German airline Lufthansa has partnered with an online supermarket so passengers can shop for groceries on their flight home and avoid returning to an empty fridge.
Passengers on long-haul flights can use Lufthansa’s in-flight internet, FlyNet, to access Rewe’s online delivery service and shop for groceries. Passengers can then select a delivery date and the food will arrive at their home (provided the address is in Germany) in a cool box. They are also planning to trial this in the US next year
The trial began on 1 October and will run until 1 December. For the first six weeks of the trial, the service will be available on long-haul flights to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. In the second six weeks, the service will be available on long-haul flights that have those three cities as the final destination.
Why it’s hot From plane to home at just the right moment. Not only they deliver to your home but you can choose the exact time you want it to be delivered to your address.
The idea came from a customer survey where people said they want duty free products to b delivered home
Swedish train operator SJ Railways is equipping passengers with chips as an alternative to paper tickets. The system comprises a NFC (near-field communication) microchip and a smartphone app.
Each passenger is given a membership number, which is stored in his or her chip and monitored via the app. Once implanted, conductors can simply use their device to scan people’s hands and validate their journey.
The company started by trialling the tech with 100 of its loyalty programme members and reports that 3,000 travellers are now using the microchip system.
The innovation follows the news that Swedish co-working space company Epicenter gives members the option to use a chip implant rather than a plastic card to access its premises. ‘Some of SJ’s business passengers at Epicenter contacted us and asked about the possibility of using the microchip for the train journey.
Why its hot? From screen to skin. So, let the bio-hacking begin:
According to World Economic Forum, implantable mobile phones will on the market by 2023. These devices will potentially be able to accurately track a person’s health, while also allowing them to communicate thoughts through signals. While this might seem far-fetched, SJ Railways’ chip system is an example of how brands could tap into the emerging human augmentation market in a way that is more acceptable to the public.
United Arab Emirates has announced that it’s building a 1.9 million square feet simulated Mars settlement. It will be called Mars Science City and will serve as home to interconnected domes housing various laboratories simulating the planet’s terrain. The team building the structure plans to use advanced 3D printing techniques and heat and radiation insulation to mimic the harsh environment of our neighbor.
Why it’s hot?
New start-up movement: The city will have labs to develop technologies that can provide future Martian colonies with food, water and energy.
Climbers on the iconic Bastille in Eldorado Canyon deal with heavy winds, pouring rain and temperatures that can rise and fall by as much as 40 degrees in August. As prepped as they might be, they could likely use an extra layer or two on their way to the top of this picturesque mountain outside Boulder, Colorado.
Enter the world’s most remote pop-up, dubbed Cliffside Shop and manned from sunrise to sunset by a fellow climber handing out hoodies, socks and other gear to anyone who needs it. The price may be free, but it does require you to climb 300 feet to a shop that juts out from the sheer face of the mountain.
The pop up lasted for two days, and the campaign, includes a dedicated microsite where users can find more information about the material and shop branded gear.
Why it’s hot? Give people what they need exactly when they need it, no matter where they are
Called Bodega, this startup installs unmanned pantry boxes in apartments, offices, dorms, and gyms. It promises convenience, but also represents competition for many mom-and-pop stores. Bodega’s logo is a cat, a nod to the popular bodega cat meme.
Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”
Why it’s hot? Other than the fact that it has angered all the mom and pop corner bodega lovers
The end of centralized shopping as we know it
“The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” McDonald says. “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”
Personalized Bodega Boxes
“By studying their buying behavior, we’re hoping to eventually figure out how the needs of people in one apartment building differ from those in another. We could customize the items in one dorm versus the next.”
How can terrified parents of newly qualified teen drivers persuade them to drive safely? Toyota has come up with what could be an ingenious method — embarrassing them.
The brand’s new Safe and Sound App, not only blocks social media posts and incoming calls once they’re traveling over nine miles per hour, it automatically switches to playing their parents’ Spotify playlist once they break the speed limit or try to use their phone. And, naturally, parents are free to put as much embarrassing music on there as they choose.
The parents activate the app when the teen wants to borrow their car, and it syncs both parent and child Spotify accounts. The app uses Google Maps API technology to detect if they’re speeding, and when the young driver touches their phone or breaks the speed limit, the music they are playing through Spotify will suddenly cut out and their parents’ playlist will kick in instead. Only once the driver stops interacting with their phone or returns to within the speed limit will their own music resume playing.
Why it’s hot?
They used a human insight and turned it into a product – for teenagers, the threat of embarrassment is more severe than threat of injury
Here’s how Ikea responded to the news that costume designers of Game of Thrones have been cutting corners, using Ikea rugs as pelts and capes for some of its extras.
