Future Tech

Where will technology take us in the future? What disruptive innovations might shape the world in the next 10 or 20 years, and where will they come from?

3D printing future
1Jørgen Henrichsen

Jørgen HenrichsenFebruary 15, 2015

What’s Next for 3D Printing?

Industrial 3D printing has been around since the late 80’s, originally used as an easy way to make prototypes, also called Rapid Prototyping. These industrial 3D-printers was costly systems not minted for the average consumer in any way. Various 3D-printing techniques is still widely used in the industry today as prototype makers and for producing parts for different products. For the next two decades commercial 3D printing never really hit home, but as we will see, during the first decade of the 21st century, a lot of things happened.

I would go as far as calling it a revolution for small startups and entrepeneurs, as well as for the industry. There’s no doubt the ability to make protoypes of your ideas in the safety of your home is tremendously useful. Some even call the 3D-printing technology an industrial revolution. The question is; where will it end? Is it a gimmick hyped by the media? Will 3D-printers become as normal of a household item as normal paper printers?

RepRap and some basic history of 3D-printing

In late march 2005 an open source project, calling itself RepRap was founded. It is based on the idea of open source and the ability to use a 3D-printer to print parts for new 3D-printers as a cheap way to bring 3D-printing to the people. In 2006 the RepRap prototype successfully printed a part for itself. This snowballed and two years later it was reported that at least 100 RepRap machines was created by various people around the world. In 2009 the first commercial 3D-printer was released, and it was based on RepRap, coming in kit form, ready for assembly. Not much later the same year MakerBot, one of the most renowned makers of commercial 3D-printers today, released its first model.

Makerbot prototypes

Makerbot prototypes

From here the availability of printers have increased rapidly, with several more brands of printers showing up in the market, quality and precision improved on for every new model. Today, the commercial printer usually have a minimum of 0.1 mm layer height. That means that each layer of the plastic the printer adds is 0.1 mm thick, resulting in high-resolution prints with a lot of detail.

What does it mean for startups and small businesses?

For startups 3D-printing is a gateway into realizing and visualizing ideas, making prototypes fast and cheap and speeding up the rate of realization of a finished product. Think of it this way; without your own 3D printer, you have to send specs for a prototype to a company who can make it, and they will for sure not do it free. Then you have to wait for the company to make it, pack it and ship it. Then it’s picked up by the postal service, thrown into a lorry, sent to an endless amount of post-terminals, eventually making its way to a place near you.

Say this whole process will presumably take a couple of weeks, imagine making that very prototype in 5-6 hours on a 3D-printer. Of course, you have the “startup-cost” of buying the printer itself, but with saved costs for further production of prototypes and all the time you will save, it is worth the price.

I would also make the statement that it helps you, by boosting your creativity. When you have this direct and fast way of going from idea to something physical I would dare to say it’s easier, more rewarding and more fun trying different concepts and solutions. So not only does it speed up the process of prototype-production from idea to physical object, but makes it more fun, rewarding and in general, less of a hassle.

Some Applications

3D-printing does not only empower us with the ability to make prototypes for our ideas, it has a lot of other applications, blasting through borders in for example the medical industry. One company, calling themselves Organovo has set out to print functioning human tissue for medical research. It also opens new gateways for prosthetics, as a cheap way to manufacture them. Think of a child that lacks a limb, they grow pretty fast and constantly buying new prosthetics will be expensive. The ability to 3D-print cheap ones are a wonderful way to help people in that situation.

Another company, WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, have made a 3D printer that can print houses. In a 24h period it managed to set up 10 single-story houses, the machine however took the company over 12 years to make. Each house had a cost of around 5000$ to build. They also built a 5 story apartment complex and a villa. 3D-printing turn the impossible into the possible and the expensive into cheap in a lot of industries.

3D printed house

Building construction with 3D-printed parts

What will 2015 and the future bring?

