When Will We Be Able to Trust the Internet of Things?

Regardless of all the buzz around the Internet of Things, the promised connectivity won’t mean much until it works all the time.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: ww2.cfo.com

Indeed, while IoT is presently a very immature set of technologies, much more is coming, no doubt about it. But before we get too enamored with this latest shiny object, let’s ask a few fundamental questions.   –  IoT assumes, in almost every case, either that (a) everything works correctly all the time, or (b) we can tell that it’s not working correctly and ignore it until it’s fixed. Underlying these seemingly reasonable assumptions is the belief that we can trust all the smart connected devices in the IoT world to tell us the truth about what they’re doing all the time. If that’s not the case, a device’s “reputation” — the reliability of the data it provides — can disappear quickly and be very hard to regain.  That’s a tougher problem than you might think. Talk to IoT skeptics and you hear a lot of concerns about devices that don’t do something they are supposed to do at the moment they are supposed to do it, or about devices that do something they are not supposed to do at any point in time. Both of those concerns about “bad behavior” suggest that there is a new frontier in IoT, a frontier that goes well beyond what we generally think about with regard to security — and probably beyond what we have thought about privacy as well.

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Wearable tech takes aim at health care costs | ET HealthWorld

Stroll around the office or neighborhood six times a day, and earn $1.50 toward your health insurance.Step up activity a bit more and bring the total ..

Sourced through Scoop.it from: health.economictimes.indiatimes.com

‘Gamification’  As a further incentive, Target said it would allow teams of employees which log the most average daily steps to collect more than $1 million for local non-profit organizations.

This strategy of providing financial incentives for healthy activity is known in the industry as “gamification.”  “We have a lot of clients who want to subsidize the program and make it free, but it’s less effective,” Fleming said. “There has to be both a carrot and a stick.”  One program being offered through health services firm Vitality Group provides an Apple Watch for $25, a fraction of the retail cost. But employees must “pay” for the device by completing workouts and gym visits each month.

Growth in such programs over the past few years coincides with incentives to meet Obamacare goals on preventive care, and with new research suggesting that more activity can ward off many medical ailments.

Data mining  But the new programs raise questions about private data collected and stored by insurers.  While employers and insurers must comply with US privacy regulations so that health data cannot be seen or used by employers, critics still worry.  “Technology is outpacing the legal protections in place,”

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)

The Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR

After nearly four years of work, Oculus is about to share its long-gestating dream with the world.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.wired.com

A great story on the significant challenges of designing a viable and workable product for the marketplace – lots of challenges to overcome and it is an iterative process.  The DK2, (Developer Kit 2) not only added new capabilities—most significantly, the ability to have its position tracked in space and a display technology that kept images clear even when users moved their heads quickly—but, with its rounded corners and smaller, less forbidding eyebox, it was immediately friendlier than its predecessor. “We don’t want the robot mask on your face,” says Nirav Patel, an Oculus engineer who helped design the motion-sensing brain of the Rift. “As we went from DK1 to DK2, we had in mind that we needed to overcorrect for that.”  But the DK2 was by no means perfect. Its ski-goggle-style head strap was soft, but to keep the front-heavy headset stable it had to be adjusted so tightly that long-term comfort was a concern. And cramming in all the capabilities Oculus wanted the consumer Rift to have meant bundling three more cables together, resulting in what Patel calls a “preposterous umbilical cord.” While DK2 did what it needed to do—provide developers a platform on which they could start building games and experiences—it wasn’t a product. Not by a long shot.  Not only did the lack of side anchors make the headset shift from side to side, but you felt like Bane during a visit to the optometrist. So Bristol and Patel and their teams made design prototypes. A lot of them. (At one point, while showing me a group of 10 or so prototypes, Bristol allowed that the assortment represents “probably a fiftieth” of their exploration.) And while all those prototypes solved problems, they invariably created others. Take the one that replaced straps with hard plastic wings that gripped the sides of your head. Upside: You could slide it on from the front. Downside: Not only did the lack of side anchors make the headset shift from side to side, but you felt like Bane during a visit to the optometrist.  “You’re always adding into the equation what people are actually going to be comfortable wearing and what looks appropriate,”   As the prototypes came and went, the team realized that ergonomics for a VR headset are about more than just stability. You could custom-fit a 3-D-printed headset, but that was for naught if it didn’t lead to a good time in VR. “We’d build stuff,” Patel says, “and we couldn’t actually prove out if it was ergonomically good until we actually went into VR. You have to see it in-experience to know if it solves the problems that you need it to.”  Slowly, the many tributaries they’d pursued dried up, returning them to a single course of design elements. The side straps became spring-loaded cantilevers, which would let you adjust the fit as you liked but still take the headset off (and put it back on) like a baseball cap, with no further readjustments. The integrated on-ear headphones swivel forward and back to fit onto anyone’s ears—then swing up and out of the way with a soft, satisfying click. “The right answer has to be exposed to the consumer,” Bristol says. “You’re not hiding it in plastic or decoration—there’s a raw honesty of technology and solutions.” – 

