Location Is Everywhere
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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon

Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
I've been reading a book called 'Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do' by Tom Vanderbilt, which resonates very well with me. Now I'm no petrol head, but I still like driving my car and it is still m...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It only takes a little pain to have people hop in their cars. A wet day, having to stand on a bus, or having to stand on the side of the road and watch the bus go by. Driving is part of our culture. We are how we move. Even in cities where driving is impractical, like Tokyo, I have friends who still own a car, almost a status symbol because of the costs of even parking your car. They go driving in the weekend and enjoy the countryside.

The most popular and profitable radio time, even today when so many people are connected to their smartphones for entertainment, is drive-time. Of course this is also when we get our critical traffic reports.

We don't even want to get out of our cars. An estimated 22% of ALL restaurant meals in America are ordered through the window of a car.

I really like the footer, that a pedestrian is someone who has just parked their car.

Just last night I was reading in the news that sales of new passenger cars in New Zealand have gone up in the first months of this year by 3.6% breaking a 26 year record. Sales of commercial vehicles for the first four months in this country are up 14% on the same period last year.

Still think more people are ditching their cars?

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To catch a texter: How Toronto-area police officers are using public transit to catch distracted drivers

To catch a texter: How Toronto-area police officers are using public transit to catch distracted drivers | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Passing drivers were probably not aware that a cop could be watching them from inside — effectively turning every bus into a police cruiser
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Creative policing. I love it! In Toronto Police Officers are cruising on buses and monitoring distracted drivers, particularly those driving and using mobile phones while they are driving to great success.

They have Police standing by in cars on the road and the cop on the bus simply calls them, identifies the car and what the driver was doing (blissfully unaware that anyone was watching them) and in 4 months they issued 107 distracted driving tickets. 

What's the big deal you may ask, it's not like they are hurting anyone? Here are some US stats for you:

1. In 2014 3,179 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. That's almost 10 a day!
2. In 2014 431,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
3. Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
4. At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.

What horrified me the most was highlighted by British research that I blogged about recently which extrapolated that roughly 2 million people would sit in a car where the driver was manually using and holding their phone would say nothing.  The 'It won't happen to me syndrome' is alive and well in the UK. Well maybe it isn't because people are dying because of something as inconsequential as a phone call. 

Next time you feel you need to pick up the phone and it can't even wait until you can pull over to the side of the road safely, think about those numbers above. Imagine over 400,000 people in a group, relate that to the number of people where you live. Now imagine their parents, partners, children, brothers and sisters, extended family, colleagues, the businesses they contribute to. Think about how you felt when a person in your family or someone close to you died or was seriously hurt or needlessly died. I know for me the pain and anguish was intense and it took a long time to get over the grief. 

Would you agree that a factor of 10 would be reasonable. So now imagine 4 million people seriously impacted in different ways and what consequences that has to their lives. That's just in one year, in one country. 

So is that quick text or phone call so important? Is it worth dieing, killing someone or hurting them for? If it isn't think again and I would love a comment saying that you had resisted the urge. 

When I found out I had prostate cancer, I encouraged 14 people including some I didn't even know, to get PSA tests. I wonder if I could convince people to not txt and drive or hold their phone to their ear and drive. We'll never know how many lives could be saved, but I'm positive there would be some.
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Shoe sensor adds dead-reckoning to GPS

Shoe sensor adds dead-reckoning to GPS | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Raytheon UK has developed a positioning and navigation system that adds 3D dead-reckoning to global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs, GPS for example),
Luigi Cappel's insight:
War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing. 

Frankie Goes to Hollywood didn't get it totally right. War gets organisations like DARPA and Raytheon amongst others to evolve new solutions that eventually benefit civilian society even if that was not the focus.

Using BMU (Boot Mounted Unit), combined with MEMS (Accelerometers, gyroscopes and a pressure sensor (that measures your altitude), connected to your mobile phone; this new system can identify exactly where the wearer is, not only outside, which you can do with reasonable accuracy via a cellphone anyway, but also indoors. It can tell where you are, what floor you're on and how you got there.

So when it's been fine tuned and brought into BAU in the theatre for the military, it will eventually get to a price point (or others will buy the Raytheon components if it doesn't infringe on military security, which I think would apply to the software, not the hardware), we will have access to something that can change people's lives.

Let's start with the obvious. People with dementia, autism, visual impairment, high risk illnesses like diabetes. Many have home alarm systems that work as far as the letter box. Their main benefit is if someone injures themselves at home, they can hit the panic button, instead of lying on the floor for 2 days like my grandmother who fell in the kitchen on a Saturday and was discovered with a broken hip by her help on Monday.

Combine systems like this with technologies like Sendero (navigation for the blind) or a call centre, at risk people can be located very quickly and accurately.

Then of course think about outdoor sports. How much time and money is invested in SAR, like the dozen kayakers who went missing during the Kaikoura Earthquake last month when the Clarence River had a 15 meter surge of water. They were all safely found by the way.

How many tramping and mountaineering incidents do we have every year, where dozens of specialists use helicopters and other expensive equipment to locate missing or hurt people. 

I wonder what it would cost to rent BMU's to mountaineers and trampers who are doing serious treks in mountains or ranges, complete with a service to monitor them if they are reported missing or aren't responding. They could share software with their support crew so they could see how they are performing, but again also locate them immediately if they fear there is an issue. This would be massive for people climbing in places like Mt Cook where there are hidden crevasses and other high risk potential.

There are many more uses, some might appear big brother like, but I could see value for lone field operators from Police and Ambulance through to field health nurses and probation officers. 

The only catch at the moment is that they have to be connected (I assume through Bluetooth) to a mobile phone. Lose the phone and you have dead reckoning to the time and location the phone lost its connection. The other issue is that phone's using location services don't have a long battery life, so 36 hours in the boot is only as good as the life of the battery in your phone.

As someone who is always trying out location based applications, I carry 2 mobiles, a big fat 10,400mAH charger and a couple of charging cables, often all connecting and bulging out of my pocket. In some countries I would expect suspicious looks from people. 

So barring the long awaited improvements in battery power, that makes this a great solution for people who have all their faculties, but less for people who are intellectually or physically disabled who may not be able to deal with the mobile phone element as well. This has been the same problem I have blogged about many times. Here are a few of them from one of my blogs https://solomoconsulting.wordpress.com/?s=tracking+people.

So once again a military problem will ultimately benefit the civilian world. I am sure that companies developing people tracking solutions will be looking very closely at this type of technology and finding ways to bring the same types of features to civilians who need help. 
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Woman drowns in flash flood after GPS error in Catalonia

Woman drowns in flash flood after GPS error in Catalonia | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A 20-year-old woman drowned in Sant Llorenç d'Hortons, a village 45 km inland from Barcelona, when she was swept away in a flash flood after GPS system directed her to cross the riverbed.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I get so frustrated when I read stories like this. Sure it helps in a tragedy to be able to blame someone or something. My sincere condolences to the family and friends this is a very sad story, but here are a few simple facts.

The GPS navigation is an electronic way-finding system, a digital map which through the use of satellites knows where you are; and where you are going because you told it. It is a computer that follows the programming you gave it, like 'use only main roads', 'take the fastest route', 'avoid toll roads' and so on.

A paper map wouldn't have known there was a flash flood, or how deep the riverbed was any more than a GPS would.

Many GPS Navigation systems today include real time travel information, but they require travel information services to identify unplanned events, understand the implications and provide warnings. 

The story says it all. It was a flash flood and the couple decided to drive through it. That was a very unfortunate decision, but unless there is something we are not being told, this was not a GPS error. It was a judgement call by humans. 

Just as an aside, I'd be really interested to know how a driverless car would have handled this situation. 
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Would you stop your driver using a phone at the wheel?

Would you stop your driver using a phone at the wheel? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

More than two million car passengers would do nothing if their driver used a hand-held phone whilst driving, according to new research for the AA Charitable Trust.

The trust today launche
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Yesterday I arrived in Paihia where I am presenting today to the National Road Carriers association. I parked in town for a look around and took up slightly more than a car park because the front of the park had a high curb and my Corvette sits pretty low. Which meant if I had parked exactly on the right space, I might not be able to get out of the car park.

A guy walked past and said "Do you realise you have taken up 2 car parks?" I looked back and realized I could go forward a bit more, so I agreed with him and went back and moved the car.  I clipped the curb when I left, but fortunately there was no damage to the car. The point is that a stranger made the effort to point out that the way I parked was unfair to other people. I respect that.

This article is about people using their phone, texting while driving and the scary fact that the AA Charitable Trust did some research that found that more than 2 million people, if they found themselves sitting in a car driven by someone who was also texting, would say nothing. Is that crazy or what? It's not just themselves they are putting at risk, it's you and potentially people in other cars.

