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.”

Our Top life changers are Broadband and the Internet

This is according to a new survey carried out by Hotpoint in connection with the launch of their Home IQ promotion which attempts to assess how smart your home is, mainly it has to be said in an appliance sense!

The survey was of 2,000 British adults and we found it noteworthy that 30% of the life changers were of  a technology nature (using our wide definition).

Of the 9 life changers 5 (56%) relate to devices led somewhat surprisingly not by the ubiquitous iPhone but by the iPad. Somewhat surprisingly the Blackberry also features.

Hotpoint offer to make an assessment of your Home’s IQ  if you are prepared to accept the challenge!

Here’s Hotpoints video with Suzi Perry which explains it all!

 

In-Car Mobile Interior Imaging Technology

Intel & Ford have set up a joint research project called Mobile Interior Imaging or Mobii involving the use of inward facing cameras in cars which unsurprisingly link to smartphones.

In their words the research “…explores how interior-facing cameras could be integrated with sensor technology and data already generated within and around the vehicle to create a more personalized and seamless interaction between driver and vehicle that transforms the driving experience.

The Mobii research was a collaboration between Intel ethnographers, anthropologists and engineers alongside Ford research engineers, and incorporates perceptual computing technology to offer a more enjoyable and intuitive vehicle experience.”

Intel who have a vice president, Internet of Things Group Doug Davis, comments “Project Mobii is a great example of Intel collaborating with Ford to help enable a secure, more connected driving experience.”

Lots of potential we think

We’ll leave you with Intel’s informative video:

 

Good vibrations for smart shoes

The latest wearable is from Ducere Technologies  under their brand Lechal  which apparently in Hindi translates as “take me there” or optionally “let’s go”. The company is of Indian origin, founded in 2011, and the product they describe as  interactive haptic footwear.

Originally developed for the visually impaired its wider application to joggers bikers and walkers was recognised and additional facilities including distance measurement and calorific burn have been incorporated.

In our words a smartphone app using Google maps links to sensors in the shoes/insole, via bluetooth, and having set a location the shoe will guide you there through vibrations to each of your feet at appropriate direction changes. Additional functionality is also incorporated.

Apparently they are due to start shipping in September this year at a cost of a bit over $100.

We are uncertain as to UK availability.

We’ll leave you with their video:

 

Sources: All Things D, Ducere Technologies and Lechal

3 2 1 goTenna

This 6 inch long gadget pairs with an iOS or Android device using Bluetooth. It then connects with other goTennas miles away, allowing their paired phones to communicate with one another over peer-to-peer links. It’s mainly an out door device and depending on their presence will operate anywhere in  the world.

Mainly in their words this is how they work.

goTenna enables you to communicate without any need for central connectivity whatsoever—no cell towers, no wifi, no satellites—so when you’re off-grid you can remain connected. In fact, goTenna will even work if your smartphone is in “Airplane Mode”! How does this magic work?

Pair your smartphone to your goTenna device wirelessly, using Bluetooth-LE. Your goTenna needs to be within 20 feet of your phone, so that the two can communicate with each other. Use our free app to type out a text message or share a location. Your smartphone will send the message to your goTenna, which will then shoot it out, via long-range radio waves, to the intended goTenna(s). At the other end, the exact same thing happens, in reverse: the recipient goTenna sends your message over Bluetooth-LE to the smartphone app it’s paired with. All of this happens in a matter of milliseconds.

The goTenna will be able to transmit to any goTenna user within range. What kind of range can you expect? That‘s greatly dependent on your geography. See above to get a sense for what range you can expect in specific environments (open water, suburban, urban, forest, desert) and elevations. Elevating the goTenna increases its range drastically. Another way to improve your range is to attach it externally to other gear (e.g. a backpack), as opposed to having it at the bottom of a bag.

Its forecast to ship in the late autumn and can be preordered (as a pair) at a discounted price of $149.99 from now. Initially available in the USA & Canada you can ask about other country details No doubt if/when there is  UK availability duties taxes & shipping charges will apply

We’ll leave you with their slightly inappropriate video!

 

Sources: Gigaom & goTenna

We have no commercial arrangements with goTenna.