Tag Archives: smart homes

Forbes looks at the smart home

I’m not the only one seeing the smart home on the horizon – Forbes has an article on it here.

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Wristband plugs you into smart buildings

Yet another step towards making smart buildings reality.  This one’s a wristband that let’s you control the climate controls in a room/building (or at least tell it that it’s freezing and would you please turn up the furnace?).  Still in early design phases, so you won’t see it on the shelf anytime soon, but it’s in the works.

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Smart appliances set to transform the home

The smart-home is coming closer, and I’m sure that a number of early adopters are already salivating over the possibilities.  It doesn’t look like it’s quite ready for widespread adoption (“smart appliances” simply aren’t cheap enough/widespread enough) but we’re getting closer.  I’d give it two or three years before we start seeing real estate developers advertising smart-homes, maybe sooner.

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CES continues(!), sunflower-inspired solar-thermal systems, and many other things

Technology

Military

  • The US military’s drone war in Pakistan is back online, despite the tensions created by “friendly” fire incidents.
  • Stealth tech keeps getting more and more elaborate.  This article in PopSci talks about a fluid cloak for submarines, and this one about low-heat-signature tanks.

Space

Health

Energy/Mining/Resources

Environment/Agriculture

  • A new photovoltaic solar system is being tested, in combination with a greenhouse, that will allow light through the panels in the winter, when the plants need it, and convert some of it to energy in the summer, when they don’t.
  • I mentioned incentives yesterday, here’s another example:  Conservationists are getting increasingly agitated about the increased rate of whaling these days; legal processes don’t seem to work, and illegal ones (Sea Shepherd, for example) don’t have much effect either.  So one bright fellow suggested that whaling be governed by quotas like the ones that some countries have set up for catching fish – whalers would have to bid for the right to catch whales, except that in this idea, conservationists would be able to bid as well in order to keep the whalers from catching so many whales.

Miscellaneous

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Civilian drones, hacking cars, sensor sleeves, robot farms, and more

Technology

  • One of the things that I’m going to be keeping an eye on this year is the legal status of civilian drone use.  The reason I bring this up is that Sea Shepherd (the vigilante anti-whaling group) has received permission from the Australian government to use drones to track the Japanese whaling fleet.
  • Speaking of civvie surveillance drones… here are some toy versions for making mischief.
  • And, lest we forget, there are certain improvements that have to be made for drones to work in busy airspaces and around cities.  Like avoiding other aircraft and knowing what spots are safe for an emergency landing.
  • Smart traffic lights – they’re a dream for planners and commuters, and a nightmare for people who deal with them when they glitch.  Still, maybe if they have something that tells them what’s at the intersection, that’ll help a little.
  • A new pathway for cybercrime (and possibly assassination): hacking your car.  Seriously, if you hook a car up to the internet, this will happen.  Who, when, where, why, and how aren’t possible to determine, but it will happen.  Really doesn’t make me look forward to buying my next car…
  • Sleeves that track your arm movements, another way for people and companies to improve productivity.
  • Connect your home appliances, thermostat, power and water supply, etc, to a single electrical monitoring system, which you can access and control via the internet.  This is a smart home, and we’re likely to see more and better in the coming decade or two.

Military

  • Oh hey, I was talking about the US military’s budget plans yesterday, and here they are in the news:  Wired and DefenseTech have articles on Obama’s and Panetta’s plans for the military.  They were also on the network news quite a bit, too.

Space

  • There’s been some chatter on the blogosphere about the USAF X-37B spaceplane spying on China’s space station/lab.  Not sure if it’s legit concerns or just a bit of noise that lacks real substance.

Health

Energy/Mining/Resources

Environment/Agriculture

Miscellaneous

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