Gloogle to stick pedestrians to a car after a crash

In this story from Gizmag, they have a new idea on making sure pedestrians stick around after having been struck by a car.

GloogleWhere would we be without out of the box thinkers, right? But aren’t they telling us that autonomous cars will have far quicker reactions and be able to avoid crashes with pedestrians that human drivers might not be fast enough to avoid?

Actually I’m having a deja vu moment. I’m sure I read about this a few years ago, maybe that’s when they originally applied for the patent. I remember thinking about the additional risks of the pedestrian stuck to the front of a car as a it subsequently rolls, crashes into a tree or into a river. I can see many cases where I would rather be thrown off.

I wonder if the Google researchers did any serious research into what happens to both the car and the pedestrian in those sorts of accidents?

Kudos to Google all the same for giving their staff the opportunity and time to innovate. I’m sure they will now be having discussions with 3M. I’m sure it will find unexpected value somewhere, perhaps as a spray to hold criminals in place when they try to rob a store. Stick them to a wall until help arrives.

What do you think? Any ideas on how you might use Gloogle?


Posted in car accidents, car crash, Driverless Cars, Google, Google Car, Innovation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-Abortion Groups Track Women Via Their Mobile Phones

AntiWhen I first read this story in Salon I thought that it might be a hoax, then it turned up in other locations such as this Fortune story. Checking our the CEO of Copley Advertising on LinkedIn, he certainly has the technology although it promotes it as being used as an advertising medium and not specifically as a tool to target women considering an abortion.

I don’t know if this is a publicity stunt to gain publicity for his company, if it is, it has certainly worked and is one of those situations that as a specialist blogger, you sometimes wonder whether you should mention a subject, or leave it alone because you don’t want to promulgate the behavior.

I am all for permission based, location based targeted marketing, i.e. where we opt in to a service because of the benefits we can gain, for example targeted deals offering distressed inventory or items of interest, be it a weed-eater to someone who has purchased a lawn mower or some new additions to the menu at your favorite Japanese restaurant when you are in the neighborhood at 6PM on a Saturday or offers of attractions and events to tourists..

But this is a flagrant invasion of privacy and comes with a high risk of abuse and potential danger to the victims of such tactics. Mobiles have a unique ID called a MAC address and this can be used with software, effectively to spy on people.

It isn’t super easy to do without installing software on people’s mobiles, but with the right technology, at specific locations, such as an abortion clinic it is relatively simple to obtain MAC addresses, if not details of the owner of the mobile directly. For more information on this, check out the following article on Digital Trends

You can turn off location services, but they are one of the key benefits of having a smartphone, but that doesn’t stop your phone sending out it’s MAC address, which it does constantly, telling the telephone company where you are for billing purposes among other legitimate purposes.

Using tracking technology against someone’s will is illegal in some States, but many countries and States have not yet come to grips with the issues, or in some cases might be quite happy in countries that do not have a democratic political system.

When it comes to combating terrorism or serious crime, I’m all for the ability to track phones, providing it is done within the law.¬† Of course that’s where criminals use burner phones, typically pre-pay phones which they throw away so that they can’t be tracked. When it comes to individuals, hate crime, or groups who believe they are more right than others, it is wrong on so many levels and must be stopped.

We have privacy laws in most countries and they must be constantly updated so that spying on, or using people’s private information without their explicit informed consent is not just illegal, but treated as a serious crime with harsh penalties.

What can you do to stop your phone from being tracked and still benefit from location based apps you want to use? Not a lot. Only use location based apps from services you know and trust is a starter. For more information check our this article from Digital Trends

I’m keen on your comments. What do you think? How does this make you feel?

Posted in Crime, Crime Prevention, cybercrime, Internet Privacy, location based apps, Location Based Consultant, location based marketing, Location Based Servces, Mobile Apps, mobile spy, people tracking, Personal security, Police tracking, Privacy, security, terrorism, track crime, track mobiles, Tracking a cellphone, Tracking Apps, Tracking criminals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The GPS Made Me Do It

Here we go again, the GPS made me do it. It was 2AM or thereabouts on a Wednesday morning in Henrico County  when a driver apparently followed the instructions on his GPS and turned onto the railway track according to the story on CBS6.

