Google becoming more and more like your personal secretary, BMW leading the charge of electric cars, what kids think of film cameras, two guys who used 3D printers to help their online dating profiles, and a robot named Ian who knows karate, all in this week’s tech roundup.
BMW bringing power to the streets
One of the major drawbacks of electric cars is the lack of charging locations away from home.
BMW is looking to change that, with plans to install new LED street lamps with electric car charging docks in Munich early next year.
Many different types of electric cars will be compatible with the stations, not just the likes of BMW’s i3 model, and users pay using an app.
Google is your personal secretary
In a move that some will love and some will think is a bit creepy, Goole Now has a new feature that can scan your emails for anything resembling plans and add them to your calendar.
For example, if you get an email for your mum reminding you it’s her birthday dinner next Saturday at 7pm, the app will pick up on it and ask you if you want to add it to your calendar.
This is just one of the new Google Now features that aim to anticipate your needs and schedule.
Getting personal with IoT
If you’re still unsure exactly how Internet of Things can change our lives other than just by making your house smarter, Charles Huang, the COO of alarm system company Leeo, has written an insightful piece for Tech Crunch explaining why how he thinks IoT can connect people on a more meaningful level.
“IoT technology allows us to build and even extend these bonds in important new ways, so that even when I’m not nearby I can still help the people in my designated community. Motion sensors on the doors of my grandparents’ home can tell me if they’ve stopped moving, so I can have a neighbor check on them. Clinics can monitor, and immediately respond to, at-risk patients living at home.
“IoT technology allows us to do so much more because it encourages us to look for and care for each other in ways we’ve never imagined. That’s incredibly powerful, and it’s what makes IoT such a game changer.”
SEE ALSO: The Internet of Things – Banking
Robotics experts at The Institute for Human Learning and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Florida have taught their humanoid robot Atlas karate, specifically The Karate Kid’s famous crane kick, because why not?
The 6 foot 2 inch robot named Ian weighs 330 pounds can balance atop a thin column of cinder blocks, showing extreme control over its balance, while it mimics the famous movie move.
Taking online dating to a new dimension
Match.com are helping bring new life to dating profiles by creating 3D printed models of members and displaying them like mannequins in a store window.
Two London male members of the dating site, Keron Knight, 26, and Michael Catuogno, 33, were scanned in a booth of over 40 DLSR cameras, their bodies painted to match their skin tone, and dressed in clothes they felt best represented them. The process took over 3 weeks.
“Seeing my doppelganger was bizarre, but brilliant. I feel extremely positive about this experience and hopefully the perfect date is just a few mouse clicks away," Mr Knight said.
Kids react to old school cameras
Almost none of us miss the days of film cameras, with the digital revolution opening the door for cameras in our phones and the age of the selfie.
You have to buy the camera, load the film, take a shot not knowing how it looks, take it to a chemist to develop, wait for them to develop, and hopefully they turned out ok.
Give these complicated devices to a bunch of pre-teens too young to remember those days and you’ll realise they really were “the devil camera” as one child dubs them.