Category Archives: Technology

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Google’s Digital Garage launching in Leeds

Google are launching a new initiative to help small business throughout the world and they are starting with Leeds.

In a launch event at the venue in Clarence Dock Google’s Eileen Naughton explained they had chosen Leeds because it was the fasted growing economy in the UK outside of the capital.

Google have committed to train 1 million Europeans in crucial digital skills by 2016 and Ed Balls MP was there on the day to show solidarity for our region.

Google are providing pop up venues staffed with Google technicians who provide one-to-one 40 minute consultations for small business (for free) to discuss anything digital. The aim to get businesses online that are not at present and to help fine tune others digital offering to make the most out of their marketing and increase their return on investment.

The first of these venue’s is at Leeds Dock, formally known as Clarence Dock. Google have set up a large co – working space with chill out areas, one-to-one seating and free wifi and coffee. Upstairs the venue boasts a large conference area which Google will use to deliver free seminars on a range of digital topics.

On top of this the venue is available for use by Leeds and Yorkshire based businesses or schools as a digital learning hub during the working day and on evenings

More details can be found at the digital garage site for both one-on-ones and how to book the venue.

Google Glass Explorer Programme is closed – Is Glass dead?

As a Google Glass Explorer I was fortunate enough to try out the glasses and be involved in the first beta programme for Google Glass.

The announcement caused quite a stir in the Glass community and also on National News in the UK with a headline article from the BBC. With only 10,000 glasses released in the UK, why has this made such a stir and what, if any future does Google Glass have?

The overwhelming reason for the explorer programme to be halted and the product not to be sold to the mass market is that people who wore the device felt like idiots. Yes you could pick from a range of glasses to suit your face, but there was no getting away from the big camera at the front. It seems that despite the technology being pretty cool, the glasses were definitely not.

The second major issue was one of legality. Funnily enough, people didn’t like other people wearing the glasses and reported to feel violated against their privacy.  There has been a mounting response of concern from the public, many of whom have described Glass as ‘Creepy’ as to locations you are allowed to wear the device.  The Telegraph wrote an interesting article on where glass is already banned. The list included Restaurants, strip clubs, cars, banks and at ATMs. It seems all doom and gloom for Glass……or is it?

As Glass may have to go back to the drawing board for mass commercial use and address its style and legal issue (along with technical problems Glass Explorers found) There have been some very interesting breakthroughs with start up businesses. Over in the states one of  Forbes 30 under 30ers Pelu Tran was busy co-founding Augmendix, a Google Glass based business for Doctors and health professionals.

There are many supporters of Glass and I for one am looking forward to new devices and new businesses that form from this technology.

The Glass Explorer programme may be closed but is not dead as people continue to wear the device and move it forward in their own way.

 

 

online retail

Online Retail purchases on Mobile overtake PC’s

Online Retail Purchases on mobiles overtake PC’s.

Its official. According to news reports this week mobile devices surpass pc’s in online retail. A whopping 55% of purchases were made in the UK last month on mobiles compared to 45% on desktops. So what does this mean for the future of shopping online?

Over the last few years website designers have had to start thinking about how their designs look on a mobile as well as a desktop for online retail. It used to be very infuriating when you wanted to access a site and all you can see is a scaled down version of the main site. Many companies used a separate ‘mobile’ site for their important information to get around this issue. Now many site are created with RWD (responsive web design). RWD allows the same site  to change the way it looks and behaves dependant on the size and type of device on which the site is being shown.

Which ever way the site is displayed these statistics clearly state the importance of researching customers user journey on a mobile and implementing the easiest way to navigate in order to make the most of mobile users and increase customers online.

Glass Explorer Programme Now Open in the UK

So, it’s finally arrived in the UK, but still very much in its infancy. For a mere £1,000 you too can become a Google Glass Explorer. This is great for digital marketing in Leeds.

It boasts over 40 apps and now comes in a variety of colours – still looking like something out of Star Trek I’m pretty sure I would get some odd looks walking around in Leeds.

