We haven’t had the time to look over all the announcements at CES 2020 this year, but we will try and bring one or two that caught our eye to you over the next few weeks.
This one we think should be taken further and adopted by vehicle manufacturers. What do you think?
Virtual Car Visor
Made by German manufacturer Bosch, the virtual visor works by tracking the driver’s eyes using facial recognition technology. When it detects sun in the driver’s eyes it blocks it without obscuring the rest of the road.
When it detects sun it casts a show over the small area of the driver’s face exposed to sun glare stopping it from interfering with their view.
Sun visors are one of the most overlooked features of a car’s interior, according to Bosch. AA research shows that one in 50% of car accidents in the UK is caused by sun glare.
If the product proves viable it could totally eliminate the need for traditional sun visors in cars. However, at present, the virtual visor is just a concept and years away from going into production.
We are writing to you our followers, a Christmas apology. We have, due to our parent company reorganising been very quiet on the blog site this year. We are sorry about that. We are hoping that in 2020, a new year and a new decade that we will be updating more often and posting articles about what is happening in the tech world. with some guest bloggers as well.
Let us take this opportunity to say a massive thank you for sticking with us and we wish you a very merry Christmas and a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year when it comes.
This month we have trawled articles on the Net and looked at some ideas of where tech is going. Most of the credit for this content belongs to https://highexistence.com/10-ways-the-next-10-years-are-going-to-be-mind-blowing/, I have then added some of my observations. Here are some we have pulled together for you to think about and watch this space as they appear over the next few months and years. Please note that these ideas and statements are pulled from various sources and just give a reflection of what is happening. The nature of the beast is by the time you type these articles things have moved on.
Bionic Hand controlled by brain signals
Okay, it doesn’t let you crush rocks as you would think, BUT it does allow people without fingers to have fully functional hands that can pick up and handle delicate objects. It is completely controlled by the brain and requires no surgery. Touch Bionics, the company the produces the Pro Digits hand, is able to install the hand complete with “living skin,” a plastic covering resembling human skin, for under $50,000.
Computer Speed, Size and
Most people tech-nerds
know of Moore’s Law from 1965 (the number of transistors we are able to cheaply
put in computer chips doubles every year, thereby doubling the speed).
However, most people don’t know that Moore, himself, came out and said his law
will most likely fail finally in 2020 where the number of transistors we can
put on chips will be limited by the laws of physics. Does this mean the
exponential rise in computer processing speed will come to a halt in ten years?
Not a chance, says Jim Tully, chief of research for semiconductors at Gartner. “The technology which will replace this is a bottom-up approach, where chips will be assembled using individual atoms or molecules, a type of nanotechnology.”
Ray Kurzweil, a well-respected Futurist, stated in 2008 that
when this molecular computing technology comes out in 2020, computers
will have the intellectual capability of human beings. You might want
to digest that for a minute before moving onto the next section.
That Macbook Air is
pretty damn thin. So thin, in fact, that it makes you wonder if physical
computers will even exist in 2020. Well according to developers at Intel, the
keyboard and mouse surely won’t. Who needs QWERTY when you can control
a computer with your mind?
“We’re trying to
prove you can do interesting things with brain waves,” said Intel researcher
Dean Pomerleau. “Eventually people may be willing to be more committed … to
brain implants. Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your
Pomerleau and countless research groups around the world are working with brain scanning devices to map blood flow in the brain. They have found that when different individual focus on the same image, they have very similar patterns of blood flow in their brains. For example, one British group announced that they could discern where subjects wherein a computer-generated virtual environment by looking at where blood flowed in their brains.
How we interact with the
The way in which we interact with the outside world has changed SO much since the introduction of the internet, smartphones, etc. In the very near future, another huge jump will be made: integrating the information on the internet with our surroundings.
By that, I mean being able to look at a building, product or place and immediately seeing information about the subject on our devices and eventually just with our eyes.
If you’re still
confused as to what I mean, check out the earliest innovation of this concept,
Goggles by Google. This app allows you to take a picture of whatever you are
looking at and instantly receive info about it on your Android phone.
