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The Growth & Trend of Smartphone Sensors

April 17, 2015 by  

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IMG 1871 Intel Free Press reports on moves to harness smartphone sensors to help apps better personalize their services based on context… By Intel Free Press The 2013 film “Her” featured an operating system that could personalize itself to the user to the extent where the intelligence appeared anything but artificial. By taking cues from user data and its environment, the OS was able to respond to the user’s needs, even on an emotional level. While “Her” was science fiction, progress in the area of contextual computing is bringing such intelligent systems one step closer to science fact. From GPS sensors to accelerometers to gyroscopes, smartphones already have been capturing and utilizing sensor data to enrich a user’s experience. Services such as Google Now combine user data with location to provide information on nearby attractions and travel times for calendar appointments, but much more can be done with smarter sensors. For example, an ambient audio sensor along with calendar and location data could give a mobile device the contextual awareness to determine whether it can alert you with either an audible cue or a subtle vibration instead if you are in a meeting or…

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TEDxBerkeley 2015 Embraces Compassion, Connection & Wisdom

March 28, 2015 by  

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For this year’s TEDxBerkeley‘s event whose theme was Compassion, Connection and Wisdom, over 2,000 attendees showed up to hear 57 speakers and performers at the University of Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on February 28. Below are highlights from some of our thought provoking speakers, several of whom flew over from Africa to join us thanks to this year’s Diamond Partner Fetzer Institute. Performers nailed it out of the park, which included the upbeat Japanese drum performance by Cal Raijin Taiko, the energetic Cal Bhangra dancers whose goal is to keep Punjabi dance alive (below), and the UC Berkeley Men’s Octet who added humor to their doo-wop, barbershop and pop songs, acapela style of course. Dr. Prasad Kaipa, who kicked off the first session on Wisdom, has committed his life to driving innovation and leadership. The bulk of Prasad’s work has revolved around getting people to realize their full potential, most known for his work advising companies like Disney, Adobe, Apple, Boeing and others. His talk began not with lessons learned in corporate America however, but with a single, startling fact: Malnourishment kills 1,500 children in India every day. He reminds us that malnourishment…

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The Pros of a Selfie Stick for the Avid Traveler

March 28, 2015 by  

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The selfie stick has been getting a bad rap. Not only is it now officially banned in many major museums around the world to help keep collections safe and disruptions to a minimum, but the New York Post called it “the most controversial gift of 2014.” Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of narcissistic Instagram accounts where following someone’s trip through Peru is actually a trip through their face, with a sprinkling of Inca ruins and Andes peaks in the background. And I’ve definitely smashed into oblivious selfie stick touting tourists on crowded NYC streets as I’m rushing to meetings. For these types of snap happy vagabonds, their selfie sticks should be taken away and the offender deported (too harsh?). That being said, as someone who uses a selfie stick regularly — mine’s actually a GoPro 3-Way Arm, as I like to clarify — I would argue it’s not all bad. Here’s why: selfie stick

1. It Gives Photos Depth

When using your own arms, or even a tripod, your limited to the motions and heights possible with these. The selfie stick allows you to take shots from a wide variety of distances and heights…

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DENT 2015, Where Passion, Innovation & Authentic Disruption Meet

March 26, 2015 by  

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I rarely fly Southwest Airlines, not because I’m not a fan, but largely because they don’t fly direct to most of the locations I travel to regularly. There are a couple of exceptions every year of course, Austin, Las Vegas and LA being on that list and more recently, Boise. I love Idaho, a state I never expected to travel to never mind fall in love with. Truth be told, when a friend asked me to join him on a stint through the west for a few weeks roughly 15 years ago, I chose 3 states for that exploration, ones I figured would be vast but plain and boring. I couldn’t have been more wrong about all three. To say that Idaho, Montana and Wyoming did not disappoint is an understatement. The breathtaking Idaho Sawtooth Mountain range is a sight to be seen, one which I’d argue is a transformative experience if you have an opportunity to hike or picnic on her soil. Years later, I ended up in Idaho to see friends and then not again until last year when industry pals dragged me to a new-on-the-scene technology event in beautiful Sun Valley called DENT.

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Gadget Design Trends are a’ Changin’!