In the show, the northern-dwelling Nightwatch, led by commander and king of the north Jon Snow, wear animal skins as to not freeze when winter comes. Instead of decking out the soldiers in real pelts, costume designers elected to take a trip to Ikea to buy Peta-approved Faux animal skin rugs.
Why it’s hot? Real time reaction with an idea that is low cost and pulled together in a couple of hours
KLM’s latest creative way to provide something extra for its passengers is a smart luggage tag that helps visitors to Amsterdam to get around the city. The airline’s agency, DDB & Tribal Worldwide Amsterdam, has developed a limited edition audio luggage “Care Tag” consisting of an offline GPS module and a speaker.
KLM aims to share not just the standard tourist tips, but helpful information like pointing out busy intersections with a lot of cyclists, where and how to lock your bike and when you have to watch out for pickpockets. There are also more lighthearted tips such as where to taste local food for free, where to see great street art or where to rent a bike or boat. The Care Tag comes with a USB charger so you can easily recharge it, and the audio works at two different volumes and was tested at many busy and noisy locations.
Why it’s hot Whether you’re walking or cycling through the city, it offers the right tip at the right location at the right time.
Aumi Mini is a new project on Kickstarter. It’s a USB-powered nightlight that connects to your Wi-Fi, and includes IFTTT support for getting into all sorts of automated shenanigans.
The exact sort internet events you’d like a nightlight to inform you of is, of course, entirely up to you. A few examples offered by Aumi include weather alerts, Wi-Fi-is-down notifications, and and smart home integration.
352 AI experts forecast a 50% chance AI will outperform humans in all tasks within 45 years, and take all jobs from humans within 120 years. Many of the world’s leading experts on machine learning were among those they contacted, including Yann LeCun, director of AI research at Facebook, Mustafa Suleyman from Google’s DeepMind and Zoubin Ghahramani, director of Uber’s AI labs.
Get the full research document HERE. Go to page 14 to get details on predictions
Amazon’s long been a go-to for people to online price compare while shopping at brick-and-mortars. Now, a new patent granted to the company could prevent people from doing just that inside Amazon’s own stores.
The patent, titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” details a mechanism where a retailer can intercept network requests like URLs and search terms that happen on its in-store Wi-Fi, then act upon them in various ways.
The document details in great length how a retailer like Amazon would use this information to its benefit. If, for example, the retailer sees you’re trying to access a competitor’s website to price check an item, it could compare the requested content to what’s offered in-store and then send price comparison information or a coupon to your browser instead. Or it could suggest a complementary item, or even block content outright.
Why it’s not hot? Amazon’s patent also lets the retailer know your physical whereabouts, saying, “the location may be triangulated utilizing information received from a multitude of wireless access points.” The retailer can then use this information to try and upsell you on items in your immediate area or direct a sales representative to your location.
It’s the very sort of thing that Amazon itself protests. Amazon is among companies that signed ‘day of action’ against FCC’s planned rollback of net neutrality rules
It starts with a cheesy line “Real Beauty breaks mold”. After years of encouraging women to love their bodies, Dove set out to give its plastic bottles a makeover. The idea: “Just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too”
They have rolled out six different shapes of Dove-branded plastic body-wash bottles. Each roughly correlates with a (woman’s) body type. There’s an hourglass bottle. A tall, thin bottle with smaller curves. A pear-shaped bottle. An even squatter pear-shaped bottle.
Consider this scenario. A pear-shaped woman has run out of body wash. She visits the local drug store, where she finds a display of Dove Real Beauty Bottles. To her chagrin, now she must choose between pear- and hourglass-shaped soap. She must also present this proxy for a body—the one she has? the one she wishes she did?—to a cashier to handle and perhaps to judge. What otherwise would have been a body-image-free trip to the store becomes a trip that highlights body-image.
Why it’s hot? A lot of people have been offended by it but no one has been able to explain why. The jury is still out on whether it’s stupid or genius.
Singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe is using technology to try to recapture some of music’s old-school magic and physicality. For the launch of her new album Raw Space, Wolfe teamed up with Nokia Bell Labs and Design IO. Starting tomorrow, May 5, Bell Labs will be streaming 360-degree footage from its anechoic chamber — a room with no echoes, where a vinyl version of Raw Space will be playing.
The video will also include augmented reality animation created by Design IO, aimed at illustrating the emotions and ideas of the songs. Because some of the animation is generated in real time, it should look different each time through.
