Mailbox cleverly rethinks Gmail with to-do list features, but you may not be able to use it just yet.
Mailbox, a cool, free app that makes your Gmail inbox more like a smart to-do list, is now available to iPhone users in Apple’s App Store–though you may have to wait a while to get it.
As well as making the grid more reliable and efficient, the technology could deliver high-speed Internet, TV, and telephony.
China has begun testing smart-grid technology that could eventually be deployed nationwide to make the delivery of electricity more reliable and efficient. It might also serve as a way to deliver high-speed Internet, TV, and telephony to the farthest reaches of the country.
The electricity grid is in the midst of a transition from older proprietary networks to one that resembles the Internet.
When you talk to Cisco about energy, you’re reminded of what the nebulous smart grid term actually is. It is, at its core, a network and Cisco, whose networking gear is pervasive on the Internet, wants a big hand in how it gets built.
The first major software update for Samsung's Galaxy Camera will add some new "smart" shooting modes, while addressing one of our main gripes with performance in the device's camera app. The update to Android 4.1.2 is available now as a ROM that can be flashed manually (and at your own risk) through the ODIN utility, though we're not yet aware of anyone having received it over-the-air through the usual channels.
Let's take a look at what's new…
Expect Labs hopes to reinvent the phone call by providing real-time search results.
Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri works by pulling up information that a person asks for. A startup called Expect Labs is skipping the asking step.
The 10-person company is developing what it calls an “always-on Siri”—a technology that listens to a phone call between two or more people, interprets the conversation as it happens, and brings up what it thinks is useful information.
In the next few weeks, the San Francisco-based company plans to launch its first product, MindMeld, an iPad app for making video and voice calls. It also intends to license its “anticipatory computing” engine to businesses this year, and this could give speech apps on tablets, phones, car dashboards, and elsewhere new capabilities. At a large workplace, for example, a business could build software that pulls up old meeting notes during conference calls by accessing document servers and calendars. A call center company could use it to bring up purchase histories as representatives talk to customers.
“This is contextual, continuous, predictive search that occurs alongside a real-time conversation,” says CEO Timothy Tuttle, an entrepreneur and computer scientist who launched Expect Labs in 2011. Backed by investors including Google Ventures and Greylock Partners, MindMeld will be the first product on the market to have these combined abilities, Tuttle says.
The startup demonstrated MindMeld at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month. Users can sign up or log in through Facebook and hold free video or voice calls with up to eight people through the app. If a participant taps on a button in the app during a call, MindMeld will review the previous 15 to 30 seconds of conversation by relying on Nuance’s voice recognition technology. It will identify key terms in context—in a discussion to find a sushi restaurant, for example, or one about a big news story that day—and then search Google News, Facebook, Yelp, YouTube, and a few other sources for relevant results. Images and links are displayed in a stream for the person who tapped the button to review. With a finger swipe, he or she can choose to share a result with others on the call.
Tuttle views MindMeld mostly as a way to test the technology before it’s made more widely available to others—there’s no plan to show ads, and there’s only a small download fee. The app requires users to press a button to trigger its listening features so they won’t be overwhelmed with a stream of search results when they don’t need them, Tuttle says. However, the technology platform the company plans to license can listen in continuously to conversations of any length as it runs predictive models to find search results that are relevant to the discussion. Its information sources can be any to which a software developer has access.
The technology is similar to some of Google’s latest products. Like MindMeld, Google Now, a feature of Google’s Android operating system, works to find relevant information on mobile devices without a person asking (see “Google’s Answer to Siri Thinks Ahead”). Google Now makes predictions based on a person’s location, e-mail and Web search history. As the search giant readies to launch Google Glass, its goggle-like wearable computer, such hands-free interaction modes that can simply run in the background will become even more of a necessity.
“They’ve really hit a nice niche,” Anind Dey, a Carnegie Mellon University human-computer interaction researcher, says of Expect Lab’s technology. “That it doesn’t require explicit interaction is really quite exciting.”
The Pebble, created thanks to $10 million raised on Kickstarter, is a notable crowdfunding success story.
When Eric Migicovsky took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show this morning, he looked nervous in comparison with the slick executives who had preceded him from giants such as Samsung and Intel.
A few days before CES 2013 started in earnest, Samsung launched a new app called Smart Camera 2.0. It brings together features from companion apps for their various Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, including remote viewfinder and photo transfer to a mobile device (either automatically or manually).
Only smart cameras made from 2013 onwards will be able to take advantage of the new app, which can be found now in Google Play. Any Samsung smart camera owners out there? How have you found the current handset and tablet companion apps? Are they reliable and useful? If you end up using apps like this a lot, is there any reason to not just get the Samsung Galaxy Camera?
LG is a big ass company. Like Samsung, another Korean electronics giant, they make a little of everything — if you plug it in, chances are LG makes several different models of it. Of course they make appliances, and their new breed of "smart appliances" look to be pretty damn cool if you're an Android fan.
Get your fridge, or oven, or dryer (you get the picture) installed and turned on, then touch your LG Android smartphone to it and the magic of NFC sets it up so that your phone controls your appliance. You have a Smart Control app to use if you like, or you'll be able to use your voice — "Home-bot, start cleaning" starts up the Roboking cleaning unit, or "Have you got a few minutes, washer?" will tell you the status of the load of laundry you've got washing. As long as you're on the same Wifi network, you're in control.
While it's not quite the level of automation control we see from Hollywood movies, it sounds awful damn cool (and expensive). You bet your ass we're going to look at these next week at CES.
Source: LG (Korea)
The smart assistant app Google Now is able to track how far a person walks or cycles.
Google Now, a kind of reverse search engine for Android phones that offers useful information when it thinks you might need it, got an upgrade last week that quietly enabled it to track when a person is walking or cycling. Once a month, a notification offers a summary of those activities to give the user a sense of how much exercise they got.
Not content with waiting until next week to unveil CES bound products, LG has pulled the wraps off some of their latest Smart TV's. We already know that LG is taking some new Google TV hardware to Las Vegas, but these TV sets aren't those. But, despite lacking a direct Android connection, they still give us cause for interest.
The new LG Cinema 3D range includes this rather handsome looking edge-to-edge display, but there's a couple of standout features included. The new TVs will come with NFC compatibility, and Miracast. The sets will come with an NFC sticker that makes it easy to pair with an NFC capable smartphone, allowing for hassle free pairing and streaming of content from your mobile devices.
And that streaming will include the use of Miracast technology. While still in its infancy, it's still great to see LG including the technology in their new TV sets. After all, they did make the Nexus 4.