Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘biometrics

Sweet Caroline’s New High Tech Glasses

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I wasn’t in Boston over the weekend, so I wasn’t there to see Neil Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline” live and in person at Fenway Park.

But I was introduced to the tradition during my own first visit to Fenway a year ago this May, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to kick away the dust of fear and horror last week than something as American as having Neil Diamond show up at the ball park to sing “Sweet Caroline”!

If you’ve never experienced it firsthand, basically here’s how it goes: In the middle of the eighth inning, since 2002, “Sweet Caroline” is played over the loudspeakers at Fenway, and the great citizens of Bostons (and Red Sox fans everywhere) do a little audience participation. It’s not quite a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” level of audience participation, but then again, this is baseball and we’re between innings people!

Go find some of the video recaps to see for yourself, but if you did see Diamond out there on the diamond doing it live this weekend, amd if that didn’t send a couple of tears to your eyes, you’d better check to make sure the drones from Tom Cruise’s new movie “Oblivion” (and which I saw this weekeend…two thumbs up!) haven’t taken over.

Of course, I guess if you didn’t want anyone to see you cry you could invest in some of these new techno glasses, Google’s or otherwise.

According to The New York Times, Oakley’s also getting into the act, working to introduce goggles that can display incoming text messages, have embedded GPS, Bluetooth, and video cameras.

Skiers, please, keep your eyes on the slopes at all times!

That goes for you cyclists looking to check your heartbeat in your newfangled high tech cycling glasses every five seconds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having performance biometrics, even in real-time, but I think we have to think very carefully about how that information is presented back to athletes, especially those mid-mountain or mid-peloton.

If you’ve ever nearly been run over by someone who was texting while driving, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I texted while driving for a time. But about the fourth time I nearly rear-ended someone, it dawned on me that texting while driving was a bad idea. Very bad. And this was well before any of those anti-texting public ad campaigns had emerged.

These days, I find myself constantly scanning my rear-view mirror in fear of some other idiot not having come around to a similar conclusion, which is its own kind of dangerous distraction.

So what’s going to happen on the ski mountains across the globe when folks are too busy checking their optimum heart rate to see those trees racing up towards their performance glasses?

There will be an inordinate demand for well trained ski patrol professionals, that’s what!

Written by turbotodd

April 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

Smarter Soccer

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The Euro 2012 National soccer championship may now be history, with Spain putting another significant win under its belt, but that doesn’t mean the sport of soccer doesn’t continue to make some significant advances.

In fact, the U.S. Major League Soccer organization, along with sports manufacturer Adidas, have announced what could prove to be a game-changing breakthrough in how sports organizations around the world use big, real-time data to help optimize player and team performance.

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The above screen shot taken from adidas’ Webcast earlier today announcing details of its ‘”miCoach” data tracking and analysis system for soccer demonstrates the type of data coaches using the system will be able to generate in near real-time. This particular graph demonstrates the total distance run by each of the players on a team. This type of information will help inform the coaching staff on everything from player position to conditioning.

Next Wednesday, the Major League Soccer All-Star team will take on the English Premier League’s Chelsea in what will be the world’s first “smart” soccer match.

In that game, Adidas has partnered with the MLS to have its new “miCoach” data tracker embedded in player uniforms, part of an overall integrated wireless system that, using iPads, will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.

This new technology builds on the existing MiCoach Speed Cell, a small device that snaps into the bottom of the Adizero F50 soccer shoe. That device tracks pace and distance, average and maximum speed, distance covered at high intensity and acceleration.

But the miCoach technology will go a step further, so to speak, and provide coaches with a variety of real-time data: player position, power output, speed, distance, intensity of play, acceleration, heart rate…you get the picture.

And so will the coaches of both teams.

Through their ability to monitor player’s movements, heart rate, and the other key data, and be able to relay that to coaches in milliseconds, this new technology will help all involved to develop a better understanding of the physical and physiological impact on both teams and individuals in both games and practice.

Further analysis of the cumulative data will help coaches in preventing overtraining and risk of injury, and hence maintain optimum player performance throughout the season, not to mention to help shape and adjust their coaching strategies.

As both this game, and future trial runs, bear out, one can only imagine the potential of such types of new “datatainment,” enabling fan access to such data via wireless tablet devices, smartphones, interactive TV, and the like.

But with 3.5 billion and counting soccer fans around the globe, Adidas and MLS had better invest in lots of servers.

Adidas and Major League Soccer announced plans today have the MLS integrating the adidas micoach Elite System league-wide in 2013, marking the world’s first “smart league.”

Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the data-tracking technology from adidas, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.

The adidas micoach Elite System has been in development since 2010, and is the product of extensive research, science and cutting-edge technology development by adidas to create the most advanced system for elite teams across the globe.

The micoach Elite System was developed in close consultation and collaboration with many of the leading soccer coaches and clubs including Major League Soccer teams New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC, as well as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

In the U.S. you can watch the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea on ESPN2 at 8:30 EST, Wednesday, July 25th.

Written by turbotodd

July 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

IBM’s 2011 “Five in Five”: Innovations That Could Change The World (And A Little Monty Python Thrown In For Good Measure)

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The IBM "5 in 5" is based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s research labs around the world that can make these transformations possible.

