Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beyond Google Glass - The World in 2025: Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Welcome to Part IV of my series "Beyond Google Glass – The World in 2025". Some of the products I'm showcasing are available today. Some are receiving the final polish and will be introduced within the next decade. Check out the other parts of the series too:
Part I - Wearables and Interactive Surfaces
Part II - Shopping in the Future
Part III - Print Everything
image by ars electronica via Flickr

You were waiting for this, right? No discussion on future tech is complete without robots and artificial intelligence. As always, click the links to see videos or articles about these up-and-coming concepts.


Robots are becoming faster, more agile and dexterous. Not to mention, Honda's Asimo looks adorable.

Not sure what to eat for dinner? Ask your robot to check your frig, then YouTube for a cooking lesson.

But there are others. Why do we need human mail carriers when a robot can lift hundreds of pounds without complaining? At least until they take over the world, that is. The video is pretty long, but it's worth checking out. Think you can outrun the one at the 6:00 mark?

Artificial Intelligence

Zoe is a talking head that can remind you of your appointments or take notes for you. But she now also has six different emotions. Click here to see an angry reminder for a birthday gift.

Amazon Echo and Emospark are both AI you can talk to. Emospark takes it a step further. It reads your facial features. Its goal is to make you happy, by playing music, telling you the score for your favorite baseball team or showing you pictures from your summer vacation.

Cognitoys has a talking dinosaur that recognizes each of your children's voice. It interacts with them and recognizes when they grow intellectually, giving more complicated explanation and posing more difficult questions. I showed it to my kids, and despite the needs-improvement voice, they both want one.

Sure, they give us new possibilities, but does anyone else feel creeped out about these new developments?

After having seen them all, my question is this. With so many examples of how technology will change our world, where does that leave people? Will we turn into the floating humans of Wall-E? Pure consumers with little obligation to do anything but buy and enjoy? 

What do you think?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Release Day: DELINQUENT by Emma L. Adams

It's release day for my critique partner Emma L Adams! Delinquent: An Alliance Novella, a prequel to the universe-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series is out now. Don't forget to scroll down for a giveaway!

Nineteen-year-old Kay Walker seems to have it all, including an assured future with the Alliance after he graduates from the prestigious Academy. But when he and his friends discover the lure of the Passages, the place between the worlds where monsters hide, they’re caught up in a contest with rival student Aric - which soon escalates into a deadly game.

A perfect life hides lies, and Kay becomes a target for alluring yet deadly magic he has no way of understanding. Magic is a force on its own, and on no one’s side…

Buy the book: Amazon   Kobo  Barnes and Noble  Apple  Smashwords

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Start the series from the beginning with Adamant (Alliance, #1)!

Adamant is the first in the world-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series.

Ada Fletcher is twenty-one, keeps a collection of knives in her room, and lives under the Alliance's radar in London, risking her life to smuggle people away from a devastating magical war on her homeworld to hide on the low-magic Earth. Being arrested wasn't on her plan, nor was being accused of a murder she had nothing to do with. But when a simple delivery goes wrong and she's taken into custody by the Alliance, her unusual magic makes her a prime suspect for a supervisor's suspicious death.

Kay Walker, grandson of the Alliance's late founder, expects to spend his first week as an Alliance employee chasing monsters out of the dark Passages between worlds, not solving a murder. But it's clear the strange, fierce young woman he arrested in the Passages stole something highly dangerous from the Alliance - and the closer he gets to the truth, the higher the body count rises.

The last thing Ada wants is to help the infuriating Alliance guard who arrested her, but it soon becomes clear that the Alliance knows too much about Ada's magic. More, in fact, than she knows herself. Now she has to choose between loyalty to her family, and helping the Alliance save the Earth - and the Multiverse - from a deadly enemy.

