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.