One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is the growing tension between tech companies and the Internet service providers: this is playing out publicly with Netflix, which recently agreed to pay a “toll” to Comcast. My question is this: as cars become more connected, will we see an alliance between these large tech companies and car makers coalesce to offset the control that telecommunication companies have over the price we pay and the speed at which we access the Web? Continue reading
As someone who truly hates his morning commute, I am anxiously awaiting autonomous vehicles. In fact, this is the one technology that I am surprised is not being more aggressively rolled out to the commercial market (though I get that the technology is out ahead of a lot of the policy thinking about the technology). I came across an interesting piece by Emilio Frazzoli over on MIT Technology Review today that really speaks to my interest in the technology. Coming hot on the heels of South by Southwest Interactive, though, the article brings me back to an excellent talk I saw from Autodesk’s Carl Bass on “The Robot Revolution.” Continue reading
What makes for a desirable home? If you watch HGTV, curb appeal, closet space, and modern finishes all seem to matter. Jacob Kastrenakes, writing over at The Verge, highlights an issue that I never really gave thought to in terms of buying or selling a home: the infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles.
I was watching a video (below) of Carnegie Mellon University’s Autonomous Cadillac SRX taking a 33-mile drive from Cranberry to Pittsburgh. More than any video of Google’s driverless car, this one had me wondering, “Why would we maintain the current configuration of a car’s interior with forward-facing seats? Is the technological innovation of driverless cars outpacing the design innovation that could make them more productive or functional spaces?”
One of the more exciting bits of news this month was reading that Aeroscraft was about to start the FAA certification process with its zeppelin. Why is this exciting? Let’s start with the fact that air travel as it currently exists is not exactly the most glamorous of experiences (barring the fact that you score a first-class seat or demi-cabin on one of the top carriers). While the near-term future of the modern zeppelin is going to be utilitarian, the future (given some of the concepts out there) is much more interesting and, in some cases, more than a little weird…
I am not a camper. At all. It traces back to my first and only weekend camping trip, the most memorable feature of which was a plague of ever-present gypsy moth caterpillars. Over the past couple years, however, I have seen a couple renovated school buses that have me seriously reconsidering my attitude toward venturing into the woods. The most appealing facts about these conversions: a used Bluebird or International school bus seems to cost less than $5,000 on eBay Motors and the cost of conversion does not seem to be prohibitive.
Consumer robotics is a fascinating, and largely accessible, aspect of a smart(er) home. The nice thing about consumer robotic devices is that they take chores that few of us look forward to or cherish and pass them onto machines that (until Skynet becomes self-aware) simply don’t care about losing an hour or two on what we could consider to be a precious weekend afternoon. As it becomes easier to build robotic prototypes, we might see them pop up in more aspects of our life. Continue reading
I love the idea of electric vehicles. I visit the local Tesla store on a regular basis just to marvel at the technology (yes, I know that the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf, and the Smart Electric Drive also are out there but I am less familiar with them and few have captured the stylings of the Model S). I am every bit as fascinated by the folks who are doing their own EV conversions (Ben Graves’ awesome Volkswagen Bus, for example). While EVs are making their way into the mainstream, the batteries needed to power EVs and the infrastructure needed to support the batteries has not been making the same progress. This summer, however, gave some indications that the future of EVs get a lot more interesting over the next couple years. Continue reading