• By Sin Mei C
  • February 21, 2014

This Week in Context – 20140221

“Less is absolutely more,” “Data science = Tell a story”, and “So what?!!” are just some of the quotes that set the tone for our week-long innovation sprint with the creative minds of Little Miss Robot.  The outcome? A refreshing point of view – you may take that quite literal, a sentiment of aiming high and the resolution to build some truly empathic technology.

Of course, we’ve also kept one eye on the context & IoT news for you this week:

  • Samsung’s ‘Context’ might or might not be released. Context would allow app developers to access more detail about what users do with their phones.  The service “would collect what a person types, what apps they use, and what data their phone’s sensors pick up, and then allow developers to tap into that pool of data to enrich their apps,” the Verge reports.  Yet, internally the mobile giant is still debating if Context would actually help Samsung sell more smartphones, and Google is demanding they make fewer changes to Android for the Samsung custom builds.
    We believe it would definitely help them sell more phones. And wearables. And other Internet of Things devices, such as connected thermostats, smart tvs or wifi-waterproof-shower-soundsystems. All these could become a whole lot more attentive to your needs once they are better aware of your environment, habits and mood.
  • There’s smart TVs, smart watches, connected cars, and now also — connected jewellery. Cuff is now taking preorders for bracelets, necklaces and key chains containing their CuffLinc, a little device capable of sending notifications. If you press the rectangular button, you can ping your best friend – tap once, or parents – tap twice. The tapping patterns you choose yourself.  Prices range from $50 for a simple, yet stylish bangle, to $150 for a more *bling* looking bracelet.  But before you order, keep in mind that to communicate your whereabouts to your friends, the Cuff jewellery needs to be in Bluetooth range of your iPhone, and whilst the Cuff batteries last a year, your iPhone’s probably does not. 😉
  • Don’t be a Glasshole. That’s one of the advices Google gives to its explorers in its Glass do’s and don’ts list. Luckily, not all the advice is centered around diminishing the ‘creep factor’ as much as possible. It also encourages the lucky Glass owners to explore the world in a new way (handsfree, like we used to do before mobile phones), to use voice commands more often, and to not rock Glass when doing high-impact sports. (via Maarten)
  • Jet, on the other hand, is a wearable / HUD made for sports. The Jet heads-up display (an Intel investment, see this WiC) comes with an on-board GPS and sensors to measure distance, speed, elevation and gain, and connects with your smartphone and wearables for call displays, heart rate monitoring, .. . Jet also sports an onboard camera and microphone, so you can capture the landscape without having to take your hands off the handle bars or eyes off the road. The Jet Recon SDK & API should be ready at launch, so you can build your own apps for your flashy HUD.
  • Project Tango. Wow. Imagine mobile phones not having to determine your environment based on GPS coordinates and sound and light sensors, but them being able to actually see your surroundings. See there’s much motion and desk around you, this must be an office.  Imagine them to be able to find stuff you’ve misplaced, by scanning the room and highlighting what’s changed. “Our goal is to give mobile devices a human understanding of space and motion,” the Project Tango video says. There’s an endless amount of applications that can be thought of  that make good use of ‘depth vision’ in our mobile phones. Yet the first two that spring to mind are not that revolutionary: more affordable archaeological surveys, and a loud beep when you’re about to walk into rubbish bin whilst texting. (via Roel)

Came across something that you think is of interest to us, our your colleagues following the wearables, context and sentient computing industries? Let us know, on Twitter or Google Plus, and we’ll include it in next week’s roundup.

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