Will 2015 be the year for 3D-printers to break through into the mainstream market? No doubt, we will see more advanced models, and models with more bang for the buck. They will most likely be more precise, cheaper and more available, but they will definitely not become a normal home appliance to find in most households. For that I think there isn’t enough applications for it to be attractive and worth the cost for a common guy/girl that isn’t especially interested. I think it will still be a product for enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and startups for the next few years.

Nobody can say accurately where the 3D-printer will be in five years though, and what machines will be released is left for anyone to guess. What I am sure of is that we will see development, and the big brands in 3D-printing will continue to improve and innovate. I don’t think 3D-printing is a gimmick, it is here to stay.

Into the looking glass

Jon us at Technoport 2015 – Trondheim’s meeting place for innovation – as we seek to awaken the entrepreneurial mindset on 18 & 19 March 2015. Tickets are available now.

Photo credits: Creative ToolsBre PettisWinSun

Print magazines
60David Nikel

David NikelJanuary 21, 2015

The Future of Print in the Digital Age

When it comes to news, there can be no doubt consumer behaviour has shifted from print to digital.

Trashy headlines, comedy distractions and celebrity exclusives now belong to the likes of BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post & TMZ rather than the tabloid press. Twitter breaks news faster than any newspaper ever could, while engaged political bloggers arguably have more sway than columnists ever did. Legacy newspaper brands are struggling to make it pay online, whereas digital-first blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable thrive with the ability to satisfy its news-hungry audience multiple times per day.

So print is dead.

Or is it?

Wil Lee-Wright

Wil Lee-Wright

“There is a vacuum in print and it is open for entrepreneurial journalists to explore”, claims Wil Lee-Wright, Editor-in-Chief at The List, a new English language print magazine for Trondheim, targeting foreigners living in and visiting the town.

“Myself, our team, my friends and family all actively seek out print publications. Of course we’re engaged with digital content but print is something we all crave. A digital platform alone won’t satisfy the needs of our audience. New international workers, asylum seekers, business travellers and tourists won’t necessarily know about the digital platform, but they will see our magazine out on the streets. We also offer digital content and anticipate doing more in the future, but the print magazine will remain our way of introducing people to the brand.”

A sustainable business?

Even if there is a demand for print publications, is it possible to build a sustainable business given the powerful targeting available with online media? Wil is convinced it is.

“From our pre-launch research we found that in places with saturated markets like London, there has been a move towards the free press. The List is a free publication but with high production values, so much so that some people aren’t quite sure if our magazine is free! This quality, together with the fact that no other publication is targeting this audience, means we have a very attractive proposition for advertisers. We are already achieving sustainable advertising rates because we offer access to a unique audience, whilst remaining accessible to all.”

Tarmo Virki

Tarmo Virki

Tarmo Virki, co-founder of CoFounder magazine, agrees.

“The differentiator is being able to reach a very specific target group. Newspapers and general interest print magazines aim as wide as the internet does, but there is one key difference. On the internet you can target advertising, so today print has to target too.”

The Finnish-Estonian publication targets the thriving technology startup scene in Europe, and launched its debut issue at the Slush conference in November 2014.

“We have seen a lot of free media like the Metro newspaper trying to create a platform through distributing the paper publication to as many people as possible. We will operate a subscription model, but continue to distribute at industry conferences too. Issue 2 will be available at the CeBIT conference in Germany.”

A credible voice

Both The List and CoFounder are professionally designed, quality publications, the kind of magazine you’ll leave on your kitchen table and refer to again and again. This offers readers – and advertisers – something they struggle to find online, a long-term, permanent relationship. That print ad lasts forever.

Print offers journalists the chance to unshackle themselves from click-bait headlines and SEO keyword-driven copy, and explore topics with a depth and narrative that’s increasingly hard to find online.

This article from Niemann Storyboard suggests “Launching a print magazine today is courageous; some would say foolhardy.”

I say courageous, yes, but foolhardy, no. A future in which we consume news online but read more thoughtful, longer-form interviews and features in print is one I’m all for.

