Weekly Digest #17: Microcomputer for $5 and What Else Is New in IT World

August 4th, 2016

Internet of Things / Big Data / Business Processes / IT News // Zee

Microcomputer for $5 and other IT news

IDC analytics have presented several reports where they talked about the smartphone and tablet markets dynamics, a designer has created an eco-friendly “smart” shirt, and Kickstarter has launched a fundraiser for Omega2, a $5 computer project.


  • Global tablet market share has dropped by 12%. Such stats were presented by IDC analytics. Android still is the leader with a share of 65%.
  • According to IDC report, the smartphone market has reached its peak in the second quarter of 2016. Over 340 million devices were delivered to the market and in the nearest future, the market is expected to fall or, in the best case scenario, grow very slowly.
  • Yahoo specialists have created a neural network that can detect offensive comments. The algorithm of the work will appear on Yahoo WebScope soon.

Aerochromics, a Smart T-Shirt, will notify about air pollution

Usually, when we talk about Internet of Things, we think of fitness bracelets, smart home sensors, or smart parking. New York designer Nikolas Bentel went a different path and created a smart t-shirt. Its main goal is to notify about air pollution. Aerochromics t-shirt (or, actually, the entire line of clothing that will be produced under this brand) will be sensitive to harmful elements present in the air and will change its color if the air is indeed polluted.

The designer has created three shirts that react to different stimuli - carbon monoxide, increased radiation, and the presence of suspended matter of dust and harmful elements in the air. Each t-shirt has a numerical criterion: once the pollution level exceeds that level, the shirt changes color, or, rather, a special pattern appears on the shirt indicating a high level of pollution.

Special thermal panels and sensors are built into the shirt to sense suspended matter and radiation as well as test strips for indication of CO.

The starting price for the shirt starts at $500 - quite an expensive shirt, isn’t it? Perhaps it would be cheaper to simply get an indicator of air pollution for, at least, the inside of one’s home.

Bluetooth 5 and Internet of Things

The advent and popularization of the new standard Bluetooth 5, according to the analysts, will change the Internet of Things devices operation principles. If Bluetooth has been primarily used to replace the cable earlier, in the near future Bluetooth can become the foundation for the IoT-networks. Bluetooth beacons will be one of the fastest growing types of IoT-devices, especially since they are used in smart home communication. By 2021, about 40% of all Bluetooth-enabled devices will be smartphones, and 13% - mobile accessories equipped with Bluetooth technology.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)  points out that Bluetooth 5, as well as mesh-networks development, will allow IoT-devices to interact with each other directly without using a router. The forecast is that thanks to new Bluetooth technologies, there will be over 6 billion IoT-devices next year.

Omega2: IoT Microcomputer for $5

A fundraising campaign has been launched on Kickstarter to collect finances for Omega2 single-board microcomputer that costs $5. Such a mini-gadget can become the foundation for a smart home network or any other, where IoT-devices are connected. Microcomputer uses Linux OS, supports such interfaces as USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, I2C, SPI and I2S, and is compatible with Arduino. Its processor’s frequency is 580 MHz and the gadget has 64Mb RAM and 16Mb of flash memory.

Besides the basic version of Omega2, developers promise to launch an Omega2 Plus version that has larger memory volume and supports MicroSD cards. Such a device will cost $9.

New Version of Tableau 10, Analytics System

Tableau, a platform for data visualization, became popular among businesses in the last few years because it presents easy data processing options.

The new version of the Tableau 10 gives IT-specialists an opportunity to regain the control over data processing operations. A new feature available in the release is the used data visualization and improved tools to configure the visualizations. Tableau 10 also allows combining different data sources for analysis - Hadoop and SQL on Azure and QuickBooks. Thus combined data will serve as a single query data source.

The new platform also gets advanced analytics and clustering instruments. Tableau specialists say this is the most significant update since the launch of the platform.

Machine Learning for Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Word has long been transformed from a mere text editor into a serious instrument with multiple features. Now, with integrated machine learning functions, it becomes even better.

Latest Office suite update already uses the machine learning in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. For example, Word can suggest alternative words and phrases for text fragments entered by the user. Another Word’s feature - Researcher for Word - helps to conduct a study, necessary for work, without having to leave Word program.

PowerPoint has gotten a few new features as well, including a zoom function for selected parts of the presentation and more intuitive transfer from one part of the presentation to another.

Outlook got a Focused Inbox - an instrument that automatically separates incoming emails into two tabs, based on their importance.

IoT Developer Kit for Predix from General Electric

General Electric released a Developer Kit Predix for the Internet of Things. This set of tools includes a hardware and software package, which helps with car data aggregation via the Internet.

Predix is an analytical system by GE Digital and new Predix Kit will help clients to simplify Internet of Things devices connections. Kit automatically sets up a connection, registers its presence with the central version of Predix, and begins transmission of temperature, pressure, speed, fuel consumption, and other data from the device.

Thread Group and OCF are working on a new IoT standard

Companies Thread Group and OCF decided to focus on creating a standard for the IoT-devices that make up the smart home. Thread Group will create a mesh network using the IPv6 protocol and OCF specialists are working on developing applications and developers’ tools.

The global challenge that the companies put in front of themselves - ensuring interoperability of devices, systems, and sensors that combine into smart house network. The resulting structure will allow to connect the device to a network and organize interaction between devices, as well as the data exchange between applications, and all this at a minimal cost.

Robot-Poetry Website

Website CuratedAI was created for works of art written with the help of artificial intelligence. Its creator was the engineer Karmel Allison, who worked in the field of software development for a long time and studied artificial intelligence. In particular, Allison has developed a neural network algorithm for the Deep Gimble I that was able to write a poem in less than a minute. The algorithm uses a vocabulary of about 190,000 words for its work, which exceeds the vocabulary of an average person dozens of times.

Karmel began with posting Deep Gimble I poems on the website, but she plans to allow other machine-poetry and literary works to be placed on the site as well.

And I am still waiting for the rain to abate.
Everything you touch surely dies.
Good morning! Make today great.

Author: Zee

Zee is in charge of the Marketing at the APP Solutions/Grossum. Her areas of interest include quantum physics, astronomy, new trends in the web & mobile development (especially in the areas of AI and machine learning) and digital marketing instruments.

Tags Microsoft Internet of Things Trends Artificial Intelligence

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