Friday, 29 January 2016

Microsoft launches wearable technology in Australia targeting Fitbit, Apple and Samsung


Microsoft’s Wearable Technology – Band 2

Microsoft has launched wearable technology in Australian stores with its sights on big names in fitness tracking as well as smartwatches. The world’s biggest giant company has launched Band 2 in Australian markets and the same is now available through IB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Rebel Sports at a price of $379.99. Earlierit was made available only in its Sydney based flagship store as well on Microsoft site.

Through its Band 2, Microsoft has aimed at Apple, Samsung and Fitbit in the segment of fitness and smart-watch. Band 2 is said to be a mix-up of smartphone notification as well as fitness tracking features and the company states that having the ability to chat with these added features is making the Microsoft Band quite sticky in comparison to some generic activity trackers.

The giant company had revealed its plan in Sydney recently and would be rolling out its wearable technology in electronics and sports stores shortly. Adam Pollington, Band product manager of Microsoft informed that the device would target the big names in wearable technology with a mixture of fitness and smartwatch features. He commented that if one looks at the market, there are two clear segments, you have got the activity tracker market and have the smartwatch side with productivity and connectivity. The Microsoft Band is in a new sub-segment of smart bands.

Personal Trainer/Assistant on the Wrist

He further added that the Microsoft Band would enable users in controlling their health in a more personalized way and would serve as a personal trainer and assistant on the wrist of the users. The first Australian wearable technology release of Microsoft is said to be the consequence of a model which had been released in the States in late 2014, featuring 11 sensors comprising of GPS for tracking cycling, a heart-rate sensor to track exertion, a galvanic skin response sensor to measure stress, barometer for elevation together with a UV sensor to inform if one needs sunscreen, which according to Mr Pollington would be beneficial in Australia. Besides this the Microsoft Band 2 can also connect to Apple iPhone, Google Android and Windows Phones in delivering notifications to its rectangular touchscreen from incoming calls to tweets together with SMS. Microsoft Band 2 is available in three sizes of small, medium and large.

Wearable in Tracking Health is Promising

For wrist with circumferences of 143 mm and 168 mm, the small size is an appropriate choice, while those between 162mm and 188mm could choose a medium size. Wrists that tend to be larger than 180mm and up to 206mm could select the larger choice.

The new device’s standing as a fitness band first follows research where exercise-tracking technology is considerably popular than the smartwatch rival till date. Juniper Research in a latest report, has forecast wearable fitness technology to lead smartwatches for the following three years.

According to Future Health and Fitness Wearable report, author James Moar, states that it is only in 2019 that smartwatches would be pulling ahead with 130 million users to fitness technology’ 110 million. Mr Moar had commented that the use of wearable to track health is promising though such devices would not reach their full potential till they tend to become less dependent on mobile devices to relay their information.

The Toilet You Only Clean Once a Year


The Neorest 750H - Intelligent Toilet

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toto, the most popular bathroom and sanitary ware maker showcased its intelligent toilet which tends to open when one approaches it and self-cleans it with every flush. According to spokeswomen it also tends to clean the user with an aerated want that provides warm water as well as warm air from a seated position. Being priced at $9,800, over 40 million earlier versions of the Neorest toilets have been retailed.

Though it is expensive, it comes with plenty of features to justify its price. The Neorest 750H seems to be a smart toilet which tends to sense your presence, controls the odour around it and cleans it. According to Bathroom firm Toto, the new prototype was still in the development stage.

 The self-cleaning procedure tends to utilise a mixture of disinfectant and a glaze which is made from zirconium and titanium dioxide that tends to coat the bowl. Toto spokeswoman Lenora Campos explains that when it flushes, it sprays the interior of the bowl with electrolysed water. She states that the proprietary process essentially turns the water into weak bleach and this tends to bleach the interior, killing anything in the bowl.

Actilight Technology

In the meanwhile, an ultraviolet light in the lid tends to charge the surface which makes it super-hydrophilic or water loving, where nothing can stick to it. Moreover, photocatalytic permits oxygen ions to eliminate the bacteria and viruses.

As per Ms Campos, there is no need to clean the toilet bowl for over a year. Toto has been successful with this by a combination of technologies. The toilet tends to use Actilight technology that makes use of UV light in tandem with a photocatalytic coating to get rid of visible as well as invisible wastes. With the use of a special electrolysis process it utilises electrolysed water which tends to work as weak bleach.

 Besides this, there are two powerful water nozzles and the bowl has a smooth surface which is called CeFiONtect by Toto. The features extend to auto lid open/close function with flush-on close. There are three washing modes with oscillating and pulsing water spray for easy washing and comes with adjustable heated seat together with adaptable spray position.

Multifunctional Remote Control

Besides this it also comes with a Multifunctional Remote Control. According to Toto, it tends to work on a new prototype and there is a possibility of having more customisable functionalities.BBC had asked most of the hotels in Las Vegas if they would be interested in such a product.

However they refrained in passing their comments. But one smart home expert stated that the device still has scope for innovation beyond hooking things up to the internet. Frank Gillette from the tech consultancy Forrester Research commented that `it illustrates the notion that tech breakthroughs involve rethinking things. It is not necessarily about adding anything new’.

Prospective buyers need to be cautious though the device does not seem to completely liberate them of toilet cleaning duties since the cleaning procedures does not extend to spills beyond the bowls.

Three Technological Strategies That Can Help Optimize Your Business


Business owners who want to dominate their industry need to maintain a cutting edge perspective. This means many things, one of which is that utilizing contemporary technological strategies is important. In so doing, you can optimize client/consumer connectivity while retaining the up-to-date image that makes you relevant to contemporary audiences. Here are three technological strategies that you can use to optimize your business:

1. Use Technologically Advanced Time Clocks.

The biometric time clocks sold by companies like Carpenter's Time Systems are a wonderful way to optimize and update your business's time-keeping process. Biometric clocks are effective in expediting the process of clocking in and out because they enable employees to quickly enter in a number, place their hand on the machine, and thereby verify their personhood. These time clocks are also effective in precluding one employee from clocking in for another.

2. Make Your Marketing Campaign Digital. 

To really send your business's conversion rates and level of visibility through the roof, you need to take your advertising endeavors online. All over the world, millions and millions of people utilize the Internet to buy the products and services they want. Your company should take advantage of this market trend by developing a top notch ecommerce presence. You can realize the objective by hiring a team of skilled digital developers to run your online advertising campaign. Some of the brand-building digital services provided by these industry professionals include:

-web design and development
-search engine optimization
-pay per click advertising
-social media optimization
-content marketing
-online reputation management

3. Use eSignature Technology.

One final technological strategy that you should consider making use of is eSignature technology. This technology enables people to sign for the completion of contracts or purchases without being physically present. In addition to saving time, eSignature technology is eco-friendly because it precludes excessive use of paper. It can also free up some of the storage space that would have otherwise been occupied by the paper used for hard copy contracts and receipts.


If you want your company to become increasingly successful with each passing year, it's important to remain cognizant of technological devices and methodologies that can help accelerate the process. By using some or all of the technological strategies outlined above, you'll likely find that your company grows with power and prestige!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Drone Lands on Moving Car in Germany


Drone Trained to Land on Moving Vehicle

Roboticists in Germany have trained a drone to land itself on a moving vehicle. Researchers from German Aerospace Centre – DLR have established their safely landing aircraft on a car which had been fitted with a net travelling at around 75 km/h. They have recommended that the technology can be adapted to enable unmanned aircraft to be built without wheels to permit them to stay airborne for a longer time. The team were capable of programming the drone in identifying a QR code located on the roof of the car and land itself by utilising the QR code as an anchor.

Though remarkable as a visual display, the team are anticipating that by developing a simple as well as an effective piece of software, they could help the next-generation of drone which would not need conventional runways.