What do you think?

Electric car
1Jonas Opedal

Jonas OpedalJanuary 16, 2015

A $1bn Electric Car Failure

The idea was simple enough.

As simple as revolutionising an entire industry can be, anyhow. Putting electric vehicles on people’s radars for good and fixing one of its biggest drawbacks, range anxiety (distance travelled per charge)

How, you ask? By rethinking the whole charging procedure and dramatically reducing the charging time.

A good idea, you ask? According to investors, yes. Better Place raised almost $1 billion in funding without a ready product.

Who, you ask? A serial entrepreneur named Shai Agassi, a guy charismatic as few others, was able to convince investors he would sell millions of electric cars in Israel and the rest of the world.

Innovative technology

Instead of relying on the traditional stop-and-wait-while-your-battery/tank-is-refilled, which for an electric car takes a long time, Agassi wanted to think new. His solution was to exchange the whole battery package under the car, fully automatic, and replace it with a fully charged one. This meant that you would be able to be in and out of a charging station, leaving with a full battery in less than 5 minutes, not much longer than the time taken to refill a regular petrol tank. This, combined with a vast network of battery swapping stations throughout cities and the countryside, would mean the end of range anxiety.

Better Place was founded in 2007 and immediately drew investors’ attention. They wanted to build affordable electric family cars in a market consisting almost solely of Tesla Roadsters. After hitting it off with current CEO of Nissan and Renault, Agassi suggested at a TED talk in 2009 that Renault cars would enter the market with “mass volume – mass volume being the first year, 100,000 cars”. This would mean half the new-car market in Israel at the time, and he later told Time magazine that they would eliminate new sales of petrol cars by 2015.

The final order to Nissan-Renault, placed in 2009, committed Better Place to buy 100,000 cars between 2011 and 2016. Their planned business model would borrow from the telecom industry in that they would subsidise the vehicles and make use of monthly subscriptions for the charging networks. Eternal optimism dominated in these early days and Agassi soon told reporters that the cars would price about half of a petrol car, this without having agreed on prices with Renault-Nissan.

The huge investments meant Agassi was soon on the lookout for expansion beyond the Israeli borders. Better Place focused huge amounts of time and money on lobbying politicians and planning for new markets, first out would be Denmark and Australia. In addition, instead of hiring experienced people from the motor industry, his managing group consisted of both his brother, sister and father, and later also his girlfriend and her friends.

His attempts to get other car manufacturers on board did not go well, scaring away German manufacturers with his ideological and top-down point of view. In fact, while meeting with General Motors, Agassi suggested to them that they would deliver their cars for free, and laughed at their plans for the new Chevrolet Volt. As you can imagine, the meeting did not end on good terms.

When the first cars were finally ready for delivery in 2012, reality hit hard. The driving range was substantially lower than promised and priced at the same level as petrol cars. The monthly subscription added $3,000 a year plus charging, and the battery station infrastructure ended up costing $2m. At that time, they were losing $500,000 each day. In May 2013, Better Place declared bankruptcy having sold just 1,500 cars.

Lessons learned

Better Place had a big opportunity to push the electric car revolution, with huge funding and massive public interest. In the end it was probably mismanagement that ruined the big adventure. But was it ever a good idea?

The short answer is yes.

Let us first look at the investors and the media. Both gave of their resources in vast amounts, underlining that the idea must have had some things going for it. Also, Better Place did manage to build a working vehicle and charging stations, albeit not exactly with the specification and price they had promised. In other words, the technology was possible.

Another convincing argument is that Tesla supports the technology. This video from Tesla depicts the Model S switching battery in only 90 seconds, substantially faster than Better Place allowed.

On stage, Elon Musk proclaims: “The only decision you’ll make when you come to our Tesla Stations is; do you prefer faster or free?”, suggesting that swapping stations might not be too far away.

So far, noone has picked up the baton from Better Place. Probably the number of electric cars is still too few to justify spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on switching equipment. The vast number of different batteries and standards of charging must also seem cooling for the industry, allowing one type of car per different station.

