote yourself, make cool experiences for customers, and get artists paid all at once. [Sonos Studio]
If you can’t get to sleep at night, then you’ve probably been told to avoid cheese, say no to caffeine after lunchtime and drink a cup of warm milk before bed. That was good advice, or at least it was, until the advert of the Sleep Shepherd, which is a beanie that promises to gently send you to sleep and wake you up at the right time. Equipped with a variety of sensors, the headgear monitors your brain activity and sends a soothing pulse to your noggin to convince you that it’s time to stop thinking about what Dave at the office said to you that morning.
According to its creator, Dr. Michael Larson, there’s a part of our brain called the Medial Superior Olive, which we use to pinpoint the location of sounds. For instance, if someone speaks by our left ear, the sound reaches the left hemisphere of the MSO first, and we use the delay between that and when it reaches the right hemisphere to understand the location. The Sleep Shepherd takes advantage of this by sending a series of left-right pulses that trick your MSO into thinking that you’re rocking back and forth on a hammock. This, apparently, causes your brain into lowering the frequency of your brainwaves, and will eventually send you to sleep.
Once you’ve nodded off, the Sleep Shepherd will deactivate, but will continue to monitor your brainwaves, so if you start to wake up, the hat will resume activity. The company’s Kickstarter page doesn’t go into a lot of detail about how it does this, but given the (now defunct) Zeo was able to shrink a simple EEG unit into a headband, we’d guess that this takes a similar approach. There’s also no word on how you’d set the device to rouse you in the morning, but hopefully a companion app is in the offering. Perhaps, instead, the plastic section at the top of the beanie that houses the rechargeable lithium ion battery has a set of manual controls, although I think an app is more likely.
As we mentioned, this device is on Kickstarter, and the company is hoping to raise $50,000 to go into mass production. A pledge of $140 will bag you a regular version of the Sleep Shepherd, or you can buy one for you and your partner for $270. The company is planning to ship by March 2015 and have demonstration models ready in time for CES this January, and you can bet that we’ll be catching up with them at the show.
This year’s Google IO developer conference wasn’t just about the upcoming Android L release and the design changes coming with that version. One of the keynote’s most important announcements was packed into a two-minute segment at the start of the event. Android One, as Android chief Sundar Pichai explained, was designed to level the playing field for smartphones in developing markets, making it easier for smaller players in these countries to ship relatively high-quality at relatively low price points.
Three months later we’re seeing the first fruits from this endeavor, as Android One arrives in India. We’ve got our hands on the Micromax Canvas A1, one of the first Android One phones to go on sale. And what we’ve found is a surprisingly speedy vanilla Android handset with a few tweaks for the Indian market.