No, Microsoft is not making a Google Glass killer
Microsoft is working on a wearable headband that can communicate with a smart phone and other devices, but contrary to rumor, the Alice Band is not a “Google Glass killer.”
The device is, instead, an experiment in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s government to develop a wearable device that helps blind people navigate the urban environment much like a guide dog would.
The project will be shown to Queen Elizabeth on Thursday and is part of the UK’s Future Cities Catapult, a non-profit endeavor to build technologies to help people in a city of the near-future. Thus Alice Band is not a commercial project and Microsoft assures that it is not meant as any kind of competition for Google Glass.
The UK’s Technology Strategy Board launched seven Catapult projects, including this one, with a one billion British pound investment over the next five years. Each of the Catapult projects is aimed at a specific need in the near-future or current urban environment.
Currently, the Microsoft-led project for Alice is in the “user experience” stage where sample devices are recording information from testers who’re wearing them as they navigate the environs around London and other cities in the Kingdom. Most of the testers are vision impaired and the data collected includes locations, modes of transport, stress levels (biofeedback), obstacles, weather and traffic conditions, etc.
Using this information, developers will be able to build intelligent software that can give the wearer prompts about their environment taken from various sensors and cameras mounted on the device and on the streets of the city being navigated. The goal is to offer a device that can function in a way similar to a guide dog, thus allowing the user to move about freely without the distractions and added workload a dog can bring.
Google Glass can be used for hacking, says experts
Devices with video-capturing capabilities, particularly Google Glass, can uncover the PIN code of your tablet or smartphone, according to cyber forensics experts working at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
In Hong Kong’s subway, your boss is a computer
Every night, the Hong Kong subway system undergoes maintenance and engineering repairs, just as does every other subway system in the world. Unlike the others, though, the HK subway’s engineering team has a unique supervisor. …
“Buy now” button spotted on Twitter
Tweets with a “Buy now” button temporarily surfaced on Twitter, reported tech news site Recode. However, nothing happened when users clicked on the button.
Chatbot passes Turing Test
In what is both ground-breaking and unsettling news, a Russian chatterbot dubbed “Eugene Goostman” has become the first to pass the Turing Test. This intelligence assessment, started in 1950 by Alan Turing, the mathematician and …
Spotify adds Djay as it continues growing
The hottest music streaming service right now? Hard to say, but with ten million paying subscribers, an extensive music collection, and apps for nearly every platform, it’d be hard to choose a service other than …
Should retailers opt for Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook?
Retail firms that are relying on social media networks to boost their sales could be wasting their time. Portals like Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook have millions of monthly users, but only a small percentage are actually buying from retailers.
Twitter unveils mute button
Twitter officially launched the widely rumoured mute button on Monday. This feature will enable users to silence boring and overactive tweeters, especially during events and television shows that they want to enjoy without interruptions.