Before I get to the business news of the day, let me send a hearty congratulations to U.K. golfer Ian Poulter, who won the Australian Masters yesterday and outgunned Aussie’s own Geoff Ogilvy, who was attempting to take the tourney on his boyhood course.

Poulter was two strokes behind Ogilvy heading into the final round and closed with a 4-under 67 on a very windy Victoria Golf Club.

Nice win, Poulter.  Poulter should have plenty of Aussie dollars to head out for a little X-mas shopping, and perhaps he’d like to invite English striker Darren Bent to join him for a little shopping.

Bent was busted on the sidelines of Sunday’s game against Liverpool for doing a little online shopping (his team was losing), even though he was out for the day due to injury.  Otherwise, Bent is Villa’s leading scorer, to which I say, “A goal a day helps keep the Xmas cash register away!

But enough of sport.  It’s time to get serious.  And IBM’s latest “IBM 5 in 5,” a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years, has arrived just in time for the holidays.

We’ll take them one at a time.

Watch the 5-minute video above for a quick fly-by of IBM’s 2011 “5 in 5” innovations.

1. People power will come to life.  

No, we don’t mean protests in the streets of Egypt or Libya, although that is certainly a worthwhile sort of people power.  We’re talking about real people power, anything that moves or produces heat and which has the potential to create energy that can be captured.

Walking. Jogging. Bicycling. The heat from your computer. Even the water flowing through your pipes.

Advances in renewable energy technology will allow individuals to collect this kinetic energy, which now goes to waste, and use it to help power our homes, offices and cities.

Imagine attaching small devices to the spokes on your bicycle wheels that recharge batteries as you pedal along.

You will have the satisfaction of not only getting to where you want to go, but at the same time powering some of the lights in your home.

Created energy comes in all shapes and forms and from anything around us. IBM scientists inIreland are looking at ways to understand and minimize the environmental impact of converting ocean wave energy into electricity.

2. You will never need a password again.

I’m paying special and close attention to this one.  I have so many IDs and passwords I don’t know when I’m coming or going, and my new favorite pastime is emailing web sites to request they send me an email reminder or password reset.

In this “5,” your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it.

So to speak.  No, you will no longer need to create, track or remember multiple passwords for various log-ins.

Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye.

Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet.

Each person has a unique biological identity and behind all that is data. Biometric data — facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files — will be composited through software to build your DNA unique online password.

Referred to as multi-factor biometrics, smarter systems will be able to use this information in real-time to make sure whenever someone is attempting to access your information, it matches your unique biometric profile and the attempt is authorized.

To be trusted, such systems should enable you to opt in or out of whatever information you choose to provide.

3. Mind reading is longer science fiction.

Hey, get out of my head!  I see what you’re trying to do!  It won’t work…well, maybe…it…won’t.

But maybe it will!

From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men, mind reading has merely been “wishful thinking” for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true.

IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone. If you just need to think about calling someone, it happens.

Or you can control the cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about where you want to move it.

Scientists in the field of bioinformatics have designed headsets with advanced sensors to read electrical brain activity that can recognize facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and thoughts of a person without them physically taking any actions.

Within 5 years, we will begin to see early applications of this technology in the gaming and entertainment industry.

Furthermore, doctors could use the technology to test brain patterns, possibly even assist in rehabilitation from strokes and to help in understanding brain disorders, such as autism. .

4. The digital divide will cease to exist.

You’ve heard of the digital divide?  Well, get ready to see that divide get split in half…or even divided into infinity.

In our global society, growth and wealth of economies are increasingly decided by the level of access to information.

And in five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will narrow considerably due to advances in mobile technology.

There are 7 billion people inhabiting the world today. In five years there will be 5.6 billion mobile devices sold – which means 80% of the current global population would each have a mobile device.

As it becomes cheaper to own a mobile phone, people without a lot of spending power will be able to do much more than they can today.

For example, in India, using speech technology and mobile devices, IBM enabled rural villagers who were illiterate to pass along information through recorded messages on their phones.

With access to information that was not there before, villagers could check weather reports for help them decide when to fertilize crops, know when doctors were coming into town, and find the best prices for their crops or merchandise.

Growing communities will be able to use mobile technology to provide access to essential information and better serve people with new solutions and business models such as mobile commerce and remote healthcare.

5. Junk mail will become priority mail.

Do you remember the original spam, the one that led to the Internet terminology?  It was a reference to a 1970s Monty Python sketch set in a case where nearly every item on the menu included Spam canned luncheon meet.

As the waiter recited the Spam-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons downs out all conversations iwth a song repeating “Spam…Spam….Spam…”  You get the picture?

Now, think about how often we’re flooded with advertisements we consider to be irrelevant or unwanted. It may not be that way for long.

In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead. At the same time, spam filters will be so precise you’ll never be bothered by unwanted sales pitches again.

Imagine if tickets to your favorite band are put on hold for you the moment they became available, and for the one night of the week that is free on your calendar.

Through alerts direct to you, you’ll be able to purchase tickets instantly from your mobile device. Or imagine being notified that a snow storm is about to affect your travel plans and you might want to re-route your flight?

IBM is developing technology that uses real-time analytics to make sense and integrate data from across all the facets of your life such as your social networks and online preferences to present and recommend information that is only useful to you.

From news, to sports, to politics, you’ll trust the technology will know what you want, so you can decide what to do with it.

Written by turbotodd

December 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

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