Author Archives: Nora

Racism in the sharing economy and smart jacket for VIP access

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about this study on racism and sexism with ride-hailing services Uber, Lyft, and Flywheel (via Jalopnik). Is this something you have experienced? Nora Young talks about the Rochambeau Bright BMBR smart jacket, which comes loaded with digital "tags" that give the wearer VIP access (via Read Write). It ties into several trends, including products that incorporate 'experiences'. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4848952/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

AI learns from Google Books, and TubeChat combats loneliness

This time around, Cathi Bond talks about a Google AI project. The AI was trained on 11,000 genre fiction novels in order to chat more naturally. Cool, but the hitch is that some authors are ticked off that their fiction is being used as training data, and they're not being compensated (via The Guardian) Meanwhile, Nora Young mentions the Tube Chat project, where London commuters were urged to talk to strangers on the Tube. A lot of hilarious riffing on Londoners' famous reserve followed (via CityLab). [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4769001/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Food Trends: Robotic Pizza and Reputation Economy for Diners

On this podcast, Nora Young talks about Seven Rooms (via Fortune), an online reservation service that also stores data about diners and club-goers. Is the reputation economy coming to the hospitality sector? It reminds Nora a bit of Super Sad True Love Story. Meanwhile Cathi Bond talks about Zume, a roboticized pizza system that aims to complete the cooking in the delivery truck, solving the problem of "dwell time" and soggy pizza crust (via New Atlas). Cool innovation or harbinger of Wall-E?   [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4735405/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

The Future of Skyscrapers and New Tool for Managing Info Overload

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about recent awards for futuristic skyscraper concepts, handed out by Evolo architecture magazine. The winning design was, literally, a "hole in the ground" but other designs include The Hive, a drone-docking tower, and a super tall data centre (via New Atlas). Cathi and Nora chat about the near future of skyscrapers. Nora Young looks at Explain to Me, a tool that scans and summarizes web-based articles so you can decide whether it's worth your time to read the whole thing (via Lifehacker). Is it a handy helper, or a sign that we're spending way too much time online? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4695726/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Mobile Payments for Unbanked People and High End Grow Your Own

On the podcast this time, Nora Young talks about India's plan for a Unified Payment Interface, or UPI. The idea is to connect Indians who are currently "unbanked" with a mobile payments system, using phones and their national biometric-based ID system (via Mashable). Cathi Bond gets why they're doing it, but still thinks it sounds creepy and Big Brother-ish. What do you think? Meanwhile, Cathi looks at Grobo, a very cool, design-forward, internet-enabled system for growing your own plants, whatever those plants may be! [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4643425/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

How to Brainstorm and Mind-Bending Internet Art

In this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about Continuum Infinitum, a supercool continuous video loop (via Gizmodo). Watch the video here. She also mentions Snarg. Cathi and Nora talk internet art. What do you think defines it? Nora mentions Grocery Trip, and the work of Darius Kazemi.

Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about this Fast Company article by Veronique Lafargue on how the folks at Google brainstorm. Some of it is familiar (eg, don't shoot down ideas), but some is really new: in particular, don't follow up brainstorming with more meetings. Instead, go straight to prototype!

 


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Exoskeletons and Smart Tables

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about a soft, lightweight "exosuit" created by the Wyss Institute at Harvard, and ReWalk Robotics (via Gizmag). Unlike other experiments in exoskeletons designed for people who can't move their legs, this is a support for people with some mobility impairment. Nora mentions this segment on her show, Spark.

Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about Smart Slab, a design for a 'smart' table that offers heating, cooling, and device charging. In addition to being great looking, it's the kind of design Nora and Cathi think we could see a lot more of in our connected future (check out the pictures via Core77)


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AI News Readers and Robots on the Sidewalk!

Nora Young talks about new research into creating an AI that can read and 'understand' a news article with greater accuracy than Google's DeepMind had previously been able to do (via New Scientist). What does it mean for the future, now that AI is getting so good at recognizing and interpreting text, images, faces, and speech?

Cathi Bond continues on the artificial intelligence tip with research out of Stanford into robots that can navigate pedestrian sidewalks, where we chaotic humans can behave in unexpected ways (via Gizmag). The Jackrabbot, as it's called, is even cute!

Care to rate us on iTunes?


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“Nice” Online Communities and Data-Driven Shopping

In this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about the Adobe Experience Manager, which uses aggregated data to give retailers the inside track on what a customer might be interested in. Read more at PSFK. Nora Young talks about Imzy, a new online community (currently in private beta) that has strategies to try to make sure it is a "nice" place (via Ars Technica). Is bad behaviour something that can be solved by strategies and design, or are some people always going to be bad actors? [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4453796/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

VR Social Spaces and Smart Wearable for Asthma

This time, Nora Young talks about AltspaceVR, a new social platform using Virtual Reality. Read Motherboard's hands-on coverage here. Cathi refers back to our chat about holoportation. Cathi Bond looks at the HET Health and Environment Tracker (via Gizmag). It's a combination wristband and chest patch for people with asthma. It monitors both the wearers biometric data (including signs of wheezing) and environmental data. Smart! Thanks for listening, and we hope you'll consider rating us! [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4422462/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3