Weekly Digest #22: Smart Pen & Notepad from Montblanc

September 8th, 2016

IT News // Zee

Smart Stationary from MontBlanc and other IT news

IFA exhibition took place last week in Berlin, where several noteworthy Internet of Things devices were presented. In the meantime, Google Analytics added artificial intelligence’ analytical algorithms that allow obtaining statistics in real-time. As a dessert, there is new cryptocurrency for the Internet of Things and IoT-beacons for tracking.


  • Facebook made open-source its compression algorithm Zstandard as well as a tool to work with MySQL called MyRocks. Zstandard’s main feature is the ability to optimize the algorithm for working with a certain type of data, making it possible to achieve greater compression efficiency of small data sets.
  • A version of open-source Skype also appeared this week on GitHub, created by reverse engineering. It is possible that with time, Microsoft will decide to close the access to it, so hurry up.
  • Apple has restricted the app name to 50 characters in App Store and declared that they are preparing a review, in order to remove old apps that aren’t updated and aren’t downloaded.
  • Oracle has launched the largest B2B-data marketplace. It got the name “Oracle Data Cloud B2B Audience Solution” and contains data of more than 400 million anonymous business users and about 1 million US companies. The marketplace’s main purpose is for users to analyze and use the data to make marketing decisions.

Qualcomm and Phillips created a smart inhaler

The most interesting projects are usually created at the intersection of an industry and technology. Such a development example was created in digital health segment in an IoT project - a smart inhaler Boehringer Ingelheim Qualcomm Life. This device is developed by companies Qualcomm and Phillips.

RESPIMAT inhaler is used to treat patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The purpose of this project is to create a means for COPD patients to adhere to their medical treatment plan. Inhaler allows doctors and those who care for patients to track and monitor the regularity of using the inhaler.

Qualcomm Life and Phillips, using the latest version of the HealthSuite device ecosystem with support for cloud application and digital tools, developed a prototype of a low-power device. It is a disposable module which is integrated into the inhaler and is able to send data regarding its use to the 2net Cloud Platform. Given the variety of communication protocols and information architecture, the company isn’t ready to say when their product will hit the market and become available to the patients. However, it is quite an interesting thing that will one day help many.

Trackers from Kontakt.io

Beacon-tag supplier Kontakt.io announced the launch of several new Bluetooth devices that use real-time location systems (RTLS) for a variety of business fields. These IoT devices can be used both for the employees of the company as well as for other purposes.

Updated Beacon Card will come with built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) tag or the RFID-beacon of any other type, which will allow new apps to work with radio beacons in employees’ badges, loyalty cards, and provide a two-step payment verification. Beacon Card has an ultra-slim design (up to 2mm thick), which allows to embed it into a variety of items that cannot fit into other beacons.   

Beacon Card gadget is designed to track the location of mobile objects. It is equipped with a built-in motion sensor and can work up to about 14 months in standardized condition if the power saving mode is on. If the object isn’t moving, the Beacon Card will switch to the sleep mode. Developer kit with three Beacon Cards costs $87.

Another novelty, presented by Kontakt.io, is Beacon Pro equipped with built-in NFC-tag for easy configuration. The beacon can be programmed within a few seconds using a smartphone with NFC-module. Beacon Pro also has a USB port for charging and firmware updates. Beacon Pro developer kit also costs $87.

Finally, the third novelty - Gateway Beta beacon in conjunction with Location Engine by Kontakt.io that allows automating elements’ tracking and management in real-time from anywhere in the world without having to be on-site with one’s smartphone to install the beacons. Gateway Beta is available for preorder for $89.

Smart Notepad and Pen from Montblanc

Internet of Things in everyday life - it’s not just the devices like smart houses or fridges with a built-in camera. Montblanc International, a well-known stationery manufacturer, presented its vision for the Internet of Things for ordinary people at the IFA exhibition in Berlin. The IoT-products from Montblanc are a smart pen and smart notepad.

Augmented Paper notepad from Montblanc can work up to 8 hours without recharging. Its feature is that it can store written records. This is done thanks to the electronic writing surface, similar to that used for Wacom devices. A Montblanc Hub app allows uploading stored records to another gadget using a smartphone or tablet. The smart notepad also features text recognition system that turns notes into understandable text entries and can write and recognize text in 12 languages, storing up to 100 pages of notes at a time.

Montblanc Augmented Paper – the best of both worlds. pic.twitter.com/byHdeNWzbP

— Montblanc (@montblanc_world) September 1, 2016

Google Analytics’ analysis of Data

The new version of the Google Analytics service began using data analysis algorithms and artificial intelligence, giving the opportunity to see statistics in real-time.

New algorithms for data analysis were used to handle the insights stream and take into account numerous useful statistical factors. For example, you can track the banner conversion and quickly make changes to the advertising campaign, analyze the most commonly used client devices at different times. It is possible to estimate the change in consumer behavior during the holiday season or during weekends. Updated algorithms are available only in Google Analytics for mobile on Android and iOS platforms. Over time, these features will also be available for the desktop version.

IOTA cryptocurrency for IoT allows micropayments

Blockchain and the Internet of Things are united in one project called IOTA, a new IoT cryptocurrency. One of the features of this cryptocurrency - ability to do micropayments down to 1 cent. Typically, such payments face high commission and long transaction confirmation period. The system charges micropayments during the transaction and then confirms it, and the confirmation is the responsibility of other miners, not the parties participating in the transaction. In the IOTA, however, users independently confirm the transaction and therefore the payments can be done in near real-time mode and there are no additional fees.

ThermoPeanut - Smart Thermometer

While thermometers aren’t unique per se, SensePeanut presented a new product in IoT - compact thermometer called ThermoPeanut, which can measure the room temperature and send data to the mobile device via Bluetooth. The gadget can be carried around and placed where you need to measure the temperature. The data is stored in a mobile application that allows you to view the history as well as build and analyze the temperature change graphs.

The thermometer is integrated with the Internet of Things hubs, in particular, with the Nest thermostat. Besides simply measuring the temperature, the user can set the lower and upper-temperature limits and the thermometer will notify the user when the temperature is not within the range. The device can run for six months without recharging.

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 Digital Health Internet of Things Trends Blockchain iBeacon

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