Showing posts from: Internet of Things

amazon dash button
November 29, 2016

The Amazon dash button and the Internet of Things shopping

After an initial period of availability only in the US and UK, the Amazon dash button this fall came to the rest of Europe and it is about to revolutionize the world of home shopping. But what is the Amazon Dash button? It is a small WiFi button that allows customers to order through a click some everyday products, such as razors, detergent, diapers, coffee, beer etc. To work, the button has to be connected to an existing Amazon account and thus allows customers to place the order without having to access each time the Amazon website or mobile app.

At the first use, the button must be configured through the Amazon app to set the type and number of the packages that we want to receive and then it is ready for use. Just the ease of using the dash button is the realization of the Internet of Things concept, a concept on which rivers of ink have been spilled by experts and futurists and which now suddenly becomes a concrete and daily practice. The connection between intelligent objects marries simplicity and goes to satisfy consumers’ daily needs, making the supply of basic necessities more comfortable.

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indoona IFTTT
October 19, 2016

Indoona is now on IFTTT!

As you all probably already know the motto of indoona is “Connecting everything” and it is no coincidence. For us “connecting” means building bridges, it means putting people at the center of their choices and give them the freedom to communicate as they prefer. Communicate with other people, but also with the web, objects, applications and intelligent services, and do it directly with tools that are used every day: smartphone and personal computer.

But this is not enough for us, we like the idea that the indoona universe can communicate 360°, even with other universes: and it is for this reason that we are happy to announce that starting from today indoona is on IFTTT with its official Channel! What is IFTTT? IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it is the most important app interconnection platform in the world, developed to create automated interactions between different applications, including of course indoona 😉

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online streaming service
July 20, 2016

The Netflix effect: how Online Streaming Services are changing TV

Netflix, the popular online streaming service, announced that it added slightly less than 1.7 million new subscribers during the second quarter of 2016, despite a forecast of 2.5 million new users. The growth in last year’s same period was about 3.30 million. This slowdown is due in part to its recent price increase that caused a lot of subscribers to sign off. Netflix, which literally has changed the way we watch TV, is – in fact – facing growing competition on the SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) front from tech firms like Amazon (Prime Video) & YouTube (Red) and traditional TV networks such as Time Warner, HBO, CBS and NBC, which have added internet streaming services to their cable and broadcast offers.

Streaming video currently represents over 60% of all Internet (mobile and fixed) traffic and some analysts predict that it will grow to 85% before 2020. In the US, 70% of families watch TV shows and movies online, with 64% paying for the content. In a few years the way we watch “TV” has changed radically and it is interesting to note that the same video streaming universe is already heading for some changes of no small importance.

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Tesla-autopilot-crash
July 6, 2016

Driver assistance systems & Self-driving cars: technical issues and ethical dilemmas

The car accident which  May 7 caused the death of ex Navy Seal Joshua Brown is the first incident in the world involving a Tesla Model S car with with the semi-automatic guidance system “Autopilot” activated. The NHTSA, the US authorities for road safety, has opened an investigation to verify the software functioning system, which did not “see” a truck that crossed the road and, consequently, didn’t activate the car’s brake. Despite the general bewilderment and some journalistic simplifications we should do some clarity by explaining the differences between driver assistance systems (such as the Tesla Autopilot) and real self-driving cars.

Tesla and the Autopilot

The driver assist systems are not automatic pilots: they are computer softwares that simply allow drivers to drive better and more safely. The NHTSA classifies them in five levels of complexity. Most of them merely recognize road markings and sudden obstacles. Other, through dedicated sensors and the control of accelerator, brakes and steering, are able to maintain or change the car lane autonomously, to make it brake, to make it vary the speed and to make it enter and exit from a parking lot (“summon”). The Tesla Autopilot system includes all these features and is ranked at level 2. In addition to Tesla currently only Mercedes-Benz offers advanced semi-autonomous driving systems.

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artificial intelligence R2d2
June 28, 2016

The era of Artificial Intelligence: Part 2 – Issues and Concerns

The evolution of the AI programs is reaching many fields: for example, to allow the AI to communicate in an ever more human way, Google’s DeepMind developers have started to make it read hundreds of romance novels to help it improve its dialectical skills and develop a minimum of personality. The choice fell on the romantic novels because they have very linear plots and simple narrative schemes but also they are very similar to each other, an element that AI can learn to manage and rework to interact with a human being. The next step is to draft long and elaborate sentences, or even writing entire novels. Not surprisingly, a recent book written by a computer has passed a literary prize screening. The Japanese literary prize Hoshi Shinichi is also open to works produced by artificial intelligences and the jury – without knowing its origin – admitted the book “The day a computer writes a novel”, written by the program of a professor of the Hakodate Future University.

