Archive | Technology Trends

Wearables Could Be The Future…It Just Depends On Apple

It must be really strange to be an Apple fan-person at the moment.

On the one hand, there is the frenzied anticipation that comes from knowing that iOS 9 will be released in the fall, Apple_Watchwhich means a shiny new iPhone to add to the collection. On the other, there is the growing realization that the Apple Watch is not likely to become the wearable game-changer that CEO Tim Cook had banked upon.

Throw into the mix the fact that Apple has just decided to resurrect the iPod – not the Classic as some of us had hoped, but the almost-an-iPhone Touch – and you could be forgiven for feeling confused. Strange things are happening in Cupertino, and not of all of them are breeding confidence among the faithful.

If we were to allocate a chief concern, it would have to be the Apple Watch. It’s performance – in both units sold and usability – since April have been, quite frankly, disappointing. According to a recent report by California-based Slice Intelligence, weekly sales of the device in the U.S.  have dropped 90% since it was made available to the public, with the research indicating that fewer than 20,000 watches are being sold per day. Continue Reading →

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Turing Robotic’s New Phone: Unbreakable, Unhackable

apertura-turing-phone

Every once and a while, a new phone is released that pushes things a little further. While the iPhone has been the trend-setter and most commercially successful iteration of the modern smartphone, Turing Robotics is looking to take the lead moving forward. Turing has been working on an unbreakable and unhackable phone with completely customize-able software.

The design of the phone is inspired by sci-fi spaceship designs ranging from Interstellar all the way back to the original Star-Trek. It has a 5.5″ screen that fits with the growing trend of larger smartphones entering the market. Yet, one of the more intriguiing characteristics of this phone is the material it is composed of. What Turing is calling “Liquidmorphium”, the material is a proprietary blend of metal alloys that is supposedly stronger than steel and cheaper than titanium to manufacture. Additionally, the entire phone is covered in a hydrophobic nano-coating that has been seen on phones before, but Turing Robotics takes it to another level. Not only is the exterior of the phone covered in the nano-coating, every single individual piece or hardware within the phone is also coated. This translates to a phone that can spend 24 hours completely submerged in water and still function as designed. This is a phone of the future; a phone where a fall in a puddle will neither crack the screen nor damage its functionality.

Although this self-proclaimed unbreakable phone looks like a device that would be comfortable in any steam-punk setting, what has most techies interested is Turing Robotic’s promise of security so strong it is virtually unhackable. According to the Turing Phone’s Website, the phone will “provide world-class security by executing end-to-end mobile authentication which bypasses conventional 3rd party exposures and is insulated from malicious behavior.” Additionally, they claim that the decentralized authentication allows sensitive data to be passed between parties without the worry of the information being intercepted by third parties.

This bold claim is bound to have hackers, black and white hat alike, drooling at the opportunity to get their hands on the device and put the phone to the test. Whether their hat is black or white, hackers will flock to the device, itching to be the first to hack the “unhackable”. This phone, and the technology behind it, shows the growing importance of security in personal devices. With this growing emphasis on security, it motivates companies to get the hackers on their side (see United Airlines) before glaring risks are exploited by those with less-than-pure intentions.

As companies get more and more confident about their security measures, it provides even more incentive for hackers to go at it with all that they’ve got. When the phone is released later this summer, we’ll see how well Turing Robotic Industries can back up their bold claims.

Do you have any thoughts on this new phone? Can any piece of new technology really be unhackable? Unbreakable? Let us know your thoughts in the forums here

 

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Available For Hire…Money Or Air Miles Accepted

Wearing a white rather than black hat could soon become the fashion among the hacking fraternity after two people were given a huge amount of frequent flyer miles by United Airlines as part of its “bug bounty” program.

This is the view from an airplane.

According to Wired, United decided to award a staggering one million miles each to the ethical hackers after they discovered a series of remote-code execution flaws in the company software, with both individuals receiving enough mileage to fly around the world five times. The company, which is known for encouraging travelers to “Fly The Friendly Skies,” is just one of many that have actively advertised for people to find vulnerabilities in code, with the intention being that rewarding the “good guys” will pay off in the end. Continue Reading →

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It’s Always Easy to Blame the Glitch

Picture the scene. You are a trader on the New York Stock Exchange, a master of the universe with the power to nysemake millions at the touch of a button. Two hours before the market rings the opening bell to signify the start of your day approaches, you log on to the NYSE computer system to prepare yourself for the frantic adrenaline-fueled activity that is the main reason you took the job.

And the computer says no. There is a “technical issue.” A failure in the system that would later be described as a glitch by the internal IT team and not – as the media would probably prefer – another high-profile hacking attempt. A glitch that actually suspends trading on the NYSE for four hours. Continue Reading →

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Real-World Testing Makes Autonomous Driving A Reality

Self driving cars. A vision of the future that if you follow the musings of the mass media are soon to be a regular sightautocars on roads across the country. Google has been testing its autonomous cars for some time now – with the odd public hiccup – and has made no secret of its desire to get their vehicles into the wider motoring world sooner rather than later.

