Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the war for the smart home. When it comes to the ongoing battle for consumer IoT dominance, there are many big players involved like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon; connectivity providers including AT&T and Verizon; and innumerable device manufacturers such as Withings, D-Link, and a host of others.

On the consumer side Amazon has some unexpected market leadership with its Echo product and rivals are beginning to take notice. For instance, Google recently open sourced its networking protocol for IoT devices, OpenThread — which is used by Nest — in the hopes that other companies will get on board.

Companies are approaching the smart home from multiple vantage points — HVAC, lighting, television (entertainment) — but Amazon seems to have the upper hand so far with Echo and its voice UI, Alexa, as the interface for the IoT goes beyond the screen.

Resources

Google’s Nest Open Sources OpenThread to Snag More IoT partners, Take on Amazon

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Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss designing embeddables in light of the news last week that the U.S. Patent Office approved Google’s patent for electronic lens technology, which is implantable directly in the eye. Of course, the company has already developed cutting edge tech related to the eye, including smart contact lenses for detecting diabetes and Google Glass. However, unlike either of these previous efforts, once equipped with these embedded cyborg lenses, in theory you would never need glasses or contacts again. These mechanical eyes could also give you superhuman abilities — to see at great distance or view microscopic material, and document it all by capturing photos or video.

However, privacy and security would, no doubt become major issues as the transmissions from your electronic eyes could be hacked or even used by law enforcement for tracking. Social acceptability will be another issue as well. As we saw with Google Glass, the always on nature of the digital recording and transmission can be a problem, breaking current social norms related to privacy.

Resources

Google wants to inject cyborg lenses into your eyeballs

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The Digital Life #154: DNA as data storage

by Dirk May 5, 2016

Episode Summary On this episode of The Digital Life podcast we discuss how bio-inspired technology is beginning to intersect with information technology in big ways. With the exponential increase of digital data, we face an ongoing problem of information storage. Today most digital information is stored on media that will expire relatively quickly, lasting a […]

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The Game Design Round Table #145: Seafall, Powering Up, and Listener Mail

by Dirk May 4, 2016

Description It’s a celebratory show as Dirk, David, and Rob talk about the latest releases from the crew. Rob’s Legacy game Seafall is finally ready for preorder after many years of hard work and Dirk is also pleased to share that his expansion for Tesla vs. Edison – Powering Up – is up on Kickstarter […]

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The Digital Life #153: Smart Cities and Sidewalk Labs

by Dirk April 28, 2016

Episode Summary On this episode of The Digital Life we discuss Google’s Sidewalk Labs and its radical plans to design a smart city from scratch. Sidewalk Labs wants to work with cities to build applications that solve big urban problems and accelerate innovation around the world. However, in their pursuit of these solutions, the company […]

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The Digital Life #152: Putting the E in Sports

by Dirk April 21, 2016

Episode Summary On The Digital Life podcast this week, we chat about the ever changing world of eSports and how it’s evolving. Esports are becoming increasingly important and varied. For instance, at the collegiate level, the Big 10 Network is broadcasting the League of Legends invitational event at PAX East, the major gaming conference. And […]

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The Game Design Round Table #144: Chris Zinsli and Cardboard Edison

by Dirk April 19, 2016

Description Dirk and David are joined by designer and board game community member Chris Zinsli. Chris and his wife Suzanne are the founders of Boardgame Edison, a resource for designers of board games. Their blog and other media have helped countless designers get their ideas into production. They also co-design and publish a slew of […]

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The Digital Life #151: AI Goes to Art School

by Dirk April 14, 2016

Episode Summary Can an AI create art? This week on The Digital Life we chat about the brand new “Rembrandt”, which was 3D-printed by an artificial intelligence algorithm, trained by analyzing the artist’s catalog of 346 paintings. The Next Rembrandt project, recently unveiled in Amsterdam, is, of course, not exactly the work of the Dutch […]

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The Digital Life #150: Engineering Synthetic Biology

by Dirk April 7, 2016

Episode Summary On The Digital Life this week, we chat about the intersection of computer science / engineering and synthetic biology and Cello, a programming language for living cells. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boston University (BU) synthetic biologists have created software that automates the design of DNA circuits for living cells. […]

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The Digital Life #149: Artificial Intelligence

by Dirk March 31, 2016

Episode Summary On The Digital Life this week, we chat about the evolution of artificial intelligence in light of recent public failure and success by tech giants in the AI space. First, Microsoft had to terminate Tay, its teenage chatbot, after the bot started tweeting neo-Nazi propaganda and other abusive language at people. Meanwhile, Google’s […]

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