The system has been designed for civil application in the field of remote sensing and communication and can be applied to ultra-light solar-powered aircraft which tends to match conventional satellite system at the time of flying in the stratosphere. In case of a disaster, it could support crisis management via live situations reports, replace failed communications networks or provide data on climate change.

No Landing Gear – Increase Cargo Ability

Excluding the landing gear tends to increase the cargo ability of a solar powered aircraft which in turn develops more space for scientific instruments. Moreover, the system also makes landing easy in adverse weather conditions inclusive of crosswinds or wind gusts.

The system could offer a new means of recovering drone aircraft when on the run and without the need of bulky landing gear. To pull off the stunt they had fitted an Audi with a specially adapted roof rack which tends to feature an elastic net of 13 by 16 feet passed through it wherein the net had been designed to accommodate the 44llbs drone with a 10 feet wingspan, to stop it from banging and damaging the roof of the car.

For the purpose of safe landing of the drone on the moving car, the engineers had designed a tracking system which enabled the drone to read the optical markets on the landing platform which enabled the drone to synchronise automatically, its speed with that of the car.

Set of Computer Algorithms Used

Moreover it also supported the aircraft to target the appropriate landing spot with an accuracy of 20 inches. To help in landing gently on the bouncy platform, a set of computer algorithms was used. The experiment carried out at Mindelheim-Mattsies airfield in Bavaria had utilised a human driver to control the car, with instructions delivered by the computer in charge of the landing process.

In the near future, an autonomous drone with self-driving car can communicate with each other for landing without human involvement. However, the system had originally been developed to enable the aircraft to touch down without the need of landing gear.

This could be convenient in space wherein the solar planes soaring between stratosphere and satellites, around 12 miles above Earth could carry additional scientific instruments together with communication gear. This could probably lead to new means of landing helicopters for instance in stormy conditions.

Your Next Smartwatch Might be Controlled with Your Eyes


Smartwatch Controlled by Eye Movement

Things like turning the lights on and off, changing the volume of a song or flicking between TV channels can now be done on smartphone without the need of touching the screen. Eye tracking software researchers have come with an innovative latest `smooth’ scrolling system which according to them is identical to the movement of the eye.

Eye tracking on smartphone seems to be advantageous for hand-free use as well as for accessibility when it is not possible for the fingers or the hand to control the device. However it may not be quick enough in daily situations to be the only system of interaction. Researchers from the University of Lancaster have adapted a smartwatch which can be controlled by circular movement of the eye.

Observing a small dot move around a screen tend to activate an option, the same way as pressing a physical button or a tap on a screen could change a setting. Hans Gellersen working on the project had stated that `for smartwatches, this is significant because the watch is designed to be operated by the eyes and that is the whole point of why it is moved from a pocket watch to a watch which one can look at without the use of hands.

Eye Tracking Works through Head Mounted Camera

The mechanism of activating functions on following motions could be used in other settings, for instance TV controls. One could look at the screen from a distance and utilise motions to select functions. Each screen could have several functions with its own spinning dots which can be used in changing various sections. To make sure that the wrong dots are not selected, each one tends to move at different speed.

 The eye-tracking method tends to work utilising a head mounted camera which monitors the movement of the eye and is an off-the-shelf Pupil Labs Pro device. But Gellersen states that when the smartwatches seem to have inbuilt camera of a high quality they have the ability of monitoring the eyes’ movement.

Eye tracking is being established across various fields inclusive by advertisers monitoring browsing practices for the purpose of marketing, predicative tracking, in tracking to control cars as well as in future versions of the Oculus Rift. Gellersen mentioned that eye tracking has become cheap though it is not clear what the big application would be. He informs that the circular selection system tends to work in a way which is more natural than the prevailing eye tracking method.

Wonderful Technology

He further added that we rather show moving elements on the screen, then it could be more natural for the eye to follow the motion and it is how the eye already tends to work. The team had used a custom control system known as Orbits in navigating through a missed call menu, notifications and music app.

 The name comes from target which orbits a circular watch face where one tends to concentrate the gaze to trigger a function. Following the moving objects smoothly around the display, accuracy is developed and the eye tracking adjustment process is simplified.

Earlier for the purpose of activating a button, one had to look at it for long, staring at it, which is an unnatural thing for the eye to do and is also tiring. This could be an amazing watch since it has wonderful technology which can be controlled through eye movement.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Plastic Grass Could Cover Buildings to Produce Energy from Wind


We have been living in such a time where energy consumption is growing by each passing day and the reliance on conventional source of energy doesn’t seem to die down. Non conventional sources of energy offers greater benefits in terms of keeping the planet clean but their usage happens to be limited as it requires most investment than conventional sources. Now a relatively new product has come into focus which aims to offers energy from the wind in a clean and efficient manner.

It is a relatively new kind of generator for harnessing wind power, which works on the carpet surface covered with extraordinary plastic strips. As these strips sways like the natural grass a great scope of producing wind energy comes into the view. It is not just renewable but also quite affordable and clean as it can be.

Researchers behind this awesome wind power generator

Currently this particular new kind of wind power generator is in action. It covers rooftop area of 300 sq. m. filled with strips in China. Researchers have asserted that it is capable of delivering electrical energy equivalent to 7.11 kW. This much of electrical is more than enough to power a usual household. Weiquing Yang has been working on this project in collaboration with the Zhong Lin Wang’s group from Georgia Institute of Technology.

The main aim of this project was to tap energy from the steady winds along with the help of choosy guts. This particular wind energy harvesting system is extremely simple to develop and install. It can even be scaled as per the needs of the larger systems. Till now this wind energy generator has been gone through the lab tests where electric fan was placed at a rooftop model covering an area with 60 strips. This happens to generate electricity which was enough to provide energy to 60 LEDs.

Future prospects of this research

Results might be in the favor of the wind energy generator but not all the renewable energy enthusiasts and experts are happy with it. Fernando Galembeck who is widely known to investigate the energy harvesting methods has concluded that this particular system cannot be made easily available and it doesn’t happen to be desirable. He further elaborates that the amount of power, which can be harnessed from this system, is not quite enough to install these devices either on the rooftops or the building walls.

Galembeck also offered some smart ways to increase the efficiency of this device and make it most desirable for the targeted users in order to become a successful energy harvesting system. He states that energy storage happens to be a crucial factor in determining the overall success of the harvesting system. Hence, researchers should bring in smart ways to store the power generated by the generator for use at varying times. Even Yang has stressed that they are currently working on bringing some smart storage solution which will be done by merging the nanogenerator in solar panels and it will help in boosting the overall output of the wind energy harvesting system.

Toyota is Testing Flat Panel Satellite Communication for Future Models


Toyota Unveiled Flat Panel Satellite Communication Vehicles

Japanese automaker, Toyota had unveiled its flat panel satellite communication vehicles, in partnership with sat-comm company Kymeta at the North American International Auto Show’ 2016.The hydrogen fuel cell powered Toyota Mirai has been equipped with flat-panel satellite communication technology of Kymeta.

Toyota has been working in getting data to and from the car as quickly as possible with satellites being the solution. The focus of the Japanese carmaker lies in the inclusive of Data Communication Modules in a broader variety of upcoming vehicles and satellite communication seems the key technology.

Rather than depending on huge traditional satellite dish, the panels of Kymeta tend to use liquid crystal technology for tracking and steering electronically, towards satellites. There seems to be some advantage of using satellites in transferring data instead of cell towers of Wi-Fi transmitters. Firstly, a high-capacity satellite could transport large amount of data to and from a vehicle quickly and more safely than an Internet connection.

 Moreover, unlike a tower based connection, an unceasing satellite connection could span between countries, borders as well as in remote areas.

Solves Challenge of Vehicle Based Satellite Communication

Another purpose for Toyota to warm up to flat-panel sat-comm is since it can be comparatively easy in installing in the aftermarket which means that instead of being forced to buy a new brand of Toyota to avail all the best data service, you could have your present car fitted with the tech.

