emotionally manipulate your children with technology this holiday…

Judging by this product created by Australian retailer Myer, Aussie parents’ behavior might not be under the same microscope that American parents’ behavior is.

Nevertheless, the store created a connected ornament that changes color based on how “naughty” or “nice” the children in the home are being leading up to Christmas.

According to Myer, “The bauble pairs up with an app, so parents can change the colour to coerce their kids into good behaviour, or be faced with a stocking full of coal.” 

The retailer is even taking a page from Spotify’s book, and using the “data” to power billboards around Australia showing how “naughty” or “nice” children in different areas are:

Why it’s hot: 

I’m not sure it is. Technologically, it’s an interesting idea to create a bluetooth powered product symbolizing what will hopefully be a happy holiday for each child. But, while it would be magical for an unknowing children to see “proof” they’re being “nice”, and therefore they’re headed for the rewards they want this holiday, the opposite seems like it could be a bit extreme.

Swing, or a miss?

Hate those terrible, ugly earbuds that came with your iPhone? Wish there was a better way to carry those things around without getting the wires tangled in your pants pocket? Well now there’s Swings Bluetooth earring headphones. You’re welcome, society.

Product listing on Kickstarter

Why It’s Hot

Not mentioned in the pitch is that those wireless earbuds are really easy to lose. The Swings can help with that. Plus, there’s an opportunity to promote brands such as baseball teams or shoe brands with a logo on the face of the dangling part.

For people without pierced ears, there could also be a clip-on version.

student teacher…

An 11 year old Tennessee girl recently found a way to instantly detect lead in water, cutting the time it used to take to do so drastically. Previously, you had to take a water sample and send it off to a lab for analysis, now all you need is her contraption and a smartphone. She discovered her solution when she read about a new type of nanotechnology on MIT’s website, and imagined its new application in its new context.

Here’s how it works:
“Her test device, which she has dubbed “Tethys,” uses a disposable cartridge containing chemically treated carbon nanotube arrays. This connects with an Arduino technology-based signal processor with a Bluetooth attachment. The graphene within the nanotube is highly sensitive to changes in flow of current. By treating the tube with atoms that are sensitive to lead, Rao is able to measure whether potable water is contaminated with lead, beaming the results straight to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. When it detects levels higher than 15 parts per million, the device warns that the water is unsafe.”

Why it’s hot:

1) Never let “can we do this” stop you
2) Never let “how can we do this” stop you
3) Some of the best solutions come when you put two (or more) things together

This offers a good lesson in a few important ingredients for innovation – how much you care, how much you believe, and how creative you can be. When all are high, you can create amazing things. Know what’s possible, believe that anything is, and let nothing stop you. Let’s do it.

The Juicero of salt is here. Hooray?

Some mis-guided soul has created a bluetooth-enabled “smart salt shaker” that does a whole bunch of things:

  • It can play music
  • It has a color-changing mood light (!)
  • It can dispensed salt via Alexa (though you still presumably have to hold the thing over your food with your hand; no getting around that one)

Story on Lifehacker

You’ll have to wait for this quality item, though, because it is not up on Indiegogo yet.

From Smalt’s About Us page:

Herb & Body is a California-based lifestyle company committed to using smart technology to enhance our lives….Our first innovation, “SMALT”, is the first of it’s kind to market and will transform an ordinary kitchen tools that people have been using for centuries into an experience for the senses.

Why It’s Hot

Well, just look at it.

“Speak” 37 languages for $199…

The world finally has its first pair of earbuds that can translate 37 different languages into the one you can understand in near real time. It may not help you speak to someone who doesn’t have the same technological advantage, but according to the Mymanu, the company that developed them: “The Mymanu Clik…is a wireless Bluetooth headset that’s capable of recognizing and translating between nine language packs and 37 different languages in real time, including French, Spanish, and Japanese. When powered on and paired to a smartphone, the earbuds automatically detect the language being spoken and provide a spoken translation within a sentence or two.”

Plus, they don’t need a wi-fi or data connection to work, and the company claims to be in “partnership” conversations now with the likes of Google and Spotify, which could result in quick mass adoption.

They’re available through Kickstarter for $199 (shipping ~ May 2017), and apparently they’re also useful for listening to Taylor Swift or talking to your mother, although they can’t make either less painful like they can with understanding what’s being said.

Why it’s hot: 

I told myself I wouldn’t write about technology that can give us “superhuman” capabilities this week, but it was unavoidable. Beyond just being able to understand what’s being said next to you on the subway, communication can break down barriers as they say. Being able to understand a stranger who doesn’t speak your language can not only make you feel more comfortable in a new and unfamiliar place, it can also make you feel more comfortable with a new and unfamiliar type of person.

