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.

We beat Germany and Argentina

That’s in the  G20 e-Trade Readiness Index which “… measures the degree to which the G20 countries encourage through policy, regulation and infrastructure cross-border trade using the Internet.

The report is based on a quantitative Index which scores the countries (excluding the EU as a separate entity) across five categories:

  1. Investment climate
  2. Internet environment
  3. International trading
  4. Environment, regulatory and legal framework
  5. The environment for e-payments.”

It is produced by the Economist’s Intelligence Unit and was commissioned by ebay inc.

There are 19 in the G20 ‘cos the EU is the 20th member and wisely, we thought, are therefore not reported on separately by the Intellignce Unit particularly as it would involve gathering data on over an additional 20 counties!

Here are the 5 category scores.

Click to enlarge

Our simplistic analysis concludes that the UK could improve and get into the top 3 if it did not loose out so much in the Investment climate where it has only 2/3 of the overall winners score.

The general comments on this category are “The investment climate category in the G20 e-Trade readiness Index measures macroeconomic and political stability as well as demographic factors, such as population, median age and education, that affect the risks and returns associated with investment in a  country. To emphasise the role of technology and SMEs, the extent of ICT investment and access to financing for entrepreneurs are also included. Countries that score well in this category are characterised by high levels of technology investment, a large, young and growing middle class and openness to entrepreneurial ventures.”

We’re surprised that the UK scores so badly and is even below Brazil and only just above Saudi Arabia.

Much more of course in the Economist’s report

Amazon Prime Air Approaches Takeoff

Following its drone / octocopter publicity last December Amazon have now formally applied (July 10) to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as follows.”In order to allow outdoor R&D testing for Prime Air in the United States, we are submitting this petition for exemption pursuant to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.”

Interestingly they indicate that they may have already undertaken some testing outdoors in overseas countries.

The overview of their objectives and the reason for Amazon Prime Air is said to be:

“At Amazon, our energy comes from inventing on behalf of customers. Amazon Prime Air, a new delivery system that will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using aerial vehicles, is one invention we are incredibly passionate about. We believe customers will love it, and we are committed to making Prime Air available to customers worldwide as soon as we are permitted to do so.”

As far as “exemptions” are concerned the FAA have already granted some commercial ones on a pretty limited basis.

You can download the full amazon petition from the Federal regulations.gov website and, if suitably qualified submit your comments!

We’ll leave you with a rather good runover of Prime Airs progress from Time

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon.

Another 4 for O3b

Yesterday O3b Networks (Other 3 billion), the satellite internet provider, launched another 4 satellites from Arianespace’s French Guiana’s spaceport on flight VS0.courtesy of a Soyuz 2 rocket. These 4 will now go through a period of in-orbit testing before being fully integrated into the O3b network.

We reckon that following the initial launch, just over a year ago, this brings their total to 8. Their next launch is due in early 2015 and we will report back thereafter.

It does look to us as if this venture, already backed, to the extent of over $1.3 billion ( we wonder if they will  aim at $3 billion for symmetry reasons) is commercially sound and could  well be used by Google (who are an investor) in furtherance of their extra terrestrial activities.

We’ll leave you with one of their launch/ promotional videos

Technology’s the canvas, code the paintbrush

As part of their Digital Revolution exhibition  the Barbican in London are including Google backed DEV ART which features art made with code.

“DevArt celebrates developers who use technology as their canvas and code as their paintbrush to make art that explores and challenges the creative and technical limits of code. With the Barbican, we commissioned three interactive artists to create pieces for Digital Revolution. Karsten Schmidt’s Co(de) Factory empowers anyone to be an artist with an online design tool that creates 3D digital sculptures that may be showcased in the exhibition. Zach Lieberman’s Play the World uses code to find musical notes from hundreds of live radio stations around the world.”

The exhibition runs (from July 3) until September 14 and from the surrounding promotions looks well worth a visit. Opening times are 11am – 8pm (10pm on Thursdays). Bookings

We’ll leave you with the exhibition launch video.

Top Twenty Tech Future Brands

The Future Brand Index 2014 has recently been released.

In their words:

“To test our hypothesis about the difference between perception and financial performance of the Global Top 100 Companies by market capitalization, we surveyed 3,030 members of the informed public (consumers who are currently or were previously working in professional jobs) in 17 countries around the world (the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UAE, India, China, Thailand, Japan and Australia).

Respondents were asked questions about those companies based on FutureBrand’s proprietary brand strength model, as well as a series of other factors, and provided answers on a multiple choice and qualitative basis. This formed the basis of our quantitative analysis to develop a new ranking of the companies driven by strength of perception across 18 specific attributes within the dimensions of ‘purpose’ and ‘experience’.”

