On its surface, the idea behind Soli is similar to Leap Motion and other gesture-based controllers: A sensor tracks the movements of your hands, which control the input into a device. During a demo at the session Friday, Soli's founder, Ivan Poupyrev, showed how the sensor could recognize gestures and allow people to control functions of a smartwatch without touching a display.
But unlike other motion controllers, which depend on cameras, Soli is equipped with radar, which helps it "track sub-millimeter motions at high speed and accuracy," ATAP says. This helps keep Soli tiny — small enough to fit within a tiny chip that can be incorporated into wearables and other devices.
“We're a digital species now—nothing short of apocalypse will change that! The health of our digital society lies, therefore, in the broadest possible distribution of agency. Agency is circumscribed mainly by the UI—the machinery through which human intent is transduced into the machine. So designing and deploying radically more capable UIs is one of the most important things we can do today. At Oblong we built our belief about what this should look like into our mission statement: "to provision the world with new computing forms of durable value and genuine worth, forms profoundly capable, human, beautiful, and exhilarating."”
It is an ancient post now, but I had written The Best UI is no UI. One of the most interesting things to come out of Unit4’s analyst summit last week was its vision of “self-driving” ERP, their vision of machine learning and artificial intelligence driving the user interface.
“Like a self-driving car, self-driving ERP takes care of tasks that are better served by technology, leaving people to focus on the exceptions that need human intervention.
Self-driving ERP doesn’t ask the user to constantly enter data. It doesn’t require huge amounts of training in order for users to understand how to achieve desired outcomes. Self-driving ERP becomes an intelligent support and planning system that utilizes information from all sorts of internal and external sources including productivity tools (calendar, outlook, document systems, social tools) to drive cases,projects and initiatives and tasks. It delivers actionable insight based on what it already knows. The system will make suggestions based on company behavior, personal behavior, the weather, traffic and all other possible sources it pulls data from.”
Three things I like about Unit4’s vision
a) They are leveraging Microsoft’s machine learning advances (it’s a broader arrangement where MS Azure data centers will also provide the IaaS for Unit4’s public cloud) (click image to enlarge)
b) They have already considered several vertical scenarios for the people/services industries they are focusing on. Since the Microsoft arrangement is not exclusive, how vendors like Unit4 differentiate with it will be key
c) Not something they mentioned last week, but listening to Thomas Staven and Ton Dobbe of Unit4 discuss electronic documents in the Nordic public sector, I was reminded that in I had profiled a Swedish government customer of Agresso (now Unit4) in The New Polymath in 2010. The document exchange involved 85,000 suppliers and tens of millions of invoices. I was impressed at the digitization progress even back then. Think of the ability to train machines with that much data already digitized. Also exciting to see Unit4’s ability to take that experience to other parts of the world.
Sounds like a mystery novel, but now you can write in air. From Computerworld
“The gestural device goes on the index finger and can be used to write Japanese characters, Latin letters or numbers in midair. A linked smartphone or other Bluetooth mobile device with a Fujitsu app can instantly recognize numbers written with the ring with about 95 percent accuracy, according to developer Fujitsu Laboratories.”
When Amazon unveiled the Echo last year many didn't know quite what to make of it. A simple black cylinder that was an audio system and window into the web all wrapped up in one, and operated almost entirely by voice. Voice operation was hands-free as "Alexa" -- the name used to get the AI's attention -- was always listening for your command.
Major features added since launch of the Amazon Echo:
Addition of Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes for voice control
Voice control of smart home devices using WeMo including Philips Hue devces
Boeing’s (heavily) modified 767 will gradually replace the aging (some are 60 years old) KC-135 Stratotankers. Foxtrot Alpha has details on some of the newer refueling and other technologies in the tanker
“The KC-46A will feature innovative new technologies and capabilities. A three-point hose and drogue refueling system will be standard along with a fly-by-wire refueling boom. Omitted from the KC-46A design is the traditional 'boom pod' with its bay window and line-of-sight boom control station. Instead, the KC-46A will use a 3D video system fed to a refueling console for boom control.
The Pegasus will be equipped with a modern radar warning receiver and defensive countermeasure systems, along with a full glass cockpit and an advanced navigation system to comply with international standards. When it comes to lugging cargo around, the KC-46A far exceeds the KC-135 in every respect, with 18 palets being carried on a single mission. The Pegasus will also be more economical to operate considering the enhanced capability it provides over the Stratotanker. Other goodies include night-vision compatible lighting and future multi-mission capabilities via in the installation of plug-and-play consoles.”
Excellent article in FastCompany on Disney’s ambitious tech enabled tinkering of the UX at its flagship park in Orlando
“While most observers view Disney’s parks as kingdoms of escapism, Neal Gabler, in his definitive biography of Walt Disney, argues that their success actually derives from "crafting a better reality than the one outside," with a reassuring "control and order" where all is "harmonious." But in the ensuing weeks, working from a trailer behind Epcot, the founding five started digging into the problems that made the reality of Disney World something less than "harmonious." There were the endless lines for rides, food, and bathrooms; parents juggling maps, hotel keys, baby carriages, and bottles of SPF 75; and kids pulling families on long treks to try to visit every attraction. The park was filled with complications, such as a tiered ticketing system with wonky rules.
Given Disney World’s ticket prices, families felt obligated to "divide and conquer," says MacPhee. The team created diagrams illustrating how families, seeking to maximize their time, would crisscross Cinderella Castle, the center of the park, as often as 20 times a day. Worse yet: the swarms of people. On average, 8,000 to 10,000 guests flow through the park’s main entrance every hour. "On the surface, we had super happy guests, but in reality, we were making them go through so much hassle at the park that down the road, they would simply say, 'No más!' " says one former longtime Disney manager. As MacPhee, who has the look of a Division II offensive coordinator, admits, Disney World was on the verge of becoming "dangerously complex and transactional." The team soon presented its ideas to Rasulo. He gave them the go-ahead to rethink everything, including turnstile entrances and paper ticketing. That’s when the project got its code name, Next Generation Experience, or NGE. The founding five soon found themselves on a perpetual shuttle between Burbank and Orlando.”
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.”