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Sanjit Biswas on industrial sensors

The O’Reilly Hardware Podcast: The business of building, marketing, and deploying sensors in tough environments.

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In this episode of the Hardware Podcast, David Cranor and I talk with Sanjit Biswas, founder and CEO of the industrial sensor company Samsara.

Discussion points:

  • The challenges of making modern systems work with ancient industrial control systems already in the field
  • The process of designing temperature sensors for heavy-duty deployments, including environmental constraints, firmware, testing, and necessary certifications
  • Price sensitivity in the industrial sensor market; Samsara is one of several interesting startups that make it practical for mid-size businesses that haven’t been previously automated to add sensors

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Four short links: 12 February 2016

Four short links: 12 February 2016

Slack's Voice, Accessible Experiences, IoT Design, and What I Learned

  1. Webstock: Bug Fixes & Minor Improvements — notes from Anna Pickard’s talk about being the voice of Slack, recorded by Luke Wroblewski.
  2. Webstock: The Map & The Territory — notes from Ethan Marcotte’s talk about making accessible experiences, recorded by Luke Wroblewski.
  3. Webstock: The Shape of Things — notes from Tom Coates’s talk about designing for the Internet of Things, recorded by Luke Wroblewski.
  4. Today I LearnedA collection of concise write-ups on small things I learn day to day across a variety of languages and technologies. These are things that don’t really warrant a full blog post.
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Risto Miikkulainen on evolutionary computation and making robots think for themselves

The O'Reilly Radar Podcast: Evolutionary computation, its applications in deep learning, and how it's inspired by biology.

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In this week’s episode, David Beyer, principal at Amplify Partners, co-founder of Chart.io, and part of the founding team at Patients Know Best, chats with Risto Miikkulainen, professor of computer science and neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin. They chat about evolutionary computation, its applications in deep learning, and how it’s inspired by biology.

Finding optimal solutions

We talk about evolutionary computation as a way of solving problems, discovering solutions that are optimal or as good as possible. In these complex domains like, maybe, simulated multi-legged robots that are walking in challenging conditions—a slippery slope or a field with obstacles—there are probably many different solutions that will work. If you run the evolution multiple times, you probably will discover some different solutions. There are many paths of constructing that same solution. You have a population and you have some solution components discovered here and there, so there are many different ways for evolution to run and discover roughly the same kind of a walk, where you may be using three legs to move forward and one to push you up the slope if it’s a slippery slope.

You do (relatively) reliably discover the same solutions, but also, if you run it multiple times, you will discover others. This is also a new direction or recent direction in evolutionary computation—that the standard formulation is that you are running a single run of evolution and you try to, in the end, get the optimum. Everything in the population supports finding that optimum.

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Tanya Kraljic on designing for voice at Nuance

The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Moving from GUI to VUIs.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Design Podcast, our podcast exploring how experience design—and experience designers—are shaping business, the Internet of Things, and other domains.

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In this week’s Design Podcast episode, I sit down with Tanya Kraljic, UX manager and principal designer at Nuance Communications. Kraljic recently spoke at OReilly’s inaugural Design Conference (you can find the complete video compilation of the event here). In this episode, we talk about the challenges of moving from graphical to voice interfaces, the voice tools ecosystem, and where she finds inspiration.

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Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

We’re seeing a renewed emphasis on design at Nuance—actually, much like in the technology industry as a whole. We’ve always had great engineers who are building this very complex, very cutting-edge technology. Now, we’re augmenting that with a human-centered approach to product strategy and development, which I think we’re already seeing as accelerating innovation in our own company and, hopefully, it will also help create better and more usable solutions as voice becomes available in all these different technologies.

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The new hardware movement at CES 2016

The O’Reilly Hardware Podcast: Observations from the Consumer Electronics Show.

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David Cranor and I have devoted this episode of the Hardware Podcast to a recap of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. It’s probably the last recap you’ll hear, since the show happened four weeks ago, but that just means it’s had more time to marinate.

Signs of the new hardware movement were everywhere this year in the innovative new products as well as the cloud of fast-follower devices that surrounded each successful piece of hardware.

Items of note:

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