Why its hot? The world’s first Live 360 Augmented Reality album stream. It’s her vision and the way she describes it is wha makes this project so beautiful “I’d been really thinking about this idea of: What would the anti-stream for today’s streaming world look like?” Wolfe said. “And how could you kind of recreate that tangible component, all of the artwork that we’re currently missing out of that streaming experience, with this really pure sound — and bring that to life for today’s generation?”
The dating app Feeld, previously known as 3nder and commonly known as “Tinder for threesomes,” has just announced a Slack integration – “Feeld for Slack
According to the Feeld, the bot works like this — just open a direct message conversation with Feeld and @-mention someone you “have feelings for.” For them to find out that you did that, they’ll have to initiate a conversation with the bot and mention you. Otherwise, Feeld promises, your secret dies in Slack. It doesn’t mention how long the bot will wait for your crush to reciprocate.
Google Home can now be trained to identify the different voices of people you live with. Today Google announced that its smart speaker can support up to six different accounts on the same device. The addition of multi-user support means that Google Home will now tailor its answers for each person and know which account to pull data from based on their voice. No more hearing someone else’s calendar appointments.
So how does it work? When you connect your account on a Google Home, we ask you to say the phrases “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” two times each. Those phrases are then analyzed by a neural network, which can detect certain characteristics of a person’s voice. From that point on, any time you say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network will compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so it can understand if it’s you speaking or not. This comparison takes place only on your device, in a matter of milliseconds.
Why it’s hot? -Everyone in the family gets a personal assistant.
-Imagine how it might work in a small business / office
-Once it starts recognizing more than six voices, can every department have its own AI assistant?
Snap is now giving advertisers a better idea of how effective their ads are at getting people to visit a specific store or see a movie with a “Snap to Store” tool that’ll help track just that.
Snap to Store initially launched for select companies, including Wendy’s, 7-Eleven, and Paramount Pictures. It lets advertisers know where users go after viewing a sponsored location-based ad. Snap explains that Wendy’s, for example, sponsored a geofilter for its jalapeño chicken sandwich that resulted in more than 42,000 people visiting the fast food restaurant over the week.
Why it’s hot
Snap tracks not only the user who took a photo with a sponsored geofilter but also which friends saw that photo and subsequently visited the store. The tool relies on users’ location data and a partnership with Foursquare to power its geofilters and figure out where users are at a given time.
Kaspersky has created a map to help people “look back and look forward” simultaneously. Called Earth 2050, the map provides a fascinating glimpse at a future based on predictions from futurists, professionals and members of the public. https://2050.earth/
It shows groups of yellow and white hexagons, with yellow representing places where cities, objects, and events of the future have been visualised, while white hexagons show predictions without accompanying illustrations. Illustrations can be added by anyone, after being vetted by Kaspersky, and predictions take place in the years 2030, 2040 and 2050. The result is a collection of 360-degree views of cities across the globe showing concepts dreamt up by professional futurologists and designers.
Each city and experience is equipped with predictions from experts at Kaspersky, futurologists, and random site visitors. Predictions range from the believable (humans will live in buildings stocked with amenities so they’ll never need to leave their homes) to the strange (toilets will analyze our poop) to the ambitious (students will be able to choose what time they go to school, thanks to pop-up hologram teachers)
Why its hot? -Brings diversity of predictions about the future of the world
-Predictions pose a nagging question – “is everything we’re doing today right or not?”
-A through-the-looking-glass effect that makes for an intriguing, if not dystopian, look into 2050.
Virtual reality can whisk you away from your life, but it doesn’t make the things in your life actually vanish. And sometimes that might mean you’re going to sit on your cat.
Katie Goode, the creative director of developer Triangular Pixels, has built a kind of harness for her cat that uses one of HTC’s Vive VR trackers. The tracker is a tiny, crown-looking device that you can attach to a mug, a toy gun, or any other object you may wish to see while you’re inside virtual reality. In Goode’s case, she wanted to see when her cat decided to randomly take a nap in the middle of her room-scale VR space, and so she stitched together what looks like a tiny backpack for her pet.
The result is that anyone wearing the VR headset can now see when the animal comes into the room.
Why it’s hot? -Wireless VR trackers enable unlimited possibilities as you can bring real life objects into your VR world.. Now you can add to that saving lives of pets and even children
-‘I sat on my cat’ is a very popular search phrase. I would like like to see how long it’ll take to ‘I sat on my cat because of VR’ to join that list
Dutch bicycle manufacturer VanMoof found that it had a problem. As it shipped its products to customers, it found that they were arriving to customers damaged.
The damage reports were a major problem for the company because the street bikes that it manufactures are at the high-end of the market, and some are loaded down with delicate electronics like anti-theft trackers and electric motors. Plus, the company had set a goal to sell 90 percent of its bikes online by the end of the decade.
