ENTRIES TAGGED "sensors"

Wearable computing and automation

The Jawbone UP shows the promise available in all kinds of wearable sensors.

In a recent conversation, I described my phone as “everything that Compaq marketing promised the iPAQ was going to be.” It was the first device I really carried around and used as an extension of my normal computing activities. Of course, everything I did on the iPAQ can be done much more easily on a smartphone these days, so…
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Software, hardware, everywhere

Software and hardware are moving together, and the combined result is a new medium.

Real and virtual are crashing together. On one side is hardware that acts like software: IP-addressable, controllable with JavaScript APIs, able to be stitched into loosely-coupled systems—the mashups of a new era. On the other is software that’s newly capable of dealing with the complex subtleties of the physical world—ingesting huge amounts of data, learning from it, and…
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Context Aware Programming

I’m increasingly realizing that many of my gripes about applications these days are triggered by their failure to understand my context in the way that they can and should. For example: Unruly apps on my Android phone, like gmail or twitter, update messages in the background as soon as I wake up my phone, slowing the phone to a…
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Four short links: 5 June 2013

Four short links: 5 June 2013

Interesting Themes, Distributed Systems Failure Modes, Gesture Sensing Through Wifi, and Bad Taste Agile

  1. OATV Fund III Pitch Deck (Slideshare) — contains a list of what they were investing in, and what they want to invest in with the new round. Then: Quantified self; Internet subsystems; Smart networks of things; Manipulation and visualization of big data; sustainability; Maker movement. Now: Quantified Self Pro; Maker Pro; Hacking Education; Hidden Economies; Operations as Competitive Advantage; A Router in Every Pocket; The Internet Operating System. The move to “Pro” interests me, too. (via Bryce Roberts)
  2. The Network is ReliableMany applications silently degrade when the network fails, and resulting problems may not be understood for some time—if they are understood at all. [...] much of what we know about the failure modes of real-world distributed systems is founded on guesswork and rumor. [...] In this post, we’d like to bring a few of these stories together. We believe this is a first step towards a more open and honest discussion of real-world partition behavior, and, ultimately, more robust distributed systems design.
  3. Wisee (PDF) — recognising gestures using disturbances in the (wifi) force. Our results show that WiSee can identify and classify a set of nine gestures with an average accuracy of 94%. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Why Your Users Hate Agile Development (IT World) — What developers see as iterative and flexible, users see as disorganized and never-ending. Here’s how some experienced developers have changed that perception. (via Slashdot)
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Four short links: 8 May 2013

Four short links: 8 May 2013

Paperclip Computing, Packet Capture, Offline Wikipedia, and Sensor Databases

  1. How to Build a Working Digital Computer Out of Paperclips (Evil Mad Scientist) — from a 1967 popular science book showing how to build everything from parts that you might find at a hardware store: items like paper clips, little light bulbs, thread spools, wire, screws, and switches (that can optionally be made from paper clips).
  2. Moloch (Github) — an open source, large scale IPv4 packet capturing (PCAP), indexing and database system with a simple web GUI.
  3. Offline Wikipedia Reader (Amazon) — genius, because what Wikipedia needed to be successful was to be read-only. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Storing and Publishing Sensor Data — rundown of apps and sites for sensor data. (via Pete Warden)
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Defining the industrial Internet

Some broad thoughts on characteristics that define the industrial Internet field.

We’ve been collecting threads on what the industrial Internet means since last fall. More case studies, company profiles and interviews will follow, but here’s how I’m thinking about the framework of the industrial Internet concept. This will undoubtedly continue to evolve as I hear from more people who work in the area and from our brilliant readers. The crucial…
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The inevitability of smart dust

Why general purpose computing will diffuse into our environment.

I’ve put forward my opinion that desktop computing is dead on more than one occasion, and been soundly put in my place as a result almost every time. “Of course desktop computing isn’t dead — look at the analogy you’re drawing between…
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Listening for tired machinery

Cheap sensors and sophisticated software keep expensive machines running smoothly

Software is making its way into places where it hasn’t usually been before, like the cutting surfaces of very fast, ultra-precise machine tools. A high-speed milling machine can run at 42,000 RPM as it fabricates high-quality machine components within tolerances of a few microns. Excessive wear in that environment can lead to a failure that ruins an expensive part, but…
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Four short links: 4 October 2012

Four short links: 4 October 2012

Vannevar Bush, Topic Transparency, Ancient Maps, and Concussion Sensors

  1. As We May Think (Vannevar Bush) — incredibly prescient piece he wrote for The Atlantic in 1945.
  2. Transparency and Topic Models (YouTube) — a talk from DataGotham 2012, by Hanna Wallach. She uses latent Dirichlet allocation topic models to mine text data in declassified documents where the metadata are useless. She’s working on predicting classification durations (AWESOME!). (via Matt Biddulph)
  3. Slippy Map of the Ancient World — this. is. so. cool!
  4. Technology in the NFLX2IMPACT’s Concussion Management System (CMS) is a great example of this trend. CMS, when combined with a digital mouth guard, also made by X2, enables coaches to see head impact data in real-time and asses concussions through monitoring the accelerometers in a players mouth guard. That data helps teams to decide whether to keep a player on the field or take them off for their own safety. Insert referee joke here.
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The complexity of designing for everywhere

Author Rachel Hinman on the future of mobile design and UX.

In her new book The Mobile Frontier, author Rachel Hinman (@Hinman) says the mobile design space is a wide-open frontier, much like space exploration or the Wild West, where people have room to “explore and invent new and more human ways for people to interact with information.” In the following interview, Hinman talks about the changing landscape of…
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