Hungary Rd

He escaped the car before the train hit and was not injured.

Here’s the thing as I have said many times. You can’t blame the GPS. The driver has to use the navigation device as a guide and should be alert enough when driving a motor vehicle to see through the windscreen of his car that he was not in fact turning onto a road, but onto a train track. This is the train track concerned from Google Streetview. Looks like a rail crossing to me, it has lights and barriers. It has rails.

So what would an autonomous car do? Would an autonomous vehicle do the same thing with a data error late at night when visibility may not be great. If it followed the instructions and the driver was resting or asleep, trusting in technology, how might this story have played out?

Posted in Autonomous cars, bad gps, car crash, Car Nav Caused Crash, Driverless Cars, GPS Accuracy, GPS MAde Me Do IT, Train crash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do you ride share or use Gig Economy services?

I had a conversation with a colleague yesterday, one similar to conversations I frequently have with my fellow geeks. Do not assume that the rest of the world, or even your own world, outside of those you hang out with most of the time, are on the same technology wave level as you are.

A web developer friend (who I haven’t seen for too long and is probably reading this) was complaining a few years ago that too many people around Auckland were now playing Ingress and that it was taking the gloss off the game. At the time it was only available on Android and I had an iPhone and iPad, but when I asked my friends about it, they typically hadn’t heard of it or hadn’t tried it.

He ended up asking the same question of his customers who represent some very large brands, about their use of Twitter and was blown away by how few use it, compared to his circle who were power users.

In your local social community you are either in the group where Uber is now a common form of travel, or the much larger group who have never tried it. If you read my blog, you might be in the former, being tech savvy, but it’s still probably unlikely. I’d love to hear from you as to whether you have tried it, installed but not tried it, or haven’t even bothered to go that far yet.

The same applies to social media. Other than whatever is your favorite, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or other, most people dabble with family and friends on one or maybe two social media, but if you do a quick survey of friends and colleagues (outside of the circle you live in those apps with), I”ll bet you will still today be surprised at how few people are active on them. It’s one of the questions I ask people when I am recruiting new staff and the most common answer is something along he lines of “I use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family.”

When it comes to Ride Sharing and the Gig economy that’s a real shame because for many people who are unemployed, they offer real tangible opportunities as they do for people looking for very small pieces of work to be done.

Buying a House Final Cover Art.jpgFor example when I needed a book cover for my Kindle eBook on Buying a House, I went to Fiverr and they did a great job IMHO, perfectly formatted to Amazon’s specifications for, yep $5. It probably took them 5 minutes because it’s their specialty so we both won.

Think about it for a moment. How many people are there with college degrees who are working for minimum wage. Wouldn’t they be better off doing 5 or 6 5 minute jobs for $30 an hour?

Habour BridgeMap companies in the USA pay local people $5-10 to confirm the details of an intersection when they get complaints about navigation instructions, such as when a set of lights at an intersection has been replaced with a roundabout (rotator).

The problem for corporates is that they would have charged $150 for the same job. That’s why taxi companies are threatened by ride share services. Ironically the community would be so much better if people did ride share. If 20% of commuters shared their rides and the costs, they would get to work, school or university cheaper and much more quickly, even if they were only gong to the park and ride and using public transport. The impact on motorway congestion would be huge.

The gig economy and ride sharing are not overtaking the world and probably won’t. I do think they have an important role in the evolution of our society. When we try to protect ourselves from challenges to existing business models, that doesn’t make the existing business models right, or even if they are the best, they still need to evolve.

How many people are going to be in your car on the way to work today? 97322e6c-705e-4b62-9d12-8ab7d258cd21

Posted in Amazon, Gig Economy, GPS Car Nav, Public Transport, Ride Share, uber | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Live Map Breaks Down The Borders

Facebook has an interactive map that shows you streams that you can tune into in real-time. It’s now easier to find on the desktop site.

