At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots, the people said. Now, “pickers” at the facility stand in one place and wait for (Kiva) robots to bring four-foot-by-six-foot shelving units to them, sparing them what amounted to as much as 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. Employees at some robot-equipped warehouses are expected to pick and scan at least 300 items an hour, compared with 100 under the old system, current and former workers said.
Myris, a sleek handheld iris scanner, brings biometric security to home computers. The device plugs into a USB port and takes a split-second video of both eyes, scanning more than 240 points in each. A government-grade encrypted digital signature syncs with passwords stored on Myris, and never on your desktop. Once it verifies a match, it automatically signs the user into accounts through a browser extension. Since no two irises are alike, the chance of a false positive is less than one in two trillion.
I recently crossed the Delta 3 million lifetime milestone. The majority of those miles originated in the efficient airport that is Tampa International – TPA. It is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country and it is good to see the local aviation authority is looking ahead to 2017
TIA's top executive was showing off architectural renderings of what the airport will look like when its $943 million expansion and renovation project is completed in 2017. TIA officials said the new renderings are very close to what the finished product will look like…The new renderings showed that glass and steel will be added to the concrete exterior that has dominated the airport's architecture since the main terminal opened in 1971.
Cisco and McAfee have rolled out products intended to function as central hubs. Cisco’s is called the Platform Exchange Grid, and McAfee’s is the Threat Intelligence Exchange(see video). In February, CSG Invotas introduced Security Orchestrator, a program that unifies security data onto a single screen and can automate some functions. An employee in the IT department can push a button to reset a compromised user’s password instead of having to do it manually. “Our tool turns that data into actions, and when we turn that data into actions, it doesn’t require people to do what machines do a whole lot better,” says CSG Invotas’s chief information security officer, Peter Clay.
Some people have a lot of trouble waking up in the morning, especially when the bedroom blinds are keeping the room dark. Motorized window coverings can be programed to automatically open when your alarm goes off, or, if you don’t need to wake at a specific time, they can be synced with a smart home system that triggers the blind to open at sunrise (based on an astronomical clock). You can use the sun to warm your living room in the morning, and insulate it in the evening, by setting your shades to automatically open when the sun is shining on one side of the house, and close when the sun has moved away. If you’re worried about furniture, rugs or art fading from sun exposure, automated shades can keep those damaging rays away without you having to be home to close anything.
With Intercloud, Cisco is reprising the strategy that brought it success in hardware. In the 1990s its routers were in demand because they let various proprietary technologies work together—an IBM network could communicate with an Apple one.
More than 3,700 people have been pulled from all corners of Cisco to work on Intercloud. The company has set aside $1 billion to develop or acquire technology and to persuade cloud providers to join the Intercloud ecosystem. So far 40 partners, including Deutsche Telekom (DTE:GR), have signed up, and a handful of organizations, among them Johns Hopkins University and real estate investment trust Boston Properties (BXP), are using Intercloud.
Most of the armchair aliens shared a demographic, the young-man Marsophile: guys with tattoos across their necks and arms, goatees and mustaches, variations on the Weird Al look. But there were also older women in the room, and kids too young to drive. What brought them together was an abiding belief in Lansdorp’s central message, that humans should be expanding onto other planets, and they should do so now. A few years ago, President Obama announced that the U.S. would put astronauts in orbit around Mars by the mid-2030s, but budget cuts and sequestration have slowed the project down, if not killed it outright. Even if NASA gets the mission back on track, the agency has said it will only send humans to Mars if it can also bring them back—a maddening bit of bureaucratic circumspection for the crowd assembled in Washington, D.C. “The technology to get you back from Mars simply doesn’t exist,” Lansdorp said, stirring up his audience, and it may not exist even 20 years from now. “We need to do this with the stuff that we have today, and the only way we can do that is by going there to stay.”
The Altoona (Iowa) facility is the first in Facebook’s fleet to feature a building-wide network fabric – an entirely new way to do intra-data center networking the company’s infrastructure engineers have devised.