March 19, 2015 by  

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Intel Free Press began to notice that square designs are becoming too square and the world is moving to rounded shapes for its wearables and other gizmos… (Why can’t we have triangular?) Take a casual survey of personal technology and electronics on the market today and you will notice the majority of them are rectangular in shape. But there is a rising trend, or perhaps a return, to more rounded design. The smartwatch is the latest area of debate of round versus square. The circular screen of the Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear watch makes it stand out among competitors with more traditional, rectangular screens, such as the Samsung Gear, Pebble and even the upcoming Apple Watch. Just revealed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC), the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch smartwatches both also have perfectly round displays. Why Round? Motorola design chief Jim Wicks cites “time” as the biggest inspiration behind the round design of the Moto 360, which recently won the award for best wearable at MWC. “Eighty-five percent of the watches sold in the world are round, and there’s a reason for that – its comfort and people are used to it,” Wicks adds. “When you go back in civilization,

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Wisdom, Compassion & Connection, Core Themes at TEDxBerkeley 2015

February 27, 2015 by  

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The sixth annual TEDxBerkeley, which will fill Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley CA tomorrow, February 28, will focus on Wisdom, Compassion and Connection. On stage in front of over 2,000 attendees, 57 speakers and performers will share riveting insights on these important and pivotal themes. Tedxberkeley dance troupe From Indian & Japanese Performers to Renowned Leaders, Professors & Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, don’t miss the Live Stream at www.tedxberkeley.org.  This year’s inspiring line-up aims to transform the way we think about ideas that can re-shape the world’s priorities in education, science, the environment, healthcare and beyond, all of which is center to the core of TED. Apple co-founder and philanthropist Steve Wozniak will close this year’s sold out event. Those interested in hearing the 2015 speakers and performers can tune into the live stream at http://www.tedxberkeley.org starting at 10:00 am PST. The social media hashtag for the event is #TEDxBerkeley. The complete line-up this year includes the following performers, thought leaders and visionaries, listed under the “theme” they will present. Wisdom: UC Men’s Octet: UC Berkeley A Capella Group Prasad Kaipa: CEO of Kaipa Group, Business and Leadership Coach Adora Svitak: Activist for Feminism & Youth Causes Marc Gopin: Director,…

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How Robots Becoming More Integrated In Our Lives

January 27, 2015 by  

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In 2007, David Levy an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, speculated that we would be marrying robots by 2050, and that Massachusetts would be the first state to allow it.
While you may smirk in disbelief at this prediction, society’s infatuation with the digital lifestyle suggests that a man-machine relationship is not all that far-fetched. Here’s growing evidence that robot love, or hate, is gathering momentum:
  • Concert conductor – On May 13, 2008, Honda’s stair-stepping Asimo robot lead the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, performing “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  • Domestic robots – Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper gave a hilarious but prescient look at the future of domestic robotics. The domestic robot invasion began with the vacuum cleaner, launched by the iRobot Roomba with much success in 2002.

Samsung POWERbot VR9000At the January 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung introduced its latest generation of vacuum-cleaning robots. The Samsung POWERbot VR9000 robot vacuum (£815), pictured above, offers “CycloneForce” suction power.
  • Employment trend – The New York Times reports that the American work force has been growing polarized for decades. Highly skilled jobs,


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The Sony Experia Z Ultra & Phablet Trend

January 19, 2015 by  

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You’re the front runner of the mobile market. You re-invented both the first disruption, the iPhone, and the second one, the tablet. But something happened after the iPad. Consumers couldn’t live without a big-screen device. Yet the iPhone had a small screen.
The shoot-from-the-hip Android market saw an opening and ran with it. Samsung pioneered the “phablet” trend, a contraction of phone and tablet, with the introduction of the Galaxy Note in October 2011. So what happened? Apple was too successful. It got users addicted to hi-res touch screens. The iPad further spoiled consumers but when faced with a choice between a small-screen phone and a large-screen tablet, consumers opted for convergence. Which lead Samsung to the phablet, or as one pundit put it — “big-ass phone.” And why not? Who wants to carry two devices when one can do? Manufacturers like Sony stretched the limits even further with the 6.4-inch Sony Experia Z Ultra, pictured above. Apple faced a typical innovator’s dilemma. In a classic case of innovation recoil, Apple couldn’t put its iPad sales under pressure, which at the time was the fastest growing consumer device in history. And that’s what a larger iPhone…

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