Luigi Cappel’s insight:
TNWThis may not be news to you yet. I was shown it in the office last week. I’m not sure as yet how easy they make it to know what the topic of the video is. There is a big difference between watching someone walking their dog, or streaming from your favorite social media event, like The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.

The big thing is that everyone is chasing video and everyone is offering solutions to deliver it on. So if you want to create your own show, it’s easy. The thing is how to target and engage an audience you want to share with. Whether it’s Instagram, Periscope, YouTube or Facebook Live. There are choices and features popping up all over the place.

So far the geospatial element looks cool, but just because King Bach has 7,400 live viewers as I write this , doesn’t mean it’s relevant to my interests. It’s a great start and I look forward to seeing how this develops.

From a news and entertainment perspective it is going to be a real challenge to news media.

Posted in Facebook, News, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Ideas Thanks to Uber Data Science

In an article in Verge, they identified that Uber has discovered you are more likely to pay surge pricing if the battery on your mobile is low. Surge pricing is where they put the price up when they are low on drivers or there is peak demand, such as closing time in pubs on a Friday night, or after a sports match or concert.

This is not a question that many people would be thinking about and unlikely to come from conventional research. The implications are significant though because battery level in your mobile is something that can be shared with applications.

Imagine marketing opportunities if you were able to detect low battery in someone’s mobile. For example:

1. A restaurant, bar or food business app with proximity could offer a free charge while you eat.

2. Any destination running a loyalty program, for example a gas station brand could offer the same. Quick charge while you fill up and buy a coffee. Same for movie theaters who want you to keep your phone off anyway would win your loyalty over other chains.

3. Mobile GPS mapping applications (that suck battery power) could offer directions to a location where you could charge it (if you don’t have a charger with you, it happens). At the very least it would be good PR to let you know you were down to say 30% and build loyalty towards that service.

4. Public Service apps like Civil Defence would also serve well if they sent you a battery low warning, especially if there were conditions such as storm warnings in the area or other current alerts.

5. Corporate Apps such as field sales or service automation.

So Uber have kindly shared an interesting observation. Who is going to act on it?

Posted in GPS, GPS Apps, GPS Nav, GPS Navigation, Hospitality, Loyalty, Map apps, Mobile Apps, SmartPhone, uber | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Aint Seen Nothing Yet

Now that’s what I’m talking about, not the fledgling systems that are being touted in the gaming industry today. They are kind of cool, like Mike Hosking showed on Seven Sharp this week, standing on the stage in on a concert is kind of cool and its a good start.

Magic Leap looks more like a product that will truly allow you to immerse yourself into an environment.


These concepts have been around for decades. I lined up at CeBit to try on a 3D VR headset back in the 90’s. Back then everyone was talking about the polygon problem and how to make images look realistic. Imagine how far the technology has come.

Applications are huge, from military to medical training, from sports training to entertainment. Whether it’s town planning or playing games, virtual and augmented reality are going to turn the world upside down and spin it round. I’ll probably need to pop a sea legs pill to play some of the adventures to come to stave off motion sickness.

Check out the videos and then consider what would happen if you combined that with a haptic suit. Another technology being developed at the moment. Haptics allow your body to feel sensations. So imagine instead of watching the basketball or rugby, that you can pick your player and feel like you are running the ball, feel the tackles.

The movie industry IMHO is getting really boring and over priced. They haven’t taken the opportunity to innovate much beyond 3D glasses and lazy-boy recliners with food and beverage service.

Take a headset and something like the old Pioneer BodySonic chairs that used to vibrate along with the sound into this world and you won’t want to leave it. Reality is likely to look bland and boring, which might be a bit of a worry for people who become addicted to this new form of experiential media.

As Bachman-Turner Overdrive sang “You aint seen nothing yet!”


Posted in AR, AR Glasses, Augmented Realty, Education, health, Military, Virtual Reality, VR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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