Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

RFID Your Life

<via Springwise.com>

The Loc8tor is a combination of radio-frequency emitting tags and a cellphone-sized signal decoder. Both tags and handheld transmit and receive radio signals. Each handheld device can monitor up to 24 tags, which can be attached to keys, kids, pets and anything else of value that has a tendency to get lost. When registering new tags, users can specify what they will be attached to: ‘Wallet’, ‘Favourite child’, ‘Prize-winning Poodle’, etc.

The system has a maximum range of 183 meters/600 feet, and the handheld will guide its holder to within 2.5 cm/1 inch of the lost possession, using fully directional signals: left, right, up and down. (Particularly useful when kitty-cat is hiding in the attic.)

Not just for finding things, Loc8tor’s alert mode also makes it easy to prevent them from becoming lost. Attach a tag to a child, and then set a safety zone. If the child strays beyond a specified distance, the Loc8tor sounds an alarm. The panic tag also acts as an alarm button that a tagged child can press to activate an alert on the Loc8tor. Obviously, as stated by Loc8tor, this isn’t a replacement for parental supervision. 😉

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The Top “Technology Values” for the Future

12_values

“Technology-related products and services will increasingly be shaped by 12 underlying principles, or “technology values.” These values —- such as simplicity, efficiency, and personalization —- represent the characteristics that consumers will look for in products, services, and technologies over the next 10 to 15 years.”

So says Social Technologies, a Washington, DC-based research and consulting firm in a newly released study entitled The 12 Consumer Values to Drive Technology-related Product and Service Innovations. The study makes its conclusions based on today’s trends and change drivers and by looking at emerging technologies were going to help fulfill these needs and desires in the future.

I think this is some really insightful stuff. Businesses that embrace these values early are the ones who will succeed the customer-driven economy. How many of these values are you building into your latest initiatives?  The full list follows.  It’s worth the read!!!

Graphic courtesy of David Armano – Logic+Emotion (also worth the read!)
Top Technology Values—Highlights

User Creativity
Consumers increasingly want to create, augment, or influence design and content, and share these creations with their peers. Supporting user creativity will be increasingly important to consumer technology, and will become more mainstream in coming decades.

Personalization
Consumers will increasingly look for products and services that align with their specific personal needs and preferences—whether in the aesthetics of a product or in its functional design. More goods will be created to match individuals’ unique specifications.

Simplicity
Simplicity will have growing value for consumers confronted with information overload, time stress, and technological complexity. Simplicity’s influence is already evident in new, stripped-down devices that offer just a few functions, as well as in minimalist interfaces that conceal breathtaking complexity. The common denominator of all these efforts is that they are human-centered—and thus easy to learn and integrate into busy lives.

Assistance
As consumers are bombarded with more tasks, choices, and information, and as demographic changes such as aging reshape consumer markets, they are looking to assistive technologies for help. Consumers will seek to bolster and extend their natural abilities—with technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals that enhance mental performance to robot aides for the elderly.

Appropriateness
Products and services will need to embrace the principle of appropriateness to ensure that they are suitably designed for users with varying physical needs, resources, cultural characteristics, literacy levels, etc. Appropriateness will aid in the spread of technology products and services to new markets and to diverse user segments.

Convenience
Already well-established in mature markets, demand for convenience will rise as a technology value for consumers all over the world. Consumers will look for technological products and services that give them what they want and need on demand and that reduce effort and relieve time pressure.

Connectedness
Connectedness gives consumers what they want, when they want it, and will grow exponentially with the expanding global information infrastructure. Consumers will look for products and services that seamlessly integrate with this global network.

Efficiency
Efficiency is the ratio of output to input—or, put simply, the ability to do more with less. It will become more important to technology as consumers search for products and services that let them manage emerging resource uncertainties, rising costs, and other pressures.

Intelligence
Intelligence will be enabled by innovations that increasingly shift information and decision-making burdens from the user to the device or service. The demand for greater intelligence will come in response to factors including complexity, aging, and the desire for personalized experiences.

Protection
Protection will be sought by consumers in a world that feels increasingly insecure. Consumers will look for technology-enabled products and services that strengthen their sense of personal security and protect their families, homes, wealth, and privacy.

Health
Consumers will look to technological products and services to maintain and, increasingly, improve their health and wellness. The search for health-enabling solutions will extend beyond traditional health and medical products and services to include more of the things consumers use in their everyday lives, whether at home, work, or play.

Sustainability
Consumers will increasingly look for products and services that embrace sustainability—reducing the “human footprint” on the environment while maintaining quality of life. A variety of technologies offer ways to minimize resource use, waste, and pollution while improving human welfare.

GlucoPhone: A Cellphone for Diabetics

glucophone.JPG

Digital Health Monitoring continues to work its way into the Consumer Electronics landscape.  Here is a new cellphone, from the folks at HealthPia, that can manage your diabetes easily and conveniently. This phone, which is essentially a cellphone and glucometer, will measure blood sugar levels, record and send results to yourself and others and even manage your meal plans. The system uses custom software along with an LG UX5000, VX5200, or LX350 and a Glucopack. 

Product Page [HealthPia]
Via

AOL: Stick a fork in them; They are done.

AOL is hitting bottom when it comes to brand image. This story comes on the heels of the recorded phone call with customer service disaster as well as a just-in story about a woman who is unable to cancel her deceased father’s AOL account, nine months after his death.  Most recently AOL announced their brilliant new strategic direction to attempt to remake themselves in the image of Yahoo. 

Now, they have now pulled the ultimate in violating the privacy of their subscribers by release a list of 20 million + searches by 500,000 AOL users.  Contained in this list are social security numbers, credit cards and other personal information.   There are some truly scary things in this database.

AOL must have missed the uproar over the DOJ’s demand for “anonymized” search data last year that caused all sorts of pain for Microsoft and Google. That’s the only way to explain their release of data that includes 20 million web queries from 650,000 AOL users.

Although AOL has removed the data from their site,  a cached copy of it is freely available here.

AOL is now apologizing for the release …, calling it a “screw-up,” which they’re upset and angry about.”

Phone Backup Service

What's more valuable to consumers: their cellphones or the data stored on them? Services like MightyBackup, Verizon's Backup Assistant and Sprint's Wireless Backup offer cellphone users peace of mind by wirelessly backing up phone data.

FusionOne, a developer of premium mobile services, created MightyBackup, a wireless services that provides simple, automatic data backup and restoration. Automatic backups ensure phone book lists are constantly protected, and if a phone is replaced, stolen, lost or damaged, MightyBackup simply sends the user's contact list to a new phone. No hardware or pc connection needed – it all works through the phone's connection to the network, with data stored in a central database.

Verizon's Backup Assistant is powered by FusionOne, and Sprint recently launched Wireless Backup, which synchronizes a phone's contact list with a copy on Sprint’s servers. All services are offered at around USD 2 per month. In Brazil, Vivo offers the same service under the name Vivo Agenda. (Note that these services don't work for all phone models.)

Considering how many consumers use their cellphones as their primary address books, offering them a secure, automatic and wireless way to prevent data loss is a sure winner. This might not be a unique idea, but it plays to an underserved market: it's a service every cellphone user needs and wants, but one that isn't readily available everywhere.

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