Instead, industry focus is now on improving battery and supercharging technologies. But with growing number of vehicles, and Tesla pushing innovation, that might change in the not all too distant future.

What do you think?

How can we learn from failures?

Join us in Trondheim, Norway, on 18 & 19 March as we seek to awaken the entrepreneurial mindset at Technoport 2015.

Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

CES 2015
60David Nikel

David NikelJanuary 14, 2015

What We Learned From CES 2015

Last week the mammoth Consumer Electronics Show once again took place in Las Vegas. Its timing in January means CES becomes a great preview and predictor of trends in consumer tech for the year ahead.

Here’s some of what we learned from this year’s event.

What the future of TV looks like

Are televisions still relevant in the days of internet streaming and tablets? LG claim a big fat yes with their 77-inch 4K Flexible OLED TV. Can’t decide if you want a curved or flat screen TV? This monster does both, transforming at the touch of a button!

OLEDs work by putting electricity through certain materials that glow red, blue or green. Each pixel can be turned off for an absolute black, unique among modern television technologies. All this means a grand slam for OLED technology: incredible contrast, remarkably thin, and more energy efficient than the competition.

We also saw demonstrations of HDR television, with Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Sony all showing the difference between screens with and without HDR capability. Netflix shot its recent Marco Polo series using HDR-cameras and we can’t wait to see the results (it’s not yet available on screen)

Meanwhile, Sling TV won Engadget’s Best of CES award in “Best Home Theatre Product” for their “designed for internet” take on a digital subscription service.

What auto-driving cars will be like

I’ve just about got to grips with the concept of using my watch for more than telling the time, but using it to drive a car? Woooah!

That was the response of most people who saw the lovely BMW i3 being controlled via voice commands on a smartwatch.

“The BMW I3 is a lovely hunk of automobile, the kind of vehicle you would save up for years to buy, and then polish with a diaper. Hold on there, sir. Do you really want to drive this masterpiece of engineering with a Samsung Gear S smartwatch?” – Mario Aguilar, Gizmodo

Mercedes-Benz unveiled their radical concept for a self-driving car. The ridiculous looking exterior is nothing compared to what goes on inside, where the front seats swivel 180 degrees.

Future tech at CES 2015

What the future connected home will look like

There is no stopping the connected home!

Smart home technology absolutely dominated CES 2015. An incredible amount of gadgets were on display. It would have been impossible to see all of them let alone write about all of them, so here’s just a few that caught our eyes.

Witricity enables remote charging of devices, such as a mobile phone placed on a desk or even an electric car parked in a garage, through its wireless electricity concept. EchoStar Sage allows you to get live alerts from security cameras and sensing equipment direct to your TV, with no subscription fees. Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound Moment is sends tracks and playlists from your digital collection and streaming services to your speakers, but most importantly of all, it’s beautiful. On the topic of beautiful audio, we also love the design of the Naim Audio Mu-so wireless speaker.

One big surprise from LG was a new washing machine concept packed with technology including a second mini-washer drawer, recycling heat to improve energy efficiency, and spraying detergent directly onto clothes for supposedly faster cycle times.

What our future connected selves will look like

If you’re comfortable with attaching multiple devices to your body & uploading that data to the internet, then get ready to celebrate as wearables continue to develop at a rapid pace.

Belty, the self-adjusting belt, caused quite a stir as people slowly realised self-adjusting means self-tightening! JINS unveiled Meme, smartglasses with style (that actually look like glasses), while XelfleX showed off their smart textile technology that turns garments into active motion sensors. Are fitness bands over already?

Trade booth at CES 2015

Did you attend CES 2015 or follow it online? What caught your eye?