 This would however enable Toyota to indoctrinate extra customers in its data services as well as add to the number of cars that it digitally tends to track on the road. Senior managing officer of Toyota, Shigeki Tomoyama had commented that they are excited to learn about Kymeta since their flat antennae technology tends to solve the challenge of vehicle-based satellite communication’.

Toyota together with Kymeta, based in the hub of Redmond, Washington, has been working on the research of flat antenna since 2013. KymetaCEO, Dr Nathan Kundtz, had stated that his company was the first in successfully demonstrating this kind of technology and that they have more than 8,000 miles of road testing with cars linked to satellites’.

Antennas Lightweight & Flat – Easily Added to Vehicle

It was revealed by Toyota that the next generation in connectivity at the Detroit Auto Show recently, that a satellite embedded in the roof of its hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan could download data fasters as well as securely than cellular networks.

Toyota had mentioned in a press statement that `while these satellites have historically require the use of a `dish’ antenna on the ground, Kymeta’s satellite antennas take away the need for mechanical components by utilising software and liquid crystal technologies. Toyota states that the antennas seems to be lightweight and flat and can easily be added to the vehicle during or after the assembly.

The company also intends utilising satellite communication in the near future which includes high capacity satellites offering a higher data transfer rates thanthe conventional satellite technologies. Though there is no indication of when the satellite communication is intended to make an appearance on commercially available cars, a kind of Kymeta’s antenna meant for marine vehicles will go into production in partnership with Panasonic Avionics Corp, somewhere next year.

Mirai Creation Investment, the venture capital firm where Toyota is also a partner has contributed $5 million into Kymeta as part of the deal and the flat panel antennas could serve the customers of Toyota with added innovative type of what is here at NAIAS – the upsurge of the connected vehicle.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Meet the Robotic Cat for the Elderly


Robot – Companion Pet – Fight Loneliness

A Robot `companion pet’ created by toy maker Hasbor, is the first product in the Joy for All range. It is an initiative which Hasbor states will be beyond play and in areas which would fight bigger issues especially loneliness. Jim McGuckin, a resident at Lake Park, which is a care home for the aged in the city of Oakland, California states that `he feels like a real cat when Alan is placed on the lap and can feel the movements inside’.

Alan is the name given to the robotic `companion pet’. The robocat has been designed to imitate a real cat and tends to meow semi convincingly, and also tends to purr. It’s nice to stroke its fluffy body though the rigidness of Alan’s’ electronic insides tends to spoil any illusion that it is genuine.

Inspite of its flaws, it tends to work and when it is switched on, you instinctively say a hello and then onwards it is no longer a gadget but a cat. The cat is said to react to communication through a series of fairly basic sensors all over its body and a stroke of Alan’s back would make him purr and a trickle of the cheek would incite a meow.

Created for Interactive Companion

If it tends to get dark, one would hear Alan yawn and nod off and the movements are not predictable which adds to its lifelikeness. However, Vice president of business development for Hasbro, Ted Fischer comments that this could not be a replacement for a pet and incidentally for one who is allergic to cats.

It has been created with the intention of interactive companion that is familiar as well has characteristics and is realistic. The opportunity for Hasbro seems enormous as the population of the world tends to age. Research recommends that there is a real advantage in offering people with companion robots especially if they tend to suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.

A Japanese designed robotic seal, `Paro’ is without question the adorable thing when it is on show at tech shows. Great thoughts have gone into the development of Paro in making it extremely lifelike and adorable.

A Distraction/Friendly Face Making them Feel Better

Charging Paro is a delight wherein it can be plugged by popping a dummy into his mouth. It seems to be more advanced than Hasbro’s cat though considerably more expensive and at around $5,000, Paro is advertised as a medical device. Paro seems to be utilised all around the world including in Britain’s NHS. Dialogues which will take place later in the year would look into the expansion of the number of Paros in UK hospitals as well as care homes.

This is because; people are getting real benefits on cuddling up to the robotic companion pet with a sense of empowerment. Dr Simon Davies from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in California has commented saying that their pet therapy dog can only work for a certain amount of the day.

Dogs tend to have more of a mind of their own than Paro and are not always going to get along with everyone. Not everyone seems to be happy and comfortable with dogs. Allan and the other robotic companions seems silly to people who do not have the need for them but for those who do, it could be a distraction or a friendly face which would make them feel better even if it was for a momentarily period.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Biologically Powered Chip Created


Linking Biological Electronic Device with CMOS

For the first time, Columbia Engineering researchers have connected the molecular machinery of living systems for the purpose of powering an integrated circuit from adenosine triphosphate –ATP, energy currency of life.

They have attained this on integrating conventional solid state complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor – CMOS unified circuit with an artificial lipid bilayer membrane comprising of ATP powered ion pumps which tends to open the door to the development of a completely new artificial method which has both the biological as well as solid state constituents.

Led by Lau Family Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering, Ken Shepard, the study has been published online on Dec 7 in Nature Communications. Shepard states that `in linking a biological electronic device with CMOS, it will be capable of creating new methods not possible with technology alone and are excited at the scene of increasing the palette of active devices which will have new functions, like harvesting energy from ATP which is done here or recognizing specific molecules. This would give the chips the potential to taste and smell. This has been a unique new direction and has great potential in giving solid-state system, new capabilities with biological components.’

CMOS Solid State Electronics – Inability to Imitate Certain Tasks

Shepard’s lab which heads the development of engineered solid state schemes interfaced to biological schemes records that inspite of its success, CMOS solid-state electronics does not have the ability of imitating certain tasks natural to living systems like the sense of taste and smell as well as the use of biochemical energy sources.

 Living systems tend to attain this functionality based on their own form of electronics built on lipid membranes and ion channels as well as pumps which tend to act as a type of biological transistor. The use of charge in the form of ion in carrying energy and information – ion channels tends to control the flow of ions through cell membranes.

The solid-state systems, like those in computers as well as communication devices utilises electrons, where the electronic signalling together with power seems to be controlled by field-effect transistors. In the case of living systems, the energy is stockpiled in capacities through lipid membranes and in this instance, is created through the action of ion pumps.

ATP Utilised in Transporting Energy

ATP is utilised in transporting energy from where it is generated to the cell where it is consumed. Shepard’s team led by Jared Roseman, a PhD student, packed a CMOS integrated circuit – IC with an ATP harvesting `biocell’ in order to build a prototype of hybrid system. In the existence of ATP, the system pumped ions through the membrane and produced an electrical potential gathered by the IC.

While the other groups had gathered energy from living systems, Shepard together with his team had been exploring on how to do this task at the molecular level, in isolating only the desired function and interfacing it with electronics. He goes on to explain that the whole cell is not needed but only the component of the cell is taken which is needed. For the project, the ATPase is isolated since they are the proteins which enable us in extracting energy from ATP.

 The capacity in building a system which tends to combine the power of solid-state electronics with the potentials of biological components is great. He has commented that `a bomb-sniffing dog is essential now though if one can take just the part of the dog which is useful, the molecules that tend to do the sensing, we would not need the whole animal’.

New Sleep Number technology watches you while you're awake, too

Sleep Number

SleepIQ API - Maximize Sleep Experience

The latest addition to Sleep Number smart beds had been on display at the CES recently. The new Sleep Number `It’ bed analyses how you sleep as well as keeps track of what one does during the course of the day and how to maximize the sleep experience. This smart, connected bed has been created to help individuals get better sleep at night.

It is the SleepIQ API that builds on the prevailing sleep-tracking SleepIQ technology. Besides utilising biometric sensor in order to track presence, movement, heart and breathing rates, the SleepIQ API tends to link the bed to your device through Bluetooth or the cloud through Wi-Fi, tracking your activity all through the day. By providing the `It’ bed with the data on when one eats, exercises, your agenda and much more, the mattress tends to recommend a perfect, adaptable firmness level and concepts on the adjustments of daily habits in order to obtain a better sleep pattern.

