Your Planet Sustainable?Your Tribe Harmonious?Your Life Vibrant?
Future Proof Ideas since 2005, by Erwin van Lun

Trend observations, analysis and future predictions since 2005

Tiny device allows you to track objects and people!

The Spark Nano GPS tracker is the smallest available GPS tracker in the world today. It's about the size of a 9V battery. Its enhanced GPS sensitivity using GPRS and GSM networks allows it to work in places where traditional GPS Trackers fail. After activating the tracker, it starts to send location data that can be monitored online within 40 seconds, and sends instant alerts via e-mail or text message at the moment the GPS Tracker goes outside of a designated area. Promo video below the break.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

All products will be monitored, all products will be connected, so this is just a step. It’ll be used for monitoring small children in our neighborhood, as well as monitoring employees using company cars, teen drivers or even our life partners. This invention will lead to some serious privacy discussions.

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Smart bathing

The Ondus Digitecture by Grohe is a slim, wall-mounted panel that adds a futuristic dimension to your bathroom. The newest addition to the award-winning Grohe Ondus Digital Faucet Collection, the Digitecture, includes temperature control, touchpad operation, an attractive faucet, and holders for soap and cups, all in one place.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

In the next step our taps will be the media panels. We’ll instruct them for the experience we want and they’ll adjust not only the water and the soap, but also the light, the odor, the music, and match the bubbles to our mood, as this is measured too. The interesting thing comes when we can also visit a hotel bath in a foreign country and our health coaching brand recognizes us and continues our bathing experience in a total different atmosphere. It never seems to stop…

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KLM send boarding pass to mobile

Airline KLM has launched a digital boarding pass that allows passengers to check in and board an airplane using their (smart)phone without the need for paper. After checking in via (mobile) internet they'll receive a message with a barcode via SMS, email or MMS. The message will also contain standard information like departure time and seat number. The barcode is scanned at the gate and allows the passengers to find their place.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

In the next step KLM will use our current position to guide us through the airport. When a plane is delayed, we’ll be informed so we can enjoy another cappuccino. When we have to start walking because the gate is a 30 minutes’ walk from our current position, we’ll be informed in time. And just a few years after this we’ll have a spoken conversation with the brand agent of KLM, which will come into our lives during the sales process and guides us from our front door to the moment we’ve arrived at the next transport hub or destination and which will do the evaluation afterwards.

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Large color e-paper device

Fujitsu has at last released its color e-book Flepia (or e-paper mobile terminal, as they'd like you to call it) to the masses. Featuring an 8-inch XGA screen capable of displaying 260,000 colors, along with Bluetooth, WiFi and up to 4GB of storage via SD card, and measuring less than half an inch thick, FLEPia's not just getting by on color alone. Fujitsu promises 40 hours of continuous use, and the unit can be operated by its touchscreen or the assortment of function buttons. Naturally you can do the regular e-book thing, but the Japanese version of the device also includes full-on Windows CE 5.0, which would probably be a bit of a chore to use with the relatively slow screen refresh times of e-ink (1.8 seconds for a single wipe), but undeniably retrofuturistic. FLEPia ships in Japan for 99,750 Yen (about $1,010 US).

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Integration of structural data in search results

China web 2.0: Baidu, the large Chinese competitor of Google, has launched its Alading platform, which is to track the dark web. There’s lots of data on the web, which is not in form of web page, mainly those dynamic content. Users usually get those content by submitting a form query. Search engine sometimes can index dynamic links to retrieve some data, but there’s no way to fully understand them.

Here’s where Alading platform comes into place. If you have some definite data, which is always up to date and publicly accessible, you can submit it to Alading.

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Australia starts ambitious Fiber to the Home project

Australia is skipping the halfway house of so called ‘fibre to the node’, and will now bring the fibre network straight to people’s homes, FttH: Fiber to the Home. This is the most ambitious infrastructure ever undertaken in Australia and will be the most ambitious FttH network anywhere undertaken in the world. Cost of the project: $43 billion AU$ (22 billion Euro, 30 billion US$).

