How Come So Many Geeks Are Unaware of Arduino?

Figure 1.0: The Arduino Microcontroller

How Come So Many Geeks Are Unaware of Arduino? (Originally posted 11/27/2011) Welcome to a world where some of you will never return! Arduino enthusiasts are similar to the characters on “The Big Bang Theory’s ” episode entitled “Comic Book Night ”, where Sheldon makes a comment that the room is filled with geeks whose mother’s only get a chance to change their sheets when they’re out for that weekly outing. Otherwise, they’re totally immersed in the coolest technology around and can’t be coaxed out of their bedroom while in the midst of creating “the next best thing”. For those of you who do not know what the term “Arduino” means, let me explain it to you. Arduino is an awesome tool for physical computing. It’s an open source microcontroller board (costing a mere $30.00) and a free software development environment. It’s great for prototyping, inventing and experimenting. To program the functionality to an Arduino device, you use the “Arduino Programming Language”. Below you … [Read more...]

Why Use MVVM with Silverlight?

Why Use MVVM with Silverlight? The probability of hearing or reading about the title question of this article if you are either a Silverlight or WPF developer is substantial. However, there are significant problems when searching for a proper answer to this question. To begin with, there are numerous and varied ways in implementing methodologies like MVVM, most of which are used based on personal preference. To a novice trying to educate themselves, this leads to disparity in information. Complicating this factor is that many of the articles or videos that attempt to describe the MVVM pattern also include components of other architectural patterns. This adds unnecessary complexity to understanding the MVVM pattern because of the inconsistencies in the pattern being described. In this article, I will elucidate only the MVVM pattern – nothing more, nothing less. First of all, let me answer the title question succinctly. Silverlight (XAML) and the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) … [Read more...]

Intel Now Has a Chip Designed For Wearables

Intel's Processor Designed for Wearable Tech

The power & performance of the computing parts that go into wearables are the limiting factor currently. As you may have read in my last post about a company making flexible batteries for wearables, I'm now going to talk about Intel' new "Quark" chip that's designed for wearable tech. The Quark chip is about 1/5 the size of Intel's smallest chip to date, the Intel Atom processor. They use 1/10th the power, each has a single core, single thread, a 32-bit processor & is the size of a thumbnail! This enables usage beyond wearables but into the IoT (Internet of Things), such as being used to connect household devices like coffee pots & microwaves to the internet so they can be accessed via Bluetooth.   … [Read more...]

Top 10 Augmented Reality Trends for 2014

Me inside the DAQRI Virtual Flight Attendant AR 4D Experience

Augmented Reality to me means uber-cool, helping industries in amazing ways, and although it's not expected to really be mass adopted until 2020, whoever isn't following this mind-blowing technology isn't looking toward the future. The image above is of me at the Augmented World Expo 2014 #awe2014 in DAQRI's large exhibition hall booth. In one section they had this Virtual Human (to quote DAQRI) "takes 4D to the next level, bringing full-sized photorealistic people to life and providing the ultimate storytelling experience. Virtual Humans pairs intelligent 360-degree image capture technology with 4D, opening the door for truly engaging storytelling and life-size gaming opportunities where virtual characters are as real as the audience." So on to the topic of the Top 10 AR Trends for 2014. First of all, let me start by saying that the AR market in 2014 is predicted to grow rapidly. Revenues are expected to hit $5.2 billion by 2017. Trends: Wearable Technology: Wonder why I … [Read more...]

Google Leaves the DARPA Robotics Challenge, Robots, Robots, and More Robots!

Google's HRP-2 Schaft Robot

Google is thought by many to be the front-runner in robotics. The company's interest in robotics is huge indeed; it's in the "Robotics Business Review's Top 50 List" (RBR50). RBR50 is a list of the most influential pubic and private companies in the global robotics industry (quote from "About the RBR50"). In 2003 Google acquired seven (7) awesome and technologically diverse robotics companies: Boston Dynamics, Bot & Dolly, Holomni, Industrial Perception, Meka Robotics, Redwood Robotics, and Schaft, Inc. At the end of this post I'll add some cool videos about each company's robots. Google pulled its "Team Schaft" HRP-2 robot out of the Pentagon-funded DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). Although the 3-year competition is less than halfway finished, the Schaft robot was the obvious front-runner. Tokyo-based Schaft, Inc. was founded specifically to enter in the $2M DRC and easily won the qualifying event in 2013. However, now with Google owning Schaft, accepting money from the DoD … [Read more...]

Google Glass: Companies that Stood on Google’s giant shoulders and augmented OHMDs

AWE2014 Smart Glass Face-Off Session of Key Players

Continuing from my last post on Diane Von Firstenberg's fashionable Google Glass designs that can incorporate a user's eyeglass prescription lenses into the shades, I promised I'd dive deeper into the companies that have stood on Google's giant shoulders and augmented the functionality and capabilities on OHMDs (definition below). From the Augmented World Expo 2014 I attended May 27-29 2014 in Santa Clara, I took the below photo to show you who these companies are that have extended Glass as other OHMDs ("Optical Head Mounted Display", vs. "Head ounted Display" or "Helmet Mounted Display" which is abbreviated HMD) to really do cool things. Although these companies truly do largely extend the Glass concept to work in different environments (which will be detailed in another upcoming post), in order to do this the sleek Google Glass form factor had to become bigger, and sometimes bulky and heavy. Realize all the OHMD companies below are still in beta or POC stages, albeit some of … [Read more...]

Introducing DVF (Diane Von Furstenberg) – Made for Glass

Current Google Glass for Style & Rx's

I just returned from Google I/O 2014! I have a lot of fun info, photos, & news to share with you on #wearables, #googleglass, #throughglass (a very funny story there to come!) and more Google awesomeness. 25 days ago Engaget (where you will find more announcements from Google I/O 2014) announced "Google's first fashionable Glass frames are designed by Diane Von Furstenberg". Today I received an email from Google Glass News that there is a celebration (think "launch") July 28 & 29th 2014 at DVF stores in Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, and New York where you can try them on, purchase frames and shades. Since everyone can't make it to these events, you can purchase curated combinations of DVF Made for Glass collection at NET-A-PORTER (check out how interesting this site is - it's a luxury fashion site - with Google!) Below are the styles featured on the NET-A-PORTER site: We all know that Google isn't done designing and developing the features and look on … [Read more...]