Posts Tagged ‘gadgets’

How #smartphones are transforming personal #healthcare – an annotated infographic

January 18, 2017

 

More than 1.2 million people living in London are to be offered medical diagnosis using Babylon – an “artificial intelligence” (AI) app which gives patients access to a virtual health service in their pocket.

Babylon’s AI doctor is just one of the powerful tools that have transformed smartphones into mobile medical clinics.

In 2016 the US Food and Drug Administration approved 36 smartphone apps and devices. Now, smartphones are being used to perform ultrasound scans, measure heart rhythm, blood pressure and glucose levels, and execute an array of lab tests from liver and kidney function to identifying communicable diseases and even analysing DNA sequences.

E&T magazine was at CES 2017 at the start of the year – read our report on the latest healthcare technology.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

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#Nintendo #Switch console details revealed – an annotated infographic

January 16, 2017

Nintendo’s Switch console, the successor to the beleaguered Wii U, and its big bet on the future of video games, has been revealed in full.

It is set to go on sale in the UK on 3 March for £279 and features an adaptable design allowing for greater portability than its rivals.

E&T covered the Nintendo Switch news announcement in full last week.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

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US company in massive EU tax avoidance shocker! #Apple

August 30, 2016

Everyone’s favourite future-facing tech titan Apple Inc is facing a whopping €13 billion EU tax bill (plus interest!), after it was decided that the extremely favourable (at least for Apple) tax conditions set by Ireland breached EU rules. Funny that.

The EU ruling decreed that Ireland had illegally slashed Apple’s tax bill over several decades. It is the largest penalty in a three-year EU crackdown on so-called ‘sweetheart’ tax deals. We don’t know about you, but of all the sweethearts we’ve ever had in our lives, not one of them slipped us €13 billion.

E&T news covered the story of Apple’s tax shelter in Ireland in full earlier today.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

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100 years of Sharp – an annotated infographic

April 5, 2016

The ¥389 billion ($3.5bn) takeover of Japanese electronics giant Sharp by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision industries – better known as Foxconn – ends the independence for a 100-year-old company which started out making belt buckles. We remember them fondly for their mid-1980s sponsorship of Manchester United.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

100 years of Sharp

100 years of Sharp

Book Review: How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design – Katherine Isbister

February 23, 2016

By Jade Fell

“If I was feeling depressed or frustrated about my lot in life, all I had to do was tap the Player One button, and my worries would instantly slip away as my mind focused itself on the relentless pixelated onslaught on the screen in front of me.” ― Ernest Cline, screenwriter

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The MIT Press, March 2016, 192 pp, ISBN 978-0-262-03426-5, £17.95 Hardcover

What do you see when you hear the word ‘gamer’? If your immediate vision is that of someone pasty white, sat hunched over a keyboard, face lit only by the pale blue light of a computer monitor, insistently clicking away for hours on end with no real aim in mind, then get ready to re-evaluate your stereotype.

For years now filmographers and music researchers have analysed the emotional effect of film and music, while the computer game industry has been largely ignored as un-emotive. Katharine Isbister poses the question – why should games be any different?

In ‘How Games Move Us’, Isbister attempts break down the negative stereotype surrounding computer games and open up public conversation up to a more sophisticated approach to computer games as a cultural medium. The book serves as an exploration of the emotional experience of gamers, as well as how different games are used, explored and experienced by different people

“People talk about how games don’t have the emotional impact of movie. I think they do – they just have a different palette. I never felt pride, or guilt, watching a movie.” – Will Wright, designer of The Sims.

Far from being devoid of emotion, video games, Isbister argues, can actually elicit strong emotional responses in players in a multitude of ways, ranging from a simple feeling of anxiety in horror-based survival games (think Amnesia, or Silent Hill); to the inexplicable feeling of guilt which arises from spanking a pet Tamagotchi, or worse, letting it die. Delving further into the simulated world of gaming, Isbister also analyses how certain games create strong emotional bonds between players and non-player characters, and social connections among players in networked games.