The social network is moving away from the approach of arranging servers into multiple massive compute clusters within a building and interconnecting them with each other. Altoona has a single network fabric whose scalability is limited only by the building’s physical size and power capacity.
Nearly 90% of those over age 65 say they want to remain at home as long as possible, and many companies are trying to make it easier–or more pleasant–for them to live on their own. This summer a small company called Stitch launched a simple social network for seniors seeking companionship, trying to eliminate the loneliness that can lead to poor health. The company employs identity checks and opt-in messaging to protect users from fraudsters who trawl sites like Match.com.
Other companies are trying to make virtual connections and checkups easier. In September, Boston-based Oscar Tech launched two apps. Grandma downloads one of them, Oscar Senior, onto a tablet, and it condenses her operating system into a few basic functions like making video calls, and her grandson downloads the other, Oscar Junior, which allows him to manage her device remotely. Bay Area startup True Link Financial is offering a replacement for Grandma’s checkbook, a common target of swindlers. Its Visa debit card allows an older person’s child or caregiver to set limitations or get text-message alerts about suspicious activities, such as a $1,000 payment to QVC or a hefty cash withdrawal.
The Messrs. Grose intend to outfit the microbrewery with stationary bikes wired to produce the energy needed to brew beer. They estimate that Joe Sixpack can pedal at a rate to produce two to three beers an hour. Customers can shed calories and save energy before kicking back to drink some of the beer they helped create.
Flavor houses not only tout the breadth of their offerings but their ability to produce them inexpensively and abundantly, without seasonal disruptions.
Synergy Flavors, an Illinois company that makes ingredients for ice cream, yogurt and other products, says its flavoring formulas currently number about 80,000, up sharply from around 13,000 in 2002. It has about 1,000 banana flavors alone, ranging from “green banana” to “banana foster.” On a recent afternoon, its employees wearing white lab coats were testing a French-toast flavoring for vanilla ice cream.
People have relied for millennia on salt and spices to flavor and preserve their food. But the use of modern chemistry to enhance food really took off during World War II, as the government sought to make meals tastier, less perishable and more nutritious for fighting men overseas.
WSJ with nice interactive axis of common additives in foods
Philae has successfully landed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and reported back to European Space Agency Mission Control. The team in Darmstadt, Germany broke into applause when they started receiving data.
The Philae lander sent back telemetry information that confirmed it was on the surface, which was relayed from the overhead Rosetta spacecraft to Earth. The signal takes a bit more than 20 minutes to travel from Rosetta to Earth, a distance of 316 million miles.
For the last month or so, an army of editors, proof readers, indexers, graphic designers and digital artists have been polishing my book on the SAP economy. This is my fourth book, and it’s the first time I have got to work closely with many of these creative artists. It feels good to support them as they continue to hone their craft.
The schedule calls for media review copies to be sent out Thanksgiving week, eBooks to be available on Amazon in mid December, and hard copies in January.
From book being largely written to eBook availability that is roughly 75 days. That compares very well to the 200+ days it took Wiley to make available my first book, The New Polymath. The economics of book publishing are also moving more in favor of the author (so it appears – I will know in a few months once I tally the income statement for this book). All this would suggest a promising environment for that creative community.
Having said that 75 days is still too long. With blogging technology we have seen how quickly content can be created and distributed. I have impatient, digital readers like Dennis Howlett who keep asking why it takes so long. Part of the challenge is business books still sell in bulk as hard copies. The laws of physics in that channel make the prep a parallel rather than a serial task and it also slows down the eBook process. And let me take the blame too for scope creep. The book was originally supposed to be a 150 page eBook only production. Now it is a 300+ page eBook, soft cover and hardcopy deliverable. I owe it to the 25 powerful case studies I have lined up to add the extra ink.
But Dennis is correct. In our fail-faster, agile world, authors and the creative community around them have to get faster. For the next book, I hope I can shrink the 75 days down to 30.
