Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care
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SaviOne the Butler Bot: Service Robot for Hospitality Industry

SaviOne the Butler Bot: Service Robot for Hospitality Industry | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Last year we talked about James, the new Barman and now we would be witnessing a robot butler developed by Savioke (pronounced “savvy oak”) entering the hospitality industry to maximize customers’ experience. As of August 20, Savioke’s first delivery robot (Botlr) nicknamed as A.L.O by the hotel, will be seen operating in hotel Aloft in Cupertino, California. In its pilot program, ROS powered autonomous robot, Botlr will be assisting hotel staff in delivering amenities such as mobile charger, towels, brush or even snacks, to the guest’s room and thus saving staff time for other important work. 


The butler robot dressed up in a vinyl wrap with a bow-tie, weighs 100 lbs and stand nearly 3 feet tall with a storage capacity of 2 cubic feet. Connected wirelessly with the hotel elevators, it moves on four wheels, traversing efficiently and independently between floors at a speed similar to the human walking pace, delivering goods from one corner of the hotel to the guest room.

Hotel staff input the room number for the delivery on the robot touch pad. When A.L.O carrying required item reaches the assigned guest’s room, it makes a phone call to let the guest know about its arrival at the door. The sensors and cameras installed help the robot to know when the door is to be opened and subsequently unlocks its storage bin’s lid for the delivery of the item. The touch pad displays instruction for the guest to collect its item and close the lid, after which the robot heads back to the front desk and plugs itself for recharging.

Tweets replace tips

The guests who happen to get assistance from the robot, are asked to rate its service on the touch pad. No tip required in return, rather tweets and selfies at #meetbotlr are welcomed. Robot upon receiving high ratings often expresses its gratitude with a small dance.

If this pilot program receives overwhelming response from the guests, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the parent company of Aloft Hotels plans to employ these robots in their other hotels by next year. But the question arises, will this robot will downsize humanitarian staff in the hotels? CEO Steve Cousin says that Savioke aims to develop robots that can help individuals with disabilities. The robot in hotels will give staff members to build a better-personalized relationship with the customers, rather than rushing to deliver product to individual rooms, which is often tedious. Nevertheless, its impact on the jobs of staff can be only seen in the future. Right now, you can pack your bag and book a room in Aloft hotel to get firsthand experience of the service breakthrough provided by Botlr.

In coming years, we may see more innovative bots from Savioke not just restricted to hotels, but hospitals, elder care facilities, restaurants and offices will also find specialized helping robots as per requirements.

Source: [IEEE Spectrum] & [Savioke]

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Smartphones are Becoming the Hub of our Digital Lifestyles

Smartphones are Becoming the Hub of our Digital Lifestyles | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |
In 2003 I began a series of lectures at conferences entitled “Three Screens of the Digital Lifestyle.” Starting in 2000 I began researching how people were using various screens in their lives and made the assumption that over the next 5-7 years...

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Inside the 'iWatch': The technology Apple is looking at for your Wrist

Inside the 'iWatch': The technology Apple is looking at for your Wrist | Mobile Health: How Mobile Phones Support Health Care |

Apple's anticipated entry to the wearable devices market has taken on near-mythical status, with rumors reaching every corner of the technology map. AppleInsider has rounded up some of the technologies most likely to find their way into the still-unannounced "iWatch."



GT Advanced Technologies' ASF sapphire furnace.
Source: GT Advanced

Apple's interest: A $578 million deal with sapphire equipment maker GT Advanced Technologies to open and operate a massive commercial sapphire plant in Arizona.

Much has been made of Apple's agreement GT Advanced Technologies. Many believe the new jointly-operated facility in Arizona will produce display covers to replace the Gorilla Glass currently used in the iPhone and iPad; some think the crystals will be used in an iWatch, while still others believe that Apple simply needs more sapphire for its camera lenses and Touch ID housings.

If sapphire is to be used as a main component of an Apple device, the iWatch is its most likely target. High-end watch companies have long used sapphire to cover the faces of their timepieces because of its scratch resistance, but — as anyone who has dropped a sapphire-covered watch can attest — the material is prone to shattering, making it far better suited for a device that's constantly strapped to a person rather than hanging loosely in their hands.


A number of cast Liquidmetal casings for mobile phones | Source: Liquidmetal

Apple's interest: A $20 million contract for exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal in consumer electronics and a number of manufacturing patents related to the material. That agreement was re-upped through February 2015 earlier this week.