Isbister analyses the techniques used by game designers to create these emotional responses, drawing examples from across the gaming industry. Isbister analyses games ranging from much-loved classics such as The Sims and Little Big Planet, to more obscure, one-off projects, including Anna Anthropy’s cooperative maze-navigation game Keep Me Occupied, and the once great massively multiplayer online role-playing game City of Heroes.

Many of you may take issue with a researcher attempting to define games as a whole – Isbister does not try to do this. The huge variety of games are not merely thrown into the melting pot labelled ‘computer games’ –  she differentiates but does not attempt to define, focusing on certain games within sub genres while acknowledging the partiality of her analysis.

How Games Move Us is an incredibly interesting, enlightening, and poignant read, and will no doubt evoke similar feelings in a reader as it strives to explain in a gamer. Isbister presents a new way of thinking about and understanding games, a medium which, though misunderstood, offers players unique opportunities to explore and understand themselves, and the world around them – much in the same way as music and film.

Easy #WearableTech upgrade for any analogue watch – instant #SmartWatch – an annotated infographic

January 20, 2016

Casting envious glances at all the shiny-brainy smartwatches pouring out of global gadget-fests like CES 2016? Old watch feeling a bit stupid?

Fear not! For a projected selling price of $99, Chronos will smartify your existing analogue watch, allowing you to continue wearing your Patek Philippe heirloom, yet still join the obsessional footstep-tracking, personal health-monitoring, phone-bothering smartwatch generation. Nice.

The Chronos smartwatch add-on is a pad that simply attaches to the back of a regular watch to add Apple Watch-like smart functionality, such as notifications, fitness tracking and phone controls.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

How smart are you? How dumb am I?

How smart are you? How dumb am I?

#Apple launch event, September 2015 – Hey Siri, are we getting close? – an annotated infographic

September 8, 2015

Ahead of yet another major Apple event, we pontificate on what shiny new delights the Cupertino computing conglomerate might bedazzle us with.

Wednesday’s 09-09-15 launch event (taking date scheduling tips from that other Apple, mayhaps?) will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. As it happens, this is the same venue where the late Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II computer waaaaay back in 1977. The circle remains unbroken.

This time around, the company has a veritable “slew” of new products (what a terribly unattractive word “slew” is), making this week’s event possibly Apple’s biggest to date, with multiple products receiving substantial upgrades.

New Apple tv, new remote control possibly doubling as a gamepad, new iPads, new iPhones and who knows what else?

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Apple: launching some more of that stuff you like

Apple: launching some more of that stuff you like

#BTPT #Bizarre theories and pointless #technologies: #smart #bikini, kettle, bottle and #plate

June 24, 2015

By Rebecca Northfield

Have you been planning your latest getaway this year to escape from the unpredictable British weather and embrace the sun, sun and more sun of exotic locations?

Well, the brains of the world have come up with some ‘smart’ technologies that will help you through the torture of your summer vacay.

Spinali Design bikini

You’re half naked on the beach and the sun is beaming down onto your skin. Your bikini is covering your modesty whilst you sunbathe, swim and generally frolic around. I’m assuming you are a woman – or a man, I’m very open – and you can’t remember the last time you put your sun lotion on. This is where the Spinali Design bikini comes in. What a miracle to beachgoers.

Check out these bikini's from the 1900s, hardly any sun cream needed!

Check out these bikini’s from the 1900s, hardly any sun cream needed!

A smart UV sensor registers when you need to slap on some more sun lotion or when to move out of the harmful rays depending on your skin type. The information is sent to an app on your phone so you’re alerted. Not that you’d know that applying sun lotion regularly in sunny conditions is recommended by pretty much everyone.

I really need this useful invention, otherwise I’m just going to lie in the midday sun with no protection whatsoever and let the rays burn me to a crisp.

