Category Archives: Google Products & Updates

Reshape: The speakers in session 3 of TED2014

Movers and thinkers. Awesome.

TED Blog

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Our world is constantly changing, and it is bold ideas that push this forward. Our speakers in this session are all big thinkers who are working to reshape the ways we see, think about, and interact with the world, from the mind behind some of your favorite fonts to an urban planner transforming New York City’s landscape.

Here are the speakers who will appear in this session:

As a type designer Matthew Carter has watched our words move from the physical to the digital. You may recognize his work — he’s designed the fonts Verdana, Georgia, and Tahoma.

Bob Greenberg returns to the TED stage to talk about the evolution of motion graphics.

While New York City’s chief urban planner, Amanda Burden revitalized the Brooklyn waterfront, and was a champion for The High Line — an abandoned elevated railway line turned park.

David Kwong writes the New York Times crossword…

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Why Can’t A Startup Build A Self-Driving Car?

TechCrunch

Editor’s note:   Peter Yared is the CTO/CIO at CBS Interactive.

On a 10- to 20-year horizon, large-scale technological innovation is going to center around machine intelligence, robotics and sensors. Each of these fields requires gargantuan amounts of capital and a lot of patience, a combination well beyond the scope of even the most progressive venture capital firm.

As Google has demonstrated with its self-driving car, the combination of machine intelligence, robotics and sensors can already perform better than a human at a complex task such as driving a car, something that 10 years ago was unthinkable to most people.

No doubt, Tesla has built an amazing car and after much trial and tribulation, brought it to market. However, General Motors had already shipped a production electric car years before. Tesla took advantage of the innovator’s dilemma, where legacy car companies are virtually incapable of embracing electric-only cars and integrating…

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Android SDK For Wearables Coming In 2 Weeks, Says Google

These devices make good call for help systems, as well as, memory aids for people with disabilities. An individual’s complete medical history can also be uploaded and available when needed.

TechCrunch

Google is readying a version of its Android OS tailored for wearable devices. Google’s Sundar Pichaitold the SXSW conference Sunday that it would be releasing an SDK for makers of wearable devices such as smartwatches in two weeks’ time.

The SDK will be aimed at other makers of smartwatches and wearables, even though Google itself is thought to be working on building wearable hardware — with a Mountain View smartwatch project rumoured for months. (Last year Google confirmed it previously bought a smartwatch maker called WIMM Labs).

The release of Google’s smartwatch has been slated for either mid to late March, or pushed out to June (although the company has not confirmed its plans).

As with its mobile strategy, the spread of Android is Google’s primary concern here — with the wearable SDK allowing the services it offers packaged with Android to reach even further, via other makers’ hardware.

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Emotient Raises $6M For Facial Expression Recognition Tech, Debuts Google Glass Sentiment Analysis App

TechCrunch

Emotient , a startup based out of San Diego that works in the emerging area of facial expression recognition, is today announcing a $6 million round of funding and its first steps into applying its technology in the wearables market: a new piece of “glassware” for Google Glass that measures sentiment analysis based on reading people through the headgear’s camera.

Longer term, the aim is the become the sentiment analytics engine for “any connected device with a camera,” the company notes, with a SaaS model based around its API a fundamental part of that strategy.

The Series B round of funding was led by Seth Neiman, formerly a general partner at Crosspoint Venture Partners and now leading new VC firm Handbag. Previous investor Intel Capital also participated — bringing the total raised to date to $8 million since the startup was first founded in 2012.

Emotient says that the funds…

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Quick Tech Trick: How to Search a Specific Site with Google

Tech

This trick is easier than falling in love. Simply add “site:time.com” (or “site:nbc.com” or whichever site you want to search) after your search term, and you’ll get all the instances of that term on that particular site. Results from the rest of the web will be filtered out.

More Quick Tech Tricks:

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Google Introduces Phone With 3-D Sensors

Tech

Google has unveiled a new phone that makes real-time, 3-D maps of its environments. Its “customized hardware and software” includes sensors that gives it the capability to make over a quarter of a million measurements every second. Its uses could include indoor mapping and navigation assistance for the visually-impaired.

“We are physical beings that live in a 3-D world,” Google says. “Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.”

A prototype of the device, developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects unit under a venture called Project Tango, is being offered to 200 developers interested in making apps for the phone.

[BBC]

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The Google Smartwatch Is Real, And It’s Coming Soon (But Maybe Not Too Soon)

TechCrunch

Google’s long-rumored smartwatch is real, and still “officially” expected to begin shipping in mid to late March. However, many members of the smartwatch team inside Google believe that date will either be pushed back to June, or the watch will end up shipping incomplete with a smaller feature set than originally intended. As it stands now, the timeline for the watch’s release is far from being set in stone.

The smartwatch prototypes are currently on lockdown in a Google building, under high security, and they’re not able to be taken out for fear that news will leak. (Oops.)

According to people familiar with the matter, an early prototype of the watch had a Pebble Steel-like metal band, square face, and a colorful digital display featuring a gradient background where colors gently fade from one to the next. It also seemed to have a more masculine vibe, also like the…

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Chromebox: Here Come Google’s Desktop Computers

Tech

Google is attacking the desktop PC with renewed purpose, announcing a wave of new Chromeboxes and a suite of meeting tools for businesses.

Unless you’re running an IT department, the most interesting Chromebox will be the $179 model from Asus. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, four USB ports and an SD card slot, along with an HDMI output for connecting to an external monitor. Essentially, it’s a low-end Chromebook minus the screen and keyboard.

While this isn’t the first attempt at putting Chrome OS on a desktop PC, Asus’ Chromebox is far cheaper than the $329 Samsung model that preceded it. The price alone makes it interesting if you’re in need of a secondary desktop computer but, as always, the browser-based operating system can be limiting. For a primary PC you’re probably better off with a Mac or Windows-based machine…

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Here’s What Would Make Google’s Smartwatch Awesome

Needs full voice integration. And a bigger screen for the Second Act folks like me!

TechCrunch

Google is reportedly putting considerable brain power into a smartwatch and we couldn’t help wondering just what they’d add to the burgeoning technology. More than any other company, Google is positioned to solve the single biggest shortcoming in wearable technology: pattern recognition. What is it about our daily activities makes us fatter, more alert? What helps us get better sleep and be more productive?

Buried within the big data of our everyday decisions are gems of truth about how we can become the best versions of ourselves. Last Summer, Google’s new head of engineering and artificial intelligence pioneer, Ray Kurzweil, let me know his plans to build everyone a “cybernetic friend”.

So, we know Google wants build the perfect lifestyle recommendation engine; a watch that tracks our vital signs and movement could do just that. Here are two things it would need:

Connecting Devices – If I walk an…

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