Judging by the "home of the future" documentaries, nobody goes to museums on their hoverboards in the 21st century, but instead has dynamically changing artwork beamed to virtual picture frames in their homes. We may not have the hoverboards yet, but Framed 2.0 is aiming to deliver the art at least, with a new crowdfunding project to put a smartphone and gesture-controlled display showing everything from the classics through to tumblr GIFs, Flash animation, and more.
The age of robotic butlers and Jetson's-style automation is yet to be delivered, but the team behind Jibo believes it has a more relevant, usable alternative. A robot that integrates into the family, as well as one which could spawn a family of its own, Jibo aims to humanize domestic robotics but without dropping us into an Uncanny Valley of creepy pseudo-skin. I caught up with company founder and MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to find out how the Jibo you see today is the gateway to a life peppered with electronic companions.
Domestic robots have been attempted before, but a new company, Jibo, believes it has what it takes to deliver something more autonomous than a remote-control toy, but less complex and more affordable than something like ASIMO. Standing 11 inches high, the WiFi-connected robot can automatically snap family photos or video, work as a personal assistant with voice controlled messages and reminders, and read stories to kids.
The digital world is hungry for your eyeballs, and the tools we have to manage and mitigate those potential distractions and filter through the most valuable information are looking increasingly inadequate. How many times has your smartphone buzzed or beeped in your pocket in the last five minutes? The demands on our attention are only going to get more frequent, and it’s time for a new breed of notification to address that.
Glass has a perception problem, and a new segment on The Daily Show skewering the wearable probably isn't going to help any on that front. The divisive head-worn computer came in for some tough treatment from the comedy news show's Jason Jones, who not only questioned whether the spate of anti-Glass sentiment some have experienced over the past year actually counts as geek bullying, but tried to make his own version.
Vessyl thinks you have a drinking problem, and it's convinced a $200 smart cup is the answer. Promising to bring the Internet of Things to something as old-school as how we drink, the Yves Behar-designed cup uses a proprietary sensor which can apparently identify what liquid is inside - even down to recognizing specific brands, like a Starbucks latte or a Heineken lager.
Home automation and security firm Vivint is working on a version of its new Sky smart home system for renters, having so far focused on fully-installed systems. The more temporary setup is still on the drawing board, Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen told me, with decisions still to be made as to the form-factor of things like the SkyControl touchscreen.
Upstarts like Apple may be plowing into the smart home segment, but security and automation stalwart Vivint isn’t taking that lying down, launching a new system called Vivint Sky. Centered around a new, 7-inch color touchscreen and a cloud system of Vivint’s own creation, Vivint Sky promises not only centralized control in the home and remote smartphone apps, but learning algorithms that automatically pick up on the users’ own patterns.
Remember Stir's beautiful, high-tech, and very expensive height-adjustable smart desk? The company promised eventual integration with the ergonomic furniture's onboard brain and wearable health platforms, and it's finally delivering, with a partnership with Fitbit that will see desk and wrist-band share and log movement data.