A few weeks ago, Ishac Bertran wanted to pluck some articles from his web browser and slip them into his Kindle to read later (and more comfortably), but he was so daunted by the labyrinthine process of transferring data, he decided to skip it...
NPR reported this morning on a traffic jam in California caused by an algorithmic glitch “accidentally summon[ing] 1,200 people to jury duty on the same morning”. An excellent reminder of the tendency of algorithmic dysfunction to manifest as physical dysfunction, and (at a relatively small scale) of the potentially disproportionate impact of glitches when they are translated from dataspace into an infrastructural system. The glitch may be as simple as having accidentally swapped the 0 indicating “do not come in” for the 1 indicating “come in”, but the resulting jam is rendered in aluminum autobodies and on asphalt corridors where it is much more difficult to clear than it was to create.
A Silicon Valley startup wants to give you the power to “scan your world” with a handheld scanner that rapidly creates 3D maps of objects and rooms, complete with colors and textures. While it may seem like you’d have to have a steady hand and move slowly through a room to scan it, a demo video of the device from MatterPort implies that the 3D maps can be generated by simply passing it through the space, sort of like virtually painting a room. Just imagine you’re using a squeegee and you get the idea. In one of its promotional videos, the startup even claims, “MatterPort does for 3D modeling what photography did for painting.” According to co-founder Mike Beebe, the device is 20 times faster than other 3D scanners on the market.
PITTSBURGH—A vibrating steering wheel is an effective way to keep a driver's eyes safely on the road by providing an additional means to convey directions from a car's navigation system, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs have...
Perch Interactive is a four-person firm developing a new kind of interactive projection display for retail environments.
Imagine coming across a shoe lit up by one of Perch’s displays, as shown in the video above. You could press buttons around the shoe to learn more about it: to see what other colors it’s available in, for instance, or to see how it could be styled. When you lift it from the counter, details about the brand, model and price appear. Perch records your interactions with the display and submits it to the retailer, which the retailer could use to improve its system.
Schiffman admits Perch is not the first company to develop this kind of technology — indeed, Schiffman has been working on similar projects at Potion, the interaction design firm he cofounded in New York, for years. Those projects were primarily one-off, customized solutions for institutional clients, however. Potion is building a hardware and software platform that will open this kind of technology up to a much broader range of retailers, he says.
Imagine a refrigerated cabinet or vending machine able to communicate its state, announcing if it is powered on, at the right temperature, well stocked, with the right product mix, at the right location, how shoppers interact with it, if it is due for routine maintenance and so on.
Now imagine millions of such machines worldwide, adding up to a sizeable business for a company. Imagine each machine offering shoppers the ability to pay for the product in multiple smart ways through other devices (smart phones, smart cards, touch screen, etc). Imagine the enterprise being able to remotely and dynamically tune the machine with advertising, pricing, promotions, bundling, language and currency. Imagine the machine tailoring an offer to a shopper that it recognizes as a loyal customer (if the shopper allows it).
First, North America. Nothing could be more North American than a cyborg. As Mark Seltzer remarks in his article on American male bodies, "The Love Master":
It might be argued that nothing typifies the American sense of identity more than the love of nature (nature's nation) except perhaps its love of technology (made in America). It is this double discourse of the natural and the technological that...makes up the American "Body-Machine" complex. (1990, p. 141)
As mentioned already on this site and others, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed British mathematician Alan Turing.The outline of his remarkable life and sad ending has by now…...
Filmmakers have long tried to use the web to promote their movies and now some of Hollywood's brightest minds have started to embrace new online methods of crafting creative ways to tell entirely new types of story.
GeckoSystems has recently been working on the release of their new CareBot personal assistance robot, which helps elderly in Japan with most of their daily tasks. Japan recently hit 47,756 in their population of elderly citizens 100 or older. According to GeckoSystems, their CareBot is set to bring safety and wellbeing to the elderly worldwide, relieving stress on the care giving family and government welfare institutions. Company officials said they have finished Alpha trials and are now testing in-home care settings. The company received enthusiastic support from both caregivers and care receivers.
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