Monthly Archives: September 2016

Bluetooth and the Future

tc3The future of Bluetooth technology is indeed bright and it holds a number of possibilities which are being realized with all of the latest devices that are been released from a number of companies. This type of technology has been seen in new products that companies like Nokia, Sony, and Microsoft have come out with.

Although it is true that Bluetooth technology is used primarily for communication purposes, it has also served a number of other purposes. There are marketing reports which state that Bluetooth technology will be responsible for the creation of over 100 new devices which will soon be on the market and available to the general public.

When it comes to this technology the possibilities are almost endless. While it may have started out as a close-range form of communication which resulted in headsets for mobile phones, there is much more to it than just that. Since the invention of Bluetooth technology, it has enabled millions of people to talk with each other without having to actually speak into their phones as well as work more efficiently with various technological devices. Bluetooth has been responsible for the creation of WAP or Wireless Application Protocol which is the use of this technology with communicating on mobile devices.

There is no doubt that both individuals and professionals can use Bluetooth devices for both business and personal purposes, making it an extremely versatile technology that is constantly growing into some bigger and better all the time. Developers of mobile phone and computer technology recognize the potential that Bluetooth has when it comes to doing even more impressive things with it, enabling people all over the world to make doing everything from using a computer to talking on the phone with someone they know a little bit easier and more convenient.

Many major vendors have already come out in support of devices that work off Bluetooth technology and it seems as though this is a trend that isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. When it comes to this type of technology, there is no doubt that it is being accepted and implemented at an unprecedented rate, resulting in the creation of new products and ways of connecting people faster and more efficiently than ever before. Bluetooth technology is expected to have a huge impact on many different industries, especially with regards to computer that are starting to feature these applications more and more, proving just how much of a future this technology really has in the world as we know it.

Infrared Technologies

Not long ago, I had an interesting conversation about the challenges of future infrared technologies and how they might limit our personal freedoms. Perhaps, you’ve heard that infrared is being used to help police catch folks growing illegal plants (drugs) in their homes, and they use this with a combination of watching the usage on these new smart meters, that makes sense and it makes their policing job perhaps easier. Still, there are issues with our Constitution regarding search and seizure, as you can readily see.

Of course, our laws hadn’t accounted for these new technologies until perhaps about 10-years ago, and now there is some case law on the books, some might see these cases as counter to the spirit of the Constitution and yet, this is how the courts have chosen to interpret these things, thus, these cases stand, and therefore, perhaps we might discuss all this.

You see, more and more miniature UAVs are being used by enforcement agencies, some call these units MAVs or Micro Air Vehicles, but regardless of what you call them, many of them do have infrared scanners aboard to catch evading suspects running from the police. That also makes sense, well until one of those UAVs comes after an innocent man in violation of his rights as a citizen.

Anyway, my acquaintance had inquired about these types of infrared sensors being used here at home, and so I asked; what are you trying to do or what application are you considering – for instance self-driving car sensors to prevent pedestrian deaths, robotic sentry facility security, search and rescue, Sci Fi work alien vs. human, lie detector tests for podium pushing politicians, fever or sickness detection in crowds, soldier protection against unmanned enemy robots, sportswear heat ventilation?

In any case the examples above are most of where my thoughts have been with regards to IR heat signatures of humans, but I’ve also considered the need for a study of brain temperatures vs. depression, mania, and crowd control, along with cell phone microwave frequencies and brain overheating or deep stimulation and emotion. Infrared can assist in so many sub-categories, thus, it is very important to understand – for future innovations.

Although my acquaintance was not at liberty to explain his new use of this technology or what new invention he’d come up with, you can bet that this will be in the media and science news for decades to come, along with anti-infrared systems for camouflage for military personnel in the battlespace. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Education Technology

Laptop and PDA’s

Individuals in the business world have been utilizing the power of the laptop and handheld for years now. The educational community has just started to utilize these tools in their schools. Many teachers have begun to use laptops and handhelds to create lesson and assess student achievement. Students with exceptionalities are also utilizing laptops and handhelds to assist them in their studies.

The future could have every student and staff carrying a laptop or handheld throughout the day. This phenomenon is already occurring in most post secondary institutions and as the cost of these technologies go down the more likely it is that every student will soon be booting up at the beginning of each instructional day.

Online textbooks

The financial burden the cost of textbooks put on the education system is staggering. New textbooks are purchase every couple of year only to be replaced a few year later with the new cutting edge book that is not much different from the previous. Many companies are beginning to create CD-ROM and online versions of their books.

