Steve Rogerson looks at some of the news that may have missed the front page. I gave a wide berth to one company’s stand at last month’s IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona. I decided I really didn’t want to find out what Climax Technology had to offer or even why they thought that would be a good name for a company.
No such problems at ELIV, the VDI congress on vehicle electronics in Bonn, but I did see some magic. This was on the stand of plastic optical fibre company KDPOF, where Marketing Manager Oscar Ciordia had an impressive demo to show how well this stuff worked. He had a video feed to a monitor that took the fibre through all sorts of mechanical stress produced by some clever use of Lego. The fibre was stress tested this way and the other and even went in and out of a glass of tea, complete with tea bag, without a break in the video on the monitor.
All was going fine until another watcher asked a question about one of the connectors in the feed. Ciordia obligingly disconnected it to show him the inside and then connected it back again. However, eagle-eyed me noticed that even with a break in the feed, the video still played without interruption.
I don’t think he believed me at first when I pointed this out, so he disconnected it again and we watched as the video played on, and on, and on. In fact, it didn’t stop until he turned it off and switched to another feed. “It must be a big buffer,” he said. A very big buffer.
I am a fan of the NHS despite its shortcomings but I find it does lack a little on preventative care; it is far more reactive than proactive. My observations have been confirmed by a recent study from GE Digital that reckons by 2020 machines will receive better preventative healthcare than humans. This machine takeover was further illustrated by Omron developing a table tennis robot that can actually toss and serve, and by Laurastar that has built a Bluetooth connected iron. Why would anyone want a connected iron?
I have had a birthday since my last column, which nicely coincided with the opening day of the Nottingham Beer Festival. But I woke up to find my Apple Watch wishing me a happy birthday; ah, how nice of it to remember. It didn’t send me a card though. Talking of Apple Watch, I found myself the other day considering putting it on when I got up to go to the loo in the middle of the night so it could record my steps. I didn’t, but it was a close thing.
Image: This drone picture caught my eye as did the press release that came with it. Now, I have never owned a drone or even tried to fly one, but maybe I should as apparently I am in the right age bracket. According to research by retailer DronesDirect, nearly a third of drone users in the UK are aged 55 or over compared with just ten percent for those in the 18 to 24 bracket. Can drones thus be added to the mid-life - or high-life - crisis list?