As a songwriter and musician, I urge you to watch the awesome 10 minute video attached to this article. It tells a great story and I would also love it if you shared it with someone else, perhaps using the social media link buttons on the article.

Have an awesome and safe weekend.
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Why hundreds are killed in crashes in parking lots and garages every year

Why hundreds are killed in crashes in parking lots and garages every year | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Parking lot accidents and distracted drivers: How dangerous can a walk through the lot be?
Luigi Cappel's insight:
On average in the USA 50 people are killed and 60,000 people are injured in crashes in parking lots and garages each year. Does that seem nuts to you? Watch the video in the attached story and look at the survey numbers. 

It's all about the mobile phone and the great thing about mostly anonymous surveys is that people are happy to be honest. This is not the F-Wit fringe, it's US. It's ordinary everyday people. We are not on the road, we're typically on private property and not subject to road rules, we are not expecting traffic, so we feel it is OK to TXT, read and send emails and talk on the phone. More than half of all people polled for this article do it. Maybe we should think again. 

My passion is location based services and this is a bit on the fringe, but when you watch the attached video and the crashes on it (be warned, a woman died in one of them, although you can't see her) and think about the statistics, you might find it is worth thinking about.

I can visualise my morning drive into the carpark. The first thing I do is turn down the music, then I look for pedestrians, people going into and out of their car parks, cyclists and the guy who collects all the rubbish bins and tows them in a train to the collection point, people who are loading or unloading goods into their vehicles. It's a busy place.

So is every car park and I see a lot of near misses where people are looking for a park, and are so concentrated (there's that multi-tasking you say you are so good at) on finding that spot that you don't see a mother bending over to put her baby in a stroller or the toddler who didn't listen to Mum saying "stay here while I unlock the car". 

How many times do we hear local stories about people killing or injuring their own children in the own car park at home! I think I'll be investing in a reversing camera soon, but that could be mixed blessings because it assumes that the only risk is behind the car. I wonder if that feeling of safety could leave other sides of the vehicle even more exposed?

Would it hurt to get the TXTs, emails and calls sorted once you have parked, or before you leave the car park? I make calls in the car park, but the engine is off and its a great place to have a private conversation where people can't tap me on the shoulder and ask for just a minute of my time.

Having spoken at a national car park conference a few years ago, I spent some time in NZ and Australia looking at how people used them and also how they were designed for usability and it was really interesting. People fighting over car parks (sometimes literally) people scratching or denting cars and driving away quickly so they don't get caught, people who can't remember where they parked their cars, people driving over curbs and getting stuck and much more. 

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Vehicle GPS, phone data led police to girl

Vehicle GPS, phone data led police to girl | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
FLORENCE — Authorities said it was the technology inside the vehicle of a person reported missing Wednesday morning that enabled them to find the woman, who was injured and trapped
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Another great story about someone being rescued after she swerved to avoid a deer and ended up 30 feet down a ravine. It was 16 hours before they found her and her daughter.

Apparently their mobile 'died' in the crash but despite this they were able to re-charge it leading to their being located and rescued.

A few thoughts on this. 

1. Make sure your phone is fully charged even if that means carrying a backup battery charger. I have a large one that will provide 4 full charges to two devices of any type. It cost me $50 and ets used all the time.

2. Remember that car navigation and routing apps use a lot of battery as do games like Pokemon Go which is one of the worst apps I have ever used. You can save some battery by turning the Augmented Reality Feature off. Of course if you are using the map app while you are driving, plug it into your cigarette lighter charger so it is always fully charged.

Familiarise yourself with mapping  apps that can tell you where you are so you can share your location. In many cases this is one of the biggest problems. How do you rescue someone who doesn't know where they are.

Make sure location services are enabled on your phone, and that you know how to take a screen grab. 

The photos you take are geotagged. That means the time, date and location are captured. So now as long as you know how to email your photo or post it on social media, you can be found if you have an emergency.

These are all simple things but work them out in the comfort of your home so that they are second nature when you really need them.

There are also apps available, for example the NZ Automobile Association has  an app currently designed for accidents and breakdowns and it automatically records your location, one of the biggest tie wastes for them. 

A little preparation can save you a load of grief.
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Miss Kansas speaks to students about distracted driving

Miss Kansas speaks to students about distracted driving | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A picture may be worth a thousand words but a video can make a powerful impact and that's just what Miss Kansas Kendall Schoenekase used when she addressed the St. John High School and Middle School about the dangers of texting and driving on Nov. 8.
Schoenekase said part of her duties as Miss Kansas is sharing her platform message of not texting while driving. She thought that kind of an accident could never happen to her but two years ago, she was a passenger in a car with two of her girl
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is a great story, role models who have experienced the downside of crashes due to distracted driving can have a huge impact.

My late father-in-law was a laryngectomy. He had throat cancer. Like most people in the Air Force he was given his free cigarette rations and talking to other relatives in the Army, they learned to smoke as 'part of their military training. An uncle who spent 40+ years in the NZ Army learned to smoke on his way to Korea. He now has grey patches on his lungs, but  digress.

My father-in-law was President of the Lost Chord club, being there for people after they had their surgery and helping provide support for people with throat cancer. 

If you haven't seen a laryngectomy up close, basically he had a big hole in his neck that he had to relearn how to talk through using a special valve.

He visited many schools, told kids his story and how smoking tobacco was the self inflicted cause of his cancer, how he used to love to sing, but couldn't any more, but most of all he let kids look into his throat and see what the consequences were. He showed them how he had to learn to talk again from scratch and basically answered all questions openly and honestly.

He had hundreds of letters from children saying they would never smoke, as a consequence of him sharing with them. These are the real stories, the real people who make a difference and there are plenty of them.

In Vijay Dixit's Book, One Split Second he wrote about how, despite his feelings about people who caused crashes, injuries and deaths through distracted driving, he ended up helping a number of people work through what they had done to other people's lives , by getting them to share their stories with community groups, school children and others and how it helped rehabilitate them and also how it helped the families and friends of the victims. 

Hearing true raw stories from people who have been there, done that, the heartfelt emotion and raw pain that comes from being responsible for lifetime grief of victims (if they survived) and their families, is in my opinion a far better form of prevention than jail sentences and home detention. 
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Ex-top cop wants GPS trackers in every car

Ex-top cop wants GPS trackers in every car | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A PLAN to fit every new car with a GPS tracker would drastically cut crime, a former chief commissioner of Victoria Police says.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I'd love to see the concept of Future Melbourne and I also love the idea of a GPS in every car, the issue is how to pay for it.

Technically its easy, especially if there are sponsors or the city negotiates a deal so that people can purchase them at low cost.

I went to a Vodafone presentation in Auckland about 4 years ago where they demonstrated GPS tracking devices with SIM cards and a Smartphone Software Development Kit, the demonstration on the kit was about safe and green driving, with alerts (to the driver) if they were speeding, harsh braking, harsh cornering etc, just to show what you could do.

The concept is that you are not just getting the ability to locate your car, you would be getting a smartphone app with lots of cool features like where did I park my car? Where is my car that junior said he was taking to the milk bar and how come it is doing 70 in a 50km area miles away from where he is supposed to be? Reports on driving behaviour and the ability to compete for bragging rights, special offers from retailers and many  more features turn this into a valuable solution that will be fun to use..

I appreciate that Future Melbourne is taking a 10 year view, but this technology is available now. It would be really easy through sponsors and  competitions to get people to come up with features for an app that include gamification rewards for drivers. They don't have to be monetary. Imagine going for bragging rights as safest driver in Melbourne and every day knowing what the rank of your confidential avatar was. This concept has proven immensely popular with customers of fleet management companies such as eRoad.

The suggestion from Former Police Commissioner Kel Glare of doing OEM fits into new cars is a great idea but the average age of cars in Melbourne is just over 10 years, so that is how long it will take for this to have reached critical mass, when we could be benefiting from it now. 

Another factor is that in 10 years time it will probably be normal for all new cars to have GPS because of the push towards driverless cars and connected cars, so the value proposition to me is to fill the gap between now and 2026.

The other thing is that when a car manufacturer (and I don't know if there will be any in Australia in 10 years time or even 5 years time) is that they add about 300% to the cost of aftermarket features in cars. With the competitive nature of the industry it is now normal to seek profit out of optional extras. 

GPS devices connected to the ODB2 port of any car since 1989 (and statistics say there are unlikely to be many cars older than that i Melbourne and GPS devices can be installed by any auto-electrician quickly and cheaply on most models of vehicles.

So that means Melbourne drivers could benefit from that technology as quickly as they can:

1. Negotiate with Vodafone Germany or one of many other suppliers for bulk purchases of devices. I'm sure they are still looking for large scale proof of concept opportunities. 