 Vice President of sleep science and research at Sleep Number, Pete Bils had commented that the company has been working on making partnerships with certain companies who had already tracked things like exercise and eating.

Provide Predictive Analytics

He stated that they are aware that lot of people seem to be tracking about everything and that they want to add sleep on to it. Users would be unable to manually input their daily activity but according to Bils, with all the stored data, together with the biometric reading which occurs hundreds of times per second, the `It’ would be capable of providing predictive analytics depending on reoccurring incidents.

He further adds that `it will identify markers in your life which tend to affect your sleep and if you drink coffee or work out late, and have restless sleep, it would provide recommendations to give you the best sleep’. The SleepIQ API is considered to have insights, making suggestions wherein the biometric sensors that are built into the bed, tend to track the whole body several times per second, the heart rate, breathing together with movement. Its technology provides you with the personal insights and understanding in adjusting for the best sleep at night.

Capable of Connecting to Cloud Service

Based on the individuals’ activities and sleep the `It’ beds enable you to understand your perfect level of firmness, support and comfort daily through your Sleep Number setting. It can also connect to your cloud service, tracking the daily routine each day and night.

 It also has insights, providing suggestions enabling you with good sleep with a sense of restful sleep at night. It is said that the new SleepIQ API would be pushed out to all SleepIQ mattress through a software update in 2016. The `It’ bed which is offered with this technology seems to be a relatively barebones model with two adjustable sides on models which differs from full to eastern and California king.

The six sizes from twin and above are about 8 inches thick and would be made available for online delivery anywhere in the U.S. which would commence during the second half of the year. The queen size would be about $1,000 and seems to be one of the least expensive beds available through Sleep Number. Sleep Number recommends a solid, flat base, stating that the bed does not tend to work with its FlexFit adaptable base.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Nextbit's Robin Phone, Which Taps Cloud for 100GB of Storage


Robin Smartphone Well-matched with Verizon Network

Nextbit, San-Francisco based, run by Google and HTC would be offering a version of its Robin smartphone which is well-matched with the Verizon network.The offer would start soon through its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign according to an interview of the CEO of Nextbit, Tom Moss. The early version of the Robin had been compatible with only AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Robin had created a lot of disturbance through its standout feature of online storage and while the smartphone is provided with 32 gigabytes of internal storage, it would have about 100GB of storage on tapping into the cloud for added online resources.

Executive of Nextbits have implied that they would be able to use online access as well as storage for the improvement of phone in other ways over a period of time. The introduction of Verizon version has improved the customer base of Nexbit and Verizon is the largest wireless network of the nation. The announcement was made just two days after the company had hit the $1 million mark on its Kickstarter campaign, doubling its goal. The form of the Robin which tends to work with Verizon has been designed precisely for that network and is not augmented for AT&T or T-Mobile and it is not recommended to switch networks.

Verizon Type – Early Bird Special Price

The company is yet looking into a type for Sprint though the need to add extra frequency band tends to complicate the task. Moss has commented that they are figuring out whether they could make it work with Sprint. Moss together with co-founder Mike Chan had worked on Google’s Android software earlier when the company’s chief design and product officer, Scot Croyle, had led the development of the HTC One Smartphone.

Nextbit will provide the Verizon type and offer an early bird special price of $299 for the first 300 orders and the kickstarter price is $349. It would retail for $399 at its launch in January. The company also started a contest to enable Kickstarter backers to choose a colour combination for a special Kickstarer, only variant of the Robin. They could also propose colours. Nextbits would choose five, improve them and then enable the backers to vote. Presently the Robin comes in a combination of mint-white or dark blue `midnight’ colour.

Strategy to Challenge Traditional Players

The strategy of Nextbit is to challenge traditional players such as Apple and Samsung, where their products tend to sell easily, double the price. Crowdfunded devices continue to carry some risk and Robin can wind up going up in smoke though the chances for its success seams good. Presently, Nextbit seems to have the funding, a reputable manufacturer together with some excellent credentials like the former Google and HTC executives which includes the former lead designer of HTC.

Though nowhere near the scale of Apple or even HTC, Nextbit had been a success on Kickstarter and the company had mentioned that it intends to increase the cloud storage of Robin to 129GB if the backing tends to hit $1.5 million. Regarding the campaign, Moss had commented that it is amazing and that it is such a validation.

The 4 worst patents of 2015


Depressing Year for Patent Law

This had been a depressing year for patent law, which had lost sight of its constitutional anchorages as a limited and balanced source of motivations for innovators. Although Congress, the courts as well as the Patent and Trademark Office individually made their own respective efforts to rein in a system widely considered as out of control and eventually nobody had made much headway. For instance, over 200 new patent lawsuits had been filed on a day in November, as plaintiffs had rushed to beat a change in federal procedure which needed added specific claims.

Several were from companies which tend to buy up patents of doubtful quality and utilise them to extract troublesome settlements from actual innovators. A polite name for such types of companies is `non-practising entities’, though most of us are aware of them as patent trolls.

According to the Consumer Technology Association, they have exhausted over $150 billion from the U.S economy at an accelerating pace. Besides this, there also seems to be a mismatch between expanding patent coverage and the quickening pace of disruptive change that has become one of the biggest sources of risk to the innovation economy.

An attorney with the Electronic Frontier foundation, Daniel Nazer has highlighted the worst patents across this year. He holds the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents and had little problem coming up with these four rejected from a monthly `Stupid Patent of the Month’ post, that he writes for the EFF site. Each of them tends to focuson a different crisis in the badly misaligned patent system.

1. Changing the quantity of goods on order

The patent office had approved US Patent No, 9,013,334, in April that covered `notification systems which handle changes in the quantity of items that are delivered or picked by a customer. The inventor of this invention is not an entrepreneur but a patent lawyer clearly gaming the system. In 2003, the holder had filed a provisional claim which he had used to shoehorn around 20 patents, most of which were vague, broad and abstract. As single claims are challenged, the lawyer tends to simply add new ones to the earlier filing which according to Nazer are largely indistinguishable. Thereafter the company tends to sue a new set of defendants, in quest of settlements of about $50,000 which is too small in mitigating the cost of fighting a winning battle in court.

2. Firewalls that cannot be configured

A stupid patent wisely abandoned by its own inventorcould be the cause of chaos. The patent office had granted the application for an Internet firewall, in 2000 which was already a standard feature due to the inventor repeatedly insisting that it was something else, a firewall for users too dumb for using a firewall. After the holder had permitted the patent to expire in 2012, it had been purchased by a newly formed patent troll, Wetro Lan, LLC. which filed a suit against providers both large and small of Internet security technology and most of it was totally unrelated to the patent.

In the first place, it should have not been granted and could be too expensive for individual defendants to combat. The new holder could only claim for the damages by going back six years prior to the patent’s expiry though it is endlessly in internet years. Wetro Lan states that EFF `had sued everyone who tends to sell product linked with network security from Avaya to ZyXEL’.

3. Connecting something/anything to the Internet

A garbage patent of 2006 has been used to threaten anyone involved in the Internet of Things, which is a new discussion of application with the potential of linking daily items to the cloud. The patent that EFF considers was `spectacularly mundane’ even in 2006, seemed to be mainly nonsense. It defines a system of adapting products comprising of solids and fluid, by enabling the user to enter `preferences’, linking a drink mixer to the Internet, in other words.

EFF had noted that `theapplication had not disclosed any new networking technology or any new beverage making technology. However, the over-taxed patent office had granted it and now the trolling company holding the patent, Rothschild Connected Devices Innovation, LLC has been suing all who tend to connect something to the Internet, inclusive of ADT (security), Rain Bird (irrigation and OnStar (cars).

