Follow the Smart Ghost Car

Jaguar Land Rover are developing a couple of clever/smart driver aides:

  • ’360 Virtual Urban Windscreen’
  • ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation’

The windscreen expansion is achieved by having screens in the pillars linked to outward facing cameras.

The Ghost car navigation works on the premise thast we all like to follow rather than lead by projecting a ghost car & instructions onto the screen.

Their video gives the best portrayal of these two aides.

Cometh the Hour Cometh the Code is organising its annual event during Sconce Education Week December 8-14 (2013 December 9-15) which has evolved from last years Hour of Code Challenge to simply the Hour of Code.

They are also looking to raise $5 million by crowdfunding.

It is very much a global movement involving 180+ countries and tutorials are available in 30 languages.

Get involved and join in.

Join the largest learning event in history
Pridružite se najvećem edukativnom događaju u povijesti
Mach mit bei der größten Lernveranstaltung in der Geschichte
ﺎﻨﻀﻣ ﺈﻟﻯ ﺄﻜﺑﺭ ﺡﺪﺛ ﺖﻌﻠﻴﻤﻳ ﻒﻳ ﺎﻠﺗﺍﺮﻴﺧ
iscriviti all’evento didattico più popolare del mondo
Tham gia sự kiện lớn nhất từ trước đến nay trong lịch sử
2014 年 12 月 8日ー14 日、歴史上最大の学習イベントに参加しよう。
O maior evento de aprendizagem da história
Присъединете се към най-голямото събитие за обучение в историята
Alăturaţi-vă celui mai mare eveniment educativ din istorie
Присоединяйтесь к крупнейшему учебному событию в истории
Bergabunglah dalam acara belajar terbesar dalam sejarah pada tanggal
Приєднуйтесь до найбільшої навчальної події в історії
Únete al evento de aprendizaje más grande en la historia
Λάβε μέρος στην μεγαλύτερη στην ιστορία εκδήλωση για την μάθηση

Click to enlarge - Interactive version at

 Hour of Code.

We’ll leave you with their video which is quite noisy!

Emergent Breaking News

Click to view current status

As we all know the internet is probably the most prolific conveyor of rumours in the universe!

Well Craig Silverman (a fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University) is researching this seriously and is on a mission “ …to conduct research into how news organizations deal with rumours and unconfirmed information,  and to identify best practices for how journalists can debunk misinformation.

The result will be a research paper published in 2015, which will be available for free online. I will also be a launching a public-facing website where anyone can view the data being collected for the project.”

The website is where you can check up on many of the latest rumours to ascertain their status in terms of True, False, Unverified.

You can also  click on:

  • a story to visit a page that visualizes the sources reporting the rumor, and a breakdown of social shares per source.
  • individual articles on the story page to see specific revision and social share data about that article.

You can also even tweet your “unconfirmed reports” @EmergentDotInfo and get updates on current rumours status.

UPDATE: New York Times (the Upshot) article – Why Rumors Outrace the Truth Online

For regular updates on the project register here.

The UK Tech Cool Brands they are a-changin’!

CoolBrands® published their latest assessment  (2014-2015) of the Coolest UK brands earlier this week.

“The UK’s CoolBrands are chosen by an Expert Council of influencers and members of the British public. Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The entire selection process is independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis.”

The results (pdf) and the selection criteria and some selected Brands and the Expert Panel details appear on their site.

Many of the of the previous incumbents have fallen out of the top 20 including Twitter, BBC’s iPlayer (shame), and Spotify and as far as we can see Amazon has disappeared altogether!

In the top twenty, Techs have dropped by one to a mere 6 this year but continue to have 4 in the top ten with netflix replacing twitter.

Apple continues its dominance retaining the #1 spot but what of 2015 – we shall see!.

The overall Tech content has increased somewhat in that, on our wide definition, it looks as if just under 8% this year (47) of those considered come from this sector whereas previously it was nearer 6.5%.

The overall numbers have contracted from we reckon 712 last year to 610 currently.

Of the dozen or so new Tech entrants this year the ones which caught our eye (with CoolBrands categories) included:

The last two we are pleased to report are home grown, so as to speak.

We’ll leave you with (a) peak behind the scenes at Rockett St George’s …… and (b) an explanation from Mr & Mrs Smith!

D40 Tech Venture uses F6S

Diageo are using F6S  (that’s the network for Founders {The F6S name comes from shortening the six letters between F and S to F6S}) as the portal for its new start up accelerator – Diageo Technology Ventures.

