Monday, July 27, 2015

Beyond Google Glass - The World in 2025: Shopping

Welcome to my four-part series on how technology is changing within the next decade. Feel free to check out the other parts of the series too:
Part I - Wearables and Interactive Surfaces
Part III - Print Everything
Part IV - Robots and Artificial Intelligence

In Part I of my series on how the world will be changing within the next decade, I showed some examples of  future interactive surfaces. In terms of shopping, interactive, digital signage is only the beginning. Click the links to see videos or articles about these up-and-coming concepts.
Credit: Don McCollough via Flickr
Not sure if the couch you'd like to buy will fit in your living room? Use Ikea's augmented reality to check.

Rehabstudio's Adaptive Storefront recognizes your preferences based on your cell phone signal. It changes the store window as you walk by to show products and special offers you might be interested in.

Want to make a massive amount of data useful to your customers? Check out Track My Maccas, which uses augmented reality to allow Australian customers see where the ingredients for their personal McDonald's meal came from.

If you haven't felt like Big Brother is watching you yet, this might do the trick. Placemeter can watch a section of street, count the number of pedestrians and tell you which stores receive the most traffic.

In terms of ordering, one thing seems to be clear. We're becoming less and less patient about receiving deliveries. Everyone has heard of Amazon's drones, but drone delivery has also been tested by DHL in Germany and Domino's Pizza in the UK.

Next day delivery isn't quick enough for you? Ebay and Amazon are both looking into One Hour Delivery.

And how about making not delivering, but ordering faster? The Amazon Dash remote allows you to scan the products you want to order.

If scanning is too difficult, the Amazon Dash Button takes it one step further. One button for exactly one product. I can just imagine how fun this would be with a two year old in the house.

What do you think of these techy opportunities? Can you imagine yourself using any of them?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beyond Google Glass - The World in 2025: Wearables & Interactive Surfaces

We've all heard of Google Glass and cars that steer themselves. While they may not be widely popular yet, you can bet the concepts will become more important with time.

Credit: Daniele Civello via Flickr

I had the opportunity to watch a cool presentation by TrendOne on technology that will come out within approximately the next decade.  Whether you're writing near-future science fiction or just interested in how our lives will change, you might find my four-part series "Beyond Google Glass – The World in 2025" interesting. Some of these products are available today. Some are receiving the final polish and will be introduced within the next decade.

Based on the examples that were shown, tomorrow's technology will be interactive, hidden or embedded, and include artificial intelligence.

Let's start with hidden technology...embedded in items you can wear. Click the links to see videos or articles about these up-and-coming Wearables.

Why only use e-ink for eReaders? How about making your own e-ink bracelet? Choose a new design every day or upload your own.

Smart jewelry can have many functions. For example, it can tell you if you've been in the sun too long, unlock your front door or control your smartphone.

Turn your arm into a touchscreen with this Cicret bracelet.

Intelligent textiles can have technology woven right into the fabric. They could check your health and send automatic messages if you're in distress.

I'm a little afraid my clothes would nag me when I gain weight:
Eee, I'm stretched too much. Cool it on the snacks!

Hidden technology can also be embedded in other items you use every day, like Interactive Surfaces.

See this example from Perch - interactive technology for retail. You pick up a shoe and tap to see the sizes and colors available on the table below it.

Your kitchen scale can also be a cutting board and display recipes at the same time.

The people at Bezalel academy are turning car windows into games. Transparent touchscreens make the back seat of your car into an activity center.

What do you think of the interactive surfaces? Can you imagine using them? How about the wearables?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Flash Fiction - The Time Traveler's Bangle

image by Capture Queen via flickr, adapted by me

Janet Reid, literary agent extraordinaire, giver of excellent advice, and Queen of the Known Universe, hosted another of her flash fiction contests! I highly recommend watching her website for them. Flash fiction contests are a fun way to be creative and practice economy in writing. My story, which I wrote because I was sick on Saturday and couldn't concentrated on revising my current work in progress, made it to the group of nine finalists out of 104 entries!

Participants were allotted a maximum of 100 words to write a complete story. This time, the following words had to be used: 
 - bangle
 - fangle
 - dongle
 - ten
 - tears

Here's mine! Hope you enjoy!

"I love you," he'd said.
And I love him.

Who wouldn't want to marry a time traveler, to see the world and all the times?

But after ten near-death experiences, after tears of frustration at trying to make new-fangled technology work, I finger the bangle of my bracelet—the heart-shaped one linked to his time travel dongle. Take it off and his next trip will whisk him to 2134 or 1077, while I remain home in 1786.

Deep breath. Clink. The tiny heart hits the saucer. I'll stow it away forever, in some dark place, like my cowardly, real heart.