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Top 5 Gadgets from the Internet of Things

Top 5 Gadgets from the Internet of Things

Internet of Things is the new buzz word around Internet circles. People are learning about new devices that are being made everyday. I recently talked to my friends Debraj and Dinesh, PhDs from Georgia State University, working with things related to the internet or Internet of Things. They introduced me to the fascinating Internet of Things and I got to test some of the apps they were building. They also introduced me to some apps that have been built by other large laboratories around the Internet. With that context, let us quickly jump to the apps.

1. Your Phone Made of Lego Like Bricks

What if your phone was made of bricks that could be replaced as needed? The possibilities are endless with such design. You could change your screen to an HD one by simply removing the current one and plugging in an HD screen. You could upgrade your phone to a better processor without rendering the old phone useless. Same applies to almost all of the hardware that is in your phone. Interestingly, it’s not a new mobile operating system or any software that does this. It’s all about the tangible parts (hardware)! This is the age of modular Smartphone blocks.  Just like Lego bricks, but only for Smartphones. This cool idea was recently presented by Phonebloks project initiative.

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2. Roads that Operate to Save Energy

This is no Harry Potter stuff. We’re talking about things happening right here on planet Earth.  Internet of Things researchers are working with roads that can “mind their surroundings” (Batman anyone?). These smart roads will host cheap sensors arrays that can proactively and/or reactively turn the road lights ON only when cars are passing by. Think of the energy savings! But that’s not all! These roads will also have the technical ability to have lights powered by vehicle wind drafts and induction based on-the-go charging of electric cars, among other ambitious features.

 3. Apps for PCs to Control Appliances

We are not talking about simple apps for PCs that could simply play games meant for smartphones. While it’s cool to have Temple Run for your PC, Internet of Things goes beyond that by controlling the appliances in your home via the Internet. Think of a cold winter evening and having the ability to turn the heater on in your car or home before you step out so it can be nice and toasty when you get there.  What if a device heated the milk for your baby every time your baby felt hungry? This is all possible with a combination of technologies.

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MC10

    MC10 is working on wearable electronics to monitor everything about our bodies, even cosmetics. There’s also something called a, Cyber-physical-system that attaches to these devices to open up endless possibilities for developers to create exciting apps that we’ve never even thought about.

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    4. Ice Cubes that Text Your Friends to Play DD

    Those who tends to lose control of how many drinks they had, need a way to alert their friends (or a service) when they are too drunk to drive back home. No worries though as there are now ice-cubes that will text your friends when that happens. Thanks to this neat technology by Dhairya Dand, a student at MIT media lab.

    The ice cubes change colors based on how much have you been drinking to give you a visual indicator of your consumption. However, if you do not pay heed to this indicator, it will eventually text your friends (or whoever you have suggested) that you are too drunk to drive.

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    5. What Song to Play?

    I was impressed with Shazam’s technology that told me what song was playing in the background. I never had to remember each and every song just because I wanted to hear it. Now, put that technology on steroids and you don’t need Shazam any more. Microsoft is working on ear buds that will play music based on your mood, health and situation.

    The project is called Musical Heart and is undertaken by University of Virginia’s center for wireless health. It is part of the Septimu project of Microsoft.

    With all these cool devices and services that were presented, it felt as though I got an amazing peek into the future and it looks absolutely amazing!

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    Mukesh Agarwal

    Professional Blogger

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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