What We Know About the New Google Glass Sunglasses Patent

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Nowadays, it feels that elements of science-fiction are becoming real in respect of wearable technology like smartwatches, smart lights, smart patches and other great and strange wearable devices. Smart glasses once seemed to be joining the fray, but they’ve become pretty absent after the disappearance of both the Snapchat Glasses and Google Glass (the consumer version, anyway). Now with other companies aiming to get into the market (i.e., Apple is rumored to be looking into it), it seems that Google is looking to get back into the game — at least based on a new patent — and here’s what interesting about them so far… Continue reading “What We Know About the New Google Glass Sunglasses Patent”

The Wave, A Wearable MIDI Music/Sound Controller In The Form of a Ring

Genki Instruments is attempting to create one wearable sound controller ring to rule them all (sorry; had to do it).  The Wave is a MIDI controller housed in a wearable ring that controls sound, allowing you to play and modify sounds in thin air as it’s being made.  Essentially, it allows you to create and perform music in multiple, varied ways and is designed to work with keyboards, guitars, and even multiple music apps, such as Logic. Continue reading “The Wave, A Wearable MIDI Music/Sound Controller In The Form of a Ring”

Harvard University Develops Robot That Crawls Like a Snake; You Won’t Want These in Your Boots…

Scientists at Harvard University have created a soft, tube-like robot with silicone rubber acting as its artificial skin. The laser-cut rubber used is a thin, stretchable plastic sheet, with the cuts, shaped like triangles or circles, look similar to the scales on the skin of snakes. The robot is able to move as air is pumped into the tube, which allows the robot to expand and contract, resulting in the scales to pop up and anchor against the ground, pulling the robot in a forward motion. As for moving backwards; the researchers are still trying to figure that out. Continue reading “Harvard University Develops Robot That Crawls Like a Snake; You Won’t Want These in Your Boots…”

Reminder: The IRS IS NOT Calling You…

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Happy Tax Season everyone! It’s the time of year to go through all of your records, receipts, W-2’s, statements, donation documents and more to try to get some of that cash you overpaid to ol’ Uncle Sam. Unfortunately, it’s also that time of year where scammers will contact you via phone, email, and (in some cases) social media accounts (fo’ real, tho?), claim that they’re from the IRS and threaten that they’ll contact the authorities if you don’t pay up. SPOILER ALERT: the IRS is NOT calling you, they WILL NOT threaten you with police action, and they WILL NOT demand that you pay them money at that exact moment. File this warning under “a representative from Microsoft” and/or “a representative from Windows” will NEVER contact you about a computer issue you’re having; I had to educate THREE people at my church of that AGAIN this past week in UNDER a 24-HOUR PERIOD.
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The “Trace” App by Morpholio Lets You Update Construction Design Changes On The Fly!

I recall in my days in the world of architecture as an intern where I’d go to job sites to document existing features, take measurements, and make changes to exiting construction documents on paper and digitally in AutoCAD — or even searching and finding the original construction documents in the school district archives because the school claimed to have lost them; I’m looking at you Alamo Heights ISD.  Anyway, more times than not you’d be on a project site and find  a problem that needed immediate attention. The problem is that once the project heads to the Construction Administration phase is NOT the best time for big design changes, new field conditions, client changes, errors, etc., etc…. Thankfully, Morpholio has updated their TracePro iPhone app, allowing users to alter job sites by simply “importing key components of the design process into the Construction Administration phase.” Continue reading “The “Trace” App by Morpholio Lets You Update Construction Design Changes On The Fly!”

Two Ex-Google Engineers Create Driverless Delivery Car Service

Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, who formerly worked as Lead Engineers at Google, have founded Nuro. The focus of their new company isn’t on reinventing public and large-cargo transportation, but on low-speed, local & last-mile deliveries or groceries, take-out orders (via Seamless) and laundry. Nuro’s goal is to automate these services to shoulder the quick increase in last-minute deliveries, while giving local businesses a boost to compete with Amazon (mainly their Prime Now service).

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BMW buys parking app Parkmobile to in tackling urban traffic woes

Between the rise of hybrid, electric and self-driving autonomous vehicles (among other automobile advancements), automakers around the world are seeing the next great frontier in the driving experience, which includes FINDING A DARN, AVAILABLE PARKING SPOT! It appears that the German car-maker BMW was thinking the same thing, as they have gone from being a minority stakeholder in Parkmobile — described as the largest mobile parking services provider in North America with a footprint over 1 million+ parking spaces — back in 2004 to going all-in by outright buying the app completely. It looks like BMW isn’t just content on profiting from car sales; they was to solve issues with, again, FINDING A DARN, AVAILABLE PARKING SPOT!

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Next Month, A Japanese Hospital will use Robots to help during the Night Shift

A robot travels automatically inside Nagoya University Hospital carrying a load of drugs and test samples. (Ayako Tsukidate)

Nagoya, Japan once had a whole museum dedicated to robotics, so it comes to no surprise (at leas to us here at The PractitioNERD) that a local hospital will add robots developed by Toyota Industries — a subsidiary of the automaker that produces auto parts and electronics — to its medical staff. While these bots won’t be conducting surgeries (yet, anyway), come this February, four robots will be deployed at Nagoya University Hospital will transport medicine and test samples from floor-to-floor for a one-year trial period during its 5PM to 8AM night shift. Should the trial succeed in assisting the staff during times when fewer people are walking the floors, the hospital may elect to deploy more units. Continue reading “Next Month, A Japanese Hospital will use Robots to help during the Night Shift”

Introducing ‘Unico,’ the 3-Second Smartbrush Mouthpiece

The common rule-of-thumb is that it should take roughly 2 minutes to properly brush one’s teeth, which pertains to using some elbow grease with a manual toothbrush to the convenience of electric toothbrushes. Now, the Unico, a “smartbrush mouthpiece” as its creators call it, claims that it will clean your teeth in only three seconds. Yes, THREE SECONDS; that’s 2.5% of the old rule-of-thumb’s time!! This sounds like it’s straight out of science fiction!!

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After 20 Years of Service, CompuServe Forums set to Close…

Raise your hands if you remember CompuServe, either by name recognition, being a prior user of thier online services (I recall using them, AOL and Prodigy), or the forums. Incoming history lesson: CompuServe lauched its online services in the early 1980s, becoming the first major commercial online service provider in the United States and one of the true old-guard entities of the early days of the internet. Nowadays, especially in the last decade, that same collective of companies — howdy AOL and Yahoo — have been trimming down services once heavily promoted (don’t forget to pour some out for AOL Instant Messenger). In the case of CompuServe’s discussion boards and forums, that service will fade into the ether by December 15th. Continue reading “After 20 Years of Service, CompuServe Forums set to Close…”