We’re Still Traveling Like It’s 1996

TechCrunch

Editor’s note:   John Balen has been involved in the venture capital and technology industries for more than 25 years. At Canaan he focuses on the digital media, enterprise and fintech sectors, and has led investments in Cardlytics, Stayful, SwitchflySilverRail TechnologiesUrbanSitter, Blurb, SOASTA and others.

Travel still provides some of the highest human anxieties of anything we do on a routine basis. There are countless variables when it comes to travel: weather, mechanical issues, overbooked flights, traffic, human delays and so much more. But if we could combine all of our intelligent data in a way that it works together, travel disruptions could be corrected automatically and efficiently.

Think about Google’s self-driving car and all of the random occurrences and variables it encounters on the road — and its ability to react and correct based on real-time information. Smart travel should not be so…

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Top Ten Things Going Through Ned Stark’s Head…

The Little Engine that Couldn't

Caution: HUGE spoilers for Game of Thrones.

So I couldn’t think of anything to post that wouldn’t take a long time, so I decided to make a list partially inspired by David Letterman’s Top Ten list and partially inspired by Ned Stark getting his head chopped off.

The unfortunate thing is, we really never really got a chance to figure out what Ned was thinking right before he was beheaded. Even in the book, the whole incident was described from Arya’s point of view, which made it even more tragic, if you think about it. Luckily, I have a deep understanding of Ned Stark’s character, and I think it’s safe to say I could figure what Ned was most likely thinking. And the top ten most likely thoughts are:

*drum roll please*

10) I must admit, I did not see this coming.

9) At least my family’s safe now.

8)…

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My great white pelican

Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the Moment

A couple of decades ago I was working as a consultant in the wireless telecommunications industry. My home base was San Diego, but I was stationed at the time in Tampa, Florida. I loved it there. The city was great, the Gulf of Mexico and the bays were beautiful, and there were pelicans everywhere. Pelicans probably are my favorite bird that I have actually seen in the wild.

There was a waterfront store in Clearwater that had pelican statues of every shape and size. I knew that my final act when I had to leave Tampa would be to visit that store and buy one of the statues that had a Great White Pelican sitting on a post in the water. I had it shipped to San Diego but, sadly, it was broken when it arrived. I have never seen a similar statue again.

However……………………..

I saw the real thing…

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Aquifi Changes The Computing Interface With A Wave Of The Hand

Hand computing

TechCrunch

After three years in stealth mode, the magicians behind the motion capture technology that powers Microsoft’s Kinect, are launching Aquifi, the next step in their development of motion capture technology.

With backing from Benchmark Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s top tier venture capital firms, and a host of heavy-hitting individual investors, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Aquifi has spent the past three years developing software that uses commodity sensor equipment — like the cameras and video components in smart phones and tablets — to recognize and interpret gestures so that users can have touchless interactions with their devices.

Think of it like the technology in Minority Report or Iron Man .

“Gesture control is inflexible because it uses custom hardware and custom sensors. Because these things are customized they are very high cost [and] the interface is focused on the machine rather than the user,” says Nazim Kareemi, Aquifi’s chief…

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google lenses

google lenses

Google announced in January that it was developing a smart contact lens that could continually monitor blood glucose levels of Type 2 diabetics. It has been announced that Google is also working to create a contact lens with an integrated camera that would help people with visual disabilities.

The lens is meant to work like this: a small camera will be embedded out of the way of the pupil so it will not obstruct vision. Blinking activates the sensor for the camera. An advantage to using this lens instead of something like Google Glass is that the camera is able to follow the eye’s precise movement. Even the smallest sideways glance will still allow the camera to face the point of interest. The data collected by the camera can be processed to recognize a variety of properties including faces, motion, color, light, and certain objects.

If someone with a visual impairment is wearing the lenses and is, say, about to step off the curb while there is traffic present. The lens, which can be linked to a smartphone, will give an auditory warning for the wearer to stop, and then let the user know when it is safe to cross. The facial recognition could help the wearer identify friends and family by connecting to a database. There is also the potential for law enforcement to use the technology to spot persons of interest or those with outstanding warrants.

Of course, the lens isn’t only for those who need help visually navigating their surroundings. It will also be able to take regular pictures hands free. The developers also hope to be able to zoom the camera in, reducing the need for binoculars. While this does seem pretty handy in some circumstances, it seems fairly creepy for others. Keep your blinds closed, guys.

At this stage, the lens is still theoretical, but a patent application was filed on the design back in 2012. There is no telling when or if this product will be available on the open market.

Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/technology/google-seeks-integrate-cameras-contact-lenses#zFI1pcOzBp6z0iyo.99