donderdag 26 februari 2009

The netbook is dead!?

Ok a netbook is pretty cool but it again is an other dvice in our growing amount of devices. So I have a laptop, I have a phone and I have a netbook and I have to keep all data in sync between the 3 of them. So I think I found the answer browsing the net

My phone and my laptop are at least in sync using exchange for mail and active sync (windows mobile device center) for data (and mal when connected so i do not have to use wireless)

But then my mobile is pretty powerfull and they will become even more in the near future but The screenis small and keyboard isn't the best in the world.

What would be great. If I just have a better screen and keyboard for my mobile when I need it and using it just as a smartphone th rest of the time. So look at this:
REDFLY Mobile CompanionTerminal with a large screen and full keyboard with no OS, no CPU, and no storage that lets you use your smartphone like a laptop.Easily do email, read attachments, view web sites, and use applications that reside on your smartphone for greater mobile productivity.8-hour battery gives you anytime, anywhere full-screen access to Web2.0 and line of business applications that reside on your companynetwork or the Internet.Unique REDFLY terminal architecture with no OS or data storage lowers TCO, provides data loss protection, and improves corporate security.
What Can You Do With REDFLY?

  • Thanks to REDFLY’s large screen and full keyboard, you can use your smartphone more and your laptop less. Most people don’t take full advantage of their smartphone’s high-speed data connection, powerful hardware and robust applications due to the limitations of smartphones’ tiny screens and cumbersome keyboards.

  • REDFLY unleashes your smartphone making it easy to type long emails, check attachments, work with spreadsheets, make presentations, view websites, fully utilize CRM applications and connect to remote servers, desktops and applications from anywhere using your smartphone’s data connection.

  • Use REDFLY’s two USB ports to connect a mouse, charge your smartphone directly from REDFLY’s powerful battery, or access data on USB Flash drives.

  • Need an easy way to make presentations on the road without a laptop? REDFLY has you covered. Just plug a projector or large monitor into REDFLY’s VGA port and use PowerPoint Mobile to run the presentation.• Have you ever tried to look up a contact, respond to a text message, forward an email or just get work done while having a mobile phone conversation at the same time? With REDFLY, you can use both hands on its large screen and full keyboard to fully access your smartphone and get the job done while talking to someone on your smartphone.

The specs:

  • 8-hour battery life
  • Phone charger (via USB)
  • Instant on, always connected
  • Bluetooth or USB connection
  • 800 x 480 wide-screen• Phone control hot-keys (send, end, soft-key, ok)
  • 1 x 6 x 9 inches, 2 lbs.
  • VGA and USB connectors
  • All data and settings remain on the phone

your kids can paint on the wall paper (and you can watch your movies on it)

Flexible Displays Get Touch Friendly

Last year, the Flexible Display Center showed off the first prototypes of displays so thin and light they can be rolled up and stuffed into your Levis or North Face backpack.
Now, the Center is saying it is ready with a touchscreen version. The touchscreen capability has been enabled by integrating a low-power display from E Ink and Epson, say researchers. E ink's technology also powers Amazon's Kindle and Sony's e-book reader.

Flexible diplays, or paper thin displays made almost entirely of plastic were of the biggest technology breakthroughs of 2008. The low-power displays are rugged, sunlight-readable, light weight and will allow users to enter, store and transmit real-time data, said Nick Colaneri, director of the Flexible Display Center in a statement.

The Center housed at Arizona State University has been working with the U.S. Army to create these
displays that could be available in limited field trials in about two to three years.
The flexible touchscreen display supports user input either by stylus pen or by touch. It consumes power only when the electronic paper is activated. Once sketched on the display, information can be stored or sent wirelessly before erasing.

Companies have already started working on creating manufacturing technology processes for these displays. In December, HP said it created the first prototype of an "affordable" flexible electronic display. HP's manufacturing process would allow flexible displays to be created using roll-to-roll manufacturing, much like how a newspaper is printed in the press. The move would reduce production costs, said HP.

woensdag 25 februari 2009

GeoLife: Building social networks using human location history - but commercial use is probably even bigger

Just read some nice stuff at the website of Microsoft research. They just talked about social networks and what you can do with it this way. But what about commercial networks? Would be great to see for a shop owner where his/her clients use to go (in terms of places your customers go so you can provide them with nice tilored offers, or even know which competitors they visit)

GeoLife: Building social networks using human location history

GeoLife is a location-based social-networking service on Microsoft Virtual Earth. It enables users to share life experiences and build connections among each other using human location history.

