• Driverless Cars In London Copy Heathrow Shuttle Pods
    The first driverless cars to be tested on the streets of London will resemble the electric passenger shuttles currently in use at Heathrow Airport. The group behind the project is currently adapting the pods for use on the roads. It has yet to unveil the exact design but confirmed that the adapted vehicles will not run on dedicated tracks. Greenwich is one of four places in the UK where driverless pods and public reaction to them are being tested. Trials will also take place in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes. The £8m project is jointly funded by government agency …
  • Apple Buys Education Technology Startup
    Apple has reportedly acquired education-technology startup LearnSprout, which specialized in software that tracks students’ performance. “Apple is working on education tools for the iPad, which will allow students to see interactive lessons, track their progress, and share tablet computers with peers,” Bloomberg Businessweek notes.
  • Smart Thermostat Darling Faces Bumps In Road
    Back when the Nest thermostat was announced in 2011, it was met with waves of gushing adoration from an utterly uncritical technology press. Much of that gushing was certainly warranted; Nest was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both former Apple engineers, who indisputably designed an absolutely gorgeous device after decades of treating the thermostat as an afterthought. But the company also leaned heavily on the same media acupressure techniques Apple historically relies on to generate a sound wall of hype potentially untethered from real life.  Courtesy of marketing and design, Nest slowly but surely became the poster child …
  • Amazon To Promo Home Automation Device On Superbowl
    Plenty of technology companies have started popping up as advertisers during the Super Bowl, shelling out big dollars for a 30 second commercial. This year, e-commerce juggernaut Amazon is the latest tech giant to air a commercial during the Super Bowl on February 7 , featuring its Echo voice controlled speaker/home automation device, and Alexa, the digital assistant that controls Echo. The sneak peak of the commercial, which you can watch below, features actor Alec Baldwin and former football player Dan Marino planning a Super Bowl party and asking Alexa things like what a snack stadium is.
  • Flexible Wrist Sensor Measures Sweat To Track Health
    Researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley have built a prototype that could lead to a slew of new features for wearable activity trackers. The group, led by principal investigator Ali Javey, a professor at UC-Berkeley, have created a wearable sensor that can continuously collect and monitor users’ sweat on the molecular level, then sends the information via Bluetooth to a smartphone. They detailed their discoveryin the latest issue of Nature. "Human sweat contains physiologically rich information, thus making it an attractive body fluid for noninvasive wearable sensors,” Javey said in a statement. 
  • Airport Taps Beacons, NFC To Engage With Travelers
    Bluetooth low-energy beacons, Near Field Communication (NFC) tags and Quick Response (QR) codes will be deployed at various locations across Bologna Airport, enabling the airport to pro-actively send notifications, alerts and promotions to passengers’ smartphones. The communications will be delivered via the BLQ Bologna app, with the NFC tags and QR codes providing an easy way for passengers to download the app once they arrive at the airport. The airport is working with mobile tech company Connecthings on the project, which will allow airport staff to manage the notifications using a dedicated content management platform. Silvia Lombardi, IT & Innovation …
  • Connected Consumer Technology Security Risks Seen
    Hijacking “smart” toasters and refrigerators and hacking corporate ventilation systems are among the new threats envisioned by cybersecurity experts as an increasing array of items are connected to the Internet. The Internet of Things, a movement that seeks to control everything from factory equipment to traffic lights and household appliances through the Web, creates vast opportunities for improved efficiency and convenience. But unless companies address the emerging cybersecurity risks, the Internet of Things (or IoT) will fail, said Stephen Pattison, the vice president of public affairs at ARM Holdings Plc, the U.K. semiconductor company.
  • Nest Thermostat Competitor Adds Smart Plug, Window Sensor
    Annoying advert brandishing smart home provider Hive has finally announced the first fruits of its Honeycomb development platform. Hive has had huge success with its smart thermostat product that has managed to keep toe-to-toe with Google's Nest, in no small part owing to an affiliation with British Gas, and has now announced a number of new products, heralding the promise of its open app building platform trailed last year. First off the block are a door and window sensor and a smart plug. It's hardly revolutionary stuff, but Hive's policy has always been to 'drip feed' the market to avoid overloading the …
  • Security Issue Found In Smart Doorbell
    Here’s the physical security that the Wi-Fi enabled, Internet of Things Ring smart doorbell gives you: 1) automatic activation and notification on your mobile phone when people come close to your home or loiter around it, and 2) a CCTV camera and high-quality intercom to talk to whomever comes knocking, even if you’re miles away. Here’s the physical hole it was putting in your Wi-Fi: somebody could easily pop it off your front door (it’s secured with two standard screws), flip it over, retrieve the Wi-Fi password, and Presto! own your network. It was, says Pen Test Partners, which discovered the vulnerability, …
  • Apple Looks To Future Of Internet-Connected Devices
    Apple just reported its first-quarter earnings results, and although sales of iPhones, iPads, and Macs were either flat or lower than the same quarter last year, there was one bright spot in the company’s revenue: its services business.  According to a footnote in Apple’s breakdown of its quarterly revenue, its “Services” bracket incorporates “Internet Services, AppleCare, Apple Pay, licensing and other services.” While Apple’s services business only accounts for about $7 billion of the roughly $75 billion revenue figure for the quarter, the business line has doubled since Apple first started reporting it at the end of 2011. It likely also includes sales …
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