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Thursday, December 14, 2006

The company is Black Coral. CEO Doug Duncan is also its main funder - to the tune of $1 million. The company has ten employees and focusses on collaborative mapping solutions especially for the military/defense use. I met the company at GEOINT a few years back. In addition to implementations in Canada, the company has technology in the U.S. Department of Defence Foreign Comparative Test program.

- Ottawa Business Journal

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 08:46 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

iFIND, a project of the SENSEable City Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology uses Wi-Fi locating but with a twist. Instead of allowing the location to be shared via a network, where ideally, the owner of that network can keep it for whatever purpose, the system uses peer-to-peer connections to share location information. That way, the network and the folks behind it, never have access to it. Moreover, the information that is “ok’d” to be shared with friends is encrypted.

Carlo Ratti, director of the lab notes the project’s uniqueness.

Nobody is looking at this approach. The present trend in the industry is toward collecting data. This gives control back to the individual. . . . It’s you who are calculating your location, and it’s you deciding when to make it public and to whom.

I have to admit, this seems so simple! Of course MIT folks are likely to use it for geeky things like scavenger hunts and games, but it has real promise in the real world.

- Boston Globe

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 08:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

When I wrote about what I learned at the Tele Atlas Partner Conference last month I noted the regular discussion of how we’d soon “dock” our PDA/phone/nav device in the car and fire up a big screen and good sound. C|NET is running a series of articles on technology and safety (after the loss of editor James Kim). Today’s focuses on navigation and related tools. This vision of docking from Volvo was interesting:

More futuristic is a Volvo safety concept car that includes a dock for a small personal digital assistant. Drivers can load routing information or personal medical records into the PDA, and then dock it in the car so it can be uploaded and accessible to an emergency medical technician in the event of an accident. That technology could be five years down the road, according to Dan Johnston, a spokesman for Volvo.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 08:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sven Rönnbäck of Luleå University of Technology in Sweden has developed a wheelchair that can be manually operated or driven remotely. It’s new feature is the ability to find safe paths and to map them for future use. The chair, called the MICA­-Mobile Internet Connected Assistant, can be steered using head-mounted tool, and can take direction, but use its smarts (sensors) to find a safe way via open spaces. Says the inventor:

MICA is connected to the Internet and can be remote controlled or driven manually, but can also navigate on its own. The new navigation method is used to find possible routes for the wheelchair, past various obstacles, for instance. A distance-metering sensor is used to discover the surfaces that are available to the wheelchair, and the technology can also be used to ensure that the wheelchair is being used in a safe manner.

- Innovations Report (Germany)


by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 07:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A press release from Gaming Solutions International touts a new Flash map on which offers up “real-time” information on lottery results in the U.S. and Canada.

My issue is that I must mouse-over a state/province to determine whether its a powerball, megamillions, state lottery, or Canadian Lottery geography. (Grayed out states have no lottery, I guess.) Why? Why not offer a thematic map to begin with? Is it less interactive? Perhaps, but it provides information more directly…

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/14 at 07:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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