Like the video says, Goggle is only scratching at the surface of this technology. Kurzweil says that “By 2020 we’ll routinely have pop-ups in our visual field of view that give us background about the people and places that we’re looking at.” Your memory and the vast information bank of the internet will be one at all times.
Until we can do this
with a chip in our brain, a new device has come out that overlays video onto
our normal vision using special glasses. It’s called the Vuzix display Wrap 920AR and it goes on sale soon for around
Solar energy will
soon leave fossil fuels and inefficient wind farms in the dust. According to
Kurzweil, “the cost per watt of solar energy is coming down rapidly and the
total amount of solar energy is growing exponentially. It has in fact been
doubling every two years for the past 20 years and is now only eight
doublings away from meeting all of the world’s energy needs.”
from a company called Sandia is making the reality that much closer:
solar cells are made of 100 times less material than the
current top solar cells while operating at the same efficiency. Since the
biggest hurdle in the path of solar power is the expensive and large nature of
solar panels, these new microscopic cells will make a huge difference. For
example, current panels are massive and require large motors to move them to
track the sun. Sandia’s cells, on the other hand, would only need to be moved a
fraction of a millimetre to track the sun efficiently while weighing next to
Even more amazing, they can be suspended in liquids and printed on flexible materials, allowing the cells to be placed on any surface. What if your entire car was covered in these powerhouses? Bye bye, Chevron.
While we still can’t cure a common cold, custom-made organs are just around the corner.
A company called
Organovo has developed the first commercial 3-D bio printer that builds custom organs cell-by-cell.
Each individual cell is based upon sample cells from the body of the customer.
Organovo reports that veins and arteries will be available in 5 years, and more
complex organs like hearts and livers in 10.
On a more general
note, nanotechnology is revolutionizing the health world. The awesome
combination of a higher understanding of how DNA works and the ability to
create very small cellular parts is painting a very bright future for medicine.
Scientists are finding specific sequences of DNA that code for conditions like schizophrenia, autism and even ageing. The cures are actually in sight.
The first decade of
the 21st century has been a remarkable time for innovation in robotics. While
we’re still far away from having bots helping around the house or doing our
construction, big strides have been made towards that future.
Recently a robot was
able to teach itself human facial expressions by randomly contorting its face
and receiving feedback on what resembled real expressions.
Here’s another robot called BigDog that came out a couple of
years ago, but if you haven’t seen the video, you really should. It’s a
4-legged robot that can navigate difficult terrain and correct its balance when
shoved. If you can’t watch the whole video, at least fast-forward to 1:50 where
the robot can be seen running and jumping.
And finally here is the bipedal version of BigDog that walks heel-to-toe
just like humans do. Again, it can regain balance when shoved.
Nanotechnology in Clothing
– Nano-fibres will make garments tremendously more comfortable and durable. “By this process, the textile products can be made more attractive, strong and responsive to customers’ choice.”
– Fibre-based Nano generators will build up electrical
energy in clothing from physical movement, ultrasonic waves and even blood
flow. “If we can combine many of these fibres in double or triple layers in
clothing, we could provide a flexible, foldable and wearable power source that,
for example, would allow people to generate their own electrical current while
hydrophobic (water-resistant) Nano filaments allow for completely waterproof
clothing. It can be submerged in water for two months and still remain dry
to the touch. “The water comes to rest on the top of the Nano filaments like a
fakir sitting on a bed of nails.” (Whatever that means…)
Machine Learning will advance
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations will
continue to bring scientific breakthroughs, in part, thanks to the vast amounts
of data that new technologies have been collecting and is now available.
In 2019, Machine Learning and Artificial
Intelligence will be embedded in the business platform creating and enabling
smart business operations.
In the Artificial Intelligence space, China is
going to leave the U.S. behind, emerging as a leader in AI developments and
Advances in Machine Learning technology and
algorithm training will result in new and more advanced AI. Autonomous
vehicles and robotics are the two industries that will see the most rapid
developments during 2019.
