The timing of this post was prompted by my colleague Joe McKendrick's post over on ZDNet sister site SmartPlanet about the anticipated market for so-called smart building solutions. According to some new research from the IDC Energy Insights group, spending on smart building technology with growth at a compound annual rate of 27 percent between 2010 and 2015. That means the market could be $10.2 billion by 2015. Mind you, I am pitched about many, many technologies that sort of fit into this category and I try to write about as many as I can that seem viable (yes, that's a pitch opening for you PR types). IBM and Cisco are falling all over themselves to get a piece of this market, as I wrote last year on SmartPlanet (Is a clash of the titans coming on the smarter buildings front?) But this particular post today focuses on one of the lesser known companies eying this market, Building IQ. The reason that this company caught my notice is that they were one of the chosen presenters at the … [Read more...] about What’s your smart building IQ?
Building control act
Over the past few months, we've reported about the various energy efficiency projects being embraced by government agencies, including various branches of the military. These initiatives are cropping up in response to the directive signed by President Obama in October 2009 calling for more sustainable operations strategy across the federal government. There's a certain amount of pressure to act, as the feds have roughly three more years to get their act together on this, and I doubt that even a change in the White House administration would reverse this particular initiative. After all, this is about saving taxpayer money. Because of the vast amount of real estate used by the federal government, energy efficiency measures have been highlighted as a major part of the push to eliminate waste. Various statistics project that commercial buildings use roughly 40 percent of the energy in the United States on an ongoing basis -- and the federal government owns approximately 182 million square … [Read more...] about Feds tap IBM for building energy-efficiency project
The Danalock ($179) from Danish home automation manufacturer Poly-Control is the latest entrant to the smart lock arena. As with the August Smart Lock, the Danalock is a puck-shaped Bluetooth lock that mounts on the inside of your door and can be controlled with iOS and Android devices. Unlike the August lock, the Danalock also supports Z-Wave wireless technology, which means it can be paired with a compatible home automation hub to control it remotely and have it interact with other digital home devices. That said, the Danalock's performance, reliability issues, and unintuitive app make it hard to recommend, despite its wireless flexibility and (relatively) reasonable price. Design and FeaturesAt first glance, the Danalock bears a striking resemblance to the August Smart Lock. Both are stylishly designed, puck-shaped cylinders made from anodized aluminum, although at 3.1 by 1.9 inches (HD) the Danalock is a tad smaller. The removable glossy black face plate is translucent … [Read more...] about Poly-Control Danalock (BTZU100SC)
It's not easy to build an autonomous robot with sophisticated machine learning. But what if you could buy an off-the-shelf brain to put inside your new autonomous creation? That's what Brain Corporation in San Diego is working on right now. PCMag went to visit the company to find out more, meet SVP Dr. Todd Hylton and interact with a few robots as they got trained on the job. Hylton has been with Brain Corporation since 2012. Before that, he was a Project Manager at DARPA, building intelligent machines and, from 2003-2007, he worked on nanotechnology at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Brain Corporation was co-founded in 2009 by Dr. Eugene Izhikevich, and now has an R&D team with over 20 PhDs in brain modeling, machine learning, computer vision, and robotics. It was incubated on the Qualcomm campus and did neurocomputational, brain-inspired, contract research for the company in its early years. It is still part of the Qualcomm Ventures portfolio (as are most … [Read more...] about Building Brains for Teachable Robots
Welcome to Fast Forward, where we have conversations about living in the future. At SXSW this year, we talked with Sophie Kleber, Executive Director of Product and Innovation at the Huge Digital Agency. In the interview below, we discuss conversational interfaces, making smarter machines, and the bot revolution, among other things. Watch our chat or read the transcript below. Dan Costa: You gave a presentation about how we can make more emotional machines. What exactly does that mean, and why do we want to have more emotional machines? I was asked this question in my talk. When I proposed emotionally intelligent man-computer or machine-computer interactions, people were like, "We don't even have emotionally intelligent humans, so is it like the blind leading the blinder?" The thing is, we're currently at a super cusp between how we interact with machines. The time of what we call "the terminal world"—where we interact through terminals made smaller and smaller, but it's really … [Read more...] about Fast Forward Q&A: How to Build Emotional Machines