Buy the book:  Amazon  Kobo  Barnes and Noble  Apple  Smashwords
Add on Goodreads   Read the first chapter

What reviewers are saying

"The world building is magical. Even though we only get a hint of what's out there, I am already in love with this world." - Lola at Lola's Reviews

"...the beginning of a potentially brilliant and addictive series" - Jeanz Book Reviews

"Adams delivers high suspense throughout the whole book and manages to get you emotionally attached to the main characters which keeps you worried at every twist and turn. I basically flew through the action-packed story with its monsters and magic." - Goodreads reviewer

"Adamant is a fantastic start to a fun, adventurous and super cool series... a world so well written and brought to life you can totally lose yourself in it... Can't praise it enough!" - Alisha at Reality's A Bore.

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction with magic and monsters. She lives in the middle of England, but dreams of exploring the Multiverse. When she's not immersed in her own fictional worlds, Emma works as a freelance editor and proofreader and reads an improbable number of books.

Emma is the author of various fantasy novels, including the universe-hopping urban fantasy Alliance series and the YA paranormal Darkworld series.

You can visit to find out more about Emma's books, or subscribe to her newsletter ( to get a free Alliance short story and monthly updates on upcoming releases.

Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Newsletter

Monday, August 3, 2015

Beyond Google Glass - The World in 2025: Print Everything

Welcome to Part III of my series "Beyond Google Glass – The World in 2025". Some of these products are available today. Some are receiving the final polish and will be introduced within the next decade. Feel free to check out the other parts of the series too:
Part I - Wearables and Interactive Surfaces
Part II - Shopping in the Future
Part IV - Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Credit: Keith Kissel via Flickr
Today's topic: 3D Printers!

In the section on shopping, I mentioned that we humans were becoming more impatient and less willing to wait. But you can take it further than one hour delivery. Why order the products you want when you can just 3D print them? Click the links to see videos or articles about these up-and-coming concepts.

Before you print, you need a 3D model. Here's a handheld 3D scanner that works similar to taking a normal picture.

AIO Robotics offers a 3D scan, copy, print and fax machine already. Forget your key? Have mom scan and fax it to you. Or you could design products in one location, then send them to your factory as a model for mass production.

New 3D printers allow you to print in different ingredients, including plastics, metals and paper.

These 3D printouts are already being used for promotional puproses. In Israel, for example, Coca Cola set up a scanning center for their customers. They received a printout of themselves – a mini me.

So, printing with plastic, paper or metal doesn't sound spectacular enough? There are even printers that can print using chocolate or other foods.

Kids can produce their own toys using their brainwaves and this 3D printer.

And if Amazon runs out of drones, they can just print more.

What would you like to be able to print at home?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cover Reveal - Find Me If You Dare

I'm so excited to help reveal the deliciously creepy cover of my critique partner Vicki Leigh's second book in the YA Urban Fantasy Dreamcatcher series: FIND ME IF YOU DARE. Be sure to scroll to the end of the post for a link to Vicki's big celebration giveaway.

What's FIND ME IF YOU DARE about?

They may have won the first battle, but the Apocalypse has just begun.

Five weeks have passed since the battle that left Rome and Columbus in ruins. Sheltered in the hidden city of Caelum, Daniel and Kayla train alongside over one hundred Magus and Protectors, hoping that their unified ranks will be enough to take down their greatest threat yet: Richard, his followers, and his horde of Nightmares. Then a fallen comrade is returned to Caelum with a message carved into his chest and a note referencing the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Daniel knows their time for training is over.

Finally understanding Richard’s plans for Kayla and the three other Magus born on Halloween, Daniel and the rest of Caelum’s volunteers scout the U.S. in a desperate attempt to stop their enemy before he can unleash his first Horseman. But when massive attacks claim thousands of lives, people all over the world begin to fall ill—including those Daniel and Kayla care about the most.

With the Horseman of Pestilence released, Daniel knows it’s time to step aside and let Kayla take the lead. Only she has the power to rival her father’s. But when Richard’s plot turns out to be darker than they imagined, their fight is met with more death and destruction—and an enemy who might be unbeatable, after all.

Vicki's celebrating the cover reveal with a 22-book giveaway, so be sure to stop by her Tumblr page to enter!