In the future we will probably find school boards paying a yearly subscription to the textbooks of their choice, which will allow their student to have unlimited access to the books via the internet or downloaded directly to their on their laptops at a fraction of the cost of providing a physical text for every student. Publisher need not fear this will not be the end of the book as we know it since we all still enjoy curling up with a good novel and love flipping through our favourite picture book.

Using the Experts

It is already possible to watch a live feed of Elephant Seals from California and have students ask questions to an onsite marine biologist. However, this could occur more effortlessly and regularly in the future.

Teachers could have access to thousands of experts around the globe and be able to utilize their expertise and knowledge when teaching specific topics. Students would be able to ask questions via video conferencing and perhaps even witness live experiments and studies happening around the world.

Virtual Reality Experiments, Activities and Field Trips

Virtual worlds such as Second Life are beginning to make it possible to create your own digital self (avatar) to travel and experience the world of cyberspace. Currently people are creating stores, team, games, homes and companies in these virtual worlds. Even corporations and educational institutions are experimenting within cyberspace.

In the future a teacher could take their class on a tour of the Amazon rain forest or the Great Barrier Reef within cyberspace and allow each individual student to explore using their own avatar. This may seem a little far out, but believe it or not it is already happening.

Instant assessment and feedback

With the use of laptops and handhelds teachers are already beginning to be able to record their instant assessments of students instantly. Not only are the teachers able to document student’s achievements quickly but with the help of virtual educational communities they will be able to give instant feedback to the student, parents, other teachers and administration.

Worldwide collaboration

World wide collaboration has already begun as students communicate with others around the world via email, video conferencing and instant messaging. Many collaborative projects are also occurring in the shape of online collaborative websites know as wikis. These sites allow anyone that has permission to add and edit the sites information. The most popular wiki, Wikipedia, is use by many internet surfers today.

The future possibilities of worldwide collaboration are mind boggling. Students studying Africa could be teleconferencing with a classroom of children in Botswana. A student writing an essay on the holocaust could have an instant message conversation with a holocaust survivor. An Art lesson on Picasso could begin with a question and answer period with his granddaughter. This is not very far fetched as many universities have been using these types of technologies to enhance their lectures and programs.

Streamlined Administration

Departments of education and school board are beginning to realize the power of streamlining educational data. Marks, reading levels, medical history, achievements, learning disabilities, attendance and many other important data about students is beginning to be compiled into streamlined databases that will help educators understand their students better and customize their lessons to improve achievement.

The Future is Now

Even though many of these technologies are available today, and are beginning to be used is some classrooms around the world, it gives us an idea of where we are heading. What educators and administrator need to remember is that we need to make sure that we keep the art and the human aspect in education and not let technology and ourselves turn it into an exact science that suffocates creativity and unique teaching styles. The possibilities endless we only need the creativity and willingness to embrace these new tools.

Lucas Kent is an experienced educator and author of 6 Steps to Success in Teaching with Technology which in now available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and many other online bookstores.

What The Future For Car Technology

In the last century, we have seen car audio technology gain momentum. Starting out as a basic radio, in-car technology has come far. Now, we have complicated car audio systems, car DVD players, Bluetooth, sat-nav and GPS. All of which have been created to make car journey’s much easier and far more fun.

So where do we go from here? Already, this year we have seen touch screens and function enriched sat-nav systems hit the car audio market – yet what does the future hold for in-car technology?

In early 2010, German scientists developed a new car technology known as ‘EyeDriver’. It pretty much does as it says, it allows you to drive your car with your eyes alone. This new technology works by the driver wearing the special helmet, which holds two cameras and an infrared LED. Camera one points in the directions the driver’s eyes are looking (the scene camera), whilst the other focuses on the driver’s eye (the eye camera). This new and complex system automatically recognises the direction the driver is looking at, which is then relayed to a computer and then over a LAN network to the car, in turn steering the car accordingly.

Of course, being a very new technology, ‘EyeDriver’ has a few problems, which are yet to be overcome. If a driver gets distracted, the technology is bound to follow where he or she focuses upon, making it somewhat of a danger on the road. ‘Free ride’, as this mode is known as, allows a driver to have complete control over the car’s steering via the eyes, meaning their mistakes are outputted too. The scientists; however, claim that this can easily be overcome by creating an almost completely automated car using what they called ‘Routing’ mode, which only needs the driver to steer using this technology at a junction.

The future looks bright for in-car technology as it rapidly expands to cover all possible needs of a driver. Yet, before this technology can be released, it is yet to be confirmed as completely safe.