In 2019, there is going to be a convergence of
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning in
business applications. As AI and learning technologies get to work together in
order to reach better results, AI will have greater accuracy at all
levels. So far, humans have only developed Narrow Artificial Intelligence.
A superior AI, though, is in the future of mankind. How far should humans go
with AI development is still a subject of controversy. Is this really going to
be mankind’s last invention?
Quantum Computing, still an emerging technology, is
one of the most fascinating things researchers, organizations, and governments
have been working on in this century so far. The race toward building the first
fully-functional, fully-working quantum computer (also called supercomputer) is
With its impressive computational power, quantum computers will most like be a cloud service in the near future rather than on-premise machines. IBM is already offering cloud-based quantum computing services.
The first quantum computer is going to have a significant advantage over others. In 2019, the competence to achieve supercomputer supremacy will intensify. As a consequence, the last mile in the race will remain mostly secretive, for obvious reasons.
Augmented Reality (AR) and
Virtual Reality (VR)
Advances in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), all of
which can be summarized in R+, will continue to be at the forefront of
attention during 2019 with some fascinating new practical applications for
R+, which once was only found in video gaming has
been quickly advancing to become a useful tool in industries such as
engineering design, manufacturing, healthcare, space exploration, and many
In 2019, Virtual Reality is going to open up to
innovative industrial applications that will change how people work and
collaborate across geographies.
Augmented Reality has been rising in Virtual Reality’s shadow for the past year. But in 2019, AR is set to grow exponentially.
Global Internet of Things
(IoT) security breach
Hackers never sleep. Everyone in the cybersecurity
industry knows that. As long as you connect something to the Internet it
immediately becomes vulnerable.
In the past years, we have seen how hackers have turned to the unsecure Internet of Things (IoT) devices to create an extensive botnet which then they could use to push enough traffic to take down Dyn, the DNS provider. As a way to refresh your memory, here is how the DDoS attack using IoT devices happened in 2016.
A quick look at the news tells us that not much has
been learned. However, the great number of security breaches occurred during
2018 should serve as an alert of what can happen at a global scale in 2019 if
organizations don’t take the necessary precautions.
Analyst firm Gartner forecasts that 20.4 billion
connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020. And with the rise of
autonomous things –I will call this the Internet of Autonomous Things (IoAT)–
there is a good chance that many of these things will show a certain level of
In 2019, it will be paramount for IoT manufacturers
and all of their supply chain to dramatically increase the security in all the
products that come out to market. It can be a connected refrigerator, a
robot, a drone, a vehicle, or a health tracker.
Manufacturers must implement a level of security
that keeps hackers at bay. Otherwise, there is a good chance we are going to
witness a global IoT security breach in 2019.
In 2019, for the delight of organizations,
Blockchain is going to bring the first enterprise applications in active use.
The most innovative corporations will start using Blockchain as a way to
Blockchain in 2019 comes out cryptocurrency
transaction and becomes an integral part of the business platform. Blockchain
enables transactional transparency across a variety of business functions. In
2019, Blockchain will be present in many industries at the core of business
The current statistics shown that the sales of various tech
is now down and that people aren’t eagerly awaiting to buy the latest thing.
There are various reasons for this and to put your finger in the one would be wrong.
But it begs the question about what we do with old kit? I
have been recently taking 7 year old laptops that have still some very good kit
on board and upgrading by adding a SSD drive to them.
What do we do with our computers?
We need to look at what we now do with computers: –
A few years ago all programmes were on the computer and so was the data until we backed it up
The Internet was growing fast and we are getting faster access.
So cloud storage became a thing and has grown over the last few years to an amazing level.
“According to recent research by Nasuni, there is over 1 Exabyte of data stored in the cloud, or: 1024 Petabytes of data. 1,073,741,824 Gigabytes of data. Quintillion bytes of data” This data was 2013. 6 years ago.
These figures don’t even make sense to us. To try and comprehend this amount of data and storage becomes something we can’t relate to.
Applications are also becoming more cloud driven and this will only increase over the next few years. SAAS. (Software As A Service). Office 365 is a well-known one. Google utilities, (G-suite), etc. Monthly subscriptions and the latest and greatest always at your fingertips.
