It’s been a bad week at the keyboard as the major Amazon S3 storage outage was caused by someone making a typo; like remotely shutting down a computer a hundred miles away rather than restarting it. There are always gestures instead of a keyboard, or Elon Musk thinks there will be direct brain interface in the future (which could be closer than you think).
From the Geneva Motor Show, a new take on car sharing from Ideo and a luxury Landrover with a distinctly minimalist display. Does this attention demanding interface comply with new rules for operating telephones (and complex equipment) in cars? Nissan’s autonomous cars have just arrived in London as the company gears up for general availability in 2020.
Already available and in use with some companies are new robot security guards. As a compliment to existing human staff the robots make it possible to scan large campuses more rapidly and accurately, although they do conjure up some sci-fi references to my mind. Staying with those references, this week the University of Washington has announced a method of turning random objects (think bus shelter posters) into FM radio stations.
If you recall a couple of weeks ago we mentioned that Amazon had Chimed in on the company meeting space, and subsequently had acquired Do.com to help extend the platform. Over in Mountain view, there has been a quiet response from Google as they launched Meet, an enterprise version of Hangouts. There’s also been a bigger announcement, as Google trumpeted their success with Cardboard – 10 million Viewers shipped and 160m downloads of Cardboard Apps on Google Play, and lots of new content from Sky amongst others. It appears that consumers are embracing budget VR.
If total immersion is not for you, and your pockets are a little deeper, then you may be interested in the Microsoft HoloLens. Providing what they call ‘mixed reality’ it overlays 3D holograms onto the location you’re looking at or presents them in fixed locations within a room.
Finally, we’ve got news of Spotify purchasing Sonalytic, a company that provides audio fingerprinting to ensure copyright protection, airplay data and user listening trends. How it will be integrated is anyone’s guess, but it looks most likely to go into the personalised playlist or publishing data elements of the streaming giant.