In Diageo’s  words this is:

“a new global innovation programme … to rapidly develop and pilot technology solutions in response to a series of focussed business briefs. Successful applicants will work with some of Diageo’s leading talent to develop their solution and a US$100,000 fund will be committed by Diageo to support each pilot project.”

The first 2 briefs are:

  • Responsible Drinking – We are passionate about the role our brands play in celebrating life the world over, and the value created through their continued enjoyment. Our commitment to this is matched by our commitment to tackling irresponsible drinking – doing so is good for our business and our consumers. Our long standing efforts focus in particular on addressing excessive drinking and drink driving. We want to work with companies offering technologies and platforms that can be used to help consumers to drink responsibly, in ways that do not intrude on the social flow of life. We want solutions that tap into existing digital behaviours or utilise platforms that are in wide use. We’re particularly interested in simple and effective tools for young adults above the legal drinking age, both in developed and emerging markets.
  • Combatting theft  - Theft affects brands and retailers in all sectors, with millions lost in sales for US retailers. The problem includes shoplifting, employee theft and organized crime in the supply chain. We want to support our key stakeholders in the industry to counter these problems and are looking for new technologies and digital partners that can help us with this mission.

They “…are looking for applicants from innovative digital and technology companies of all shapes and sizes, from new start-ups to established technology businesses. Successful companies are likely to have already proven their technology and will be looking to deploy it at scale”.

Apply via F6S’s portal

Eye I there’s a new robovac in town!

It’s the Dyson 360 eye TM .

Launched yesterday by its namesake in Japan it could arrive in the UK towards the end of next year and at 100,000 yen it likely costs around $1,000 which at current rates ($1.63 = £1) might imply a price of over £600 over here.

The Apple approach, of not first but probably the best, seems to be in evidence.

Allegedly it has been under development for 16 years which predates the iRobot Roomba!

It has its very own website  and android & iOS apps should appear for really remote robotic control!


Some of the features are given as:

  • Fast 360º camera (30 frames a second)
  • Powerful lithium ion battery providing a 29 minutes operation between charges
  • Light 200w digital motor operating at 78,000 rpm
  • Wifi connection for smartphone apps
  • Continuous tank tracks
  • Full-width brush bar with carbon fibre filaments

You can register to get updates on the website.

We’ll leave you with the most popular 360 eye video.

2022 & ALL THAT

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Computer Society have been looking into their crystal ball to see what lies ahead and in particular what they foresee on the technology front by 2022.

Their 163 page study (IEEE CS 2022 Report) is available to all.

They list a, sort of, long list of 23 Technologies. We think that embeddable implants will be beginning to become one of the more radical interfaces referred to below (16) by 2022.

  1. Security Cross-Cutting Issues – The growth of large data repositories and emergence of data analytics have combined with intrusions by bad actors, governments, and corporations to open a Pandora’s box of issues. How can we balance security and privacy in this environment?
  2. Open Intellectual Property Movement – From open source software and standards to open-access publishing, the open IP movement is upon us. What are the implications?
  3. Sustainability – Can electronic cars, LED lighting, new types of batteries and chips, and increasing use of renewables combat rising energy use and an explosion in the uptake of computing?
  4. Massively Online Open Courses – MOOCs have the potential to transform the higher-education landscape, siphoning students from traditional universities and altering faculty and student roles. How significant will their impact be?
  5. Quantum Computing – Constrained only by the laws of physics, quantum computing will potential extend Moore’s Law into the next decade. As commercial quantum computing comes within reach, new breakthroughs are occurring at an accelerating pace.
  6. Device and Nanotechnology – It is clear that MEMS devices, nanoparticles, and their use in applications are here to stay. Nanotechnology has already been useful in manufacturing sunscreen, tires, and medical devices that can be swallowed.
  7. 3D Integrated Circuits – The transition from printed circuit boards to 3D-ICs is already underway in the mobile arena, and will eventually spread across the entire spectrum of IT products.
  8. Universal Memory – Universal memory replacements for DRAM will cause a tectonic shift in architectures and software.
  9. Multicore – By 2022, multicore will be everywhere, from wearable systems and smartphones to cameras, games, automobiles, cloud servers, and exascale supercomputers.
  10. Photonics - Silicon photonics will be a fundamental technology to address the bandwidth, latency, and energy challenges in the fabric of high-end systems.
  11. Networking and Interconnectivity – Developments at all levels of the network stack will continue to drive research and the Internet economy.
  12. Software-defined Networks – OpenFlow and SDN will make networks more secure, transparent, flexible, and functional.
  13. High-performance Computing – While some governments are focused on reaching exascale, some researchers are intent on moving HPC to the cloud.
  14. Cloud Computing – By 2022, cloud will be more entrenched and more computing workloads run on the cloud.
  15. The Internet of Things – From clothes that monitor our movements to smart homes and cities, the Internet of Things knows no bounds, except for our concerns about ensuring privacy amid such convenience.
  16. Natural User Interfaces – The long-held dreams of computers that can interface with us through touch, gesture, and speech are finally coming true, with more radical interfaces on the horizon.
  17. 3D Printing – 3D printing promises a revolution in fabrication, with many opportunities to produce designs that would have been prohibitively expensive.
  18. Big Data and Analytics – The growing availability of data and demand for its insights holds great potential to improve many data-driven decisions.
  19. Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems – Machine learning plays an increasingly important role in our lives, whether it’s ranking search results, recommending products, or building better models of the environment.
  20. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition – Unlocking information in pictures and videos has had a major impact on consumers and more significant advances are in the pipeline.
  21. Life Sciences - Technology has been pivotal in improving human and animal health and addressing threats to the environment.
  22. Computational Biology and Bioinformatics – Vast amounts of data are enabling the improvement of human health and unraveling of the mysteries of life.
  23. Medical Robotics – From autonomous delivery of hospital supplies to telemedicine and advanced prostheses, medical robotics has led to many life-saving innovations.