2. Run a hackathon or source an application set that people will love to use (probably because of features such as reducing theft, increasing safety, alerting drivers when they are speeding, special deals from retailers, reminding drivers when their rego is due and gamification and bragging rights when people perform the best. You could have the best driver in each suburb and King of the Road in Melbourne for the city. This platform would obviously stay exciting with the addition of new features such as finding points of interest or empty spaces in car parks.

3. Subsidies  to the cost of the devices could get the cost to almost zero. Consider who would benefit:

A. RACV could identify the location of broken down vehicles, warn driver members that their battery is about to go flat or  are about to run out of petrol and with older cars, while securely identifying members, remotely unlock cars where they keys have been locked in, without the cost of a call out.

B. With people focused on safer and greener driving, insurance companies would be paying out on fewer crashes as there would be less of them and the impact would be less. They could offer discounts or other value to people who are the safest drivers.

C. Police will be able to close cases more quickly, and more safely.

D. Many companies such a petrol companies would love to know traffic densities and where people travel with a view to where to locate their businesses and could even offer deals and incentives to vehicles that hadn't shopped with their brand for some time, through the associated mobile phone app.

A smart campaign could see a solution like this be almost cost neutral to end users and very high adoption mostly limited by availability of stock. Given that most 'smart' cities are talking about these ideas but haven't committed to them there is also the potential to be first which will be attractive not only for prestige of the city, but also as a case study for the manufacturers and developers. 

This technology isn't new, it isn't expensive, it just hasn't been a priority for anyone other than freight and distribution companies and people who want to protect their favorite car. It's a no brainer and  a relatively simple project to develop and manage.

I wish it was a New Zealand city (and it's not too late) but the first city in the world to do this would risk becoming one of the safest cities in the world in terms of driving, accidents and injuries, reduction in crime and fast resolution, safer in terms of reduction in recidivist crimes, smarter and safer drivers and improved road network performance. 

The craziest thing is that this could be not only cheap, but also enduring. Maybe while Melbourne is working on their 10 year plan a New Zealand city could work on a two year plan. What do you think? 
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Don't be a slave to GPS, Phu Thap Boek visitors told

Don't be a slave to GPS, Phu Thap Boek visitors told | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Some routes too dangerous for visitors unfamiliar with conditions
Luigi Cappel's insight:
People continue to blindly follow GPS instructions irrespective of what they see through the windscreen. #TheGPSMadeMeDoIt remains a common catch cry.

I often hear people say that humankind is becoming dumber because of our reliance on technology and I take a semi defensive stance as an avid geek, that this isn't true. But maybe it isn't true for me because I grew up with the technology, I learned how to program in Basic and I learned how to work smarter rather than harder using it technology, back to the day when I had a TV on my desk with a dot matrix printer, a Panasonic Cassette Player and database software. 

Now I'm not claiming I'm on top of it all. My work email receives no less than an email every 6 minutes. It doesn't stop at home either, I just choose to be selective as to whether I will look at it or not and half the time I'm asleep between 7:30 and 9 anyway. I don't think I am as smart at time management as I was when I wrote Unleashing the Road Warrior http://www.mind-like-water.com/ebook_catalog/profiles/cappel.html ;

When I look at youth today, many of whom stop reading books when they leave school and are connected (if they are allowed) 24:7 by their ubiquitous and omnipotent smartphones and tablets. When I look at the development of Augmented Reality (think Pokemon Go) and Virtual Reality Headsets, which will be high on the Santa list this Christmas, I wonder if our brains are changing and our ability to solve problems without resorting to Google may be reducing. In fact virtual life might become preferable to many than real life. 

If we start relying on Artificial Intelligence to solve problems and design new environments (think Deep Learning https://www.technologyreview.com/s/513696/deep-learning/) we may start to lose the ability to solve problems for ourselves. 

So back to the GPS nav story. Our expectations from apps are that they know what they are doing and are always right. But they are only as good as the data provided and in many cases good is a relative term. Whether it is a road in Thailand that is unsuitable for most vehicles or a road in England that is so narrow that lorries get jammed between the houses. It's not a small problem.

It's easy to blame the mapping companies, but they have to make a living too and as I said in a blog earlier this week, car navigation systems are not currently designed for trucks and Fleet Management systems are not designed to navigate although some of them might optimize routes and do have information in some countries on which highways or roads are suitable for heavy or large dimension vehicles.

In many parts of Asia, economies of scale have made it unattractive for the global mapping companies to map the roads to navigation quality and this is frequently left to data from councils or developed by companies who don't have LiDAR, Ultrasound, HD Cameras and all the other sensors and processing capability to provide quality information. 

The advice in the article is good advice. Do your research before you leave and of course consider traffic and unplanned events as well. For example, we are dealing with a couple of massive earthquakes in New Zealand right now. Information is provided to navigation systems regarding road closures if they feature real time traffic, but a lot of the areas affected currently don't have mobile coverage required to get the information to the phone or navigation device. 

As someone I know loves to tell me, technology doesn't solve people problems and people who drive into canals, rivers etc when they can clearly see that something doesn't look right through the windscreen are the problem, not the technology.
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KORE Position Logic Powers GPS SmartSole Solution for Patients and Caregivers

KORE, the people powering IoT innovations and opportunities, today announced that the company will integrate GTX Corp’s , GPS SmartSole® into the Position Logic platform.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I just finished commenting on a new product designed for people with dementia that I felt was way off the mark. 

A GPS SmartSole sounds like a lot more logical solution. It would appear to be similar technology to that used by Nike and others to track progress for runners, but in this case also includes a SIM card for communications (therefore not requiring a Smartphone, which most elderly people would not own), so it is not a radical new technology, but a very smart evolution into a new market.

The one thing missing from the story is how the battery in the shoe is charged. People with dementia are not going to be running or using a lot of energy, so kinetic charging isn't an option. Getting caregivers to remember to plug the two insoles into the wall to charge is not going to happen, so the only solution I can see is a charging mat. 

This technology is not cheap yet, but it is much more expensive finding missing people. let alone the health risks. Having a mat to place the shoes on overnight would seem to be the perfect solution. They should have enough charge for 24 hours and if they are charged for several hours each night, should always be ready for a day's activities. 
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Helios and Matheson Analytics and Zone Technologies, Maker of RedZone Map, Close Merger

Helios and Matheson Analytics and Zone Technologies, Maker of RedZone Map, Close Merger | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Press Release Helios and Matheson Analytics (NASDAQ: HMNY) and Zone Technologies, Inc. (Zone), maker of the RedZone Map crime and navigation map, today announced the closing of their merger, whereby Zone survives the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary…
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I first talked about the free RedZone Map app in my book Buying a House - Using Real Estate Apps, Maps and Location Based Services which is available on Kindle for less than $7 this week! http://amzn.to/2dH26D4

Imagine buying a house and finding out that it is in an area where there are frequent burglaries, or perhaps a lot of drug crime arrests. As I mentioned in the book, our first house, which we bought because it was all we could afford, where our 2 beautiful daughters were born, was next door to a family with gang affiliations. We were burgled, we frequently had glue/solvent bags thrown over the fence for our toddlers to discover.

I was traveling on average 4 months of the year on business and the final straw was when at one end of our street an elderly woman was raped and murdered by a teenager and at the other end of the street there was a road rage incident where a motorist blocked off a car, dragged the driver onto the road where he assaulted him brutally, and then ran him over multiple times until he was dead. 

We moved. Wouldn't you like to know details about an area before you consider living there? RedZone is only available in the USA and in many countries Police do not provide geospatial information about crimes to the public. There are similar applications in some other countries including Great Britain and the Netherlands and more are mentioned in the book.

Of course it's not just about where you live, it's about where you go. On my first visit to Manhattan, I was given a map at reception and told, "The shaded areas are where you do not go after dark". This was unfortunate because it was a very cold winter that January and it got dark pretty early. The shaded areas included music clubs I wanted to visit and cab drivers would take you there but not pick you up late in the evening. Many cab drivers had been killed there.

In Rotterdam a location based smartphone game randomly got people to get on and off buses, make random turns in order to have fun exploring the city. They didn't count on the fact that the random nature might lead people into dangerous parts of the city.

I got chased by a bunch of youths on the outskirts of Las Vegas when I explored too far from the world of bright lights and security guards and ran like mad to the nearest store, which had a security guard on duty. I pointed them out to him where they were waiting outside the window and he told me to just wait inside for a while. After about 15 minutes they lost interest and looked for a new mark.

Let's face it, the world is bigger and not as safe as it used to be. There are still places where you can go out and leave your door unlocked but they are becoming fewer and farther between. 