Have a look if you want to invest around £110 on a piece of material: www.spinali-design.com

HidrateMe water bottle

Another thing to keep in mind when exposed to the sun: hydration. When it gets warmer, you need to drink more fluids. Simple. You listen to your body. When you’re thirsty, have a drink. Plus, we’ve been told so many times that two and a half to three litres of water a day is recommended for the average adult. We’re made of 50 to 75 per cent water anyway, so it makes sense to drink quite a bit to give us that dewy glow.

HidrateMe is smart water bottle funded by the Kickstarter campaign. It tracks how much you drink and glows when you need to drink more. There’s also an app that tracks your location and adjusts the water consumption according to conditions. Great, thank you for the glowing, annoying reminder.

I think I need to lie down.

The classic disposable water bottle

The classic disposable water bottle

It’s all about being a sensible human being. You don’t need me to tell you that.

If you want to introduce more fluids into your lifestyle, you make a conscientious effort. You don’t start giving into gimmicks and spending money on something you can do for free.

Visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/582920317/hidrateme-smart-water-bottle if you want to donate to this worthy cause. Please help the hopeless.

iKettle

More on hydration, the iKettle is pretty much what it says on the tin. You use an app on your phone to turn the smart kettle on. It’s WiFi enabled and allows you to get on with other things, rather than switching on the kettle when you fancy a cuppa.

You know, because it takes such an effort to walk to the kitchen and use your finger to turn the kettle on. So. Much. Effort.

A nice cuppa! Not from a smart kettle

A nice cuppa! Not from a smart kettle

Wait! What if you’re in the garden and want to spend those few precious moments basking in the sun in your Spinali bikini? What if you’ve just got home, but you’re not out of your car, so you need to get your phone and activate the app and tell it to turn the kettle on for a brew. It’s so timesaving; I don’t know why it wasn’t thought of earlier. Probably because people weren’t so bone idle.

Check out the £100 kettle here: www.johnlewis.com/ikettle-wi-fi-kettle-silver/p1725746

SmartPlate

As you buy your lazy-boy kettle, you should invest in a SmartPlate while you’re at it. I bet you can guess what it’s about.

That’s right. It analyses your food for you so you don’t have to.

The plate uses weight sensors and cameras and utilises the companion app on your phone to study your food. The plate breaks down the items by calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and sodium.

Right, okay. I’d rather not be nagged by my crockery.

If you’re making an effort to be healthier, then you’d work out your intakes by yourself, like you traditionally do.

It’s just a gimmick and a lazy way to be healthier.

It's all about moderation.

It’s all about moderation.

If someone needs a SmartPlate to control their food intake, then they would probably find a way to cheat it. Like having plates on the side.

It’s another thing that will make money because people are always ‘trying’ to be healthier. I expect a boom in sales in the New Year.

Buy your own ridiculous kitchen item: http://getsmartplate.com/

 

 

 

#AppleMusic streaming service – details announced – an annotated infographic

June 10, 2015

Apple has unveiled its Apple Music streaming service, designed to challenge rivals such as Spotify, Deezer, Soundcloud, Google and Amazon.

The $10-a-month service combines on-demand listening; Beats 1, a 24/7 radio station hosted by live DJs; and Connect, a forum for artists to give fans behind-the-scenes content from upcoming releases.

E&T news covered this Apple Music announcement in comprehensive detail yesterday.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Apple Music: like music, only more expensive

Apple Music: like music, only more expensive

New issue of E&T magazine online now – the #WearableTechnology issue

April 22, 2015

Check out the wearable technology, hype or happening issue of E&T online.

The wearable technology market has exploded. There are plenty of activity trackers, e-health monitors and smartwatches, but all too often the focus has been on emerging technology rather than the design. Yet product design is vital to commercial success, as consumers will only want to buy a device that complements their desired look.

If the wearables market is going to achieve the success it should, the fashion element that consumers use to express themselves needs to be the priority right now.

Wearables made readables

Wearables made readables

Check out the wearable technology, hype or happening issue of E&T online.