Application Scenarios

  • GeoLife enables user to share travel experience using GPS trajectories.
  • By mining multiple users’ location histories, GeoLife can discover the top most interesting locations, classical travel sequences and travel experts in a given geospatial region, hence enable a generic travel recommendation.
  • By understanding individual location history, GeoLife can measure the similarity between users and perform personalized friend & location recommendation.
1 - Sharing life experiences with GPS trajectories
Application Scenario:
By uploading your GPS data and associated multimedia content like photos to the website of GeoLife, you can interact with your trajectory like playing a video. First, you can enjoy and memorize your past experiences on a map. Second, you can share it with your friends. Thus, your friends can know where you have been, see what you saw and understand the whole journey within a few seconds. It is more intuitive and convenient than writing and reading a blog.

Difficulty: How to identify a user’s transportation modes

First, users change their transportation modes in a trip, e.g., drive to a place and then start walking. I.e., a GPS trajectory would contain multiple kinds of transportation modes. Second, the velocity of a mode suffers from the variable traffic condition.

Solution: Learning transportation mode based on GPS data (WWW2008)

First, weproposal a method to partition a GPS trajectory into segments of different transportation modes. Second, we identify a set of features being independent of velocity. Third, these features are fed into a classification model and output the probability of each segment being different transportation modes. Fourth, we learn a implied road map from multiple users' GPS data and perform a post-processing. See more...
2 - Generic travel recommendation

Application Scenario:

By mining multiple users’ location histories, GeoLife can automatically discover the top most interesting locations and classical travel sequences in a given geographical region. The information can enable generic travel recommendation, which helps users understand an unfamiliar city within a short period and plan a trip with minimal effort.

Difficulty: (1) How to infer the interest level of a location, (2) How to calculate a user’s travel experience, and (3) how to detect classical sequences in a given geographical region.

First, the interest of a location does not only depend on the number of usersvisiting this location but also lie in these users’ travel experiences. Intrinsically, various people have different degrees of knowledge about a geospatial region. For instance,

the local people of Beijing are more capable than overseas tourists of finding out high quality restaurants and famous shopping malls in Beijing.Second, an individual’s travel experience is region-related. You are familiar with Seattle, but, you might know little about Beijing. I am a travel expert in Beijing, but I have no idea about New York city.
Solution: Mining Interesting locations and travel sequences (WWW2009)

User travel experience and the location interest have a mutual reinforcement relationship. The user with rich travel experiences in a region would visit many interesting places in that region, and a very interesting place in that region might be accessed by many users with rich travel experiences. More specifically, a user’s travel experience can be represented by the sum of the interests of the locations they accessed; in turn, the interest of a location can be calculated by integrating the experiences of the users visiting it. Using a power iteration method, each user’s experience and each location’s interest can be calculated.
See more...

3 - Personalized location & friend recommendation

Application Scenario

Log onto MyGeoLife using your Live messenger account, GeoLife can recommend you a group of users in terms of the similarity between your location histories and theirs. As people’s location histories imply to some extent their tastes and preferences, these users, called potential friends, might share similar interests with you. Without GeoLife you would never know these potential friends even you guys have passed by with each other in a street many times. With this friend list, you can conveniently deliver invitations to these persons in the community and hence sponsor, with minimal effort, a social activity such as hiking, cycling, or traveling. As they share similar interest with you, they are more likely to accept your invitation. Further, from these potential friends' past experiences, you are more likely to discover some places that might match your tastes while have not been found by yourself. It is a personalized location recommendation.

Difficulty: (1) How to estimate the similarity between users in terms of location history and (2) how to predict a user's interest level on an unvisited location.

what's a shared location when you try to measure the similarity between users. A restaurant is a location, a neiborhood is also a location. Various scales of the locations carry different meaning. Also, the sequences of users' movement in geographical spaces imply different significance.

