High-tech revolution: a horizon for every possibility
September 30, 2016
The 2016 Berlin IFA (international consumer electronics trade fair), held this year from 2 to 7 September, marked the new season's kick-off for high-tech companies. The accent was on latest innovations and forthcoming trends in the industry.
Progress today is advancing by leaps and bounds, from virtual reality to the Internet of Things and the new generation of OLED technologies, and no field is left out. Tools for simplifying daily life, unusual gadgets and technical advances - products displayed at the IFA reflect our future lifestyles. We've taken this opportunity to reveal our personal preferences.
The headset that makes us stronger and smarter
Halo Sport is the name of the new product launched by Californian startup Halo Neuroscience, with massive potential to make us stronger and smarter just with an audio headset! Technically, it's equipped with electrodes that send tiny electric impulses (2mA) to the brain’s neurons. The system amplifies our normal brainpower thereby building muscles. Meanwhile, tiny pulses accelerate connections between brain cells, thereby improving memory and ability to assimilate new ideas. Data remains easily traceable thanks to a dedicated smartphone app. The quality of the research developed at Halo Neuroscience and the positive test results have convinced the American Airforce to use the Halo Sport headset for training its people. Results are promising: training time for drone pilots has been cut by half. The same applies for America's Olympic ski team, who are particularly interested in the product's physical benefits. Use of the headset has increased skiers' propulsion and their take-off propulsion when jumping by over10%. And its potential uses do not stop there: the company is pushing its medical re-education benefits following stroke damage. This high-tech product is expected to appeal to a mass market following big fund-raisings fuelled by Silicon Valley's enthusiastic support for the product. For the time being, this super-human innovation technology comes at a high price of $550.
Become a Michelin Star Chef with a connected kitchen
What if our homes made even the most reluctant of us want to cook? Within three to five years, our kitchens could work like fully connected and smart beings. At least, that's what Panasonic is promising in their presentation of a very futuristic kitchen prototype. It all begins with the wine cellar that has an entirely digitized transparent wall with a screen that allows you go from absolute beginner to experienced œnologist! When you select one of the bottles in the cellar, the screen opens on suggestions for recipes that complement the wine. And if one of the ingredients is lacking, users can order it directly via the screen. Once the recipe has been selected, cooking times and temperatures are immediately sent to the oven and the induction cooker, which is built into the work surface so that a saucepan can be put down to cook anywhere while ingredients are being chopped up beside it. Meanwhile a glass window next to the work surface changes into a second screen, where a chef appears offering advice on the preparation under way, while a built-in camera in the cooker hood transmits a view of the saucepan direct to the same screen. The serving table alongside will keep dishes warm thanks to a built-in microwave system that will support the apprentice cook while he prepares the food.
Technology to overcome language barrier
No need for a computer or a smartphone to understand and communicate with a stranger. The task that Waverly Labs has set itself is close to completion with the pre-production sale of its Pilot Bluetooth earphones. Relegating Google Translate or Skype Translator apps to second place, (they aren't good at fluid, spontaneous dialogue), the Waverly Labs technology manages to get around linguistic misunderstandings that sometimes creates awkward barriers between people. The earphones are straight forward and effective: the wireless earphone analyses the speaker's language (providing he/she is also using the Pilot) and translates it real time into the listener's language. The linked smartphone app offers a choice of language pairs, and an off-line feature offers the possibility of doing without an internet connection, so the translation system is available under all circumstances. While only four languages are currently available (English, French, Spanish and Italian), there are numerous future developments under way, which will include Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and several Asian languages. Successful crowdfunding suggests that pre-production sales of the Pilot could be delivered by the end of the year (probable price: $130). Progress that offers every chance of interesting private and business meetings in the near future.
Our fingers: tomorrow's smartphones?
For some years connected bracelets looking like Fitbit have been in daily use by many runners. Korean company Innomdle Lab has given a new twist to the concept by adding the possibility of telephoning in a completely new and unexpected way to its SGNL bracelet. Connected to the owner's smartphone by Bluetooth, the bracelet, which can also connect to a smartwatch, e.g. Apple Watch, detects incoming calls and lets users take the call or adjust the volume. All you need do is stick your finger in your ear to communicate, without having to get your phone out of your pocket! The technology uses the phenomenon of bone conduction to transmit sound waves through the bones of the fingers and the skull. Innomdle Lab has come up with a very useful feature for discretely answering the phone at all times and is leading the pack for developing new forms of communication. This project has been funded by a crowdfunding solution and objectives have been greatly exceeded leading to hopes of bringing SGNL bracelets to market by early 2017.