So what does this mean?
Well, the strain is being taken off a lot of standalone machines as the storage needs to be less as all data goes to the cloud. (See article on using the cloud, here.)
The machines if they have a large amount of RAM and a fast SSD drive can boot up in anything from 4 seconds to 18 seconds. (The one I worked on recently booted up in 4 seconds)
So old kit can be slightly upgraded and cope very well with
what you need it to do. Thus alleviating the direct need to buy the latest kit
all the time.
What’s best for you?
Well, that really depends on how you operate and the things
you need to achieve. But don’t immediately write off all your current kit.
Maybe it is just better connections that you need or you need to think about
the way you operate and see if there are ways it can be done better.
I love this
and was also blown away by this. What does my title mean and how many Internets
Let me give
you background info. At the end of last year I attended, with some tech colleagues,
a Digital Expo in Edinburgh. A day of tech talks and an exhibition area full of
stands and vendors showing their wares. (And the usual freebies as we like to
keynote speech was by an MSP about the Scottish Government trying to help tech companies
and get Scotland at the top of the tech ladder. After that came the chap from
Google. (I must admit at this point as to being an avid Google follower and watcher
to see what they are going to do next.)
He started by
taking us back to how tech and Internet access has developed over the last 30
years. Things have just exploded.
From Dial up
to now literally instant access on all sorts of devices from fridges to watches
and phones and laptops and so on.
Explaining the Internet
Now in a
previous work post I had the privilege of teaching small business the benefits
of getting a website and how the Internet worked for their benefit and the
benefit of the user.
A common way I
described the Internet was to keep it simple but make it understandable, went
as follows: –
“Think of the
Internet as a giant library full of information. Shelves of books going into
the distance and finding things required a librarian to help you. They were at
that time mostly Yahoo and Google. You asked then for what you were looking for
and they went into the library and retuned all the relevant content”
People could visualise
this and then I told them that their website would be in that content and how
they could encourage the librarian to bring it to customers searching for what
they had to offer. All makes sense and even though simplistic, easy to get your
How would you
explain the Internet? (This was very early days as well.)
So what has changed?
So if that
explains the Internet then, surely it has just become much larger and has so
much content the librarians have become smarter and better at what they do?
This is true
of course and the search engines are constantly changing their algorithms to
cater for new searches and the rise of the social media traffic.
Bur prepare to
have your mind blown away. “Your Internet is not the same as my Internet”
“WHAT? I hear you cry. Of course it is.”
My man from Google explained the rise of the A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), has created tailored Internet for each user. So each time you interact and even shop, look for things, cafes, and theatres. Locations you search for, what locations you are in when you search. All these and many more things influence what return you get. So we could be in the same location and search for the same thing and get slightly different results. Our info is being tailored depending on our habits, likes and history etc.
may find this very disturbing and that so much info about us is going around.
Well unfortunately for them it is the case. Even using a food order app influences
things. Loyalty card at stores, the list is endless.
am excited about AI and what it can do for us. I think if used well and smart,
we can benefit well from this technology.
So what Internet do I use, well I use the one tailored for me?
We techie people like to have nice names for things and also
some nice technobabble names for things. The word Vanilla has a rough meaning
of the following: –
“Computer software, and sometimes also other computing-related systems like computer hardware or algorithms, are called vanilla when not customized from their original form, meaning that they are used without any customisations or updates applied to them. Vanilla software has become a widespread de facto industry standard, widely used by businesses and individuals. The term comes from the traditional standard flavour of ice cream, vanilla. According to Eric S. Raymond’s The New Hacker’s Dictionary, “vanilla” means more “default” than “ordinary”
So what we mean is that when a vanilla copy of Windows 10 is
installed onto a machine it is only Windows 10 with all its baggage and faults.
We know that nothing else exists on the machine.