All right, then? Not exactly. Not all AI are evolved and capable in the same way: recently an AI experiment on Twitter run by Microsoft went horribly wrong: Tay, a bot programmed to respond automatically to other users and learn from their sentences began writing racist things, insulting and denying the Holocaust. This because its internal mechanisms of imitation and emulation have not been able to correctly filter the information received. Apart from these drawbacks, the current debate on Artificial Intelligence focuses on a bigger and more important question: is there a danger that the AI will become capable of harm – deliberately or by emulation – the man?

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artificial intelligence
June 24, 2016

The era of Artificial Intelligence: Part 1 – Neural networks & Deep learning

Artificial Intelligence has been discussed for a long time and often inappropriately: some say that it represents a great opportunity, while others say it could be the biggest threat to humanity. But many do not even know what it is exactly. Perhaps because it is a discipline by poorly defined contours, debated among scientists and philosophers, which presents theoretical and practical aspects as well as ethical.

We can generally define the AI as a computer’s ability to perform typical functions and reasoning of the human mind: according to this definition it is clear that today we already are surrounded by examples of AI, for example Google. The search engine of Mountain View, in fact, no longer shows just lists of links, but also direct answers to various questions (try typing “obama birth date” or “David Beckham’s wife” and see the results). To do so, DeepMind, the AI division of Google, uses sophisticated algorithms that help to understand the context of the questions.

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internet of things doodle
June 1, 2016

The world of the Internet of Things [Infographic]

The expression Internet of Things indicates a network of objects, each of them equipped with components and sensors, integrated and able to communicate with each other and from a centralized system. No matter how complex the structure might be; the intelligent communications of simple objects like a coffee machine or a wearable, as well as a complicated autonomous vehicle, are always based on three pillars: the objects, of course, the network and, often, the cloud, “home” of the informations that makes the connected objects so smart.

Since the world of the Internet of Things is still waiting to be fully understood, research companies Postscapes and Harbor Research have summarized the main objects, processes, applications and opportunities offered by the Internet of Things and have collected them in an interesting infographic. Enjoy!

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disappearance of technology
May 20, 2016

The disappearance of Technology: how cloud computing is making tech invisible

The growth of cloud computing, the unstoppable integration of Internet and software, the increase of the connection speed and the rapid expansion of connected objects are generating the gradual “disappearance” of technology? The question is far from being paradoxical and perfectly portrays the evolution that has been underway for several years and seems to have now reached full maturity.

The technology for years has assumed critical importance in our lives: its presence is constant and total and the digital evolution has changed for a long time our lifestyle, our way of working, communicating, informing & entertaining ourselves. A GIF that has been circulating for some time on the internet shows the evolution of a working desk over the years, from 1980 to 2014, with the gradual disappearance of several working tools and their incorporation into a single device: the computer.

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internet of everything
April 14, 2016

Beyond the IoT, long live the Internet of Everything!

The Internet of Things is dead, long live the Internet of Everything! This could be the summary of the rapid evolution that the automation of connected devices has gone through in recent years. The IoT, defined by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton in 1999 as “a global network of objects connected to radio-frequency identification” is indeed slowly reinventing itself, connecting the physical and digital domains and expanding its “intelligence”. That’s why today we tend to use, more correctly, the term Internet of Everything, meaning by it the “intelligent connection of people, processes, data, and things“.

Hence, no longer only Machine2Machine, automation, connected objects and specific tasks, but a real, global intelligent network, “to manage and control the grid and support the incredible growth rate of available connections“, in the words of the president of Cisco John Chambers.

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the future of the web
March 15, 2016

What is the future of the Web?

Does it still make sense to use WWW as a synonym for Internet? Are the categories we used to define Internet from the 90s still in force? What is the role of the web in 2016 and what is its future? What are the dynamics that have changed our use of the network, from traditional domains, through social networks, up to the explosion of mobile apps, and the Internet of Everything?

Think a moment about twenty years ago: Internet is the World Wide Web and the World Wide Web is Internet. In 1996 for the first time the sum of http connections data exceeds that of the ftp ones, first search engines debut, Java and Javascript are born, just a year before Amazon.com makes his debut and the following year will be the turn of Google. All of this has thrived for years in only one setting – the World Wide Web, the open source information space where the resources are identified by URLs, invented by english scientist Tim Berners-Lee – and it has had only one reference tool, the browser.

In late 2004, however, things begin to change: during the Web 2.0 conference at O’Reilly Media, the Irish publisher Tim O’Reilly uses for the first time the term Web 2.0 (the entrepreneur and marketing expert Seth Godin later will call it “New Web”), indicating those new platforms that allow a high level of interaction between the network and the user. The blogs and Wikipedia are the first signals that the network communication is ceasing to be one-way only: web surfers are no longer limited to just consult but begin to interact with each other and become content creators.

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