Photo credits: Samsung Tomorrownvidia.corporation,

CES 2014
60David Nikel

David NikelJanuary 13, 2014

The Internet Of Everything Is Here: CES 2014

The “internet of things” was the cool phrase to say last year, as tech was smashed together with all sorts of everyday objects. It was only a matter of time before this evolved from innovate ideas to consumer products. Last week’s Consumer Electronics Show – surely one of the biggest geek-outs in the world – revealed the latest developments in this rapidly-evolving trend.

The internet of things has become the internet of everything, with all manner of mobile and wearable tech now being developed. The concept is basically connected tech that changes our lives, making them easier, safer, or simply more fun.

Here’s some of the media reaction:

“We went into this whole thing expecting very little in the way of amazing new products and we were pleasantly surprised. The big guys might be boring but it’s the little guys – like early mammals scuttling under the dinosaurs – that make the biggest impact”TechCrunch

“A phantasmagoria of light, sound, and electricity. Actual electricity, and the kind of spiritual, psychic kind that only happens but once a year”The Verge

What caused such a reaction?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest announcements from the world of mobile and wearable tech:

Virtual Reality with Occulus Rift

Immersive virtual reality is coming on leaps and bounds. Occulus Rift presented their Crystal Cove prototype – an augmented virtual reality headset that puts you into a game. It fixes many of the niggles from previous versions and is the clearest sign yet that we’ll see something on the market this year.

“Of all the exciting, innovative products we’ve seen at CES this year, the Oculus Rift “Crystal Cove” prototype is unquestionably the best of the best”Engadget

Pebble Steel Smartwatch

Kickstarter graduates Pebble promised “something special” and they didn’t disappoint. The Pebble Steel does away with the lightweight “plastic toy” feel of the older models in favour of metal, leather straps, and a more solid construction. Together with a specialist store featuring over 3,000 apps, these are signs that Pebble is growing up fast.

The 3 Doodler

3D printing has up until now been an activity reserved for engineers and the technically-minded. Crowdfunded project 3Doodler opens up the possibilities to the rest of us with its fantastic 3D printing pen that really does let you draw in 3D. It works in a similar way to a 3D printer, by rapidly heating up and cooling plastic as it passes through the head.

But rather than talk, let’s watch. You can’t fail to be amazed!

Elsewhere at CES 2014, it seems the car is rapidly evolving from a means of transportation to our latest connected device. From laser headlights to driverless steering, technology in cars will be a big thing in 2014.

But that’s for another blog post :)

Photo credit: Daniel Incandela

Bitcoins in Norway
60David Nikel

David NikelDecember 31, 2013

Will Bitcoin Sink or Swim in 2014?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ll have heard of Bitcoin, the digital currency taking the world by storm.

I can’t think of a more disruptive technology in my lifetime – one that’s been discussed at the highest levels of US government, banned by some countries, shortlisted as “word of the year” by both Oxford and Collins, and sent politicians heads’ deep into the sand.

So what does 2014 hold for Bitcoin? I have no idea, but I’m willing to bet the next 12 months will prove decisive for the digital currency’s future.

First up, what exactly is Bitcoin? It’s the name of both the peer-to-peer payment network and the currency itself. According to Wikipedia:

“When paying with Bitcoin, no exchange of digital notes or tokens takes place between buyer and seller. Instead, the buyer requests an update to a public transaction log, the blockchain. This master list of all transactions shows who owns what bitcoins currently and in the past and is maintained by a decentralized network that verifies and timestamps payments. The operators of this network, known as “miners”, are rewarded with transaction fees and newly minted bit coins.”

In a world where digital payment systems such as PayPal became mainstream far quicker than I had expected, it seems logical that a digital currency would be the next step. So, what’s the problem?

The entire system is controlled by an algorithm, not by a Central Bank, and therefore out of control of any Government. A truly international currency presents problems for taxation, regulation, and a whole host of other factors that have Governments all over the world scratching around for a solution.