The inventor behind RocketSkates has endeavored to sidestep the Segway’s flaws while revisiting its basic idea, with battery-powered, motorized roller skates. Peter Treadway, the Los Angeles-based designer, came up with something that’s fairly unobtrusive, relatively affordable, and not painfully dorky. You strap RocketSkates onto regular flat-soled shoes before floating down the street at 10 mph. Acton, Treadway’s startup, bills the skates as the “world’s first smart wearable transportation.”
On many planes you notice the seats are newer - many are from Recaro, a German seat maker.
Airlines like them so they can pack in more seats, and they are lighter – another feature they like. Many passengers complain the padding is too thin. Personally, I like it if they turn into more leg space, which they do in some of the configruations.
As America’s retailers struggle to keep up with online shopping, the Internet is starting to settle into some of the very spaces where brick-and-mortar customers used to shop. The shift brings welcome tenants to some abandoned stretches of the suburban landscape, though it doesn’t replace all the jobs and sales-tax revenue that local communities lost when stores left the building.
Venyu Solutions LLC, a data-center operator that is renovating the former department store in Jackson, sees more opportunity for conversion because of sheer amount of distressed retail properties. “Who else wants them?” said Brian Vandegrift, the company’s executive vice president of sales. “You’re not competing with people in substantial businesses who want those spaces.”
An electroencephalogram headset that measures the brain activity of dogs and interprets it with proprietary software to determine the relative strength of their likes and dislikes. It was designed to supplement the pet industry’s market research.
The biggest improvement is the screen—it displays text at 265 dots per inch (dpi), compared with the Kindle Paperwhite's 212 dpi or the Nook SimpleTouch's 167 dpi. While the differences between the numbers may seem relatively inconsequential, the Aura HD's higher resolution makes text markedly sharper. The screen is slightly larger, too: 6.8 inches diagonal instead of the 6 inches that are standard today—a subtle increase that fits considerably more words on each page.
The Aura HD also offers unprecedented control over how text is displayed. While many people may be content reading 12-point Helvetica, bibliophiles will appreciate the ability to fine-tune font weight, line-spacing and even the sharpness of each character. The Aura HD has other best-in-class features, like remarkably even lighting (the illumination of the lighted Kindle and Nook models is splotchy, by comparison) and, thanks to a zippy 1-GHz processor, faster page-turns and a more responsive touch-screen.
PlaySight is also the only service that tracks the speed of each shot, its height over the net and its depth. A software update scheduled for later this year will allow the system to track a ball’s revolutions per minute. In theory, that means players will be able to compare different rackets and even string patterns to see how they affect spin.
Of course, just because players have access to PlaySight’s intel doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly be dropping 120-mile-per-hour (193-kilometer-per-hour) serves into the corners of the service box.
“But when you can see where the ball lands,” Bloom says, “you can work on your weaknesses and try to increase your percentages. One of the most-boring aspects of practice becomes fun.”
The future of K-12 education is arriving fast, and it looks a lot like Mr. G’s classroom in the northern foothills of California’s wine country. Last year, President Obama announced a federal effort to get a laptop, tablet or smartphone into the hands of every student in every school in the U.S. and to pipe in enough bandwidth to get all 49.8 million American kids online simultaneously by 2017. Bulky textbooks will be replaced by flat screens. Worksheets will be stored in the cloud, not clunky Trapper Keepers. The Dewey decimal system will give way to Google. “This one is a big, big deal,” says Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
That’s why Perko is building a central command center to preserve his company’s institutional knowledge. The idea? Assemble that brain trust of gray-haired experts to help, with the aid of technology, less experienced employees in the field. The younger workers wear special safety glasses equipped with a camera, microphone, speaker, detachable flash drive, and wireless antenna. Through a Bluetooth connection to their phone, the fieldworkers transmit a live video feed of their actions back to the command center. A veteran watches and gives further instruction.