So, the company came up with a genius solution: print a graphic of a flatscreen television on the side of the box.
Why it’s hot? A simple idea brought instant results. By making its shippers think that they were transporting flatscreen televisions, shipping damage dropped by 70-80 percent
The Selfly is a proposed smartphone camera case that doubles as a selfie-taking drone. The Selfly can also circle around a fixed person or object, guaranteeing a 360-degree view of your life.
To use it, simply pop off your smartphone case and place the drone where you want it to hover. You can see “pilot’s view” footage from your smartphone, which doubles up as a remote to avoid dreaded double-chin shots.
Why it’s hot? -Its simplicity can hasten mass adoption of drones.
-The pocket drones concept is driven by our need to capture our life just like the movies and this makes it really easy to do that
-I saw some mini-drones at CES 2017, but nothing comes close to its convenience
-Plus, most smart drones cost $500, Selfly when launched will cost $100
Korean brand Nurugo has developed SmartUV so users can be more aware of their skin type. They have developed an app called SmartUV to help users be more aware of their skin type. To use the app a special UV camera sold by Nurugo has to be attached to the bottom of the smartphone.
By emitting UV light the camera is able to show skin problems that normally people don’t notice, or let users know of developing issues like sun spots or melanoma so they can treat them before it becomes life-threatening. It also allows users to see how effective their sunscreen is. It also tells you if you’ve missed a spot when applying sunscreen
Why it’s hot? -Imagine how it can change our skin care shopping behavior
-What if you could get a daily skin report and getting recommendations on products accordingly. This platform can become a whole new marketplace for skin care products
-Maintain a skin diary to keep track of how your skin is aging to proactively take care of your skin
In need of a piano partner and don’t know where to turn? Look no further than Google’s new interactive experiment called A.I. Duet. Developed as a part of Magenta, an open-source project launched by Google last year, the program uses artificial intelligence to play a duet when notes are entered into a computer.
Simply using your keyboard (or a connected MIDI keyboard), the Duet program uses machine learning to understand notes that are inputted by the user, and responds in turn with a melody of its own based on those notes.
Yotam Mann, who coded the project, said that to teach the computer he played it different melodies as an example. The computer was then able to learn the relationship between notes and was even able to learn key and rhythm without the help of Mann.
Why its hot? -So far we’ve had a very transactional relationship with AI. This one is more creative
-Many experts feel that Human creativity will remain as one of the last traits that cannot be replicate by machines. This might be a step towards teaching machines to be creative
Hasbro is trying to teach kids to code in a unique way. They are launching a Belle doll that pairs with a basic programming app for iOS or Android. The doll teaches kids the fundamentals of coding all in the name of getting Belle to dance. Kids can program dance routines through Belle’s companion app
Whether your child is younger or older, this doll can help gear a child’s mind towards coding. For the younger kids, you can program Belle’s movements with a basic connect-the-dots mode, where the screen is filled with shapes that coincide with basic dance moves. When a child drags their finger across the shapes on the screen, in whatever pattern they choose, Belle dances in conjunction with the selected commands. For older kids, you can use the “block coding” mode where you can drag and drop moves and commands into a sequence for Belle to perform. The doll pairs over Bluetooth and relies on batteries for power. Belle costs $120 and will be available in the fall 2017.
While it won’t necessarily make them computer geniuses overnight, it will help them develop problem solving skills, give them an interest in how things work on a fundamental level, and likely increase a child’s interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
Why it’s hot More girls in STEM please – Girls have historically been far more likely to stray away from STEM education and careers. Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.So, it’s encouraging to see toy companies making an effort to welcome more little girls into the STEM community.
Bipedal robots have been a tough ask for engineers. Creating a bot that’s steady, self-balancing, and able to adapt to uneven terrain (one of the main advantages of going bipedal in the first place!) is a tough ask. But, as this newly unveiled bot from Agility Robotics proves, we’re getting good at it.
Like ostriches (and humans), Cassie has three degrees of freedom in its hips and flexible, powered ankles, but knees that only flex one way. This creates not only a natural gait, but a way to steer that’s similar to our own. As with ATRIAS, quick and careful placement of the feet makes Cassie resistant to slips, stumbles, and the occasional malicious grad student.
Why it’s hot? Cassie can go pretty much anywhere humans can. Rocky ground? Stairs? It could be used to make search-and-rescue bots; to help improve prosthetic limbs or exoskeletons; and, could also perform dangerous jobs like nuclear plant inspection. If the bots become cheap enough, it can deliver packages, and if you’re busy, why not send Cassie to the store?
