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Adopting Technology: Then and Now

Technology’s moving to an odd place; are we ready?

:book: review :bookmark: nfc, google-glass, google-now, augmented-reality :clock7: :clock10: updated :clock3: about 5 minutes

This is 2013. We have some awesome technology out here in the wild, like Google Glass, Vuzix and some other awesome guys working into the field. I’m a very big fan of tech, being a developer and all. But it’s not that welcoming to people who don’t understand it. But before I get all crazy about it, I have to explain what I want to appreciate.

Technology is beginning to move faster than most people can adopt to. We’re producing more phones, laptops, and other devices each quarter than even before. I currently own a ASUS laptop, a Google tablet, and an LG Android phone. Realistically, this is enough for one person. But I also own a personal television rigged to switch to my PC input when used, a pair of Bluetooth headphones that I use when I’m using my tablet or laptop out of the house, a wireless mouse; the list goes on.

NFC: Near Field Awesomeness

NFC is the beginning of awesome, contactless technology. Think of it of wireless data bursts flying faster than we can see. The technology is something quite simple, it uses magnetic induction to implement a means of immediate data transfers. Think of it as plugging your phone to your computer with no cables but only transferring a small document (kilobytes) as opposed to a audio file (megabytes).

But this is stupid. A little charge between my phone? How is this any better than using QR codes?

Using QR (Quick Response) codes is tersely similar to this process. With a higher density of squares, you could, of course, store a lot of data. But QR codes have proved to be very intrusive when it comes to decor. The practice would require adopting the image into design, a burden not needed. NFC tags remove this burden by having wires instead being placed under or within materials and design so patrons of it can interact with head on. So from a design aspect, it’s quite useful.

For hardware manufactures, no effort is required. If anything, it’s up to the manufactures to provide cameras with no delay in capture. Since QR codes are purely a software implementation and depiction of data, it’s merely up to having a standard means of interpreting said data and building a quick and easy library for developers to tie in such a function into the application. There’s programs out there like Phewtick, EventBrite, and Fandango that make heavy use of QR codes in current use but could be greatly improved in its effectiveness if NFC technology were used in place of it.

Augmented Reality

This concept of merging computer graphics and reality is something done a LOT, and we take it for granted. Most films created make heavy use of CGI to add some of those amazing fangs, wings and flight scenes we adore in film. Well, a lot of tech users out there figured it to be an awesome idea.

Visually

That video wasn’t edited to include those graphics to the upper left, this is Google Glass. It’s here and it’s getting better each and every day. Personally, I’d love to have it, but it’d be more of a toy then anything else. Unless you’re a constant hitchhiker, travelling the world and what not, it’d be perfect for you. Translate would be your best friend. It also has the best implications for news journalists who happen to be on site and wish to collect data as they go. Self documentation became a LOT easier.

The use case of this is quite limited but it can expand as the world itself grows to more of a technologically connected planet. For example, shopping for clothes, food, or anything in general would become a lot simpler. Picking up an item and scanning the barcode with glass would allow you to potentially purchase it then and there. You could skip the entire line by just producing a digital certificate representing your purchase; it could potentially reinvent shopping.

Physically

LeapMotion is, hands on, the craziest cool piece of technology I’ve personally seen. It brings hand gestures and control to any device that can connect to it. You can potentially learn how to mold clay pots without getting ready or emulate the act of driving a car without having to leave the comfort of home. This allows for a whole new level of interaction for the desktop (and larger!) systems, but it’s very young.

This is something that could be extremely useful in medical places, if a doctor had a full body scan of a human being, they could easily spin, zoom and manipulate the body without having to do it on the actual person for simulation purposes. This could also lead to better video games that promote one’s wellness and stability. In short, the Leap Motion is the ticket to mobility in a place where only fingers were needed.

Intelligent Assistants

Some of these guys need no introduction. But I will anyways. Introducing Google Now and Siri.

Google Now

Below is Google Mobile’s video about Google Now.

Google Now is fucking awesome, but only if you’re a heavy Google user. If you store your contacts, e-mails, calendar, news (via Reader and searches in the Knowledge Graph), then Google Now becomes your very best friend. I’ve actually gotten so attached, I check it in the morning, lunch, dinner and before I knock out for sleep. It tells me what I’d like to know at a very balanced level. It’s Google’s way to understanding what you’d like to know before you know, thus curating to your pre born needs. Inception, much?.

Siri

Siri, from my research and tinkering, attempts to be your pocket assistant. It doesn’t do any heavy lifting compared to Google Now. It waits for you to ask a question in order. It doesn’t seem to “pry into” your information like Google Now, but it does leverage a lot of its work on Wolfram Alpha and Nuance’s speech technology.