Posts Tagged ‘future’

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,

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

AUSTRALIA-GOOGLE-SCHMIDT
11Annette Hovdal

Annette HovdalOctober 4, 2013

The New Digital Age

What will the future look like? Jared Cohen, the Director of Google Ideas, and Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google believes that four new technologies will contribute to change our lives in the next five to ten years.

The book “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business,” written by the two Google top leaders, has gotten a lot of attention since it was released this spring.

In the next 10 years, the number of people using the internet will probably grow from 2 billion to 7 billion. The Google executives do not paint a rosy picture of the future, when describing how the digital world will affect the physical world in issues such as the future of states, terrorism, conflict combat, citizenship and identity. Read more about the predictions here.

Future technologies
However, as it is Friday today, let’s not focus on the troubling predictions, but rather on some of the “fun” technologies that Cohen and Schmidt predict will contribute to change our lives in the years to come:
• Automatic simultaneous translation: This means that people with different languages could understand each other on the phone
• Intelligent pills: The pills can communicate via wifi with your phone, which automatically book an appointment with your doctor if something is wrong with your health
• Holograms: You will be able to see an Olympic exercise as if it was happening in the middle of your living room
• 3D printing: Printing technology will pave the way for new markets

Do you think these technologies will be in your life in five to ten years?

Photo by: Diavolo Qqta (CEO Eric Smith)

cmd.exe
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!