Liquidmetal is an amorphous alloys — essentially, metallic glass — that is much lighter, harder, and more flexible than metals traditionally used in electronics manufacturing. Parts made of Liquidmetal could "snap back" from deformations that might cause permanent bends or dents in other metals, such as Apple's omnipresent aluminum, and it's extremely scratch-resistant.

Liquidmetal is difficult to work with, however. Apple famously tested its viability by using it to make the SIM ejector tool included with the iPhone 3GS, but Liquidmetal's inventor predicted in 2012 that at least two to four years of further refinement in manufacturing processes was necessary before it could be commercially viable on a large scale.

Complicating Liquidmetal's possible appearance in Apple's iWatch is a deal with Switzerland's Swatch group that granted the horologists exclusive use of Liquidmetal in watches.



Samsung Mobile Display showing off a flexible display at CES 2011. Source:

Apple's interest: Apple has a number of OLED-related patents to its name, including dynamic brightness adjustment and improved power efficiency. The company also hired away a senior OLED researcher from LG Display.

OLED — or organic light-emitting diode — displays are a new type of display in which each pixel is made of an organic compound that emits light when electrical current is passed through it. Because of this design, OLED panels don't require a backlight, making them thinner and lighter than traditional LCD-based panels and adding the potential to be folded or curved.

While many Apple watchers previously expected the iWatch to ship with a more traditional LCD panel, the tide of opinion has shifted in recent months in favor of OLED. The inclusion of a flexible OLED would allow for a more form-fitting design in which the screen could curve with the contours of the wearer's wrist, rather than sitting flat on the top.

From the outside, Apple has long seemed apathetic toward OLEDs. Former CEO Steve Jobs is thought to have disliked the technology, and current chief Tim Cook panned OLED earlier this year, saying that the displays showed "awful" color saturation.

"If you ever buy anything online and really want to know what he color is, as many people do, you should really think twice before you depend on the color from an OLED display," he said.


A similar micro LED array displayed by Taiwanese researchers

Apple's interest: Acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue Technologies earlier this month for an unknown price.

Micro LEDs are essentially exactly what they sound like: very small LEDs. The technology that enables their miniaturization also plays a part in lowering power consumption and increasing brightness, with the combination placing micro LED arrays in direct competition with OLEDs.

This is a relatively new technology, however; Apple's acquisition of secretive LuxVue is likely to have given micro LEDs more exposure the day it was uncovered than the technology has received since its invention. Despite a number of high-profile backers — and their rumored inclusion in Google's next-generation Glass headset — micro LEDs have yet to find their way into shipping consumer device.

Still, there is reason to believe that Apple may have chosen the micro LED route. At least one of LuxVue's patents covers the manufacturing of a curved micro LED array, which could replace the flexible AMOLED display Apple is thought to have targeted.


Apple has made a massive investment in semiconductor technology in recent years, and the iWatch is likely to put those advancements front-and-center. While the iPhone is a technologically impressive piece of kit, the iWatch would have to be a miniaturization tour de force in order to live up to the rumors surrounding its capabilities.

Apple began its semiconductor roadshow in 2008 with the purchase of P.A. Semi, a power-efficient fabless semiconductor design firm working on PowerPC-based chips. Later, in 2010, they purchased Intrinsity, an ARM-focused studio that is thought to have contributed to the development of the A-series processors.
Apple has spent nearly $1 billion on semiconductor technology firms — that we know of.
Last August, Apple acquired Passif Semiconductor, a company that develops ultra-low-power communications chips. The company has also been seen snapping up senior RF engineers from Broadcom, sparking rumors of a new in-house baseband team.

Finally, last November, Apple picked up Israeli firm PrimeSense for a rumored $360 million, pushing their total investment in semiconductor technology up toward $1 billion. Taken together, the sheer volum of chip design talent and intellectual property now in-house in Cupertino is staggering — any iWatch introduction is likely to bring along with it a similarly-impressive display of silicon engineering.

That probably, won't include noninvasive blood glucose monitoring or three-dimensional mapping, though. Apple is more likely to put its considerable resources to bear on more mundane, but still difficult tasks — like integrating an application processor, baseband, and wireless communications controller in a single, smaller, less power-hungry chip.

Via TechinBiz
♥ princess leia ♥'s curator insight, January 25, 2015 2:40 PM

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