If you are looking at moving house you might want to check out my Kindle book. If you are going to a new city or part of town, the realtor isn't going to tell you about the crime wave and that it isn't safe for your kids to play outside. They want to close the sale.

If not, see if there are similar apps to RedZone where you live, or where you might go for a holiday, or even just a part of the city you don't know and enjoy a safer journey.
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Dad builds Arduino GPS unicorn horns to keep track of his kids - htxt.africa

Dad builds Arduino GPS unicorn horns to keep track of his kids - htxt.africa | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
If you need to keep tabs on your young kids, why not do it with an Arduino disguised as a unicorn horn?
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Now this is the sort of thing they should be teaching at school and university. Massey University in Auckland ran a JavaScript course based on a Location Based Services innovation competition I instigated several years ago. I don't know if it is still going, but it really got people thinking about what you can do with technology today and was one of the first examples of systems for guiding your public transport journey, right down to how fast and which direction you need to walk in order to be at the bus stop at the same time as the bus and that there was a milk bar over the road, where you could get a coffee and newspaper if you walked a little faster..

Unfortunately Halloween is the only time you might get away with your kids being prepared to wear a unicorn horn, but this shows great agile thinking as does the use of a 3D printer to construct it and of course it doesn't require a unicorn horn to work:)

Arduino boards are a dime a dozen and this developer not only made this device to track his children during the trick or treating, but also created a full free tutorial including all the code so that you can replicate this technology and try it for yourself. 

It makes you wonder how much more genuinely helpful technology either could be built at low cost if we gave people the skills to and encourage them to use it, or that like this one can be shared, such that the need is more for motivation than skill.

So for those of you who have young children, who wouldn't like to know where they and that they are safe? 

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States -- that's roughly 2,000 per day. Of those, there are 115 child "stranger abduction" cases each year, which means the child was taken by an unknown person. 

So do you think this low cost idea could be useful?
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Trusted Contacts app from Google tracks friends with GPS - SlashGear

Trusted Contacts app from Google tracks friends with GPS - SlashGear | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Google is launching a new app called Trusted Contacts today, and it's aimed toward making sure you're never truly alone - especially in dangerous situations.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Does Google have ears, if yes, they must be burning, actually I hope not, because there has to be an undercurrent of Google as your trusted solution provider, wanting to know where you are so they can be of assistance.

Of course they don't care about you specifically, they care about a billion or so people where they can clip the ticket on services or goods supplied through their environment. I'm not being facetious, but there is no such thing as a free lunch.

I haven't seen it yet and a couple of features I'd like to see are an SOS button and the ability to live stream in an emergency, keeping in mind the cost on the battery. 

There have been similar apps before and thinking about what makes Google different it becomes immediately obvious. First they have scale and reach. Half or more smartphones use their operating system, which means this is going to be pushed widely, easily accessed and well supported. 

I didn't get a great reception in the past when I tried to get people to install a location based app they had never heard of, even though it had some really good features including showing each others location when we are heading to the same destination from different parts of the country, or even a convoy that gets separated by a logging truck, horse float and a car towing a caravan and the guy in front is the only one that actually knows where we are going. 

Because there is something in it for Google (i.e. somewhere along the line the data will support location based marketing, they don't have to charge for it.

This is brilliant for an emergency. Think about recent events in New Zealand like the earthquakes and floods. I was thinking this morning about the song I wrote about the Christchurch Earthquakes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lE2j60aTCI where so many friends of mine had their families separated and they didn't know where they were or how to get to them. 

It was in fact a Google Map App that Christchurch students and others used to start setting up lists of missing people, where to get water, where to find a toilet that worked and so on, but telecommunications were limited and its difficult when you are asked to stay off the phone because its needed for emergency services with half of the cell towers down, but you have a wife on one side of the city, a son or daughter in another part and you don't know exactly where and the roads between you are broken. 

PTSD continues to affect several of my friends today from those traumas and whilst the people of places like Kaikoura have shown a brave face, I'm sure there were similar experiences and a common thread was people wanting to tell their loved ones they were OK and vice versa which would have been reinforced and compounded with every aftershock.

So whether it is checking up on an a relative, friends or colleagues who may need assistance, we need apps like these. I look forward to trying it out. 
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Cough syrup with GPS tracker helps police nab suspected pharmacy burglars

Cough syrup with GPS tracker helps police nab suspected pharmacy burglars | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
No one would have ever known that a nondescript bottle of cough syrup perched on a shelf at a Tustin pharmacy contained something ingenious: a GPS device.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Businesses and homes frequently get burgled because we make it easy for them. I'm not going to talk about security systems like sensors, cameras and other technology, I'm talking about getting things back. 

Christmas holidays are coming up which is prime time for burglaries with Christmas presents and people going away for holidays. How often have you seen stories on TV or in the paper about people having all their Christmas presents stolen? More and more people are turning to technologies using GPS. 

I have blogged about dozens of situations where burglars have been caught and convicted through the use of hidden GPS trackers, of everything from hay bales, freight loads to bicycles. 

This is the first time I have heard of cough syrup being tracked by GPS. I don't know of these two people just had a sore throat or if the cough mixture contained ingredients they wanted for other purposes, but I think in future these guys will be more likely to pay if they need medicine. 

If you have concerns about being burgled, GPS is a great solution because you don't have to personally confront the criminals, all you need to to is use a GPS tracking solution and advise the Police what they are looking for and where to find it. They'll love it as well because it helps their closure statistics and gives them wins. The other thing is that a very high percentage of other stolen goods are commonly found when these people are caught.

If you want to read more examples and understand more about how it works and where it has worked in the past, check out these blogs. https://solomoconsulting.wordpress.com/category/crime/
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P-plate mobile GPS ban comes in today - If you are txtng you are 20% more likely to have a crash.

P-plate mobile GPS ban comes in today - If you are txtng you are 20% more likely to have a crash. | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
New rules for p-plate licence holders restrict all mobile phone use, including 'hands free' and map applications. The regulations were designed to save lives but not everyone is welcoming them.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
In New South Wales, Australia from yesterday it is illegal for learner drivers to use their mobile phone while driving. That includes hands free, it includes apps like Spotify, car navigation or anything else. You simply may not use your phone.

It isn't a popular law and one demographic that is complaining is older learners who claim the culprits are young learners who feel they are bulletproof and have anxiety about not being able to use their mobile. Older learners feel they have the maturity and the need to use navigation in today's busy and complex cities. Of course for $100 they could buy a dedicated GPS car navigation device, problem solved. They are still learner drivers. 

In my area, almost every day I still come across drivers who either don't know they have right of way a an intersection (that does also have a lot of crashes) or they are afraid that traffic coming the other way doesn't. 

I was driving at the end of a beach boulevard with my granddaughter the other day. At the end of the road a guy was driving out of the beach carpark in a van, when he received a call. He answered the phone (handheld) and I could see him wavering about whether to finish the call before he continued driving. He had right of way. Then I saw the light go off in his middle aged head. "I can do this" So he put his foot down and continued with his right hand holding his mobile to his ear. 

We worry (with reason about teenagers who don't have the maturity to make the right decisions). I can see the indignation dear teenage reader, but despite everything I taught my awesome children, I can still see them racing down the road, texting and talking on their mobiles weeks after they first got their licenses. 

They are bright intelligent people and fortunately they didn't become statistics, but I sure worried about them. Their response was, "I'm fine Dad, I know what I'm doing". My response was that at 15 or 16 they may have been amazing drivers (not) but what about the guy coming round the corner at speed on the wrong side of the road and you only have one hand available for the steering wheel when you need both of them to make a controlled swerving and braking manoeuvre. Even just the time to drop the phone safely could be the difference between impact or a near miss.

Do you remember when you learned to drive? Driving a car was harder when I learned. I learned in a big 4 litre car and I lived on a road with a very steep hill, worst at the top of the T and I had to double the clutch. I remember the stress and having so many things to think about and waiting for a gap for me to take off on. Sometimes the gap disappeared in a hurry and I was left, cranking on the handbrake, teetering on the slope and worrying about the cars behind me, who were so close that when I released the clutch and handbrake I was really worried that I would drift backwards a little and introduce them to my towbar.

The road toll is increasing in NSW as it is in New Zealand and we don't want to keep losing people.

Most distracted driving crashes happen within 3 seconds of of the distraction. That's not very long. Hop in your car, change a CD, or a radio station, reach out for your sunglasses case, zip it open, check if the lenses are clean and then look back up at the road. 

How far do you think you will have travelled with an instinctive idea of where your lane is (if you have good spatial awareness). I did the math and 3 seconds of inattention at 100km per hour is 83 meters. That's almost the length of a football field you have totally missed. Would you drive that far with your eyes closed?

