A new SUV after 7 years, a new laptop after 3, and a new smartphone after 2, and especially when you see things from the eye of a technophobe wife, you realize how everything, even basic, humble things are rapidly evolving
The car clock has evolved to synch with the GPS and auto-adjust to daylight savings and time zones
The earbuds can screenprint to your photos
The speakerbox can speed-dial for you
The mouse has lost its tail and can walk even on rough surfaces
“When Google hosted a boot camp this month for its Android operating system, there were some new faces in the room: automakers.
They made the trip to learn about Android Auto, a dashboard system meant to let a smartphone power a car’s center screen. Tasks as varied as navigation, communicating, and playing music, apps all constantly talking to the cloud. And to the driver. A similar scene is playing out at Apple, where its rival CarPlay system was developed for iPhone users.”
“In coming months, dealerships across the country will begin selling vehicles capable of running Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or both.
The systems go far beyond current Bluetooth pairing for playing music or making hands-free calls and allow Google’s or Apple’s system to take over the center screen and certain buttons in the car.”
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.
Smell – the final frontier of sense when it comes to UX design
“For years, scientists assumed that humans could detect some 10,000 different scents. A recent study from Rockefeller University, however, suggests that our noses are far more sensitive than we ever thought. By creating odor mixtures in which some smells overlapped, then asking volunteers to pick out which ones didn’t, researchers determined that we can actually detect more than 1trillion smells.
Monell scientists work tirelessly to crack the code of these scents. Trimmer and her colleagues are trying to figure out what odors light up which combinations of receptors and how genes influence that process. She says they know the receptor combos for at least 40 odors. Less than a trillion to go.
In the hallway outside Monell’s molecular biology lab, industrial-size refrigerators are packed with tiny tubes containing the DNA of different types of olfactory receptors. Inside the lab itself, wooden shelves and cabinets bear fragrant chemical concoctions meant to stimulate the cells.”
The (N-trig integrated pen and touch) stylus has been redesigned so that you can click the top of it to launch OneNote, even when the Surface Pro 3 is powered off. When you write notes using OneNote you can then click the top of the stylus again, just like an ordinary pen, and it will sync those notes up to the cloud instantly so they're available elsewhere. OneNote will also bring in content from the web when you tap on the stylus, allowing you to turn anything into a note. It appears to be one of the main new advantages of the updated stylus and the Surface Pro 3.
“I'm floating toward the space station, the curvature of Earth visible below me. I'm pulled as if by tractor beam, but with enough time to turn and look behind, down, and dead ahead. My stomach churns. I feel like I might break off and drop into orbit any minute.
I'm in a desert warzone I can't identify. Camoflaged soldiers give a man in a truck passage. In a blink, small arms fire is resounding and orders are shouted between troops. I scan the buildings and alleys for the source while the soldiers move ahead, ducking between corners for shelter. I don't realize it's a drill until I see the safety-orange tips of their guns.
I'm at E3, the international gaming conference, being ferried through a crowd of strangers all bathed in the transluscent blue light of screens. I try to look across the scrum, tilting my head back and forth to peer over heads, hoping to make eye contact with myself. I was there, after all.
I take off the goggles strapped to my face and I'm in the meeting room of a New York office building, looking at the smiling, long-haired documentarian Danfung Dennis, whose latest footage I've just been previewing through the virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift.”
To try and out-do the iPhone's Siri and Android's Google Now, Microsoft interviewed real personal assistants about their jobs, and tried to replicate everything they do. What sort of requests they got from their bosses, and how they handled them.
From there, engineers created what they feel is the first real digital assistant. Siri was just a prelude.
So, when Lucas Westcoat, a senior Microsoft product manager showed off what Cortana (named after a character in the Halo video game) could do, the first task was asking her for a reminder to congratulate the wife on a great new job the next time we spoke. That would kick in, he said, when the next phone call, text or e-mail from her was generated.
Our goal at the Government Digital Service was to create one site and one user experience. And what that means is, if you schedule your driving test, that should be the same user experience as booking to go renew your passport. If you buy something, that should be the same all across the government. You shouldn’t have to learn how government works to be able to interact with government. You shouldn’t have to relearn how to do something every time you need to get something from government. Typically people visit government websites once or twice a year. We need to make it really simple and really obvious.
“As part of my research (for the Iron Man project), I wanted to interview two people: John Underkoffler [the chief scientist at computer interface company Oblong] and Elon. I thought it was really interesting that he literally had decided to become a rocket scientist. And although the similarities kind of end with a certain -- what would you say? -- just an amazing self-agency, you know, that I think Elon really embodies. I was looking to Underkoffler for straight technology [advice]. You remember in Minority Report, the character is wearing those gloves and moving the screens around? He and his company built that into a reality, so I was taking some cues from him: If Tony had designed his own software and his own programs and the machinery to operate them, what sort of language would he design to be able to manipulate his environment? And over the course of all these movies, that's been as much a part of Tony's character as anything else. The spirit of Elon was really inspiring to me because Tony goes from doing one thing so well and so successfully, and goes to do something that's a lot more risky and much more far reaching.”