Repurposing Loons aided by Drones

Following on from their drone experiments in Australia (Project Wing) Google are now explaining how they recover their balloons from their Project Loon.

You may recall that this is their “Internet for all” endeavour which they describe as follows:

“Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. In the stratosphere, there are many layers of wind, and each layer of wind varies in direction and speed. Loon balloons go where they’re needed by rising or descending into a layer of wind blowing in the desired direction of travel. People can connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from this antenna up to the balloon network, and then down to the global Internet on Earth.”

The recovery process is aided by GPS and has they say come a long way from the early days when some poor Flight Operations Program Manager spending 2 days ooff the New Zealand coast fishing for a Loon.

We now have a concept of their drones collecting the loons on their return to earth!

We’ll leave you with their video:Images & video courtesy of Google.

In-Car InControl InXE infotainment +

Jaguar in connection with their build up to the full launch of their new XE model in 2015 today have released the third of their four “technology previews”.

It is the “All-new InControl infotainment system with 8-inch touchscreen”.

Click to enlarge

In summary it includes;

  • Optional on screen (that’s the windscreen) displays of key info
  • Access via the touchscreen to iOS & Android apps on your smartphone
  • In-car wifi hotspot
  • Voice control
  • Remote access via your smartphone
  • Emergency call
  • Tracking

The full “reveal” of the new model is scheduled for September 8 on the Thames with contributions from Emili  Sandé, Stella McCartney and Idris Elba. You can be kept informed of events by registering here.

We’ll leave you with their quite clever video (apart from displaying a left-hand drive layout) introduced and narrated by Dr Mike Bell, Jaguar’s very own Global Connected Car Director!


Appy Bluetoothed Mannequins

Click to enlarge

Iconeme (pronounced as economy but with a wicked “I” instead of an over used “E”) are now employing their VM Beacon technology with 4 retailers around the UK:

  • Bentalls (Kingston upon Thames)
  • Hawes & Curtis (Jermyn Street London)
  • House of Fraser (Aberdeen)
  • Jaeger (Regent Street, London)

Mannequins are accessorised with a Bluetooth electronic beacon in addition to the appropriate apparell. The retailer, via their own programmed web portal will provide information on the specific wear to passing customers on their smartphones using the Iconeme app (both iOS & Android – see below).

The process goes something like the following:

  • Passing within range (eg the retailers shop window) your app alerts you to to a VMBeacon presence
  • Open the app & access the mannequin
  • Liking the look explore  the apparel further
  • You can then, get more detail, find where it is instore, purchase from the retailers website, share the info with friends or family or save the look for further investigation.

The app can also provide you with offers from time to time.

We rather liked the look of the Iconeme app graphic -  but we are of course biased.

You can download the app here

Certainly this is likely an area where iBeacon technology could certainly catch on.

We’ll leave you with a Beacons insight video from GDR which features the Iconeme VMBeacon system and app.