There are plenty of people making bad decisions. Yesterday when I was commuting to work, there were two buses at a single bus stop, both stationary. The lead bus moved out onto the road in front of me without indicating. His thought processes were probably totally on the fact that he was giving his colleague a chance to get off the road and onto the bus stop. 

Because he didn't indicate and I was doing 45km per hour, he pushed me onto the wrong side of the road which fortunately was empty, if it hadn't been, I would have scraped along the side of the bus. I had right of way, but I don't want to be in the right with my car in the panelbeaters. 

As I overtook him (I'm assuming because the bus didn't indicate) a Dad and two young kids came running out from in front of the bus taking me totally by surprise.. He had no idea that the bus was taking off so he had to run being committed to crossing so as not to be hit by the bus, nor any idea that a V8 was overtaking it. 

The apologetic and fearful look in his eyes as I slammed on the anchors and he literally picked the kids up like a super hero with one flying off each arm, reminded me of this TVC from the NZ Transport Agency https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clp3U7FIxXU

I recommend you watch it, it was so similar in concept of making a simple mistake, except that all 3 of them got across the road safely. If he was a little slower I could have hit all 3 of them. With ABS braking I doubt anyone would have died, but broken bones would have been a given.

So we have a professional driver, distracted by the fact that he was letting another bus into a bus stop, not paying attention in front or to the side and not indicating.

We have a parent who should have taught his kids that you never cross in front of a bus, dragging 2 kids in front of a now moving bus, on the open road, not at a pedestrian crossing.

Then we have myself, fortunately doing everything right. If I had decided at that moment to change the radio station, reached for my sunglasses or something equally innocuous, I wouldn't have known they were there and wouldn't have had time to slow the car to a crawl and there would have been serious injuries at best.

My only subsequent regret is that I didn't stop the bus driver and speak to the parent, as a concerned citizen, or even get the number of the bus.

I am seriously considering getting one of those dashboard cameras because the things I see on the road every day clearly illustrate why our road toll is increasing. People are relaxed, summer is coming, so is summer ice (look it up) and every new model of phone and every new car is packed full of features that are much more interesting than what is going on in front of your car.

If I had a dollar for everyone who said, I am a good driver, I know this road, therefore I am safe, I'd be a wealthy man. Maybe we should offer them an epitaph. "Here lies a good driver. RIP"

So I applaud the NSW Government for a courageous but controversial decision because it will save lives, especially young ones. It is a horrible thing to bury a teenager. It is even worse when it was because ultimately they valued their text message more than their life. Obviously that's not true, but what is true is that many don't yet have the maturity to make the right decision for themselves, much as they claim indignantly that they can. 

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Car, tech lobbies bristle at call to lock phone apps

Car, tech lobbies bristle at call to lock phone apps | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
New rule would ask electronic manufacturers to lock most applications that could distract drivers.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I wondered how long it would take before there was a push back. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a new rule that would ask manufacturers of phones and other electronic devices to voluntarily lock most applications that could distract drivers when cars are in motion."
This would seem like a red rag to a bull in a country that fights for the freedom to wear a Glock 19 on a holster over your shorts when you go into a cafe to buy a latte. 
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association took an opposite stance and pointed out that this would interfere with the ability of motorists to learn about traffic, incident and route information that could help people avoid incident sites and potentially compounding that problems. 
On the weekend I had the privilege of attending and speaking at a regional dinner for the National Road Carriers Association which was a great experience where I picked up some wonderful customer insights from the friendly freight industry.
Another speaker was a Senior Sergeant from the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit of the Police and he spoke about driver distraction which as you know is one of my favorite topics. One of the things he pointed out was that there are so many things that add up to driver distraction. It might be talking to your passenger, or something they are doing, changing station on your radio, adjusting your air conditioning, it could be looking outside at the view, it could be eating or drinking, think about the logistics of having a hot coffee, picking it up, sipping from it and putting it back down without spilling anything, all while driving a 44 ton truck on a winding road at 90 km ph.
Now I know the average age of truck drivers in New Zealand is at the higher end of between 50 and 60 years old. I know that many of them struggle to do anything more on their mobiles than make voice calls and for most of the calls the need to make they have 2-way radios. So certainly for this segment, regulations like this would have very little to no effect. What they need, if anything is a bunch of sensors, the like of which are being developed for driverless vehicles to help them be aware of things that machines like LiDar can spot possibly before humans but humans then know how to handle.
The other obvious thing in the highly competitive consumer market for motor vehicles, a major reason people buy certain brands of cars is because of their entertainment systems and gadgets, the ability to safely make hands free calls without picking up a device and many more features. So if you sell someone on the ability to find a news or sports channel to get the latest info, without doing anything more than touching a button on your steering wheel and talking to your car, but it stops working a soon as you get to 10 miles per hour, I think you just lost your unique point of difference. 
I can't imagine 'the home of the free' allowing this to happen, especially when there are no significant calls for legislation for breath testing of recidivist drunk or drugged driver technology connected to the ignition system. 
Maybe they could involve universities and do studies and offer rewards to car marques that add to their value, for putting in cool features that add to utility and safety. This could be anything from audio alerts about traffic or safety hazards through to being able to phone or send a message to someone without having to touch a phone. Trucks have had status buttons on their radios for years, this sort of thing could just be a natural progression.
Of course it has to work well. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to use Siri while you drive (I don't use my phone anymore when driving), asking it to record a memo for you and next thing it says, "thankyou, calling John Smith" and the phone starts ringing. That is distracting!!!
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Data key to Intel’s $250 million autonomous investment

Data key to Intel’s $250 million autonomous investment | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Intel Capital is targeting more than $250 million of additional new investments over the next two years to make fully autonomous driving a reality.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Driven by the bright dollar signs in the headlights, the computer companies of the world have been waiting for the opportunities promised by Gartner, Forrester and others. A Big Data industry worth trillions of dollars combining the IoT with autonomous vehicles.. 

Let's face it, tomorrow's car is a comfortable shell designed to protect the passengers, a drive train, a pile of computers (it already had several of those) a mass of storage and a network to connect the pieces inside the car so that it can operate off the grid and external communications so that the data can be stored and shared with data that sitting in the cloud so vehicles can interface to the network and each other.. 

When I was involved in mapping New  Zealand roads with a mapping car, collecting the data was the easy part. Processing it and combining it with data already processed and validated was a massive task. We always had a pile of Terabyte hard drives waiting in the queue to be processed.

So think about your current mobile data usage for the everyday things you do (and the speed with which that data is wirelessly communicated (we won't be trailing fibre optic cables between cars and a mesh network will only be successful if we all agree to buy the same brand and maybe even model of car, because a Volvo will not only not talk to a Ford, they don't even use the same operating systems. 

According to Intel CEO Brian KRZanich the average car will be collecting and sharing around 4,000 gigabytes EVERY DAY. Try doing the daily numbers just for the vehicles in your city. Those numbers are staggering and I can't begin to imagine the processing power required to interpret, query and manage the transport network. I suspect he is in the right place at the right time and there are probably a dozen companies in the world capable of dealing with it, but the infrastructure to even prepare for it is massive.

There are easy things to deal with such as the basic static data like roads, speed zones, controls, things don't don't change frequently, but I have to wonder about a few things.

1. If many car brands have their own proprietary systems and don't 100% conform to international standards, then we don't have a homogeneous network. If they don't have the same logic, maybe they will be more like humans than we think. Will their self learning systems teach them that if 10% of cars ignore T2 lanes or 8% of cars run the red light at peak times, that this is correct behaviour, remember these are knowledge based systems and not just based on legal rules.

2. Remember the jokes of, would you buy a car of Microsoft? Imagine doing 100km an hour on the motorway and your car says, "Because you didn't reboot your system as requested last night, your car software will update in 3 minutes, counting down now 2 minutes 50, 2 minutes 40....."

3. What happens when the 4,000 gigabyte hard drive is full and the network is unavailable?

4. What happens if the communications network fails and how does it get restored? How long does it take to restore all the data that hasn't made it to the grid?

5. What if that data has implications for things like insurance, road user charges, tolls, safety requirements, maintenance information, driver behaviour monitoring and isn't going anywhere. What happens if it gets corrupted. "Please par your car at the first opportunity in the next 30 minutes so we can reindex your data files."

I think we need companies like Intel, maybe IBM, HP, Oracle and others, but noone is going to want to pay for their additional services. We are already balking at the price of the cars. What if they need an investment in infrastructure comparable to the national education or health portfolios? 

What other components don't we know about yet?

