Weekly Digest #19: Smart Tattoos to Control IoT Devices
August 18th, 2016
Google revealed its new mobile browser Duo and it has been reported that Google is working on a new operating system. In the meantime, Facebook doesn’t hesitate to throw us an abundance of ads of all sorts and sizes as well as from different sources. Besides that news, there are a few innovations in the Internet of Things segments, announcements for developers, and statistics.
IN A NUTSHELL
- In the second quarter of this year, the US market for e-commerce has grown by 16%, the retail market has grown by 1.5%. At the moment, internet sales account for 8% of total retail sales.
- Sales on the Internet of Things market could reach $3 trillion in 2025, while the number of connected devices will reach 27 billion. 11% of connections in 2025 will be using LPWA technologies. In general, Machina Research analysts expect an explosive growth of the Internet of Things field within the next decade.
- HTC has launched Viveport, an online store for apps developed for Vive, HTC’s virtual reality helmet. The sign up for access is available for the Vive app developers. The store supports paid apps placement, including apps with in-app purchases. The store will be available for browsing from the helmet itself, a web browser, or mobile applications.
IFTTT for everyone
IFTTT Project has launched a project of integration with external applications. This means that developers can build their apps with built-in IFTTT, by pre-registering on the site for developers. At the moment, this integration works in such applications as Abode, Awair, BloomSky, Stack Lightning, and several others.
IFTTT Project (“If This Then That”) is a service that allows you to combine various online applications into a single tool and use them together, building a chain of events, which will be launched based on certain conditions. For example, a chain might look like a natural language, like “If there is a new photo in the gallery, save this photo on the Google Drive” or “If today’s date is the first day of the month, store my tweets to Dropbox.” The user can create and set the conditions for the actions to be performed.
Logitech presented a smart home control button
Logitech is entering the Internet of Things market with a new gadget - Logitech Pop button for controlling the “smart home” devices. This minimalist device will promote the idea that managing the IoT-enabled smart home is simple and affordable for everyone.
The gadget scans your network and configures the devices using a special application. Externally, the button looks like a doorbell and can respond to three actions - single or double tap and long hold. Every action can be configured to control various gadgets, for example, launch music playback or adjust the light bulb’s brightness. Pop Home Switch Starter Pack costs $100 and includes two buttons and one hub. For $40, you can get an additional button. Several buttons will create a more complex configuration and configure more devices.
Intel’s First Steps in Internet of Things and Virtual Reality
Several interesting announcements were made last week by Intel. At the IDF 2016, a conference for developers, Intel has unveiled a prototype of a virtual reality helmet. This helmet doesn’t require a connection to a PC, it is equipped with a 3D camera, powerful battery, and a variety of sensors. In addition, the company has announced that it will develop new Atom processors for IoT-devices. These chips are designed for use in smart self-driving vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other Internet of Things devices. This strategy will help the company to reduce losses the company is experiencing on the declining PC market and take up a new promising niche.
"Fuchsia" from Google
Google is developing a new operating system. Many IT publications have mentioned this within the last week. On the other hand, it is interesting to note that Google has not made an official announcement about it, just uploaded the repository to GitHub with the source code and named Fuchsia. As Google explained, Fuchsia is “Pink + Purple,” which made the analysts reach a conclusion that the new platform will be universal for mobile and desktop devices. It is known that Fuchsia will not be using the Linux kernel, unlike other Google platforms (Android & Chrome OS).
Fuchsia kernel called Magenta is the next step in the LittleKernel development. It has been developed as an analog of FreeRTOS and ThreadX operating systems, designed for the Internet of Things. If we recall that in October 2015 the merger between Android and Chrome OS was reported, the creation of a universal platform is highly likely.
The second hypothesis is that Google is developing an operating system for the Internet of Things, which is also quite likely, especially if we remember that there are no standard OS for the IoT developed yet. The new platform supports both 32-bit and 64-bit ARM-based processors and 64-bit PC processors.
Control Your Gadgets Using Your… Tattoo
Experts from Microsoft and MIT Media Lab Laboratory developed smart temporary tattoos called DuoSkin. These tattoos are able to manage mobile devices and respond to temperature changes. Furthermore, DuoSkin can transmit information via NFC-protocol. This tattoo can be operated on the principle of a touchpad and the circuit is contained within the pattern.
Users can choose the pattern and the tattoo is applied to the skin like a regular temporary tattoo decals with a special silicone film. Tattoos can perform different commands, for example, block or unblock the gadgets, monitor things like body temperature and other vitals. In addition, the tattoo will allow paying for purchases with the support of NFC technology, but at the moment that feature isn’t available yet.
Google Duo - New Instant Messenger from Google
Google has revealed its new video messenger called Google Duo, the product that was presented at the Google I/O 2016 conference. The new messenger was released for iOS as well as Android. At the moment, you can only chat tete-a-tete, the group video chats are not yet available.
The developers emphasize that Google Duo allows making video calls even with low Internet speed. The calls are encrypted to protect the traffic. Voice calls will be included in the new app versions. All you need to work with the messenger is your phone number, no preliminary registration is required, not even the traditional Google account.
There was another messenger announced at the I/O 2016 called Allo, but Google hasn’t released that one yet. Looks like the company is focused on the idea of “the more various messengers there is, the better.”
Facebook, Advertising, and Instant Messenger
Facebook has updated the rules of interaction between brands and Facebook Messenger users. Brands can send messages to users, but no more than one per day. This functionality can be useful, for example, in a case when there are discounts or the company would like to invite to visit the website, make a purchase or remind about its status.
In addition, Facebook said that ad formats will be changed in such a way that AdBlocking programs would not remove them from their pages. It appears that Facebook, despite earning quite a lot from advertising, isn’t planning to stop anytime soon in regards to the ad amount for users.