4. Using electronics to control sex toy

In early 1980s, Howard Stern, a radio personality had demonstrated computer based sexual stimulants, a category known now as `teledildonics’. However, in 1998, that did not stop the patent office in granting anoutrageously broad application from Tzu Technologies, LLC for a patent on a method of `Interactive Virtual Control of Sexual Aids Using Digital Computer Networks’.The language of the claim as usual is garbed in scientific sounding terminology in order to conceal its certainty. Nevertheless, as written and approved, the input device could be nothing more than a microphone and the `stimulation device could be just a stereo speaker.

There's Now a Games Console for Dogs


A Games Console to Keep Pets Busy

A game console to keep your pet dog busy has been developed in the form of CleverPet. CleverPet essentially, is an interactive treat dispenser with your pet having to hit light up panel to release the tasty snack in it. Head Trainer, Graham Bloem has explained that `a dog with a job is a happy dog and so when first introduced to CleverPet, there was something for these problems, keeping the dogs engaged and busy when no one is at home’.

The game console features many games like `Catch the Squirrel’, which seems to be a light chasing game that asks your pet to put a paw on the flashing light in time with the movements. There is also `Pattern Plan’, which evidently challenges them to learn progressively complex patterns.

Another game is the `Word Learn’ where for instance, one could record the voice saying `left’ and your dog will have to press the left pad. Besides this, there is also an accompanying app which enables you to see the live updates, schedule when CleverPet tend to turn on or off and track the amount of treats your pet had gobbled up

A Dog with a Job is a Happy Dog

Co-founder of CleverPet, Leo Trottier, who has a PhD in cognitive science from University of California, San Diego, has explained during a start-up pitch session at CES 2016 that `most of us would never leave a family member at home all day and ask them to sleep the whole time. From a dozen or so start-ups to take the stage, CleverPet seemed to be the only one drawing whoops and cheers from a generally passive crowd and the judges also seems to agree, and awarded it the first place in the start-up pitch battle.

But it was the only product that had been designed for dogs. Trottier had commented that `right now, people tend to cope by leaving the TV or radio on and crossing their fingers, a dog with a job is a happy dog’. The CleverPet Hub is considered to be a plastic dome having flashing lights, speakers and a dispenser which tends to give out dry dog food when a task has been successfully completed. Trottier describes the system as an `automatic, all day interaction at scale, which is powered by software.

Compatible with any Kind of Dry Dog Food

Trottier states that it is compatible with any kind of dry dog food and one can open the hatch put in the food and setup the game to entertain the pet for hours. The system tends to give pet owners, a controlled option of providing food for their pet throughout the day while keeping a tab on what their pet is up to through the mobile app.

He comments that the system seems to be an appropriate replacement for `doggy day care’ or a less extreme option for people who tend to worry about their dogs getting bored when they are alone at home. The idea had debuted on Kickstarter in 2014, raising $180,000, $80,000 more than its goal.

Two years thereafter together with more than 1,000 happy Kickstarter customers, it is ready for pre-order for the public. The CleverPet Hub will be offered at a price of $299 with the company planning to ship the first units in the next couple of months.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

This FDA-Approved Medical Syringe Fills Bullet Wounds in 20 Seconds


Xstat Rapid Hemostasis System – Designed to Control Haemorrhaging

Around 30 – 40% of civilian death from traumatic injury is due to haemorrhaging and 33 – 56% of them tend to die prior to reaching the hospital according to the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research.The best option of survival is to staunch the flow of blood as rapidly as possible. Hence a newly approved medical device has come up. The Xstat Rapid Hemostasis System is mainly a syringe filled with tiny sponges which is now made available to people. It has been designed to control haemorrhaging especially for bleeding which cannot be stopped with a tourniquet.

The sponge filled syringe tends to fill gunshot wounds within 20 seconds and the device which had been formerly limited to military use, has received approval for use on the general population in America. Recently the Food and Drug Administration had cleared the syringe which is designed to prevent the flow of blood from an open wound, for use on adult and adolescent citizens. The Xstat had been initially developed for use by the military, wherein the risk of traumatic injury and bullet wounds was higher than in the civilian population.

Sterile Sponges of Cellulose

It was earlier organized in 2014, though the FDA has now finished evaluating the device and has made it available for use by first responders in case of an accident, shooting or natural disaster. In the Xstat syringe there are 92 tablet-sized sterile sponges made up of cellulose which is intended to stop the bleeding in wounds that do not stop easily by any other means.

Bleeding can usually tend to be effectively slowed with simple tourniquet which restricts the flow of blood to the injury. However a bullet wound or any other deep injury would be difficult to close. In such a situation, the Xstat is inserted into the wound and activated to release the sponge wherein each sponge tends to have an x-ray marker so that doctors can ensure that they are all removed from the body later on.

The Verge reports that the syringe tends to work on wounds that cannot be stopped with the use of a tourniquet which is a compression tool developed to control haemorrhaging. These may be wounds in the groin or the armpit.

Control on Severe Life Threatening Bleeding

As per io9, the Xstat Rapid Hemostasis System tends to work by filling a wound with a group of sponges which tends to expand rapidly thereby blocking the flow of the blood and provides pressure cause the bleeding to stop. According to Dr William Maisel, acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health had mentioned in a press release issued by RevMedX which manufactures the devices, that `when a product is developed for use in the battlefield it is usually intended to work in worst case scenario where advanced care would not be immediately available.

 It is exciting to see this technology transition in helping civilian first responders control some severe life threatening bleeding at the time of the trauma scene’. Each applicator tends to absorb around a pint of blood and works up to four hours which provides adequate time for the injured person to receive surgery for the wound.

Monday, 11 January 2016

What is 5G


5G Soon a Necessity

After the first 4G smartphone had hit the market, five years ago, the wireless industry has been making progress in preparing for 5G and each of the four nationwide cell phone carriers together with the smartphone chipmakers accompanied with the major network equipment companies have been working in the development of 5G network technology.

Though there are several obstacles which the industry companies need to clear prior to seeing a bit of 5G symbol near the signal bars on the smartphone screen. For instance, it needs to yet determine what 5G means besides what it would look like and when it intends to get here. Since the user tends to use up quickly increased amount of 4G bandwidth by watching streaming videos on their phones, 5G would very soon tend to be a necessity.

As the telecom engineers tend to work energetically in the development of 5G technology, a lot is made clear regarding the 5G. The `G’ in 3G, 4G and 5G stands for `generation’ and 5G would be the fifth generation of the wireless network technology.

Permitting a Swing of New Wireless Devices

Standards for the 5G has not been set yet and according to the president of AT&T – T, Tech30, network operation, Bill Smith, 5G would probably be defined in 2018. The standards for 5G would also be organized somewhere in 2019 by the standards-setting International Telecommunication Union, which is a branch of the United Nations.

Moreover, the standards will also regulate which wireless technologies would be called `5G’ and what its characteristic would comprise of, like how fast it would be. Based on the developing technologies which the wireless industry has been experimenting with, there is a possibility of guessing what the 5G would look like. 5G would be much faster, smarter and consume less power than 4G, permitting a swing of new wireless devices and enable the consumer to have faster smartphones, more smart-home devices with longer lasting wearable gadgets.

 5G would have the capabilities of offering speeds up to 40 times quicker than 4G which would be quick enough to stream 8K videos in 3-D or probably download a 3-D movie in around 6 seconds, while on 4G; it would take about 6 minutes.

Real World Speeds of 100 Megabits/Second

For consumers, unfortunately there is a variance between lab experiments and reality where at peak speeds it is fun to dream though in the real world, the real speeds tend to be much slower that guaranteed. One of the biggest 5G players – Nokia, is of the belief that it is 5G technology which will permit real world speeds of about 100 Megabits per second when the network is jammed, which is around four times faster than the top speed of 4G.

Another characteristic of 5G is that it has ultra-low latency, which means that it could radically reduce the time span it may take for the network to respond to the commands. This would provide the appearance of faster loading websites, apps, messages and videos.