This, for us IT guys makes life easier for troubleshooting. If there are problems with the machine it can only be between Windows and the hardware as there is nothing else on the system at this point. Once we cure these and the system is running well and all seems to be operating the way we expect, we can then look at installing other programs and seeing how Windows talks to them. Each software install can have its own issues or it can simply work. Guess which one we like?
What is the alternative to a Vanilla Install?
Well, that sadly is what most of us do, thinking all will be well. “That accepting the update scenario.”
Here is the situation, you are running Windows 7 and all is well. It has been around for quite a while and all the patches and fixes have been out and installed. Your system is sweet. The Windows 10 comes out and promises a lot more, it’s faster, it’s better, you can do more and it works well.
Microsoft also offers it for free if you take it now, after
that it will be charging….What do you do?
You click update and it downloads Windows 10. Oh’ the
excitement of the new is always a draw, and surely it must be better, that is
what they promised.
What could go wrong?
As with any installation you have to look at the foundation and what will the new Operating system be sitting on top off. Even though your computer seemed to running smoothly. Under the hood there may well have been issues that just didn’t surface. The software may have been compromising some operational items to get it all to work.
The adage we always like to use is, “If you have any issues
or even minor bugs with the current system an update could cure them, but most
likely it will just make them worse. A clean install and one that cures all the
issues before any other apps are installed means that the foundation is correct
and that issues after this are down to software conflicts of installed
I must be honest and I do believe that Windows 10 has some
major bugs and a bit too much, what we call bloatware, (added items Microsoft
think you need.)
I also believe however that some of the troubles people have
had with Windows 10 on machines is because of the update option and not the
flatten and fresh clean install option or vanilla install as I like to call it.
If you want to the latest and greatest operating system it is best to backup and flatten the machine. Then reinstall all the apps and connectivity. You will have a cleaner and more stable machine that you have had for a long time. Windows in itself becomes cluttered over the years with all the programs that have been installed and uninstalled leaving some fragments of files behind. So cleaning all this and installing is always the best option. I have done this to many machines last year and all are faster and getting the best performance they can. Windows also seems to update without any major faults.
If you want to talk about his or get me in to-do some of the
above then get in touch or comment below.
The nature of computing over the last few years has gone one way and one way only and that is to drive users on the cloud. The software is now offered as a service and machines locally are less powerful with less storage, as your storage is not local anymore and is on the cloud remotely.
Most people are going with the flow and some others are still thinking the old way and have loads of data stored locally. The machines then become infected and data is lost or compromised.
Some companies have to store data locally due to legal requirements or just their processes in-house require it. However, the way the world is going is to store remotely, which allows so many good benefits.
What are the Benefits?
Let us start by looking at some of the benefits of cloud and remote storage: –
The use and accessibility of files and work become easier. Users can drag and drop files etc. to cloud storage drives ion their machines. You don’t have to be technical. The stored data can then be accessed from anywhere in the world.
How about disaster recovery? A backup plan for data has been something us I.T. guys have shouted about for years. Cloud storage drives create an automatic backup of all data stored, taking away the need for you to do it and the costs involved.
Security is always the main argument against using the cloud. However, the best thing about cloud-stored data is that the server data is distributed across redundant servers and the data that is stored in the cloud is safeguarded against any type of hardware failure. Cloud servers also provide automated backups and snapshots in order to make sure that your data is safe.
There are cost savings in using cloud-based data storage as well. No expensive on-site storage solutions that have running costs as well. All this is saved and the cost of cloud storage against it usually means a cost saving. This depends on your company and setup of course.
Data sharing is another great benefit of cloud storage. Files can be shared in-house with colleagues or with clients externally.
Automation of backups etc. is also a massive benefit. Once set up a daily routine isn’t needed locally and this frees up people for other tasks.
Online cloud storage is also a great way to allow staff and clients to collaborate on documents and projects. From anywhere in the world.
File integrity is also another great plus. When working on a cloud-based file you simply save and close. This means we don’t have various copies on various machines. Then trying to sync most recent of them.