Solution: Measure user similarity and collaborative filtering-based inference

We propose a framework, referred to as hierarchical-graph-based similarity measurement (HGSM), which uniformly models people’s location histories and effectively estimates the similarity between users. In this framework, we consider the following three factors.
1) Sequence property of users’ movement behaviors: We take into account not only the geographic regions they accessed, but also the sequence of these regions being visited. The longer similar sequences matched between two users’ location histories, the more related these two users might be.
2) Popularity of different locations: Analog to inverse document frequency (IDF), we consider the visited popularity of a geographical region when measuring the similarity between users. Two users accessed a location visited by a few people might be more correlated than others who share a location history accessed by many people. For instance, lots of people have visited the Great Wall, a well-known landmark in Beijing. However, it might not mean all these people are similar to one another. However, if two users visited a restaurant, which is not that famous, they might indeed share some similar preferences.
3) Hierarchy property of geographic spaces: We mine user similarity by exploring people’s movement behaviors on different scales of geographic spaces. Users who share similar location histories on geographical spaces with fine granularity might be more correlated than others who share location histories on geo-spaces with coarse granularity.

Research done by

Xing Xie
Yu Zheng


dinsdag 17 februari 2009

Samsung has it all now bring it together

Ok, it's mobile phone time in Barcelona with mwc 2009 and Samsung had some great announcements. They announced:
So having and HD camera or projector takes a big chunk out of your power stock. The solar cells would be great here but unformtunately this is a seperate device.

donderdag 12 februari 2009

What will a school look like in about 5 to 10 years from now

One area where the convergence between ICT and AV will grow big is undoubtfuly the educational world. So far a modern classroom has a smartboard (interactive whiteboard, a projector and maybe tv for school television as we have in The Netherlands) and if it is really fancy students work on laptops or fixed computers.

Well this is about to change. Teachers will use onenote to create their readers so they can easily share with the students (who can pretty nicely add their notes into this). Tables will become multitouch devices Students can share their table or laptop screen with the teacher or classroom and applications are developed in a way that helps teachers in giving all students the right challenges.

2D screens will be replaced by 3D screens so you can actually walk through what you see and all lessons are recorded and available as streaming media (or on demand afterwards so you can recheck some stuff you have missed during class)

Digital signage and room reservation systems will be used to plan the classes and communicate changes.

Also the process of checking if people make their own exams or when still at the age that education is not a free will thing but mandatory pupils can be traced using RFID to see if they did attend the classes (this same rfid enabled student card can give some discounts in stores and keep track on the classes you have attended or modules you did in a class)

These are just a few ideas but it is pretty obvious that this needs an integrated approach to ICT and AV since it's actually a perfect blend of both. Also it is not as far away as we think. There are actually already groups working on a multi touch table for a class room with the educational software. Also laptops are getting pretty common in some areas. The big thing here is to look which building blocks are available in the market and stack them in a smart way

Some links to related articles and blogs are:

A nice blogpost on ZDnet:
Multi-touch screens are very fashionable these days, but there are not many practical applications for them. Now, researchers at Durham University in the UK are using them to develop the world’s first interactive classroom. The new learning environments are using ‘interactive multi-touch desks that look and act like a large version of an Apple iPhone.’ Their initiative, called SynergyNet, has several goals, including the development of learning by sharing. So far, the research team has linked up with manufacturers to design software and desks that recognize multiple touches on the desktop. But read more…

A great article on EurekAlert
Smart desks make sci-fi a reality in the classroom
Schools are set for a Star Trek make-over thanks to the development of the world's first interactive classroom by experts at Durham University.
Researchers at the Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Group (TEL) are designing new learning environments using interactive multi-touch desks that look and act like a large version of an Apple iPhone.

Example: Click here to see how the new desks work:

The team observed how students and teachers interact in classes and how Information Communications technology (ICT) could improve collaboration. They then set about designing an interactive classroom solution called 'SynergyNet' to reflect TEL's aims of achieving active student engagement and learning by sharing, problem-solving and creating.
The team has linked up with manufacturers to design software, and desks that recognize multiple touches on the desktop, using vision systems that can see infrared light.
SynergyNet will integrate ICT into the fabric of the classroom.

The new desk with a 'multi-touch' surface will be the central component; the desks will be networked and linked to a main smartboard offering new opportunities for teaching and collaboration. Several students will be able to work together at a desk as the desks allow simultaneous screen contact by multiple users using fingers or pens. Durham researchers want to create a 'natural way' for students to use computers in class. The system encourages collaboration between students and teachers, and a move away from teacher-centric learning.
Read more

The SMART table
One touch on the SMART Table screen is never enough. Young students are drawn to its surface, where work and play come together in hands-on, collaborative activities.
SMART Table is the first multitouch, multiuser interactive learning center that allows groups of primary students to work simultaneously on its surface. The table's interface is so intuitive that even the youngest of students can get started without instructions.

