Using Semi-Autonomous Car Technology to Assist Visually Impaired

I’ve committed myself to writing and talking around the concepts of Micro-Interactions and Anticipatory computing and using a SmartWatches app as a vehicle to deliver the content such that it has particular relevance. The challenge is actually coming up with a compelling use-case (apart from the obvious), initially it was a Water Consumption Monitor, then a Pace Setter (i.e. allow the user to set a pace and nudge them when the user is slowing down), but then settled for a way for the user to navigate to a destination with less reliance on their SmartPhone (more on this on a later post).

This idea sparked a thought of how Smart devices (Phone/Watch/Earpiece/…) could help navigate the visually impaired around urban areas using similar techniques used by semi-autonomous cars.

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What to do with iBeacons?

One of my first projects I endeavoured out of Uni was building a proximity marketing service using some discounted Motorola phones with JSR-82. Imagine being able to push messages to customers in proximity with vouchers and special offers – reality of this was spam, unsolicited messages interrupting the customer, normally inconveniently. A lot of the ‘services’ currently being implemented using iBeacon remind me of these days, the good news that this time round the user has to ‘opt-in’ i.e. install an app. 

Since then my interest has shifted from being intrusive to invisible and you can see this with our current iBeacon prototype at Razorfish UK.   

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The Rise Of Contextual Marketing

In this post we examine the techniques used to know you for purposes of improving targeted advertising.

In Pete Mortensen’s post The Future Of Technology Isnt Mobile Its Contextual, he highlights the shift in computing towards a paradigm called Contextual-Awareness Computing and outlines the four ‘graphs’ that are required before contextual computing will work, these four graphs are Social, Personal, Interest, and Behaviour. In essence, Contextual-Awareness Computing meaning computers are able to proactively react to external stimuli as opposed to being commanded by its user – these four graphs being considered the necessary information to provide relevant context. The concept lends itself well to the notion of Just-In Time Interaction/Information as touched on in Frog’s Creative Director, Scott Jenson, blog post Mobile Apps Must Die, where interactions and information are not dependent on direct input but rather your current activity i.e. your current context.

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