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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The belt, developed by masters student Haska Steltenpohl of the Intelligent Systems Lab at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands guides a cyclist by indicating the direction via a vibration before each turn. It compared well to a handlebar mounted satnav; all of the riders found the destination. But there was one difference:

 when questioned about landmarks they had passed, the vibrobelt users proved much more aware of their surroundings en route than those who were constantly glancing at a GPS screen.

The hope is the device might cut down on cyclist injuries and deaths.  The device will be shown at the annual Intelligent User Interfaces conference in Santa Monica, California, in March.

- New Scientist

image:  Some rights reserved by ebis50

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 05:27 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The global sports vendor has opened the Nike+ API developer portal, giving developers access to both the API and user data to build new apps. The company is prepping for a developer program, the Nike+ Accelerator program, organized with TechStars, a company that's run many such accelerators. Developers can get inside NikeFuel (how Nike measures things) and the Nike FuelBand (its "sports watch") and the data it collects about pace, distance of run and the like. Nike is taking applications for its Nike+ Accelerator until February 3, and those selected will get $20,000, mentors and other goodies to build their apps/gadgets.

I gues this whole "quantified self" movement is taking off and means more money for corporations involved. That said, I don't know anyone who wears a FitBit and I've seen just a few Nike+ Fuel bands among my running friends. While many runners keep a running log, I can't say too many I know get supergeeky on the data. The most geeky post how many miles they ran during the last calendar year. (I have no idea how many miles I ran last year!) In fact, in a recent conversation, several folks admitted they had bought heart rate monitors, used them a few times, and never used them again. I have to admit, as I learn more about my sport of choice, running, the less tech I use.

- TheNextWeb

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 04:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Lowe’s: The most common question in a hardware store is “Where can I find …?” Lowe’s is providing retail associates with iPhones at 1,700 stores for instant access to location information, product details and communications to better serve customers. Those customers can create a MyLowe’s account at home, add improvement plans, make shopping lists and keep track of last year’s paint color. In the store, Wi-Fi allows customers to access it on their mobile.

That's a great idea - but I wonder if Lowe's will also make such map available to customers on their own devices or via large screens in store? Would that not free up associates to answer more in depth questions like what kind of paint do I need? Or what sort of fastener is best for this task?

- Chief Learning Officer

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/23 at 04:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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