Lot of the wireless companies’ 5G experimentation has been occurring in super-high frequencies as high as 73,000 MHX and presently the networks broadcast signal of cell phone is in a range of 700 MHz to 3,500 MHz.

A Learning Advance in Artificial Intelligence Rivals Human Abilities


Artificial Intelligence Surpassed Human Competences

Computer researchers had recently reported that artificial intelligence had surpassed human competences for a narrow set of vision related task. These developments are remarkable since the so-called machine vision methods are being a commonplace in various characteristics of life comprising of car-safety methods which tend to identify pedestrians and bicyclists and in video game controls, Internet search as well as factory robots.

 Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University together with the University of Toronto have recently reported a new kind of `one shot’ machine learning in the journal Science, wherein a computer vision program seemed to beat a group of humans in identifying handwritten characters founded on a single example. The program seems to have the ability of learning quickly the characters in a variety of languages as well as in generalizing from what it has learned.

The authors recommend that this ability is the same wherein humans tend to learn and understand perceptions. Bayesian Program Learning or B.P. L as the new approach is known is unlike the present machine learning technologies known as deep neural networks. Neural networks can be trained in recognizing human speech, identify objects in images or detect types of behaviour on being exposed to large sets of examples

Bayesian Approach

Though these networks may have been modelled on the behaviour of biological neurons, they have not yet learned the way human tend to do, in quickly acquiring new concepts. In comparison, the new software program defined in the Science article has the capabilities of recognizing handwritten characters on `seeing’ only a few or a single example.

The researchers had compared the capabilities of their Bayesian approach as well as other programming models utilising five separate learning tasks which involved a set of characters from a research set. This was known as Onmiglot which comprised of 1,623 handwritten characters sets from 50 languages.

 The images as well as the pen stokes that were need to create characters were taken. Joshua B, Tenenbaum, professor of cognitive science and computation at M.I.T. together with one of the authors of the Science paper had commented that `with all the progress in machine learning, it is amazing what one can do with lots of data and faster computers. But when one looks at children, it is amazing what they can learn from very little data and some come from prior knowledge and some is built in the brain’.

Imagenet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge

Moreover, the organizers of an annual academic machine vision competition also reported gains in lowering the error rate in software for locating and classifying objects in digital images. Alexander Berg, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill had stated that he was amazed by the rate of progress in the field.

The competition which is known as the Imagenet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge pits the teams of researchers at government, academic as well as corporate laboratories against one another in designing programs in classifying as well as detecting objects. The same was won by a group of researchers at the Microsoft Research laboratory in Beijing, this year.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Microsoft Lumia 950


Lumia 950 – First Phone of New Microsoft Windows 10 Software

The first top of the range Lumia after the Lumia 930 and the first phone of the new Microsoft Windows 10softwarehave finally arrived. The Microsoft Lumia 950 with its bigger screened sibling, - 950 XL has showed up. With the purchase of Nokia by Microsoft, it acquired a company with the strongest industrial design team in Europe possibly as effective as Apple with regards to visionaries like Marko Ahtisaari.

It also purchased a company with astounding reputation for invention and hence this new phone seems to be amazing. Microsoft seems to have discarded the day-glo colours of the 930 and others for a quieter design and the metal edging together with the coloured back of the 830 and 930 have been replaced with a monochrome plastic back and edge.

The only visible features are the silver Windows logo along with the matching ring which seems to surround the camera lens. The plastic back can be removed and third party manufacturers are intending to come up with more colourful and striking colours.There is an iris recognition system to unlock the screen.When one tends to stare at it, it opens automatically and the message onscreen says `Hello’.

Slower Than Fingerprint Sensors

It is much slower than the fingerprint sensors on the iPhone 6s and Sony Xperia Z5 and works most of the time without any difficulties. There is no double tap-to-wake system on the phone.

This method has been pioneered by Nokiaon its heavily underrated affordable Asha phone series and was then moved to some Lumia phone. It has now been taken up by several Android phone manufacturers though not on the latest phone. Another wonderful invention of Nokia was the way some of the Lumia handset reacted to touch inspite of wearing gloves which is useful in cold climates.

Things tend to get familiar once the user gets started with the phone with the Windows Phone system now known as Windows 10. The same set of apps covers the screen in an alphabetical list when swiped to the left. Windows universal apps provide a wide range of apps designed which tend to look the same on the phone as on a Windows 10 PC, which is one of the main features that Microsoft seems to be banking on in order to generate more approvals.

Features USB-C Connector

The battery life on the Lumia 950 seems good to get the user through a full day though not more and intensive usage of the phone as a laptop standby could reduce this. The 950 is one of the first phones featuring a USB-C connector and hence none of the old chargers would be of any use. Besides this, there is also a wireless charging if one has a compatible charging pad and unlike the Samsung’s new phones that work with two charging standard, this one seems to be restricted to Qi.

The phone feels a real break away from the Nokia-centric past for Microsoft and with the Windows 10 on various platforms together with the potential of using this phone as a decent computer, it would be appealing to several users. The camera seems great with good sensor, dedicated shutter button together with fast launch where the display is eye-catching.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Mota JetJat Nano Puddle Jumper

Mota JetJat

Mota JetJat Nano Quadcopter – Smallest of its Kind

The latest JetJat Nano quadcopter from Moto is not what several of the people are speculating with regards to drone.It is small at less than one square inch and a working quadcopter though small enough can crash land in the coffee cup if one is not careful.

Besides its size the JetJat is interesting with regards to its price at $40 and one can get a drone for even less if one intends to go with one of the several nearly identical models that are made available across the web. Flying a JetJat means one can also fly a big drone. There is sharp learning curve in flying a drone and hence it is not worth taking a risk crashing a $1,600 item of pro gear when a cheaper one is available.

 Flight dynamics does not seem to translate well between a small craft and a big one, though the basics seems to be the same. The Nano and its type such as the Proto’s Proto-X seems to be harder to fly than the bigger ones provided from DJI or Yuneec. From the positive side, the Nano is simple to begin with.

Nano’s Controls – `Pro-Grade’

There are no propellers to assemble, no GPS satellites to sync to, no Wi-Fi to pair with and no apps to download. With just flipping a switch on the drone and another on the remote one needs to wait for the beep and then go.Moto has called the Nano’s control `pro-grade’ and touts the `ultra-high power to weight ratio’.

One controller stick tends to handle throttle that controls the altitude while a second joystick controls turns. This mirrors the controllers of larger drone which is one reason the Nano is accessible for practicing. The absence of altitude stabilization could be the most interesting thing regarding the Nano and unlike the larger drones, it does not tend to hover when one eases off the throttle, it crashes which is one purpose to be a better pilot.

It compels one to think about everything till one adopts it and flying tends to become second nature. Generally a week of practice should be adequate. A big reason for the longer timeframe is that the Nano seems to have only sufficient battery capacity for maximum eight minutes of flight and the craft is about the size of the thumbnail.

Portable & Compact

Considering the size constraints, the flight time of Nano is impressive. It also tends to charge quickly through an included USB cable. The Nano seems to have a range of 75 foot and is essentially invisible beyond 50 feet or so.

The body is bright red and hence it is difficult in spotting when it goes down. Nano seems to be a great way of practice if one intends to look out for option of becoming a better drone pilot without flying a $1,600 drone and colliding into a tree. Mota JetJat Nano is one of the smallest, lightest drone in the world weighing around 4oz and measures only 20mm in height. It flies like an eagle, performing flips and other aerial manoeuvres

It is economical enough for a fleet of drones and is simple for learners, pro feature for experienced drone pilots. It is portable and compact adequately to be taken anywhere and can be accommodated comfortably in purses, as well as small backpacks.