The “smart” safety glasses, made by a Nashville startup called XOEye Technologies, are a “game-changer,” Perko says. Problems get fixed faster, the younger workers learn faster, and reports can be sent to clients to verify that a job has been completed. Pleased with the results of a pilot, Perko plans to expand his use of the $499 glasses and potentially put them on the faces of 300 of his 800 employees.
Gillis now runs Bracket Computing, a startup that on Oct. 22 unveiled software designed to make public clouds secure enough for sensitive corporate data. Essentially, Bracket’s software wraps a company’s business applications in a bubble of encryption without making the applications harder to manage. “If we demonstrate that the public cloud is every bit as good, why would anyone build another data center?” says Gillis.
Security software is typically designed to protect a particular application or type of data. Bracket encrypts everything before it gets to the cloud servers, leaving the customer with the only key to decrypt it. Its setup also seeks to simplify how IT is managed.
That’s one reason Krzanich is haunting maker faires and tinkering at home after work. He’s looking for the Next Big Thing in tech and taking a kitchen-sink approach, putting Intel chips into data-driven devices that fall under the banner “Internet of Things.” “We missed the impact of how big tablets are going to be. Shame on us for that,” says Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith. “Now we’re off looking—even before we know if a market is going to form.” Early Intel-driven products on the market include a wheelchair, endorsed by physicist Stephen Hawking, that collects biometric data about the user; a cloud-connected scale that can also measure body fat; and a PepsiCo-branded fountain machine that can concoct custom soda flavors.
The Microsoft Health platform includes a cloud service for consumers and the industry to store and combine health and fitness data to create powerful insights. Microsoft Health will be available for consumers from the new Microsoft Health app which launches today on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Also launching today is the Microsoft Band, a smart band designed for Microsoft Health, for people who want to live healthier and be more productive.
First, let’s talk about how Microsoft Health will make tracking personal fitness easier, more insightful and more holistic. Microsoft Health will unite data from different health and fitness devices and services in a single, secure location. Once stored in Microsoft Health, you can combine the data you generate from different devices and services – steps, calories, heart rate and more – to receive powerful insights from our Intelligence Engine.
“Whether it’s Tesla, or SpaceX taking Ethernet cables and running them inside of rocket ships, you are talking about combining the old-world science of manufacturing with low-cost, consumer-grade technology. You put these things together, and they morph into something we have never seen.”
Fadell’s company, Nest Labs, took thermostats and smoke detectors and outfitted them with software, sensors, and wireless communications. Google acquired it for $3.2 billion in cash, seeing a chance to rethink home gadgets. A handful of startups are blending software and hardware in DNA sequencers and body scanners and building coordinated armies of tiny satellites that can act as reprogrammable eyes in the sky.
Coca-Cola South Africa has partnered with bottler Coca-Cola Fortune and communications company BT Global Services to provide underserved South African communities with free Wi-Fi ... which will be built into Coke vending machines.
Initially, the Wi-Fi will be available at machines located in two outlets – the Sasol Integrated Energy Centre in the village of Qunu in the country's Eastern Cape province; and the Thokozane Fast Food store, in the city of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga province. Both locations are reportedly near schools and shopping centers, and are popular with locals.
GM is partnering with AT&Tto provide 4G LTE service through its Onstar subsidiary. Because it’s embedded into Onstar’s high-powered antenna and operates any time the car is on, you’ll get a more robust 4G connection in and around the car without draining a mobile device’s battery. Passengers can connect as many as seven devices to the car, making it faster and easier to surf the Web, stream live video, or get improved access to Onstar services like vehicle diagnostics and remote vehicle access. A stronger data connection opens up all kinds of new possibilities for enhanced digital services, which could provide a nice additional revenue stream for GM and Onstar.
