Happy Summer! This time around, Cathi Bond talks about an intriguing opinion piece by Shawn Parr, arguing that someone should bring Kickstarter-style narrative and bootstrapping to the US debt problem (via PSFK)
Nora Young mentions this Technology Review profile of neuroscientist Daniela Schiller, about the nature of memory, and how alternatives to drugs may be used to change the way we experience our memories. Does this square with how you think about your own memories? Let us know!
In lighter news, Cathi points to chef Robert Ruiz’s use of edible QR codes on his sushi (via PSFK). Gimmick? Smart?
The Sniffer is off until after Labour Day. Have a great rest of the summer, and see you for season – ack! – NINE in the fall!
This time, our gal Cathi Bond mentions the Underarmour wearable band for runners that tracks your stats and your ‘willpower’ (via PSFK). Does wearing tracking devices like this improve your performance, or keep you motivated? We’d love to hear about it.
Nora refers to this cool visualization at the Smithsonian Magazine blog. Researcher Albert-Laszlo Barabasi found that any two pages on the web are connected by no more than 19 clicks. Quite cool to look at the hyper-connector ‘hubs’ in the visualization.
This time on the podcast, Nora Young talks about the Pebble smart watch. We used the Pebble as a topical ‘hook’ to a recent piece on watches on Spark, and that got me thinking about what makes this great looking little watch so appealing. It reminded Cathi Bond of the Little Printer, a smart, digital solution that looks analog, that looks friendly. Nora mentions all the self-tracking tools and health monitors that were at CES recently (see, for example, Technology Review’s coverage here).
Cathi Bond talks about the RP-VITA which is a remote presence robot that can wander health care facility halls, checking in on patients, thus allowing doctors who are far away to see patients virtually (via Medgadget). It can even allow the remote physician to consult with other doctors. Interestingly, it’s from the iRobot people, who brought you the Roomba.
And, Nora has a quick hit: Swisshotel has a handy dandy ‘single serving’ website that notes handy tips for travellers to different cultures: stuff like tipping, gestures, and dos and don’ts (via Lifehacker). Nora thinks lots more businesses will do this sort of thing for branding purposes – useful info connected to your product’s brand that can live as an app. Have you seen any good examples of this?
In this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond expands on the POV video and video-sharing trends (see her related coverage on Spark, here) with a look at Vergence Labs’ Kickstarter project in social video eyewear. It combines video-enabled glasses with a video sharing service. Are we all going to be capturing everything that goes on around us all the time?
Meanwhile, Nora Young looks at another quirky example of passive monitoring: tracking your pet! Fujitsu is set to release a device that attaches to your dog’s collar, which will allow you to monitor your doggie’s exercise. Cathi and Nora ponder what data their pets would reveal (via Technology Review).
This time, Nora Young talks about the trend in peer-to-peer applications for tracking and sharing your health (via Technology Review). The trend appears to be growing, with tons of diet, fitness, and health sites and apps popping up. They’re a great idea, but users will have to be aware of their privacy, and make sure they understand what these services are doing with their data. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, has a story on insurance companies experimenting with checking out people’s social networking sites for signs of healthy or unhealthy lifestyles.
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond looks at the fun boom in apps for cats! (Via Gizmag)
This little kitty sure seems to be enjoying it:
Cats not your thing? Well how about Alpha Dog, from Boston Dynamics. They’re the people who brought you the Big Dog robot. Holy Uncanny Valley:
The Sniffer is back for a new season! Thanks for checking out the updated blog. In this episode, Cathi Bond and Nora Young open up the windows to catch a last bit of summer breeze (and the occasional fire alarm) and chew over some new tech trends. Nora looks at UCLA’s Urban Sensing lab as an example of a trend she’s been seeing pop up a lot: the move towards ordinary citizens contributing data about the environment around them (via Scientific American). For example, there’s Biketastic, where cyclists contribute frequently updated information about the quality of bike routes.
Cathi Bond always has her eye on what’s new in media and entertainment. This time, it’s Sony’s forthcoming, high end 3D headset, the HMZ-T1 (check them out over at Gizmag). It sound great for gaming, but tell us, can you see yourself slipping them on by yourself or with your family, sitting around the TV, or is this sort of thing just for gaming? We’ve had plans for these immersive goggles for ages (Cathi talked about some way back on an early episode of the podcast), but has their time finally come?