Tag Archives: Internet of Things

smart door

DIY Smart Home

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I was really jealous when I read about the way Alexia McKenzie created her own smart home. Not these specific components, but similar ideas that would match my own preferences. I just don’t have the hardware and software skills to pull it off. She installed a sensor that tells her when a letter arrives. A webcam livestreams a view of her doorstep to her phone, so she always knows who’s knocking. As for laundry, she doesn’t bother — don’t you know there’s an app for…

umbrella

GPS Umbrellas

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I am a big fan of the Internet of Things. But this (link to http://www.cassandradaily.com/tech/rain-check) is another example of a technology looking for a use case. For both the Davek and the Kisha umbrellas, they use location to guess whether they have been left somewhere and notify the owner. The Blunt waits for you to look for it before helping out.

As consumers become more comfortable with the Internet of Things, a growing number of smart devices are making their lives more convenient, pleasant, and easy. From sleep monitors to robotic personal assistants, technology is increasingly becoming ingrained in our lives in surprisingly subtle ways. The latest category to get the “smart” treatment is umbrellas, which can now do everything from detect the weather to help owners find them.

Internet of Things depicted through a robotic dog and a talking toaster

Smart Home Dystopia

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Stanley Bing’s “While you were out” column on the Fortune Magazine back page is always good for a laugh and his dystopian vision of our smart home future is a good one. But the truth is that we do need to be thinking about these implications as we move Internet-enabled appliances and smarter homes. The definition of “smarter” really depends on how we implement these technologies. We need to be just as aware of personal preferences and sensitivities as we are of traditional HF performance measures like learnability and task time.

I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and all anybody talked about was the Internet of Things. Yes, it looks like the day is finally here when every Thing we own has a tiny silicon brain that can think and talk to you and, more important, to all the other Things, and all is connected with the great web that unites us.

the interior of a van designed as a working environment

Getting Work Done While Commuting to Work

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How do you get to work? Do you sit in miserable traffic, sending your cortisol levels through the roof? It turns out that the heavy hitters in Moscow have it made. If you are important enough to be considered a “minigarch”, you might be picked up by a Mercedes luxury van that has been souped up by Brabus and turned into a fully loaded mobile office…

a domed curved exterior of a futuristic building

Scouting the Future

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I joined Barrett Caldwell’s Scout the Future program. The idea is to heighten our sense of awareness of emerging systems, environments, technologies, and social movements and how human factors can be applied to them.

Through the program, HFES members who are involved in cutting-edge technologies, have particularly broad connections in diverse research and engineering domains, and who can spot a trend before it hits the mainstream can share that information with the Executive Council.

server racks

Intel on Ambient Computing

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PSFK recently interviewed Lama Nachman, principal engineer at Intel’s UX Research. The topic covered a confluence of ambient computing, recommendation systems, system transparency, and a few other topics, all pulled together to create some intelligent UX ideas. But I think that Lama was a little pollyannish.

Tech that asks not just what but why can begin to understand us across a wide range of situations that make up our lives and deliver tailored content personalized to time and place.

a simple tootbrush made of metal and hairs

The Smart Toothbrush Has Arrived

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I remember when the Reach toothbrush came out. This was the first human factors innovation in dental hygiene, at least that I can think of (I am certainly no dental historian). Prior to that, the general user-product interface has been the same since at least Napoleon. Now that we are solidly in the Internet Age, it is of course time to take toothbrushes in that direction as well. Take a look at this Kolibree toothbrush (or maybe toothbrush system?)…

A woman reading from a teleprompter

Smart Technology: Background Monitoring to Improve User Behavior

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On this week’s On The Media, Michael Galvin, the host of Galvin on Galvin, described an interesting feature at his studio that I thought would make a great topic for conversation. Galvin is the host and has Autism himself. One of his symptoms is that he slouches, even when hosting his show. He related that his teleprompter keeps him from slouching by turning off when it senses he is slouching…