Maybe we should put all our eggs in one economic basket. How about a Lada or everyone has a Volkswagen, wasn't that the whole point? Then we only have one system. 
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CDS Crime Cams Give Agencies Extra Eyes

CDS Crime Cams Give Agencies Extra Eyes | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Cellular Data Solutions of Bryant announced last week that its new Crime Cam can send real-time video of a robbery at a business to the police.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is a fun article about the multiple uses of a security system that combines 4 Mega Pixel images with GPS and the ability to store images in the cloud or send them straight to the Police or other destinations.

The cost is incredibly cheap and these devices can be fixed or on vehicles. Now feral hogs isn't something we have much of a problem with in this part of the world. Wild pigs or domestic pigs aka Wandering Stock is a huge problem especially on country roads and they do a lot of damage if they become roadkill. 

I suspect that a lot of pgs found on our roads will quickly find themselves on the dinner table, a problem no longer, but that's here.

What I found really interesting was the rubbish truck story. I've had a bit to do with rubbish companies over the years helping them to optimize their fleet runs. This has made a huge difference to large and small companies, many of whom were able to see major double digit percentage reduction in time and distance traveled which goes straight to the bottom line.

Doing business with these companies is a bit more organic than the technology oriented companies that I have worked with. For example, it's not uncommon to be interrupted in a meeting, when someone comes into the office, usually shared, they are not big on egos about corner offices.

Anyway, I frequently heard about complaints that the rubbish wasn't picked up. Where rubbish companies have council contracts, this can jeopardise their reputation and relationships. The most common story I hear is that people didn't put their rubbish out in time. That used to become the customer's word vs the drivers word and it was most likely that the driver was right but unable to prove it, which meant a whole wasted trip to go back and pick up Mrs Jones rubbish bag.

I've heard of a few local stories using similar technology where they have been able to send time stamped photos to council and customers showing that there was no rubbish to be picked up. The customer had probably forgotten to put it out the night before. This protects the rubbish company because they are able to prove that they did not miss the customer's rubbish and they can be given a gentle reminder of the times and dates to put their bags or bins our.

Times have changed with new technology and another problem is people who overload their bins. Now something you probably don't know about me is that I left home at an early age but continued to go to school. I had to support myself and sometimes I would wag a morning off school and do labouring jobs, on of which was being a lifter. This was around the time that bins were being replaced with thick paper rubbish bags. On the weeks  did that, I could afford meat and we were generally finished by 11, so after a shower I was back at school for the afternoon $100 better off. 

Today they have the same problem. The bins are picked up and emptied by a machine. Sometimes the driver is the only person on the truck, with the ability to drive, standing on the step and operating the machine. Effective operation requires that the lid is on securely, i.e. closed. When the bins are so full that the lids don't come down the system fails and rubbish can go flying. This means a mess for the driver to pick up, time delays and frustration. 

These cameras can now monitor those conditions as well as the bin that wasn't there on time. The company can identify who the bin belongs to and resend them the information about the correct use of rubbish bins. You can't beat video evidence.

Of course retail crime is the other thing and in the past many cameras had very low resolution because they relied on a small hard drive or disk which made it almost impossible to identify offenders. These systems now make this a problem of the past and before too long I would expect retailers to be using facial recognition databases alerting retailers that a potentially risky person was on the premises and clear pictures with time stamps, and systems in the cloud make it much harder to suggest that evidence has been tampered with.

Times are changing and the best thing for me is that the cost is very low and therefore the ROI easy to achieve. 
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Caruma Brings Autonomous Car Technology to Any Vehicle -- Makes Driving Safer, More Efficient and More Secure

Caruma Brings Autonomous Car Technology to Any Vehicle -- Makes Driving Safer, More Efficient and More Secure | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Caruma Brings Autonomous Car Technology to Any Vehicle -- Makes Driving Safer, More Efficient and Mor
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I have a theory that while all the major brands are racing each other to deliver the driverless car, OEM manufacturers will introduce wild cards that don't do it all, but for the sum of hundreds of dollars rather than 10's of thousands of dollars, many of the benefits of driving more safely will be realised through aftermarket components.

That's really important in a country like New Zealand which has a love affair with buying really good quality used cars from Japan with loads of bells and whistles at a fraction of the cost of a new car with a lot less features.

The key problem is that Japanese systems of driverless cars or assisted driving will not be designed for NZ conditions, no one will be able to read any of the instructions, but if we have aftermarket solutions including many of the features of autonomous cars like LiDar, speed sign recognition, lane guidance, assisted braking, speed detection of other vehicles and much more, we could have many of the benefits without having to wait a couple of decades for the car stocks to catch up.
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More People Killed by Distracted Drivers than Drunk Drivers

More People Killed by Distracted Drivers than Drunk Drivers | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
How deadly is distracted driving?
According to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), twice as deadly as drunk driving. Hard to believe, perhaps, but the polic
Luigi Cappel's insight:
In recent times I have been involved in management team meeting discussions about respectfully holding each other to account about participation and focus in meetings. That means not using your mobile during a meeting unless you absolutely have to and in some cases we do have to. But those are exceptions.

Some people take notes on their laptops or PDA's while others disengage and check email . So we call them  out and set Terms of Reference for meetings of what our expectations are. It is a sign of mutual respect for each other's time that we honor those mutual commitments. 

When it comes to driving behaviour, over the years we try to get drivers to commit to paying attention to the road and, just like in management it is sometimes difficult to have a discussion asking people to change their behavior. When you see what happens to people who are not paying attention, it is totally appropriate to have a respectful discussion. But we still have that "it won't happen to me, I'm a good driver." In recent years I have lost a good friend who was riding his bicycle through a green light at an intersection and was t-boned by a BMW who ran a red light. His last social media post was how he was looking forward to going for a ride on his new bike that morning. My wife was stationary at a set of lights when a young boy raced out from the back of a set so strip shops and wrote off my then favorite car, which I had from new with lots of extra features the insurance company wouldn't pay for. She got side whiplash.

A year later said wife was parked at a red light on an offramp waiting for the lights to change. Her foot was on the brake an she heard an enormous screech of brakes, looked in her rear vision mirror and saw burning rubber smoke,  the horror on the face of the van driver, who was holding his mobile with one hand and steering with the other. She got double whiplash from that and continues to suffer pain a few years later, another car written off. 

Disraction includes things like changing the channel on the stereo or Spotify, if you need something out of the glovebox, ask me and I will happily get it for you. Don't feel you need to look in my eyes when we are talking and you are driving, I know it's respectful, but if someone runs a red light, or a child runs out in front of a bus and you hit them while you are respectfully looking a me, that is not too logical.

I recently posted about rubberneckers, one of the most common form of secondary crashes. There are 3 YouTube videos on that post showing what happens with a little inattention, captured from in car cameras. https://solomoconsulting.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/are-you-a-rubbernecker/

As you can see on the video's, when human nature takes over, we are always curious, and we want to see what is happening on the other side of the road, disasters can happen. Some of them kill or seriously injure people, just because the driver was a little curious. 

A common side effect of rubbernecking during rush hour is that the traffic is worse on the side of the road that didn't have the crash. The hold up is simply because people can't resist a loopy look. Then when they do, all hell can break loose. Add to that the irrational behavior of drivers who find themselves stuck in the traffic on the side of the road that didn't have the crash, frequently causes more secondary crashes. Bring on driverless cars. Maybe we could have graduations of licenses and if you cause a serious accident or are caught as a recidivist distracted driver, if you want to continue driving you must replace your car with oe that drives itself, that becomes a condition on your license.

It's obvious when it all turns to custard. But tell me you have never personally slowed down to look at the scene of an accident on the other side of the freeway where you have no hope of helping, other than ringing 511 and reporting it. If you have never ever slowed down for a look, leave a comment, or your name. I won't expect to read many. Do have a look at the link on my solomo blog above and consider how easily curiosity kills the cat.

The next time you are a passenger in a car where the driver slows down for a look, reaches over to grab something, ask them not to or offer to help. Your life is literally in their hands. In the book One Split Second by Vijay Singh, an intelligent, full of life (not any more) college grad died when her friend who was diving home reached over for a napkin. She could have asked her friend to grab it for her. She never got to attend the ceremony.

We live in this world of denial, these things happen to other people. Even if there is no crash, just have a look at driver behavior when you are on the motorway at rush hour. 

Why is the woman in the car next to you looking down all the time, 3 times as often as she looks out of the windscreen?

Why is the car in front of you driving with a 50 meter gap between them and the car in front? Hop in the lane next to you and drive alongside and you'll probably find them texting or doing something else with their phone.

Next time you pick up your phone and someone asks you a complicated question (not while you are driving), monitor what you did with your eyes. They probably went up and to one side as you contemplated the question. Prove me wrong. 