Like Google or Xerox, “GoPro” is one of those branded proper nouns that has been so successful that it has become a verb. With 6,000 or more new tagged videos uploaded to YouTube each day, GoPro-ing is now a legitimate phenomenon. The cameras are sturdy, cheap and small enough to sit in the palm of your hand; they can be attached to almost anything, from a surfboard to a tripod to a recalcitrant labrador. They are easy to use and produce remarkably high-quality video, which you can post online right away. To Hennessy’s disappointment, though, that formula was not enough to gain the pair’s films any online traction.
My friend David Terrar is hosting what is shaping up to be a star-studded event on social collaboration and digital technologies at the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences in London on November 26. Confirmed speakers are Mara Tolja of Deutsche Bank Celine Schillinger of Sanofi Pasteur, Bonnie Cheuk of Euroclear and Luis Garza of CEMEX among others.
He’s also planning an “unconference” on 27th. If you are anywhere near London those days, this should be on your agenda. It’s Thanksgiving weekend and we are expecting visitors, otherwise I would fly there. The Academy at the corner of St. James’ Park is a great setting.
Under the plan, all these services will be accessed through a single online platform. People will be able to buy their transport in service packages that work like mobile phone tariffs: either as a complete monthly deal or pay as you go options based on individual usage. Any number of companies can use the platform to offer transport packages, and if users find their travel needs change, they'll be able to switch packages or moved to a rival with a better deal.
It sounds like part Google Maps, part City Mapper, part Boris Bikes, part Uber, and part capitalist free for all — but the Helsinki vision isn't as farfetched as it might sound.
The inspiration behind an initiative that would send many cityplanners running for the hills comes from a master's thesis by transport engineer Sonja Heikkilä. Commissioned by the Helsinki City Planning Department, Heikkilä's thesis argued young people's changing attitudes towards cars, coupled with the growing functionality and takeup of mobile technology, could transform the way people get around the capital.
Personally I despise hubs and changing planes, but you have to admire the algorithms and Big Data of gate, flight, passenger, crew, ground staff. weather and other information that is going into this “peak scheduling”
“Peak scheduling packs planes better because it creates more possible itineraries. Under American's old schedule, a flight from Columbus, Ohio, to Miami might have had 20 possible connecting flights. After the Aug. 19 re-peaking it may have 45. That means more bookings on the Columbus flight, and more people on the connecting flights.
In Miami on a typical weekday, 42 flights depart between 9 and 10 a.m. Then between 10 and 11 a.m., only a handful are scheduled to take off. The process repeats during the day with 10 "banks" of flights that fill about 45 gates at a time.”
To be precise, Dr Rubenstein’s ’bot swarm (above) has 1,024 members (210 being a conveniently binary number), known apparently without irony as kilobots. Each is a rigid-legged tripod that moves around by vibrating. Kilobots communicate with infra-red light, which can reflect off the table Dr Rubenstein uses for his experiments, and are programmed with three types of behaviour.
One is edge-following, which allows a ’bot move along the edge of a cluster. The second is gradient-formation, which lets it know how many other ’bots a signal has been relayed through, and thus gives it information about the location of these ’bots and the shape of the cluster it is in. The third is localisation, which means it can agree a system of co-ordinates with its neighbours, so that they can measure distances between themselves.
The machine, equivalent to a human food critic, is composed of an electronic nose made with 16 gas sensors and an electronic tongue made to detect sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (meat or savory) flavors.
The second robot is called ESenS according to the same report. It’s a smart application on Android, the size of a printer, that uses micro-sensors to compare samples to an existing database of recipes.
It took Chongsrid's team about a year to develop the two robots. He told ABC News the team hoped to develop at least 100 or more.
So far, samples can be compared to 11 recipes approved by the Thai government and its “Thai Delicious Committee”.
Summer vacation is over for students at Houston's A+ Unlimited Potential school, but they won't be stuck in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom all day. Instead, the middle school's students will have class in places such as coffee shops, tapping into free wireless networks to collaboratively edit texts, or visit city parks to photograph wildflowers before researching them online. They will spend roughly half their time out and about, and the rest at a rented space in the heart of Houston's Museum District.”