The big work will require replacing the copper cables that are going into people’s homes by fibre. Examples from around the world have indicated that it is very difficult to build a business plan around this but the government is taking the sting out of this by basically guaranteeing the investment money for the project and also indicating the use of the infrastructure for other sectors (healthcare, etc).

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

This will really boost the economy of Australia. It’ll transform an economy that is now largely driven by natural resources to an economy that sells and delivers virtual experiences to the whole world. Australian entrepreneurs will soon sell immersive interactive experiences via all kind of interactive screens and projections (of which we now see predecessors such as games, interactive movies or virtual learning environments). These kind of experiences have we never seen before.

Australia has some other strong points that empowers this country to be extremely successful in the years after the introduction of the FttH network:

  • The English language. This might seem a little bit obvious but this holds for example Korea or the Netherlands, both equipped with strong broadband networks, to offer their services worldwide.
  • Strong ties between individual people all across the world on a personal and professional level. 25% of the residents in Australia are not even born here! These strong ties will lead to business partnerships, trade and very fast word-of-mouth marketing.
  • The movie industry. Although small, Australia has a movie industry. The impact in the world of new media is immediately visible: professional video is much more integrated in the lives of media professionals than in, for example, the Netherlands. When traditional distribution of movies and games will disappear and content will be tapped (and paid) per minute, Australia can distribute video content to individuals all across the world.
  • The long distances: The long distances within the country will allow Australia to develop technologies, and business models and test them on the internal market. For example: webbinars (speaking to an online audiences) are much more accepted and popular than in a dense populated country like the Netherlands. When you have successfully developed a long-distance model within a country, the rest of the world is just the next step.
  • The presence of all nationalities in the world who truely work together. Here in Sydney, I’ve personally noticed that all cultures work together on a shared future. People came to Australia from all over the world to build a better life and a better future. This diversity will allow Australia to customise content for the whole world

What a present for me during my last week in Sydney, preparing my migration to Australia!

Erwin van Lun

Our brain peaks on unexpected words

Scientist have found how quickly the brain is able to relate unfolding sentences to earlier ones. For example, listeners only need a fraction of a second to determine that a word is out of place, given what the wider story is about. As soon as listeners hear an unexpected word, their brain generates a specific pattern named the N400 effect (so named because it is a negative deflection peaking around 400 milliseconds). And even more interesting, this will usually occur before the word is even finished being spoken.

In addition to the words themselves, the person speaking them is a crucial component in understanding what is being said. The scientist also saw an N400 effect occurring very rapidly when the content of a statement being spoken did not match with the voice of the speaker (e.g. "I have a large tattoo on my back" in an upper-class accent or "I like olives" in a young child's voice). These findings suggest that the brain very quickly classifies someone based on what their voice sounds like and also makes use of social stereotypes to interpret the meaning of what is being said.

Dog responds to voice commands

The Sakadachi Lucky robot dog from Sega Toys responds to 13 different voice commands—not only the basics like “come” and “lie down,” but also “sing” and “headstand.” The headstand is Sakadachi Lucky’s signature move, as sakadachi is the Japanese word for “headstand.” The clever toy dog can also bark Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Table helps during dating

Carnegie Mellon undergraduates Dan Eisenberg, Kevin Li and Ilya Brin have developed the EyeTable, which is described as "an artificially intelligent dinner table that reads physical gestures and speech patterns and lets the participants know how the date is going—in real time.

The EyeTable is composed of a centerpiece and two headpieces. Sensors placed on these parts detect fluctuations in tone of voice, periods of silence, and distance between the couple. If the EyeTable detects that the date is not going well, it will try to help the couple by suggesting some post-dinner activities or by suggesting another bottle of wine. If the EyeTable detects that the date is beyond help, it will instead give the numbers for the local cab companies.

Airbuds with built-in microphone for iPod

Scosche Industries announced that it's developing noise-isolating earphones with a miniature microphone built into the back of the control surface. This allows users to record voice memos on the latest iPod.

Future vision by Erwin van Lun

The new iPod Shuffle has the ability to read out song titles. Now, it’s able to listen and will also recognize commands in the next step.

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