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Vacuum-maker Dyson is reportedly working on an electric car

UK-based vacuum maker Dyson is possibly working on an electric car, according to government documents that may have accidentally disclosed this information. According to The Guardian, th

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theverge.com

UK-based vacuum maker Dyson is possibly working on an electric car, according to government documents that may have accidentally disclosed this information. According to The Guardian, the UK government says it will shell out £174 million — or $246 million —€” in taxpayer funding to Dyson to develop “a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.” The company would create 500 jobs, mostly in engineering, but more importantly it would join of the ranks other untraditional automakers like Apple and Google in building a new generation of clean-powered cars.

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Redbox could launch a streaming service again

Redbox, the operator of DVD rental kiosks found in supermarkets and convenience stores, is reportedly attempting to launch a video streaming service again.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.latimes.com

Redbox, the operator of DVD rental kiosks found in supermarkets and convenience stores, is reportedly attempting to launch a video streaming service again.  The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., company is testing a new platform called Redbox Digital, which will compete with established video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple, according to a report in Variety on Thursday citing unnamed sources.

Redbox declined to confirm the news and said in a statement: “Redbox continually looks for ways to enhance our customer experience while maintaining our priority of managing our business for profitability and cash flow. … As such, we regularly conduct tests of potential offerings, as part of our ongoing commitment to provide value for our stakeholders.”  Redbox shuttered its first streaming service in 2014 after only 18 months. Redbox Instant, a partnership with Verizon, charged $6 a month to watch movies online, but the service proved unprofitable.  Analysts say Redbox struggled to compete with Netflix, which offered subscribers a wider array of content.  Redbox faces even more competition with the rise of Amazon’s streaming video platform, not to mention Netflix’s successful original programming.

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Google wins over its biggest cloud customer yet: Apple – Silicon Valley Business Journal

Apple is reportedly spending between $400 and $600 million for the services and will cut back on its dependency on Amazon Web Services.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bizjournals.com

Apple recently began storing part of its iCloud and service data with Google’s cloud platform, according to CRN, citing sources close to the situation. Apple is spending between $400 and $600 million for the services. As a result, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker will cut back on its   A shift toward Google could indicate that Apple is in the midst of liberating its data from its competitors. Apple indicated on its earnings call in February that it is planning on building more of its own data centers, Apple has plans to open three new data centers within the next two years, giving the company a total of seven data centers globally. According to Re/Code, the team working on the project is known internally as “McQueen,” a reference to Steve McQueen in the film “The Great Escape.” The nickname alludes to Apple’s plan to break free from its competitors’ cloud services.  “We believe this build is a signal that Apple is increasingly likely to move away from AWS in the next 18-24 months,”dependency on Amazon Web Services (AWS), per the report.  

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Michael Kors New Smartwatches Making A Statement

Michael Kors has shown the world what he has planned in the wearables market with two watches that will ship in the Fall of 2016.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.valuewalk.com

Only two watches will make it to department stores and Michael Kors stores when they ship in the fall of 2016 ahead of the holiday shopping season. The wrists of women will have the opportunity to be adorned by a gold-plated wearable, while men will be treated to a sporty black number with both retailing for $395.   “We began by exploring a large number of designs, which we eventually narrowed down to a few body options,” Kors, chairman and chief creative officer, said. “There were many rounds of prototypes to get to the final product line.  “We looked closely at a range of colors and materials, so there were a lot of samples with various plating and material combinations before we arrived at the best options for both the watch and the straps. We also spent a lot of time exploring designs for the digital watch faces, because they’re an important part of what we are offering our customer.”   As each runs Android Wear, users will simply need either an Apple iPhone or one of the many Android options in order to get the true “smart” aspects from these timepieces. Those include but are not limited to: fitness/health tracking, text messages, email, and app notifications.  Both allow for customization  –  “It was important to us that the display watch was customizable, so users can incorporate their own personal style into their smartwatch,” Kors chairman and CEO John Idol told Mashable. “For example, through the day, customers will be able to change out straps or the watch face to reflect their mood or personal style.”   “Not only do we think the wearable technology business is going to grow in the future, we also saw the huge opportunity in the current space for products that look luxurious and focus on the design as well as functionality,” 

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)