Next time you take a call on your hands-free car kit, if you still do that and it is legal where you live, think about that afterwards. Try the following:
1. Think about how engaged you were in the conversation.
2. Think about what you remember about the traffic while you were having that conversation. What did you notice about other vehicles, traffic density, types of vehicles, how they were driving and was there any debris on the road?
3. Have you ever had a drive where you can't remember some or most of the drive? Maybe you were thinking about problems at home or at work, maybe you were jamming with your favorite track, or maybe you were thinking about the conversation on the radio, or the meetings and activities you have lined up for the day. How focused were you truly on the drive?

Think you can multitask? (and I'm not talking about breathing, walking and thinking at the same time.) Have a read and try the 5 minute exercise on this web article from Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking

I think we all know the truth today. Some people are better at running concurrent single tasks such as cooking a meal so that everything is ready at the same time and call that multitasking. It's not, it's breaking it down into slices of things that you do one at a time with the appearance that you are doing them all at once.

I hope I've given you a few things to think about and maybe you and yours will be just a little bit safer if you follow through:) Have a great and safe weekend.
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Driver Improvement course offered

Driver Improvement course offered | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Minnesota Highway Safety Center will be offering  55+ Driver Improvement refresher courses in Hackensack and Bemidji.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I am in total agreement with Minnesota Highway Safety. The road rules have changed since many of us got their licenses and whilst I was lucky that my company required everyone with a company car to do a safe driving course and an advanced driving course. I learned so much about how to stop and swerve using ABS on a wet greasy road and so much more, which has without question helped me avoid crashes such as when a car in front of me swerves into my path or slams on the anchors to catch a Pokemon Character.

Things have changed and people are relaxed about their driving. I learned to drive and got my license in a manual car (remember those hill starts?) and had to answer oral questions as well as complete a form. which included multi-choice and actual questions. I had to really study the Road Code to make sure I got the requisite 29 out of 30 right. 

That was 30 years ago and I haven't had to prove that I know what I am doing since, other than the two driving courses which left me with a lot of confidence about dealing with difficult situations from aquaplaning to having cars or trucks cut me off. 

While I think of it, last week I was driving home on the Northern Motorway in Auckland when a double axle tow truck in front of me suddenly crossed almost 2 meters into the lane to the left of me in front of an ambulance. I'm tempted to share the number plate of the tow truck which was a personalized plate. In hindsight I should have registered a complaint. 

The ambulance driver took it all in her stride, but if she wasn't alert herself, there may have been another ambulance required. As soon as the tow truck moved back into it's lane I saw the driver imbibing from his drink bottle through his rear vision mirror, which I assume is what he was reaching for, when he leaned over and crossed in front of the ambos.

Now I would expect a tow truck driver to have not only pretty good driving skills, but also awareness of the vehicles around him. 

So I was really interested to see this offer in Minnesota which not only includes the basic driving skills and laws, but also the latest visual scanning skills, ABS skills, information about air bags, road rage, driver distraction and other new technologies that are in modern cars. 

When I did the BMW advanced driver course (the previous course being a prerequisite (actually at a previous company all staff also had to do a 4 week defensive driving course), the cost of the BMW course was about $350 per head, 

The two courses for 55+ drivers are $26 for an 8 hour course and $22 for a four hour course, PLUS you get a 10% discount on driver insurance for the next 3 years. Sounds like a great win win for everyone.

I was fascinated to learn in a presentation yesterday that a large number of people in a particular region don't even have driver licenses (which doesn't stop many of them from driving). At the same time freight companies have driver shortages.

Whether it is compulsory, or simply low cost with rewards such as cheaper car insurance, I think it's about time we make sure that everyone that operates a car knows the rules and how to deal with difficult situations. 

Kudos to the Minnesota Highway Safety Center.

If you had to sit a full driving exam today, do you think you would pass?
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Pay attention drivers – your car is watching you

Pay attention drivers – your car is watching you | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents shows that driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20 percent of road accidents. While driver alert systems - aimed at identifying signs of driver fatigue - have been around for a while, eye tracking and camera-based facial recognition technology are under development. This research snapshot reviews the stage reached with driver alertness technologies and what we can expect to see on tomorrow's cars. related to Components, Technology/R&D,
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Driver fatigue is a major cause of serious crashes all over the world. For the freight industry most countries have log books that calculate how long a driver can be on the road, but they can't take into consideration the differences between the types of vehicles they are driving, the different types of load, the number of stops they have to make, route changes, whether they are driving on freeways, urban roads, winding roads etc.

Taxi and courier drivers work long hours and couriers particularly are frequently in the news saying that because of dense urban traffic, they are under a lot of stress. This means their fight or flight system frequently kicks in, causing adrenaline rushes which deplete energy for the rest of the shift and of course a stressed driver s less alert to ambiguous or unexpected conditions.

Truck and car manufacturers have been developing systems for years. My Mitsubishi has a coffee light that flashes constantly if I have been driving for 2 hours without a stop. Mercedes has been experimenting with eye tracking for several years now, looking to see if your eyes are closed for anything more than a long blink. They have also been monitoring when people veer out of their lane, applying a gently nudge to the steering wheel, but allowing you to continue if the manoevre is deliberate.

As this article points out, technologies are being developed by many truck manufacturers including an offshoot of facial recognition using eye monitoring and cameras. Some have systems that become really annoying if you don't stop within 15 minutes, such that you have to pull over, shut down your engine and open a door in order to reset itself. I'm not sure how you would deal with that on a long freeway where it is illegal to stop. 

It's all very well to take a turn off, but frequently those turnoffs do not have truck-stops or anywhere where it is easy for a large rig to turn around. Manageable for drivers who know their area well or are using car navigation that shows locations of rest areas, but perhaps some States might want to consider having more rest stops on freeways. I have yet to see a truck navigation system designed specifically for large and over dimension vehicles.

It's kind of interesting that this technology is being put into driverless vehicles, where even though the vehicle is autonomous, if the driver doesn't respond to alerts, the vehicle will pull over to the side of the road and turn off.

What is great is seeing OEM solutions being developed in conjunction with Stanford University and others, offering features like monitoring heart rate and breathing rate through piezoelectric sensors, because to date most of the focus has been on vehicle manufacturers wanting to get their proprietary point of difference. For example a Volvo truck might tell other Volvo trucks that there is ice on the road, but it won't tell the Scania driving in-between them.

Behavior change is probably the most important thing to me. We know when we are tired and sometimes we give ourselves excuses, like "I'm nearly there, only another 45 minutes", or blame the log book because stopping will take you over time, when in fact perhaps the trip planning was over estimated. I frequently hear stories that the driver told their boss but the boss just told them to get on with it.

Today safety laws are being enacted and owners of freight and distribution businesses are being charged if they knowingly put their drivers in positions that jeopardize their safety and that of other road users. Some are getting pretty hefty sentences. 

Today's Fleet Management systems, (again stories I have previously written about), brands such as New Zealand's eRoad, not only monitor driver behavior for harsh braking, cornering and other behaviors that might indicate distraction or fatigue have introduced gamification (another pet topic of mine). They aggregate points so people can rank themselves against their colleagues as 'safest driver' in the company and can also opt in to compete against other companies using the same system. 

There are anecdotal stories of drivers ringing their dispatcher and asking how they are doing so far this week and adjusting their driving to climb up the ladder. Basically they get a dopamine rush by improving their safety, just as a computer gamer does when they win levels or points. Dopamine effectively produces a natural high, like an opiate, but without the dangerous side effects. There us also anecdotal evidence of a significant reduction in crashes in companies using this technology. 

There need to be more driver-reviver stops, such as roadside diners and cafes that offer free coffee. As I wrote in a previous blog, businesses that have done that, offering free filter coffee typically grow their business significantly from the add-on purchases customers make such as food, or even barista coffee, which is of course much nicer than the free filter coffee.

As I mentioned earlier, I think it is also important for DOT's and other road authorities to consider more rest stops on long freeways and also in urban areas where there are only few places for a large vehicle to stop. If we are going to tell drivers they need to stop more often, we need to make it easy for them.

The developments in new vehicles are very promising, however In New Zealand the average age of the truck fleet is 15 years and it is hard to see companies retrofitting this technology into old trucks, which given the speed of development of safety features in new trucks are the ones at greatest risk. 

The gamification I saw from eRoad (who are by no means unique) are probably the most powerful factors I have seen. People are by nature competitive and if they can have fun being competitive about doing the right things, instead of cutting corners to get the job done in time, we will save thousands of lives and reduce the costs associated with crashes where fatigue was a factor. As in so many things that happen on the road, our behavior is as much a factor as the technology. 

If you want to know more about how gamification works, I recommend an easy read called 'Reality is Broken' by Jane McGonigal. https://www.amazon.com/Reality-Broken-Games-Better-Change/dp/0143120611 Not only will it give you ideas about how to improve safety on the road, it will also show you how to have your teenagers rushing to clean their room, the bathroom and any other chores they hate. 