The amount of convenience and peace of mind offered by cloud storage system is amazing! Even if you store data on transportable devices like external hard drives or flash drives, some kind of manual intervention and physical handling is required. The data that is stored in a cloud is backed up online and it can be accessed from anywhere. Information is automatically saved as it streams in. There is no need for you to save, label or track information. The convenience of online cloud storage enables you to completely concentrate on your work without getting stressed about data loss.
Online storage and backup are beneficial for all types of businesses. It is a platform that does not require any huge investment and can be actively used in connecting staff and clients. Collaborating and using data smartly. Not to mention less supervision and online activities. Secure in the knowledge that it is all backed up for you and can be accessed from anywhere.
A strange question for the uninitiated. What is a NAS and what sort of food does it eat and how should I be treating it?
My focus recently has been all about storage and the space we are each using to store our data. (Whatever that data maybe). From faster drives to access the data to storage solution on the cloud and in the office. It is one of the most important and common questions I am asked.
One solution doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. But a combination of solutions is usually what people use and sometimes chaotically with no thought on how this will progress and what the strategy is or should be.
So what is a NAS?
Well, it isn’t a small creature that keeps you company and helps with your storage and access to data. Well, that is not completely true it does allow storage and access to data in various ways and will cleverly backup said data in different ways. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. A system of storage media that is attached to your network at home or work. Over the years this type of storage has become more and more intelligent and can literally be a self-contained computer system that runs all your data and data access. It can be a small unit to a much larger unit. Various companies make them and they are, well what can I say I am biased, brilliant.
I have used one for business for over 8 years now and it has served me well. I can store data on it and it has internal drives that automatically backup to each other creating what is called a mirror of my data. I also can, and have configured it to back up to a cloud drive and have chosen the important data to back up in this way. So I have offsite data as well.
The NAS unit allows me to access it remotely over the Internet, (Through a secure connection), so my own personal cloud drive with access. I can add users and give them a proportion of the space and they can store their data there and we can collaborate on data.
This is a lower costs system to having a fully-fledged file server in your office and still allows multiple access by users and storage and remote access. It has a configuration panel that is easy to understand and configure. An admin is appointed and can add users, block users and configure all the aspects of the system. The amount of storage is up to you and your budget. But it can be easy to handle and allow for expansion to a cloud drive or even to add extra space at the NAS unit itself.
Remember the biggest asset to any business is data and the importance of data and how easy it is to access it and collaborate using it is important.
So if you are considering storage and where it all goes?
I am asked by a lot of people about the new SSD drives as they call them, (In fact, this type of storage has been around for a while, granted it is developing and getting smarter and better all the time.), However, I digress. They ask me if the guarantee on this type of storage is as good as the older platter hard drives that stored their data to a physical disk using magnetism.
Well, there are many factors that affect both types of storage and cause them to fail or basically run out of life.
I stumbled across an article by CNet and they explain the way both drives work and how the SSD drive is much more complicated but in essence with last much longer. They are some actions you can do to help this but don’t panic you really don’t need to do them.
Check out the article here. (All credits here to Cnet.)
I must admit that my mobiles for a good number of years have all had a sweet tooth. Being named after desserts ranging from Éclair, my first venture, through incarnations of Marshmallow to Nougat and now Pie.
For those who have no idea what I am talking about, these are all incarnations of Android operating systems for mobile phones. Being a Google man for all mobile work this has always intrigued me, and I am usually waiting for the next version and the improvements that come with it.
Android has driven the mobile market and is now the most used operating system for mobile phones worldwide, taking Apple’s crown.
Nowadays we are all fixated and linked to our mobile devices, they feed us with so much information and in my case a business owner, they help me manage my day to day activities both private and business related.
Android has always given me the flexibility and customisation that I would like in a device. Every incarnation allows me to change and alter and get the device working exactly the way I want it to.
Collecting and accessing my emails and web-based file systems. Communicating through various mediums from text-based to video calls. As more of what we do pushes onto the cloud you can expect these devices to be, literally what they have been for a while now, your main computer system. Allowing the flexibly to work anywhere and carry out complex activities and not need to be tied to a desk environment.
Here is a link to some of the new features in Android P (Pie) from our friends at Android Central