I was asked by my Dad today “are these actually going to be mainstream or are they just for the tech lover”. He also commented that they would have to come dramatically down in price to be affordable by the masses.

I think the answer lies in not only what they can do above and beyond any other computer technically but also the freedom that they provide the user.

Voice activated technology is not a new thing –  I phones have had this function for years, but the interesting part is the fact that now both hands are free. Imagine everything you do that require both of your hands. Now try and imagine how a computer could help with what you are doing, but you can’t use one because your hands are both busy. For example, following a recipe whilst cooking a meal; playing the guitar and never having to stop to turn the page on the sheet music; following directions on the street whilst carrying shopping.

There are some great innovative ideas that have already come to Glass and I can’t wait to see what the UK come up with now more people can get their hands on a pair

Google Glass Apps that will change your life!

Just to get you excited – here are a few of the Google Glass Apps that will help you through your day to day. In 5 years we won’t know what we did without them!

Preview for Glass

Ever looked at a movie poster and thought “that looks good I must watch the trailer”. Well now you can, just by looking at the poster you can instantly watch the movie trailer with this App

Home work for Glass

This App allows students to keep up with their assignments without carrying round loads of books and a syllabus. Just ask Glass “what’s due?”

Name This Song

How annoying is it when you hear a song and can’t remember the name – now all you have to do is say “Glass, name this song”

Drive Safe 4 Glass

Not that this should every replace knowing your own instincts and when tired, not driving, but this app could save your life. The glasswear can detect when you are falling asleep – wake you up and direct you to the nearest place to rest so that you can sleep.

Check a Battery

Need to check a battery? Well now you can do just that with the ‘Check a Battery’ for Glass App.

Uni Speech for Glass

This App allows a nearly real-time speech translation between languages. So you can have a conversation with someone without ever speaking the same language.

Watch Me Talk

This is an amazing App for the hearing impaired. It allows live capturing of people talking to help with day to day conversations.

Follow My Glass

Don’t worry if you have become too dependent on Glass and you go and lose your pair…..Follow My Glass does just that. You can know the exact location your Glass was and when it was there.

Wearable technology: 2014 will be the year

I recently attended a Guardian Masterclass  in Google Glass as an introduction into this wearable technology. Despite being in ‘beta testing’ stage and despite there being relatively few of these in the UK at the time, this technology is really just around the corner.

At the time I went to the class, there were 10,000 glasses given by google to ‘Google Explorers’. These are companies and individuals who applied to Google (and paid $1,500) to be involved in the first testing batch. All Glass is fitted with a GPRS and each Glass was monitored by Google to ensure they were doing what the Explorer applied for them to do. Taking them overseas for example, without the consent of Google, would most likely end up with your Glass being disabled. First thought about that – Big Brother is watching!! When these go mainstream does that mean Google can follow you around knowing your every move. I suppose how different is that Apple today?

I’m going to be writing more about Glass as I follow it and it’s uses, Apps, inventions and uptake and like any new invention, it’s pro’s and con’s.

Here is a few of the insights from the master class leader and thoughts about where it will go.

Main media need to react quickly or likes of newspapers and news production will be in danger. We are used to watching the news through one reporter’s camera and take this as factual information. If thousands of ordinary people on the streets have cameras, surely when a disaster happens we get to see thousands of people’s point of views – in video format?

The healthcare industry will be highly affected not just to assist Doctors in operating theatres or for diagnosis, but for self-diagnosis and the possibility of monitoring blood pressure, heart rate etc at home.

There has been discussion on how Glass can help with driving, however there has already been one incident where a Glass wearer was taken to court for wearing Glass and being distracted. The case was dropped when Google said they ‘could not’ provide specific information regarding the moments before the event on Glass (yeah right).

One of the more amazing things we were shown (and you must see this if your into gaming or running) is a new app for google glass called ‘Race Yourself’ http://mashable.com/2014/01/08/race-yourself-app/. This App turns you into a gaming character, records your route and time and allows you to effectively ‘race yourself’ on your own personal best.

I will keep adding information to this blog about new apps and technologies – if you have any opinions or new information you would like to share, please comment for send me a message.