An overview of the TEL (Technology enhanced learning) projects Here you also find some info on their 3D projects where gaming and learnig gets one (anyone said that learning could not be fun). A direct link is

Telepresence grows fast and can act as a cathalist to the new world of work

The growth of telepresence and its applications to support collaboration is reaching a new era. Still taking away a lot of euros from the travel and hospitality industry and growing in numbers and importance. Especially the importance makes a difference and can push the new world of work further. When integrating the telepresence and live communications platform a complete different approach to communication within companies can be made

Telepresence robs travel industry
11 February 2009

Telepresence will soon snatch $3.5 billion (€2.7 billion) from the travel and hospitality industry each year, according to technology research and advisory firm Gartner. By 2012, the company predicts, 2.1 million airline seats will be replaced by videoconferencing as cash conscious companies and rapidly developing technologies boost the appeal of video meeting solutions. The announcement came as part of Gartner’s top ten predictions for 2009.

People will stop flying and start callingSpeaking at the annual Gartner Predicts 2009 briefing in Sydney, Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice said companies must educate themselves on the scope and capabilities of telepresence systems. He said companies must “revisit” the need for face-to-face meetings due to economic conditions."Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly in Asia.

But not every meeting needs to be face to face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as Immersive Workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet to be released solutions will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies."

AMX takes convergence of AV and ICT serious

AMX just released a press announcement that clearly states that AMX understands where the convergence is going to by appointing an ICT heavy weight as VP of global market development

AMX: Megura at helm as AV/IT converge
11 February 2009

Industry veteran, Walt Megura was recently welcomed into AMX’s Executive Leadership Team. Megura joined the company as vice president of global market development and is responsible for strategy development and execution for government, education and corporate markets.

Megura is vice president of global market development at AMXRashid Skaf, president and CEO of AMX said: “Walt’s deep and extensive background in developing and managing high performance teams in the telecommunications and IT segments which will enable him to help AMX navigate through the convergence the AV industry is experiencing with IT.”Megura said greater end user customer focus was needed to simplify the way people interact with technology. “Today’s organisations require reliable, scalable technologies that centralise the management, monitoring and control of those technology assets across the network and I will be collaborating with our dealers, consultants and sales force to help drive significant revenues for AMX,” he said.Megura was previously senior vice president for the Americas at Intervoice. Prior to that he held a number of leadership positions at Nortel. Most recently he had overall global business responsibility for the IPTV and Broadband business. He holds a BS degree in business administration from Northeastern University, Boston and is an alumnus of the Stanford Executive Management Program.

vrijdag 6 februari 2009

MIT researchers make 'sixth sense' gadget

Just got this press announcement from AFP and when reading I already imagine a discussion with my kis on going to school. Just imagine......The gadget can look at an airplane ticket and let the user know whether the flight is on time, or recognize books in a book store and then project reviews or author information from the Internet onto blank pages

However this is absolutely cool

MIT researchers make 'sixth sense' gadget
13 hours ago

LONG BEACH, California (AFP) — US university researchers have created a portable "sixth sense" device powered by commercial products that can seamlessly channel Internet information into daily routines.

The device created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists can turn any surface into a touch-screen for computing, controlled by simple hand gestures.
The gadget can even take photographs if a user frames a scene with his or her hands, or project a watch face with the proper time on a wrist if the user makes a circle there with a finger.
The MIT wizards cobbled a Web camera, a battery-powered projector and a mobile telephone into a gizmo that can be worn like jewelry. Signals from the camera and projector are relayed to smart phones with Internet connections.

"Other than letting some of you live out your fantasy of looking as cool as Tom Cruise in 'Minority Report' it can really let you connect as a sixth sense device with whatever is in front of you," said MIT researcher Patty Maes. Maes used a Technology, Entertainment, Design Conference stage in Southern California on Wednesday to unveil the futuristic gadget made from store-bought components costing about 300 dollars (US).

The device can recognize items on store shelves, retrieving and projecting information about products or even providing quick signals to let users know which choices suit their tastes.
The gadget can look at an airplane ticket and let the user know whether the flight is on time, or recognize books in a book store and then project reviews or author information from the Internet onto blank pages. The gizmo can recognize articles in newspapers, retrieve the latest related stories or video from the Internet and play them on pages. "You can use any surface, including your hand if nothing else is available, and interact with the data," Maes said.

"It is very much a work in progress. Maybe in ten years we will be here with the ultimate sixth-sense brain implant."