Here are some news items that caught my eye as part of the ever expanding Internet and associated technologies – to places where people don’t have it yet, to personal things near you and even into your head.
Facebook’s Connectivity Lab aims to spread Internet access via satellites, drones and lasers : Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a prime backer of Internet.org, aims to connect the several billion unconnected people in the world, using a variety of technologies. With all the emphasis on fiber optics for broadband over the last few years, this is a useful contribution to the discussion because it points out that there is more than one way to provide Internet connectivity. And, as he said: “connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too.” There’s video with Yael Maguire explaining the Connectivity Lab at http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/03/27/facebooks-connectivity-lab-looking-drones-satellites-lasers-provide-internet-access/. I hope Internet.org succeeds in its goals.
MLBAM completes initial iBeacon installations – Petco Park, Dodger Stadium first of 20 ballparks to receive cutting-edge technology : Major League Baseball is deploying iBeacon proximity sensors in ball parks to personal the experience in various ways. Apple’s iBeacon has so far mostly been a retail store phenomenon. It will be interesting to see how much it will be used in sports venues and other large public venues.
OCHO introduces world’s first cloud-connected smart key tray : This is another example of proximity devices that consumers will be offered. OCHO is now raising funds on Kickstarter, but their goal is clear. As they say “OCHO technology connects common items people rely on every day, such as keys, phones and wallets, to notifications that help organize time and their daily routines”.
Electric “thinking cap” controls learning speed : Getting even closer to your body, there’s Vanderbilt University’s announcement about two of their psychology researchers who have developed a “thinking cap”. This device helps a person learn better by the application of electric current to the brain.
3D-printed skull implanted in patient : Not quite the Internet inside your head (yet!), but certainly an intrusion of technology. A surgeon at University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands, has replaced the complete skull of a young woman with a 3D-printed skull, as pictured here.