The financial performance criteria are sourced from PwC’s Global Top 100 Companies by Market Capitalisation 2014.

We have done our usual analysis’s of our (very widely defined Tech Sector and find that 6 of the top 10 overall are present with on a wider review of the top 100 22 being present just outside our top 20 are Qualcomm at 21 (overall position 87) and Comcast at 22 (overall 96).

Click to enlarge

Much more in the full report which can be downloaded on registration.

Google Scores in Brazil

Despite (or perhaps because of) Google’s flirtation with satellite launching company acquisitions such as the recently announced Skybox Imaging company Project Loon  is alive and well and helping some school kids in Brazil.

Skybox Imaging  basically can provide HD quality video from space following the launch of their SkySat 1 back in November last year using a Russian dnepr rocket from the Yasny launch base which is just to the north of Kazakhstan.

The Wall Street Journal have been reviewing their crystal ball and found that “… by 2016 or so, Skybox will be able to take full images of the Earth twice a day, at a resolution that until last week was illegal to sell commercially—all with just a half-dozen satellites. By the time its entire fleet of 24 satellites has launched in 2018, Skybox will be imaging the entire Earth at a resolution sufficient to capture, for example, real-time video of cars driving down the highway. And it will be doing it three times a day.”

Project Loon is Google’s high altitude balloon system for bringing the internet to the unconnected particularly in the southern hemisphere.

Here’s their video of the Brazilian test.

Boris and Bloomberg upbeat about billions from London’s Tech Sector

Click for http://londontechnologyweek.co.uk

London Technology Week coinciding with the Internet World Exhibition, which starts tomorrow at the ExCel London, is up and running with over 200 events  across the five days.

London’s mayor has said “Tech Week is a superb opportunity to hail the success of London‘s tech sector, which despite only being in adolescence already makes a tremendous contribution to our economy and is outperforming our rivals around the globe. The tentacles of our digital army now spread to every corner of the capital and far beyond. We forecast that they will generate a whopping £12 billion of economic activity and 46,000 new jobs in the capital over the next decade.”

In addition to London’s very own Mayor a certain Mr Bloomberg an ex mayor of New York is also in town to grace some of the activities with his presence and has commented “Ten years ago, no one thought of New York or London as a competitor to Silicon Valley – but today, more and more tech companies are looking to our cities as places to launch and grow, because they offer such diversity, creative talent, and high quality of life. Tech companies thrive on data, and the new Center for Urban Science and Progress in London will harness the power of data to make London an even better place, just as NYU-CUSP is doing in New York. Bloomberg Associates is looking forward to working with Mayor Johnson and his team to build on London’s tech momentum and create more jobs in the city.”

From their impressive promotional video we’ve selected just three of the featured London companies:

Cute Circuit  and their wearable technology collections

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iMakr Apart from our inevitable attraction to the name, its London store is the largest 3D printer store in the world plus they have a venture capital arm who will consider investing in your 3D project over at iMakr.vc 

Roli have some really cool musical key boards

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We’ll leave you with their impressive (tech product wise) promo video .

The Handy Vessyl Sails on

Rather than explain what it does/doesn’t do we thought we’d simply summarise most of the FAQ’s on Vessyl‘s site which, pretty much explains it all plus of course the ubiquitous video.

You can prorder it now (both in the US {currently $109 incl shipping} & Internationally {currently $117 incl shipping but excluding local duties/taxes etc}.Envisaged shipment date is early 2015

  • Can it  detect the brand of what I drink?
  • How does it help:
  • (a) me lose weight?
  • (b) me stay hydrated?
  • (c)me stay sharp (caffeine)?
  • (d) me build muscle?
  • (e) me sleep better?
  • (f) me regulate sugar?
  • How do I charge it?
  • How long does a charge last?
  • How much liquid can it hold?
  • Can I charge while there is a drink in it?
  • How do you clean it?
  • Is the non-stick coating inside it toxic once it starts to wear down?
  • Can I link multiple Vessyls to one phone?
  • Can I link it to multiple phones?
  • Does it count liquid when I wash it?
  • Can my it handle boiling water/tea/coffee?
  • Can I put it in the fridge?
  • Is it spill-proof?
  • Are there any wires involved?
  • Is there ANY change in taste due to the technology or inner surface?
  • Does it work for alcohol?
  • Does the display on it stay on all the time?
  • What’s the gesture it recognises?
  • Is it Scratchproof?
  • Is it Water-resistant?
  • Can it detect for Yogurt/Smoothies/Milk Shakes/Etc..
  • Does it drain my phone’s battery?
  • What languages does it support?
  • On which mobile operating systems/smartphones/devices does its app work?
  • Do I need a smartphone for it to work?
  • Can I choose what color I want for it?