Researchers from Google’s AI division DeepMind and the University of Oxford have used artificial intelligence to create the most accurate lip-reading software ever. LipNet, developed by researchers at the University of Oxford Computer Science Department, isn’t the first software designed to predict what a person is saying by analyzing the movement of their lips. But it’s by far the most accurate, achieving an impressive 93.4 percent accuracy, compared to just 52 percent accuracy achieved by an experienced human lip reader.
Why it’s hot? Imagine what it can do for the hearing impaired. It can also be used for police surveillance. We’ll have to wear a mask just to have a private conversation
Caret enables your address book to display detailed and dynamic information about your contacts’ availability, location, status information, and more. It can also update your status automatically based on a number of automatic criteria: your calendar events, your local time, whether you’re in a call, your movement speed if any, etc
You can control what any of your contacts can see about you in their address book. Control the degree of shared information by organizing your contacts into Blocked, Default, Trusted and VIP groups. You can set when and which smartphone sensor statuses to automatically share with your approved contacts.
It also allows geo-triggering. You can customize a status to share with your contacts triggered automatically once you physically arrive at a pre-set location and see which of your contacts are near you.
In the near future, Caret® plans to interconnect third party devices and useful services, seamlessly integrating them with the current Caret® experience in your address book. Caret® will provide an Open API for easy information exchange between your business and Caret data bank.
Learn more at https://caret.co/
Why its Hot? Depending on how you look at it – it can be both creepy and useful
Pocket Points is a mobile app that gives students rewards for not using their phones during class. Simply open up the application, lock your phone, and start gaining points. Points are then used to get discounts at local and online businesses!
When students arrive at their lectures, they open the app (which can tell when it’s in a campus classroom) then lock their phone. The app then measures how long they go before checking their phone again. The longer it stays locked, the more points they get
It is live at over 150 schools with about 100,000 users. Students so far have collectively kept their phones locked for over 100 years
Businesses that accept Pocket Points:
Why It’s Hot Phone behavior rehab through the phone. “I find it ridiculous that it takes an app to get students paying attention in class,”
Toyota has come up with a radio ad that uses Siri and Google Voice to actually switch off an iPhone or Android phone’s text and call functionality, making drivers less likely to pick up calls. The ad relies on the fact that an iPhone, if plugged in and charging, will wake up on the voice command “Hey, Siri.” Certain Android models will wake up on the “OK Google” command. The ad begins by saying, “Hey, Siri,” then proceeds to ask the phone to switch on airplane mode, meaning drivers can’t call or text while driving.
Why its hot? Possibly the first ad that interacts with a device without human intervention
Biyo is a point-of-sale register and biometric payment terminal that gives merchants the tools they need to grow their business while providing enhanced convenience and security at checkout for consumers. Biyo Wallet lets customers link their credit cards and other payment methods to their palms so they can leave their wallets at home.
Biyo uses Palm vein pattern recognition. In other words, it uses a harmless near infrared light (think TV remote) to capture the pattern of veins in your palm. The technology looks for flowing blood, and is not affected by cuts or dirt on the palm to get an accurate reading. Furthermore, the sensor is contactless to ensure optimal hygeine. Palm vein patterns are secure because you can’t leave traces of your palm vein patterns like you can with fingerprints, and recreating a hand with flowing blood is practically impossible (not to mention creepy). The acceptance rate for a scanned palm vein pattern is 99.99992%. They also use your phone number as a second factor of authentication to make sure that your data is safe
Why it’s hot? Biyo uses the unique vein patterns in your palm to create the most secure and convenient password that you never have to remember. Even if someone chopped off your hand, they wouldn’t be able to use it at check-out due to a lack of blood flow in the severed hand.
Project Soli replaces the physical controls of smartwatches with your hands using radar to capture your movements. The system uses broad beam radar to measure doppler image, IQ and spectrogram. The chip recognizes movement, velocity and distance and can be programmed to change the input based on that distance. the idea is to use some of the same gestures your already using for your mobile devices and augmented those with hand motions that seem natural to interact with a Soli-enabled device. “What we propose is that you use a hand motions vocabulary,” said ATAP technical program lead Ivan Poupyrev.
The Soli chip works within the 60Ghz radar spectrum at up to 10,000 frames per seconds. The final chip will contain everything it needs to be plug and play including the antennas. ATAP says the device can be made to scale.
Why its hot? It will make using interactive technology more fluid and natural compared to touch screens. Would solve a lot of usability issues swiping on smaller screens of wearables. Also, smaller hand gestures won’t look weird in public unlike Kinect. Could be great for older people who are not as comfortable using touch screens.