Bitcoins in Scandinavia

Bitcoins are not just a plaything of the tech savvy crowd in Palo Alto, London and Berlin. Take a look at some of the biggest news from the last few months here in Scandinavia:

  • Stockholm welcomed its first Bitcoin ATM.
  • Oslo resident Kristoffer Koch invested 150 NOK in Bitcoins back in 2009, only to forget about them. It’s unclear exactly how much they’re now worth, but he bought an apartment in Tøyen with just one-fifth of his investment.
  • The Norwegian Tax Office took the interesting step of classifying Bitcoin as an asset, just a few months after economic powerhouses Germany and France leaned towards currency.

Klaus Bugge Lund, CEO of the Norwegian bitcoin exchange Justcoin AS, says:

“I am mostly fascinated by the underlying payment system that Bitcoin provides. The idea of a decentralized network to confirm transactions is appealing since it is not as vulnerable to political interference. Bitcoin as a currency is at the time subject to extreme speculation leading to a volatility making it unsuited as a currency. Once the infrastructure has been set up properly and the price growth stabilize we will hopefully see Bitcoin succeed both as a payment system and as a currency.”

“Half a year ago we would have to explain what Bitcoin was to most people we met. Today everyone has at least heard of Bitcoin. Although many people are still skeptical to the concept we think that the awareness itself is valuable for Bitcoin. The potential impact digital currencies has to our financial environment as we know it today makes people obligated to refrain from Bitcoin. If Bitcoin really does change money, it will not be the first time a disrupting concept meets resistance before eventually succeeding.”

The future of Bitcoin

Will Bitcoin thrive and force Governments to adapt, or will it go the way of Napster – a trailblazing disruptive technology that failed, but ultimately paved the way for Spotify, Netflix, et al.

What do you think?

Photo credit: Antana

Ocean Forrest
11Annette Hovdal

Annette HovdalSeptember 16, 2013

Future prospects in aquaculture: the challenges in making aqaculture sustainable

15 August, Technoport visited Aqua Nor at Trondheim Spektrum, the world’s biggest aquaculture exhibition. Our day at Aqua Nor were exciting, and we learned about the future prospects in aquaculture, the challenges in making aquaculture sustainable, but also on how to solve these challenges.

Future prospects in Aquaculture
- Expressed in human consumption, we obtain 98 % from land-based production, and only 2 % from the sea, and there lies great business opportunities in the bio marine sector, said Karl A. Almås (CEO, SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture), when welcoming to the SINTEF seminar, “Future Prospects in Aquaculture Technology”. The seminar, happening during Aqua Nor, gathered industrial leaders in the Norwegian aquaculture industry, to speak about the possibilities and limitations for future growth in aquaculture.

Karl A. Almås, CEO at SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, says there are great business opportunities in the bio marine sector Photo by: Thor Nielsen

The industrial leaders agreed that there are great possibilities for future growth in aquaculture; the carbon footprint of salmon is 8 times less than of beef, and is therefore more sustainable. However, the industry is also facing challenges. The speakers pointed to different challenges, saying that one for example needs to solve the sustainability issues.

One of the sustainability challenges is linked to the fish meal for farmed salmon. For the salmon to be a healthy product, it has to contain omega-3 fatty acids, in other words; fish oil. The problem is that the price and demand for fish oil increases, but the access of fish oil is not growing. Einar Wathne (CEO, EWOS), said there is a need to find alternatives to the fish oil in the fish meal. Another sustainability problem is sea lice. Farmed salmon with sea lice that runs away is a threat for the wild fish. Diseases the farmed salmon get is also a problem, and means production loss. Development of new vaccination is important here, Edel Anne Norderhuus, Research director in Pharmaq, said.

Trond Giske, the Minister of Trade and Industry, held a speech about Norway’s interests in the marin- and maritim sector under the seminar. Photo by: Thor Nielsen

To realise the possibilities in Aquaculture, one needs to solve the challenges, said Alf-Helge Aarskog (CEO, Marine Harvest). Several elements were mentioned to solve the problems, for example new technology, a closer tie between the operators and the technologists,  development of new vaccination, more researchers from Europe working on the challenges, and more recruitment of people to the aquaculture industry. The leaders also called for more agriculture area around the coast of Norway.