Its tough construction has the potential of withstanding multiple bumps and bruises and its swift and responsive controls provides an enjoyable experience for the entire family

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Crowdfunding a Drone That Takes Selfies


World’s Safest Drone by Fleye

The world’s safest drone by Fleye is made by two Belgian founders wherein the drone is the size of a soccer ball with its propellers on the inner side which is encased by a shell. Most of the drones in the market tend to have their propellers exposed. The CEO of Fleye, Laurent Eschenauer, had informed CNBC at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in London, recently that if they were going to have autonomous flying robots around, they need to make them safe’.

The company had raised around half of its 175,000 euro so far, funding goal on Kickstarter with 38 days left. The starting price is 599 euros for one of the drones. Co-founders are now opening up the operating system of Linus for the drone to run on it, so that the developers may develop apps for it and are expecting to launch the device by April 2016.

The drone is controlled through an Android or iOS smartphone and is equipped with some pre-programmed functions like when a user tends to click the selfie control; the drone autonomously tends to move to position itself to take a picture of the user.

Supports Computer Vision Library OpenCV

The main invention of Fleye is its exceptional spherical design where all the moving parts seems to be sheltered which means that one can be hold, touch, push and bump into Fleye without much trouble of being injured. It also means that while bumping into something, Fleye could be more robust.

One does not need piloting skill to control the drone but just select a flying camera mode, - selfie, panorama, virtual tripod etc. andwatch the live video stream focusing on capturing photos and videos. If one intends to be in manual control, you could use the virtual gamepad or hook a Bluetooth gamepad to the smartphone. Fleye tends to have a powerful on-board computer like the latest smartphone which is dual-core ARM A9, with hardware accelerated video encoding, together with two GPUs, 512MB of RAM and runs on Linux.

Moreover it also supports Computer vision library OpenCV which means that Fleye has the capacity of being programmed to execute mission autonomously, responding to what it tends to see in the environment.

Operating from Logistic to Disaster Recovery

The main anxiety for regulators looking at drones after various high profile occurrences, is safety. A drone had crashed on the lawn of the White House, earlier this year and at a music concert, pop star Enrique Iglesias had reached out to grab a drone which was filming and had sliced open his finger.

 Eschenauer has been betting on a world wherein drone would become universal, operating in areas from logistics to disaster recovery as well as roaming around the office. A camera has been attached on the top for the drones to recognize the world around and to take decisions and also for the people to take videos and photos. However, the company tends to find itself in a competitive space against bigger manufacturers with deeper pockets.

The Chinese drone maker DJI had raised around $75 million this year which was reportedly valued at $10 billion, offering drones for professional filmmakers and hobbyists. Eschenauer has admitted that Fleye will not be able of taking on the recognized players but has stated that the company has made its own niche. He has commented that that they have been carving out their own niche which is proximity. If one desires to capture a film at a wedding or in an industrial plant, one would not use the big drone with big propellers, especially if it tends to becomes autonomous’.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Gmail be Replaced By Inbox Smart Email Tool As Main Google Email System

Gmail Rolled out New Tabbed Interface for Inbox on Mobile/Desktop

Gmail has rolled out a new tabbed interface for inbox on mobile as well as desktop. On first glance it seems good for email organization but on further inspection, these latest tabs seem to be confusing. According to the official Gmail blog, one can select which categories can be enabled as tabs that will show you how many new emails one may have for each category offering another option in organizing the inbox.

One can drag and drop messages between tabs and set certain senders to appear always on certain tabs. This feature is rolling on the desktop gradually and will soon be coming to Android as well as iOS apps shortly.

The tabs will slide in from the side in the case of mobile. Google has added the unsubscribed button to Android version of Gmail also and the feature that had been offered on the web enables users to get rid of newsletter together with other subscriptions which the users do not read or could have never intentionally signed up. Both the options are available in the same dropdown menu which is utilised in the selection of `Reply’ or `Forward’ options. Updates of the web are available already and the Android ones would be available very soon.

Beginning of the End for Gmail

Users have been encouraged to utilise its `Inbox by Gmail’ service by the company, in the intention which some have stated could be the `beginning of the end’, for Gmail. Inbox had been introduced last year, though Google had been focusing its interest on the app, analysing emails to group one which could be interesting together with other features that smartly organises emails. Google has described it as `the inbox which works for you’. Users of the app on their phone are now being redirected to Inbox instead of the normal Gmail.

When a user tends to click through on Gmail, they are greeted by a pop-up informing them that they may want to use Inbox instead. When the user logs in, a message pops up stating `Thanks for trying Inbox. To make it easier, we have updated Gmail to redirect you here’. The tool also provides the choice of heading back to the normal Gmail screen with a large button stating `turn it off’. Moreover it also enables user to turn it off at any point of time in the future through its settings.

Gmail Alive & Well

However, some users have recommended that the change could signal the beginning of the end for Gmail in its present form and the inbox could eventually be the default way of reading emails. Google has stated that Gmail was very much alive and it was simply making it easy to get Inbox as a default. A spokesperson had commented that `Gmail is alive and well and that they want to provide a seamless way for Inbox users to reach the Inbox site from without memorizing a new URL.

The possible redirect makes it easy to access Inbox often, according to the user and it could be turned off with a single click under `settings’. Inbox has been considered to complement the old Gmail view, enabling users to keep their old Gmail address. However the old way of organizing email, like long list of subject lines and senders, ordered by date, seems to be mostly unaltered since Gmail had first introduced it around eleven years back.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Scientists Discover New Form of Carbon Harder Than Diamonds

New Form of Q-carbon Discovered

Jay Narayan together with his colleagues discovered a new type of solid carbon known as Q-carbon that enables them to create diamond connected structures within room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in the air.

 The two solid formulas or phases of carbon are graphite and diamond and this would be a new phase which the researchers believe seems to be harder than diamonds. Narayan who had authored three papers comprising of one in the Journal of Applied Physics on the work with doctoral student AnaghBhaumik, had mentioned in a statement that `they have now created a third solid phase of carbon and the only place it could be found in the natural world would be probably in the core of some planets.Together with being harder than diamonds, Q-carbon seems to be ferromagnetic, which means that it is easily magnetized and tends to glow whenever it is exposed to low levels of energy.

Narayan further adds that the strength of the Q-carbon and low work function, its inclination in releasing electrons, tends to make it very likely in the development of new electronic display technologies. He adds that Q-carbon could be used also in creating various single crystal diamond objects.

Discovery – Synthesis/Processing of Nanodiamond/Microdiamond

The researchers had mentioned in another study on the discovery in the journal APL Materials that `this discovery had opened a new chapter in synthesis and processing of nanodiamond as well as microdiamond for various application which could be ranging from abrasive powders, novel catalytic properties, myriads of biomedical and microelectonic, smart displays and nanoelectronic applications.

 In order to come up with Q-carbon, the researchers started with a substrates like sapphire, glass or a plastic polymer and the substrate is later coated with amorphous carbon. This is hit with only a lase pulse which tends to last about 200 nanoseconds. The pulse tends to cause the temperature of the carbon to stretch to 4,000 Kelvin or around 6,740 degrees Fahrenheit and thereafter rapidly cools down. The outcome of the procedure is a film of Q-carbon between 20 nanometers and 500 nanometers thick.

Two Provisional Patents Filed – Q-carbon/Diamond Creation Techniques

The cooling rate can be handled by utilising various substrates and altering the duration of the laser pulse. On changing the rate of cooling they are capable of creating diamond structures within Q-carbon. Narayan had stated that `these diamond objects tend to have a single crystalline structure which makes them stronger than polycrystalline material which is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere.

 So not only does this enable them to develop new applications but the procedure tends to be comparatively economical. However, the researchers agreed that there seems to be plenty of queries with regard to Q-carbon, adding that they were still in the early stage of comprehending how to handle it.