Wearable electronic device could help smokers kick the habit

Everyday people who smoke cigarettes seek new methods on how to successfully resist their nicotine addiction. The overwhelming craving is too much to be able to quit “cold turkey”. U.S. based Chrono Therpeutics has designed a digital, wireless device called SmartStop which takes nicotine replacement therapy to a new level and adds behavioral support.

SmartStop is an electronic device which includes two parts; a reusable base which can be worn on the arm, wrist, or torso, and replaceable nicotine cartridges. The main idea is the devise can be programmed to automatically satisfy peak nicotine cravings in routine or heavy smokers. The devise has behavioral support by sending messages of encouragement, friendly reminders and provides awards and incentives as the user overcomes their addiction and finishes their therapy successfully. The device utilizes Bluetooth technology, the user can uplink to an app on their smartphone which prepares real-time guidance to help with the therapy.

“The average smoker will attempt to quit eight to ten times in their lifetime, but clinical studies show the timed SmartStop approach increases the success rates to about 50% compared to other methods” (Chrono Therapeutics).

Source: article by Antonio Pasolini Link: http://www.gizmag.com/smartstop-quit-smokingarable/32537/-we


SmartStop matches craving cycles to boost results

Why It’s Hot: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S. there are on average 45 million people who smoke cigarettes and 70% of them would like to get rid of their nicotine addiction. With the SmartStop people have a much better chance of quitting cigarette smoking than compared to nicotine gum and patches. By overcoming the nicotine addiction people will save money and improve their health which can save their life. Nowadays people are constantly trying to quit smoking and with this device you are able to digitally program the time your doses of nicotine in response to the cycle of your cravings. People are overcoming their addiction to nicotine without even realizing it due to the device adjusting to the delivery of nicotine into your system automatically.








Fabergé campaign puts beacons inside 275 eggs across New York

A fundraising event launching in New York claims to be the largest public deployment of Bluetooth-enabled beacons, giving participants in a citywide egg hunt a way to access clues, rewards and other information.

The Big Egg Hunt is being sponsored by Fabergé and will benefit two nonprofits: Studio in a School and Elephant Family. For the event, more than 200 egg sculptures, each created by a leading artist, designer or creative, have been placed around New York, with consumers encouraged to find and check-in at the eggs as well as bid on them via a mobile application (e.g., created by Diane von Furstenberg, Ronnie Wood, Marc Quinn and Bruce Weber).

Mechanics | Unlocking the clues

  • The eggs have been hidden in public places across all five boroughs of New York.
  • To participate in the egg hunt, consumers are encouraged to download Fabergé’s The Big Egg Hunt mobile app to unlock clues as they hunt for the eggs.
  • Using the app, consumers will be able to check in when they find an egg.
  • The location of a specific egg will remain a secret until 10 people have checked in for that egg. After that, the egg’s location will appear on a public interactive map.
  • The winners of the egg hunt will receive Fabergé jewelry valued in excess of $30,000.
  • The eggs will be gathered together for a free exhibit at Rockefeller Center from April 18 to April 25.
  • The event is being held in partnership with Sotheby’s, who will auction off the eggs at the end of the event on April 22, with the egg hunt ending on April 26.



egg auction

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

Another interesting physical/digital play, leveraging: a) the city as a playground, b) art as content, c) gaming elements as engagement drivers, d) Bluetooth technology as an enabler, e) cause marketing as the hook and main reason to play…and f) bringing the tradition of an egg hunt into the modern age, allowing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to participate simultaneously.





Apple’s iBeacon specs made available

After rolling out their iBeacon technology in Apple stores and then 150 grocery stores in Cleveland, Seattle, and San Francisco, Apple is releasing the specs for the technology as part of its “Made for iPhone” licensing program. This program allows developers among others to have access to hardware components, tools, documentation, tech support, etc.

iBeacon is Apple’s brand of technology for data transfer between devices using Bluetooth Low Energy. This technology, not exclusive to Apple, consumes a small amount of battery power, making it useful for micro-location geo-fencing. It also allows detailed tracking and rich data exchange without an intermediary or physical activation. (PCMag.com)

iBeacon enables other blue-tooth enabled devices to recognize when your phone is nearby. Those beacons can then send data to the phone in the form of a pop-up coupon, loyalty rewards, shopping list reminders (eg, did you buy milk?) or commands that open doors, turn on lights, or initiate tracking.


iBeacon from Apple

iBeacon at work


Why It’s Hot

iBeacon sets up to be a direct competitor to near-field communications (NFC) technologies. From my research, it appears that iBeacon may have a lot of advantages over NFC. For instance, iBeacon is effective to up to 160 feet away from a device, versus NFC, that is more in area of 8 inches. iBeacon also may be much less expensive to implement for retailers than NFC technologies. With Apple making the specs available through their licensing program, iBeacon may expand into more stores nationwide and potentially integrate into our shopping experiences.