Ocean Forest – a project to make aquaculture sustainable

At Aqua Nor the environmental foundation, Bellona, and the fish farming company, Lerøy Seafood Group, presented the new company, Ocean Forest.  Later this fall, the new company will establish a test facility at Sotra in Hordaland, to test integrated aquaculture on a large scale.

Ocean Forest med vindmøller

An illustration of how Ocean Forrest might look like. Photo: Bellona

-The goal with Ocean Forest is to address aquaculture environmental challenges, help removing CO2 from the atmosphere, at the same time as creating economic value, said Fredric Hauge (president, Bellona) in a press release, during Aqua Nor. The company will do research on how ecological interactions between species can help to solve the environmental problems that farming operations create, and at the same time seek economic value by being in the driver’s seat when it comes to finding new sources of biomass and bioenergy.

Technoport is confident that aquaculture is one of the solutions to the worlds growing need for food, provided it is done in a sustainable way. Ocean Forest is an exciting initiative. We hope the collaboration between Bellona and Lerøy will contribute to solve the sustainability challenges that the aquaculture industry is facing, and make fish farming a green alternative to meat.

There were 480 different exhibitors at Aqua Nor, and 18 500 visitors, from 65 countries visited Aqua Nor 2013.

Photo by: Bellona (illustration of how the Ocean Forrest facilities migh look like)

Samsung Galaxy
11Annette Hovdal

Annette HovdalSeptember 4, 2013

Smart Watches – the next big thing?

On Wednesday this week, Samsung introduced the Smart watch, Galaxy Gear. This smart phone accessory can pick up notifications, control music playback, and keep time with a rich variety of watch faces. In addition, the watch can take pictures, and even conduct phone calls.  

Galaxy Gear is not the first smart phone product on the marked though, nor is it the last. Both Sony and Motorola are selling the product, and last year, 330.000 smart watches were sold. Big companies, like Apple, Microsoft and Google believes that the smart watch is the new big marked. According to the analysis company, Canalys, there will be sold five millions smart watches next year.

The smart watch is not a replacement of the smart phone, it relies on a Bluetooth connection to the smart phone. However, a smart watch will open new opportunities for software developers who create applications for health, sport and activities (tu.no)

Is this a cool gadget you just must have?        

Photo by: Samsung Electronics (CC)                 

5Erling Hess Johnsen

Erling Hess JohnsenJuly 29, 2013

Programming without learning code

Have you ever wished that you had an app that could perform a specific task, such as upload a new photo automatically to Dropbox? Or receive an e-mail with the link to new blog posts at Technoport Playground? With IFTTT you can create it yourself – without writing a single line of code.

Programming has never been a skill for the masses. Creating your own customized applications usually require learning at least one (and usually multiple) languages of code. However, the service IFTTT has made programming a whole lot easier. With IFTTT you can create your own applications without writing a single line of code.

The acronym stands for “If This Then That”, and refers to a basic structure quite similar in all programming languages. If something happens (trigger) the application should do this (action). In code, you’d perhaps write something like the following (though many more lines of code if the application were to actually do something useful):

if($trigger_event == true) {
// do something

If this
ifthisIFTTT provides a basic and clean interface which allows you to click yourself through the programming process in a matter of minutes. You simply start by selecting a trigger channel – usually a web service such as Gmail, RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, weather services et cetera. Afterwards, you simply select a trigger event, such as when there’s a new blog post on Technoport Playground

Then That
After you’ve selected your trigger event, you simply select an action for your recipe (or application). So whenever the trigger event happens, your application will execute the selected action.

As an example, we created a recipe for an application which will send you an e-mail notification when a new blog post is posted on Technoport Playground. Thus far, I’ve barely experimented with IFTTT, but there is no doubt that there is great potential for creating time-saving and useful applications.

Have you tried IFTTT? Please share your recipes with us!