I wish you a safe week and welcome your comments.

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In dementia patients, social isolation may be tackled with assistive technology like wearable GPS, mobile apps

In dementia patients, social isolation may be tackled with assistive technology like wearable GPS, mobile apps | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
In dementia patients, social isolation may be tackled with assistive technology, like wearable GPS or mobile apps.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I hate to be a party-pooper but this is an area that I have done a lot of research in myself, both from a business perspective and because my mother in law has dementia (from lack of oxygen to the brain due to having learned to smoke during her Navy service). 

When she first went into a rest home she only had mild dementia and was still doing cryptic crosswords, but she knew she wasn't at home so would frequently go for walks and we'd get calls saying she was missing, causing us enormous stress and fearing for her safety. We spent many hours scouring the street looking for her.

Their answer (the only solution funded by our health system) was an RFID beacon with a range of about 1 km and to locate the person wearing it you need Search and Rescue people with handheld Yagi antennas and of course have no idea what direction she would have gone in. Can you imagine, if they are available, the cost of 3 or 4 people walking around with antennae trying to find a missing person. 

In her current condition she doesn't have any inkling to go anywhere and is no longer a risk. but there are plenty of people in every retirement village or rest home going through these phases and a growing number of baby boomers about to join them.

My late grandmother developed dementia at age 97, lived in her apartment until she passed away at 99 and had a system that included a drop sensor, phone call capability and much more. She fell and broke her hip on a Saturday evening. The drop sensor alarm didn't go off and she didn't remember how to make a call on the device and couldn't get off the ground to reach for the normal telephone. She was discovered still on the kitchen floor in serious pain, with a broken hip, by her caregiver on Monday morning, two days later.

When we gave my mother in law a necklace with the RFID transmitter, she would take it off, saying "this isn't mine". The alternative was a fairly bulky watch which she also wouldn't wear. That was the sum of available solutions.

I worked with a Fleet Management company to try to develop a foolproof system, that could be shrink wrapped and sold in CE stores that had a small footprint, GPS, a SIM Card, 3 phone buttons a drop sensor and more. 

The main flaw was that it needed to be plugged in every night to charge it because, as you know from your smartphone, GPS uses a lot of power. There was also dexterity required to connect the device to the charger, she certainly couldn't do it herself and the care in rest homes in general is such that if you want to use technology like that, you would have to be there every evening yourself, because you can't rely on busy caregivers to do it for them.

I don't comprehend the concept of putting tracking technology (assuming RFID) to know if a person is leaving the proximity of their room) into devices like pill bottles or clocks. They would require the person to also be wearing a device and these would either be WiFi or Bluetooth which only has a range of 10 yards. That means an alarm would go off when they left their bedroom to go into the lounge or kitchen, unless it was IoT via WiFi and I doubt that 1% of rest homes in the first world have that capability.

There are already good existing systems available from organisations like St Johns that can track falls and advise their call center when someone leaves the perimeter of their home. Great for falls, when the sensor works and there are sufficient staff monitoring systems (see my articles on the number of crimes committed each year by people wearing GPS anklets when they are on home detention. Wander past the letter box to visit a neighbor or a shop and you're off the grid.

The biggest problem is finding people who go for a walk and can't remember where they live. With family previously in the industry I have heard many stories of people who hop in a taxi and drive 80 miles to somewhere they used to live and of course have no idea what to do next. 

There is most definitely a need. A did a quick Google search for missing people with dementia and got 163,000 results in news in 39 seconds http://bit.ly/2eoWNKv. ;

The features in the article are admirable, but I think they need to research their market better. I suspect the features they are using might be better used for people with conditions such as diabetes, concussion injuries, vision impaired, at risk children and many other conditions where their cognitive function is sufficient such that they understand the features.

For example a lot of people take medications that can cause major problems if they forget them. My watch tells me if I am more than 100 meters from my phone and can set off an alarm on the phone to tell me where it is. 

I have heard many stories (again including a family member) where someone with diabetes forgot to take their insulin with them. A device or app that reminds them that they leaving the vicinity (10 meters) of their medication could be helpful. If they do leave and forget their medication, they can end up in a diabetic coma and without people around them or a GPS tracking device, this can be life threatening.

The combination of technologies featured in this article all have value and relevance, but I just wonder if it is for the wrong market. 

It may help for conditions that involve memory loss or reduced brain function, but the very conditions people with dementia suffer from mean they are often unlikely to wear the technology, keep it charged or even comprehend what it is. 
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Overlook Medical Center Launches Indoor GPS App for Patients and Visitors

SUMMIT, NJ - Atlantic Health System and Overlook Medical Center have launched "Take Me There - Overlook" an innovative mobile app that helps patients and their familie
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is great news. Many years ago I was looking for use cases for Symbol WiFi portable data terminals with laser scanners and for the early mobile smartphones and PDA's.

One of my targets was hospitals and I worked closely with potential clients, some of whom I am still connected with through LinkedIn and hopefully read my blog.

I worked with the Waitemata District Health looking at a couple of particular Auckland hospitals and one of the services we were exploring was indoor navigation in the rabbit warrens that make up hospitals. If you think it's hard to find your way around the public areas of hospitals. try going to meetings in the dungeons. It can be daunting.

Like a number of things I have been involved with, I was a few years too early, and it looks like the day of indoor navigation is finally arriving. Whether it is finding your way around a university campus in your first semester, a large corporate office, a shopping mall, or even looking for products inside a super store, indoor navigation is going to be a massive enabler.

Early systems have combined scanning or digitizing internal maps and locating beacons in key spots, but today there are many more solutions which don't require any infrastructure other than systems already in service in modern buildings. 

So it's great to see what I was trying to do way back when, coming into place. Now they just need to follow up some of my other ideas like being able to track all patient files around a building (yes, lots of medical practices still use paper and yes it still gets misplaced or at least not returned to it's appropriate repository) which wastes a lot of time, money and risks compromising patient health. 

Now there are few quality statistics available to the public where it is proven that missing paperwork showing blood types, allergies, or even what a patient is in hospital for is a significant causal factor, but there are many who say that something like a third of people who die in hospital die due to medical area such as in this 2016 article http://bit.ly/2eG4lH9. ;

But I digress. Have an awesome day:)
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Geo-stalking and how to protect yourself

Geo-stalking and how to protect yourself | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A disturbing 5 On Your Side investigation uncovered that you might not be imagining things. You could be a victim of geo-stalking, the latest high-tech crime.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I am disappointed when I read stories like this. Yes, if you have location services on (which you can manage separately for each application), images and posts may often include your location.

There are many wonderful mobile apps from locating missing people, to tracking back on a holiday to remember where you took photos, to navigation and seeing where traffic congestion is and much more that you would lose if you turn location services off.

If I ever heard of a Luddite approach blanketly turning off location based services is one. Why not just go all out and get rid of your mobile all the time. Also don't have a landline because your street address will be in your phone book.

If you post a photo on Twitter saying you are having a coffee at the Grounds for Legal Action Cafe, no one needs any technology to stalk you, you've just told a few thousand people where you are right now. I was in a cafe in Mission Bay having a coffee and posted on Twitter that I was having a caffeine fix between meetings. A guy came over and introduced himself, said he saw the post and wanted to say hi as he enjoyed my blogs. I was a little chuffed that he made the effort and pleased I had posted.

When you install applications on your phone, go through the settings menu and get an idea of the settings available and understand what the app does. When you post, think about the possible implications.

Facebook is a classic, but its complicated. They have all sorts of settings and they change the rules constantly for various reasons, some for our benefit (they would say all are for our benefit) and some to make it easier to sell targeted ads, which can in fact also be to our benefit. But there are so many little traps that you probably wouldn't know about. 

For example I use an aggregator to send this blog post out. As you know, every post you put on Facebook goes to an audience that you have predefined, that might be friends, friends but not acquaintances, it might be public. Whatever setting I used last, is the default setting that this blog will go to. 

The bottom line is that privacy is all but not existent these days if you use social media apps. You can protect yourself to a degree, but the more you protect yourself the fewer application features you can enjoy.

If you have a situation where you are in danger from a stalker, my advice would be to install a security app on your phone, using location services, where you can tell your partner, close friend or someone you can trust, where you are and when you expect to arrive at your destination, it might even have a panic button that calls them and keeps the audio link open so they can hear whats going on. Turn off location based services on all other apps and don't go posting selfies about where you are and what you are doing.

Isn't social media about telling people what you are up to? The choice for you is who you tell. These days we blindly install a new app, say AGREE to all the Terms and Conditions and start using it. 

Some people choose not to use social media which is the right thing to do if you want your social life to be private, or face to face. 
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