It’s about time – introduced with the new iPad Air 2
“The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you—with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.”
Actually, UPS delivery staff have had it with their DIAD (their Honeywell device) - on the fly switching between GSM and CDMA networks, leading to improved network coverage and lower costs from standardized device provisioning and deployment – for years now
The difference from past generations of educational software–think programs that teach typing or basic math–is that these apps feel like games, not homework. More than 18 million people have downloaded Lumosity, a puzzle program created by neuroscientists in collaboration with game designers, since it launched last year. Duolingo, an app that teaches foreign languages, grants users experience points and badges as they learn new grammar skills, much as console titles like Call of Duty do. And Codecademy teaches the basics of computer programming in short tutorials.
Algorithmia is a marketplace where companies can buy small pieces of code or whole programs created by academics, ranging from language-recognition functions to analytics for Web traffic or predicting user purchases.
The company (Xiaomi), founded only four years ago, hopes to sell 60 million handsets this year, up from 18 million last year. Next year’s target, according to Bloomberg News, is 100 million phones. In the first quarter of this year, Xiaomi was the third-largest smartphone vendor in China and sixth-largest globally, according to research firm Canalys.
Pindrop analyzes phone calls for call center workers to determine whether the people on the other end are trying to defraud the company. The software quickly pinpoints a call’s city of origin without tracing it.
Deep in the bowels of the Stata Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus is an energy war room.
A row of flat-screen monitors lines one wall, showing exhaustive data on energy use in dozens of buildings across the campus. Buildings are displayed in colors that depend on their overall energy use. If a building is red, that indicates an energy leak in one of its lighting, climate-control or ventilation systems, or a water leak. The system, using software from KGS Buildings LLC, can also predict where problems will crop up.
"It makes us more efficient, because we know what to look for," says Balby Etienne, an MIT buildings-systems analyst. He also credits the software for a big drop in temperature and humidity complaints.
Sports science is becoming increasingly sophisticated. AtSeattle Sounders FC, (an MLS team) David Tenney the team’s fitness coach explains how its use of wearable technology, GPS data and data from triangulated video shoots are used to build fitness profiles that are visualized in Tableau and then used to optimize training and fitness plans for the star players.
A 24-inch tablet sounds like an oxymoron. "That's basically an iMac," several people have told me in unrelated instances. Except that it runs Android, and has a 1080p high-def capacitive touch screen capable of registering 15 simultaneous finger taps, and a built-in battery. Not that the battery will last more than a half-hour, but it's enough to get this 13-pound monster from room to room without having to reboot everything.
A huge tablet changes the playing dynamic entirely. The kids play well together when it comes to Lego or puzzles, but they have never been known to share a tablet, except maybe to stare dumbly at it while a movie was playing.
Deutsche Post DHL AG said it would use a drone to deliver medication to a German island in the North Sea, marking the first routine drone delivery to customers and another step in the rapid advancement of the technology.
DHL's plans follow those of Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. which have each tested their own delivery drones. Those U.S. Internet companies have said the routine deployment of the devices is years away—in part because of regulatory challenges—but DHL is hoping to demonstrate that the technology is ready for some real-world applications.
As HRTech gets underway in Las Vegas, nice coverage of interesting new HCM products in HR Executive Magazine (sub required)
“Dare we say the Great Recovery is fully here? It certainly appears that way, considering the healthy number of recruiting products we received in this year’s Top HR Products contest. As you’ll see in the following write-ups of our 10 winners for 2014, many are recruiting-focused or at least recruiting-related, which suggests companies are once again looking to hire and vendors are entering the marketplace in full force to help them. Several winners reflect other key trends/needs in the employer community as well, such as the need to make sense of and properly navigate the Affordable Care Act, and the importance of utilizing the latest capabilities and applications to enhance social communication and learning as a means of keeping employees engaged, retained and productive.”
Video of one of the products in article – HireVue Insights