 He had commented that they know a lot about diamond and can make diamond nanodots but they do not know yet how to make Q-carbon nanodots or microneedles and that is something which they are working on. Two provisional patents on the Q-carbon and diamond creation techniques have been filed by North Carolina State.

This Innovative Fingerprint Scanner can Discern Fake Fingerprints from Real Ones


Revolutionary Fingerprint Scanner – Discerning Fake Fingerprints

One can beware of career crooks and villains now with BitFlow, the machine vision technology company that has created a revolutionary fingerprint scanner with the potential of discerning fake fingerprints from the real ones. While fingerprint scanners could be easy to fool, the new tech of BitFlow tends to scrap the process of photo scanning in favour of a method that looks inside the person’s finger.

Developed in amalgamation with the scientist at the Langevin Institute in Paris, France, the new scanner can quickly and accurate capture what according to the team is a person’s internal fingerprint. Just as the fingerprints are seen on the surface of a finger, an internal fingerprint has the similar topographical features that resides around half a millimetre below the skin.

Besides this, the system also has the potential of imaging sweat pores in the finger of the person, thereby enhancing its means of recognizing an individual. The internal sensor, engineered by Langevin Institute postdoctoral researcher Egidijus Auksorius and scientific instrument professor, Claude Boccara, is based on a full field optical coherence tomography of FF-OCT.

FF-OCT Depends on 2D Detector

Different from the standard optical coherence tomography that makes use of the 3D data as well as lasers, the FF-OCT tends to depend on a 2D detector thus making it easy as well as faster for utilisation. Essentially the images of an internal fingerprint could be captured within a second on using this tech which is of great advantage for the fingerprint scanning industry.

The scanner analyses the difference interference patterns produced when in use, after a beam of light reflects off a sample, which is the finger, against a reference beam of light. For example when a light beamed at a finger tends to register with the system, it has the capabilities of seeing the different grooves, patterns as well as pores linked with someone’s unique fingerprint.

The reference beam of light that is a pure beam enables the scientist to precisely read the variations and chart the grooves and the patterns. As per the published press release of BitFlow, a study which was done by the Department of Homeland Security, it was observed the wearing of fake prints, or spoofing a fingerprint sensor beats a scanner by about 80 percent of the time.

Produces Fingerprint Biometric Data

Taking this into consideration, it is a surprising percentage in any given capacity. Auksorius and Boccara’s collaboration with BitFlow seems to be a forensics expert’s best colleague. The system is expected to produce fingerprint biometric data which is less vulnerable to spoofing and could also be popular if the concern for security of 2D scanners tends to rise.

However, with the other 3D imaging systems like the ones based on ultrasonic technology developing at the same time, size and the cost would be essentially important and the FF-OCT system could envisage stiff competition in that sphere. As per a scientific paper published in a leading journal, Auksorius and Boccara had initially used an expensive InGaAs camera though recently had demonstrated that images of the internal fingerprints of same quality could be recorded on utilising a new silicon camera from Adimec which is due to the camera’s high frame rate together with the pixel’s high capacity. A compact LED source releasing at 780 nm is utilised to provide the illumination.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Tokyo Police are Using Drones with Nets to Catch Other Drones



Camera Equipped Drones – Capture Suspicious Drone

Exclusive fleet of interceptor drones designed to chase and capture suspicious looking drones in nets flying over sensitive areas in the midst of concern for the safety of the prime minister, has been introduced by Tokyo’s police force. The riot police would be controlling the camera-equipped interceptor drones in chasing private drones which may be spying on buildings including the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe’s office and trap them in large nets before reaching back to the ground.

 Those in control of the force drone would first caution the operator of the suspicious drone to cease the flight before tracking them. In April, a four propeller drone with trace amounts of radioactive caesium was seized on the top of the prime minister’s office which raised terror concerns in the capital. Police had informed that radioactivity levels were only at a maximum of 1 microsievert of gamma rays per hour, which is a level that is not harmful to humans.

Illegal to Pilot Drones in Certain Area in Japan

Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary had mentioned in a press conference that `the situation concerns the centre of the Japanese government, the prime minister’s office and are taking every essential measure inclusive of a detailed investigation by police’. Later on, a man had been arrested.

The drones of the police force measures about one metre in diameter while the net measures two metres by three meters which is suspended below the body of the interceptor. The drones will only take to the air when an unlawful drone is spotted and the police officers on the ground will utilise loudspeakers in an effort to warn the drone’s controller to evacuate the area.

The net to catch other quadcopters was eventually decided, as there would be less chance of an aircraft falling from the sky and injure civilians. The force intends to start utilising them later this month before rolling the enterprise out more broadly in February. It is illegal to pilot drones over certain areas in Japan, including airports, over roads or 150 meters above the land.

Drones – Most contentious Creation of Technology

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are the most contentious creations of technology and though the opportunity that they provide for the retail industry like Amazon’s delivery services is remarkable, there is a concern over safety, warfare as well as surveillance which tend to continue blocking their adoption in the mainstream utilisation. Solar powered drones had been developed by Facebook to fly over the UK in order to plug gaps in mobile coverage offering a boost to `not spot’ areas of the country which are yet without mobile internet.

As per reports from The Asahi Shimbun andthe Asian Review, a drone had been first deployed on a trial basis from mid-December and a more complete operation would then be introduced later in the year. The drone squads would provide protection for some of the most sensitive areas in the city comprising of the Imperial Palace, the National Diet, where the Japan’s parliament meet besides the office of the prime minister.

 Japan’s police force may be the first law enforcement agencies in introducing countermeasures for the consumer drones, though several other government as well as commercial agencies having been considering the same in the West.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Google’s new quantum computer is '100 million times faster than your PC

quantum computer

Google’s Quantum Computer – 100 Million Times Faster

Google together with NASA has been working on a lightning fast quantum computer which seems to be 3,600 times quicker than a super computer in solving difficult problems. The artificial intelligence lab of the technology company is of the belief that they may eventually have proof that their opinion dividing quantum computer would actually work.

 Google and NASA have announced that they would be collaborating on the D-Wave X2 quantum computer which according to them is 100 million times faster than a conventional computer chip in 2013. It has the capabilities of answering certain systems in second instead of years. Google’s interest in D-Wave machine which has also been invested in by IBM as well as Microsoft is due to the large power quantum computers that could potentially unlock.

 The weirdness of the so called quantum mechanics, where the basic laws of physics tend to break down, has the capabilities of solving long standing issues in machine intelligence and materials science. On the part of NASA, the computers could support schedule rocket launches or even produce complex simulation of space missions.

Quantum Monte Carlo

Hartmut Neven, Google director of engineering had commented that for a specific carefully crafted proof of concept problem, they had achieved a 100 million fold speed up. He had also added in a blog post that they had found that for problem instances involving almost 1,000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly beats its classical counterpart, simulated strengthening and is more than 108 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core.

The quantum hardware to another algorithm known as Quantum Monte Carlo was also compared. This method had been designed to match the behaviour of quantum systems though it tends to run on conventional processors. While scaling with size between two methods was comparable they were again separated by a large element at times as high as 108.

The computer figures out the most efficient overall course of action in completing a task and a set of number of options has been provided and could be key to the innovation of next generation artificial intelligence according to Engadget.

Disruptive Technology

Cynics have questioned whether the computer actually taps into quantum physics to resolve procedures, though Google and NASA informs that they have proof. The director of exploration technology at NASA’s Ames research centre in California, Deepak Biswas, has commented that `it is a disruptive technology which could alter how we tend to do everything.

Quantum computing depends on quantum bits or qubits and unlike the traditional computers wherein the bits should have a value of zero or one, a qubit could represent a zero, a one or even both the values at the same time.

Signifying information in qubits enables to process the information in ways which have no equivalent with regards to classical computing, taking advantage of the occurrences like quantum tunnelling together with quantum entanglement. Quantum computers may theoretically be capable of solving certain issues within a few days which on a classical computer would take millions of years.