Automobiles, Consumer Technology, Futurism

Audi demonstrates self-driving car. This Weekend.

On October 19, 2014 Audi will be demoing a RS 7  self-driving car, at racing speed at the German Touring Car Masters season finale. The video above is a brief explanation of Audi’s self driving car, after the jump is another vid with an actual driving video demo where they put you in the car.

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3036295-slide-s-8-4-wearables-that-give-you-superpowers
Consumer Technology, Wearables

Wearables to the Next Level

We live in a buzz word crazed world! Wearables!! Wearable tech… the Internet of Things (now referred to as IOT). Sheesh. I’m going to flip out if I have to read another review of a smartwatch – thanks Phil for sharing the same sentiment. Time to focus the attention on the uber-creatives like Mark Rolston from Argodesign. He was the former CCO at the much lauded Frog Design famous for their work with Apple.

Argodesign is pushing the envelope by developing what I think are better applications of “wearable technology.” Devices that augment our capabilities like Kineseowear – an artificial muscle with broad implications. Or the Ouijiband, an electronic counterweight strapped to the wrist of a surgeon to refine motor skills. Very cool stuff. I’m sure they could be internet connected and render gigs and gigs of “useful” data but comeon, these are concepts centered on the end-user interaction. Not consumption of content but production – a novel idea.

Read the full article on FastCoDesign

Consumer Technology, Futurism

Digital Twins: the best kind of twins.

Twins

Futurist John Smart has some intriguing ideas about the future of humanity. In a thought-provoking article from Business Insider  he predicts that in just five years there will be a computer version of you based on your past “cyber footprint.” He bases this on technology already available – Siri, Cortana, and even Google are all early forms of a “cyber-self” that will eventually be smart enough to hold conversations for you.  He goes on to state:

When you and I die, our kids aren’t going to go to our tombstones, they’re going to fire up our digital twins and talk to them

Very interesting perspective indeed. But the real benefit isn’t when we are already passed away – its when we are still alive. Being able to talk to someone’s digital twin to get ideas for gifts – without them knowing, or even getting someone’s digital twin in for a job interview instead of doing the initial phone screening?  Sign me up! The full article is a great read over at Business Insider. Check it out!

Automobiles, Moment of Zen, Overkill

Me Want! Gurkha Now Available for Normal People

Gurkha RPVThis truck may look familiar – you’ll remember it from Fast and Furious 6 driven by Dwayne Johnson. It’s not just for military and law enforcement anymore. You can own one! Imagine the possibilities. Since hopefully most of you are not exposed to violent shootouts and road-side bombs… Hurricanes? No problem. Fallen tree limb? No problem. Stray golf ball? Hilarious.

The 4×4 is custom-built by Terradyne Armored Vehicles in Canada and is based on Ford’s F-550 6.7L turbo-diesel platform (yay! let’s hear it for Ford!). The F-550 of course designed for super heavy-duty work applications – Terradyne’s Gurkha being no-exception. It comes with varying degrees of armoring so if bullet and blast proofing isn’t enough for you – it even has a backup camera! Oh, and A/C of course.

Thankfully, the era of Hummer dealerships in every major US city left with sub-$3/gallon gas and along with it most of our regard for oversized vehicles. But this thing just tugs at me. Or am I over-compensating for my family of five ladies (wife, 3 daughters, and dog). I’ll conceded this inner battle and stick with my pickup ;)

Consumer Technology, Wearables

Thoughts on the Apple Watch

applewatch

I’ve written before on my thoughts regarding wearable technology, and the short version of that post is that wearable technology seems to be ugly, expensive, and lacking any real use.  Of course, I hinged that post on a question: what is Apple going to do with their watch?

Now, four months later, I have an answer.  It’s not particularly different from other smartwatches, and it is unfortunately square.

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Entertainment

Check this book out: “The Martian” by Andy Weir

“The Martian” by Andy Weir is a story about astronaut Mark Watney who, due to an unfortunate series of events, is stranded on Mars The Martianduring one of humanity’s first few manned exploration missions to the red planet.  The story is told mostly through a series of log entries filled with fascinating bits of technology and science, chronicling the astronaut’s struggle for survival as the sole person on the planet with limited supplies and no way to communicate with Earth.

Oh, and did I mention that everyone else thinks he’s dead?  Because they do.

Yet, despite these dark circumstances, Mark has an unusually jovial attitude, which results in some humorous exposition as he recounts day-to-day activities in his log.

As a story, it is engrossing, and no doubt a hard book to put down.  This is made more incredible given the novel is the first published by Andy Weir, who is a software engineer by trade.  “The Martian” was originally self-published, and later picked up by a publishing company.  And, get this:  Ridley Scott is making a movie adaptation of the book, slated for release in late 2015.

Pretty good for a first book, I’d say.

For more information, check out the author’s site.  I would only note that the book (excerpts of which can be found on the site) contains strong language.

Cameras, Consumer Technology

Dyson is watching your room.

Dyson announced today their first foray into the “robot vacuum” market with their 360 Eye robot.  This is the first vacuum with a 360 degree eye, that allows it to see the entire room at once, and orient itself based on objects. That also allows it to take as many pictures as it wants and gives it free access to the T.V. or refrigerator once it becomes sentient. Find out more about this cool little robot over at the 360 Eye Website.  Really check out that website, because the website by itself is awesome – it could probably make mundane things like paper towels look futuristic and cool! Anyway… no release date for this little wonder in the U.S. yet – but Japan gets it next spring.

Consumer Technology, Green Energy, LEDs

IKEA’s New “Light Tile”

IKEA-bendableLightingIkea furniture has played a somewhat influential role in my life for the past 15 years or so. Lot’s of cardboard boxes at the street. Dozens of hex wrenches, dowels, and locking cam screws – good or bad, my wife and I have been surrounded by Scandinavian design. We’ve rotated a lot of the furniture out but the lighting seems to stick around. They’re good at that and it’s about to get more interesting with their recent investment in Scottish company, Design LED Products and this slick new “Light Tile.” Flexible, low energy light – the possibilities for a design heavy organization like IKEA are limitless.

Thanks to FastCODesign for covering this topic – read more here.