Eagle-eyed residents of Mountain View CA may have already noticed that Google’s pod-shaped prototypes – kind of like a Fiat 500, but with a distinct lack of Charlie Sheen – are already hitting their streets and, according to a recent blog post, the company is keen to have feedback. The self-driving system, which can reach a top-speed of 25 mph, has logged around 1.8 million miles on a Google test-track (recording 12 “accidents” since 2009) and the long-term goal is make the vehicles a standard part of the automobile industry within 5 years. Continue Reading →

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Product Hunt Discoveries – A Collection of Apps Found on Product Hunt

Personally, I am a big fan of Product Hunt, and try to check it semi-regularly. For those of you who are not familiar, producthuntProductHunt is a site that attempts to put together a community-curated list of the latest and greatest offerings from entrepreneurs everywhere. As an entrepreneur, you are required to receive an invitation from someone in the community in order to post your product or business. Although you can find everything from monthly boxes of Japanese candy to security cameras, a large portion of the products you will come across on Product Hunt’s pages are apps. Seeing as though the emergence of new apps (both mobile and desktop) is integral to keeping testers busy, I thought I would dedicate this space to highlighting some of the most interesting apps I have seen on Product Hunt recently. Continue Reading →

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The New Rules of Net Neutrality

This past Friday (6/12/15), the FCC approved a new set of regulations on internet service providers, roughly one and a half years after previous regulation attempts were nullifiednet-neutrality. Known as “Net Neutrality”, these regulations have been put in place to ensure that providers are unable to limit web speed or access to users for any (read: monetary) reason. According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: “Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open…Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past.”

In essence, the new Net Neutrality laws ensure that internet access is treated as a public utility. Moving forward, many of the regulations that apply to telephone access will now also apply to internet access as well. Continue Reading →

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New Technology Prompts Healthcare Transformation

Modern technology has given us many things that our grandparents (or even parents, for that matter) would have medicalnever thought possible, such as carrying around a computer in our pocket and connecting instantaneously with people across the world. This technology is part of our everyday lives, however, this incredible advancement in the world of personal, mobile technology has a much more practical and important role to play.

The healthcare industry is undergoing a revolution right now, and mobile and high-tech devices are at the heart of this transformation. Here are a few interesting and revolutionary apps and gadgets in the healthcare industry.

1. Metria Wearable Sensor: The Metria Wearable Sensor is a little device that adheres directly to your skin and monitors things such as cardiac monitoring, number of hours slept, and breaths per minute.The little gadget then can upload this information to a Bluetooth device, such as a smartphone, for analysis. The potential uses for this span from fitness and exercise to cardiac monitoring for at-risk individuals. Continue Reading →

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Four Must-Have Tools for Apple Watch Owners

Ever since the recent release of the Apple Watch, there has been a large amount of buzz around Apple’s foray into the world of apple-watch-6_1wearables. For the average consumer, this swell of information can tend to be a little bit overwhelming.

If you are one of the trendsetters out there to have one of these highly desirable devices in your possession, this post is for you: Read on as we detail a number of resources for proud new owners of the Apple Watch.

WatchAware

So you’ve received your watch in the mail. Great, now what? An Apple Watch isn’t of any use without a few killer apps, so in order to help us out, WatchAware has put together a comprehensive list of the best Apple Watch apps on the market. The list is organized into a number of useful categories, such as “Unleash Your Inner Control Freak” and “Be More Productive, But For Real This Time.”

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Wearable Tech: The New Antidepressant?

thync_neurosignalingI was curious when I saw an article yesterday about a local Boston company (local to the Applause/uTest HQ, that is) touting its latest wearable, Thync.

Wearable technology is nothing new, but just recently we have seen a proliferation of more of the devices from the Android Wear to the Apple Watch. However, what drew me to this story about Thync is that this is no ordinary wearable. According to BetaBoston, this is “a new kind of wearable device that lets you hack your mood with the flip of a switch.”

The user will place a small, triangular patch on their forehead, and control the moods they want to experience with the aid of an iOS app. Users can choose between two modes of feeling “calm” or switching to “energy,” if they’re in need of a boost of caffeine…without the caffeine.

The fascination for me stems out of the fact that the wearable device could be seen as a replacement for antidepressants for those with anxiety or depression — one click of an app, and a rush of euphoria passes over you, calming you before that big presentation, without the aid of chemicals and drugs being pumped into your body.

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Testing for Security With the Internet of Things

The following is a guest submission to the uTest Blog from Sanjay Zalavadia of Zephyr.Hardware icons

The Internet of Things (IoT) places a great deal of pressure on security testers to ensure that applications on these appliances will be protected from threats.

IoT has become the new buzzword across industries, with many organizations scrambling to accommodate the trend. IoT implies that there will be a lot more connected devices than laptops, smartphones and tablets. Employees are likely to add wearables, coffeemakers and other objects to the new network in order to reap all the benefits IoT has to offer.

All of this places a great deal of pressure on security testers to ensure that applications on these appliances will be protected from threats.

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Three Surprising Findings From the Internet Trends Report for 2015

Mary Meeker has just released her always-excellent Internet Trends report for 2015. For those of you not familiar with the venture cap2015-internet-trends-report-1-638italist and partner at the Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meeker has been producing reports like this for roughly 20 years, and her work is often considered a bible of sorts for tech investors. In the past, she has covered topics such as e-commerce, the evolution of search, and the rise of the mobile web.

In any case, Meeker usually packs her reports with a lot of information and statistics, so I thought I would go through some of the more interesting and surprising findings from her most recent update.

The internet had 35MM+ users in 1995, good for 0.6% of the world’s population. Today, there are 2.8B internet users, or 39% of the world’s population.

The part that surprised me about this statistic is that only 39% of the world uses the internet today, although this is most certainly a first-world bias on my part. Another interesting statistic related to these is that the United States made up for 61% of all internet usage in 1995, and now accounts for only 10%.

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