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.

After 10 After Dark @ Tate Britain

From tomorrow night you can participate in the result of the Tate Britain’s new annual ik prize winner’s rather remarkable tour around the gallery conducted by robots. In their words you can, for a short period of time, “take control” of one of the robots and watch the results.

From August 13 through 17 after 10pm BST each night simply visit After Dark at Tate Britain

(Members of the public will be able to log onto afterdark.tate.org.uk on 13, 14, 16, 17 August from 22.00 until 03.00. On 15 August, there is an evening for children to operate the robots at a slightly earlier time of 19.30 until 00.30).

In their words” After Dark has been created by design studio The Workers  (Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns and David Di Duca) who were inspired to re-create the experience of being alone in the gallery after dark using digital technology. This online experience invites people all over the world to view Tate Britain’s galleries online at night through four camera-equipped robots roaming the gallery spaces, connecting audiences with art in the BP Walk Through British Art. Live online for five consecutive nights from 13 August, the project will allow the public to view the robots on their journey through the artworks and a number of visitors will be able to remotely control their movements. A first-person, real-time video feed and live commentary will be streamed to all visitors on the After Dark website. This is the first project of its kind in a museum or gallery setting.

The robots are equipped with lights, a camera, sensors and motors allowing them to sneak through the galleries in the dark. An onboard computer streams their vision through the internet in real-time and responds to commands. The Robots have been created in collaboration with RAL Space  (who work alongside the UK Space Agency – UKSA), a world-leading centre for the research and development of space exploration technologies.”

The ik Prize, (in its inauguaral year) named in memory of the philanthropist Irene Kreitman, celebrates creative talent in the digital industry. Supported by the Porter Foundation, the Prize is presented by Tate to a team, company or individual for an original idea that uses the power of digital technology to connect Tate’s collection of 500 years of British Art to a wider audience.

We’ll leave you with their video & don’t forget to visit after 10 after dark on 13-17 August @ Tate Britain:

Online shopping’s score

The first online sale (secure variety) was made 20 years ago today on (unsurprisingly) August 11 1994 and (again unsurprisingly) took place in the USA, but more surprisingly to us, was that the purchase  was of  the $12.48 CD Ten Summoner’s Tales by our very own Sting!

Here are:

Incidentally the album/CD now costs £4.96 over here (Amazon) which at current fx rates is about $8.33 and we’ re sure it can be added to your collection for much less elsewhere!

Shop Direct have carried out some research in the UK to celebrate this anniversary. The sort of, overview of the outcome is that 95% of us shop online now with 25% of us doing so at least once a week. We started off buying books online, way back when, and still do so but our most recent purchase is likely to be fashion.

Shop Direct’s research by Opinion Matters analyses the results by gender, age region and city, the latter of which we found particularly interesting and which we may may return to in more detail at a later date. In the meantime  here’s an analysis of the 25% who shop at least once a week online by city which we’ve compiled and added country info. Scotland scores but Northern Ireland doesn’t!

We’ll leave you with Shop Directs celebratory video of the last online shopping score which includes an insight into their “… new in-house user experience (UX) laboratory at its head office in Liverpool as a way to get closer to and interact with customers using their websites”. Shop Direct  includes Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and isme.com.

Research methodology

The research was carried out by Opinion Matters between 29/07/2014 and 01/08/2014 with a sample of 1,163 UK adults who shop online. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.

Will you pass your DQ test?

Ofcom  in connection with the publication today of the eleventh edition of its Communications Market Report (CMR) has included both the results of its research into the Digital Quotient of our population as well as a somewhat shortened test so that you can quickly (3 minutes they claim) come up with your own level.

TAKE THE TEST

It consists of 18 questions with a maximum score of about 144 we reckon but to achieve that you will have to use a Smartwatch a 3D printer and glasses!

The overall average at 100 we reckon converts to a percentage of just under 70% and the “with it” 14-15 year olds just under 80%. Everybody passes with even the 75+’s scoring 55%.

We may return to the full UK report at a later stage to comment on some of its 429 pages and the consistently colourful charts

Report links:

Free for all in Zambia

Internet.org have today announced their free App initially to be made available in Zambia with a view to rolling it out to other countries. Airtel is the carrier/provider

The rationale is fairly simple. “Over 85% of the world’s population lives in areas with existing cellular coverage, yet only about 30% of the total population accesses the internet.”

Limited services will be available in Zambia as follows (our links are to the Zambian sites where possible – many of course are mobile versions):

  1. AccuWeather
  2. Airtel
  3. eZeLibrary
  4. Facebook
  5. Facts for Life
  6. Google Search
  7. Go Zambia Jobs
  8. Kokoliko
  9. MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action)
  10. Messenger
  11. Wikipedia
  12. WRAPP (Women’s Rights App)
  13. Zambia uReport 

We’re impressed and we think it is a very positive move. Elsewhere others including Gigaom list both their positives and negatives.

  • “PRO: They provide access to those who previously lacked it.
  • PRO: They give carriers a way to show people what the internet does and then sell them up to paid data services (which is why the carriers aren’t even charging Internet.org for carrying its data.)
  • PRO: They give included web services the growth Wall Street craves.
  • CON: If users don’t pay up to exit the walled garden (and for many, why would they?) then it stymies any rival web service, by making it harder for people to find them, let alone use them. In other words, zero-rating entrenches powerful monopolies, hurts competition and potentially slows down innovation.
  • CON: If your web experience is mediated through a monolithic portal, that undermines privacy — everything you do and look at is funnelled through one profiling gate, with the results going to advertisers and potentially spies.
  • CON: There’s an immense risk to free speech. Particularly in more authoritarian countries – and there are quite a few in emerging markets – state censors must love the idea of everything passing through one portal. It makes their job so much simpler.”