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Technology in Recent Years (Read 5976 times)
TechMaster
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Technology in Recent Years
Mar 13th, 2014 at 10:36am
 
So, what's everyone's opinions on technologies in the recent years? Everyone is free to bring up discussion topics of their choice.  Cheesy

1. LEDs
What most people will be buying are probably replacement bulbs for home. I use one to light up my room (the place I'm at the most when I'm home). Earlier bulbs, from what I've measured, have crap PF. Not sure if they list that on US bulb packages. The one I'm using is lasting pretty well (about 1.5 years so far), but I heard from my sister they had a disaster in Canada. I wonder how are they lasting in the States, if anyone use them that is?

2. Smart Watches
I personally don't find any fond with them. My phone is usually in my pocket or on my desk when I'm work. I don't need an extra hundred dollar watch to tell me I've got mail.

3. Intel's Edison Computer
The SD card size computer looks neat, but I doubt it'll ever be able to compete in terms of price with MCUs. That $199 USD baby bottle warmer set is...well, not just a little bit on the pricey side. I do know that if every appliance packs one of these, then wifi overload at home instead of at a techie conference will be coming to a neighborhood near you. Sorry, I'll admit I'm biased in terms of wireless technologies, but bringing out a 120mm tank gun for the task of a pea shooter is, well, a waste. I do see potential for it, however, in things like robotics development.
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Nightcrawler
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Re: Technology in Recent Years
Reply #1 - Mar 19th, 2014 at 8:12pm
 
I think eventually will all have LED bulbs, but not for quite some time. They are not really cost effective yet compared to other bulbs on the market. It's unfortunate CFLs had time to gain so much traction. Hard to dispose of properly, crappy at dimming, crappy at handling cold temperatures, and generally poor replacement to incandescents. About the ONLY thing they actually do better is draw less power. So, I for one am looking forward to LEDs maturing and taking over. It's coming, but they are not there yet.

I agree on smart watches. I really don't see a market for them. I'm not sure exactly who they are trying to target. The only people I know that have any have something like a Fit Bit which isn't really a smart watch and serves a different purpose.

I'm excited for emerging micro computers like Intel's Edison. I know they are not cost effective yet, but they will get there eventually. You have to start somewhere. Being able to add a baseline intelligence and wireless networking to nearly any product opens up worlds of possibilities. I don't think you can compare these to MCUs. They're not directly comparable in my opinion. One is a full system and the other is just a processor. Some MCUs have some integrated hardware that is somewhat comparable, but at the end of the day, they aren't fully functional systems.

Don't be short sighted. Having the ability to add baseline intelligence to nearly ANY product in ANY industry could be a game changer. Yes, it's superficial and probably downright stupid in some products and industries, but the flexibility is there to add it to ANYTHING. It makes a lot more sense in other products and industries.
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TechMaster
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Re: Technology in Recent Years
Reply #2 - Mar 22nd, 2014 at 9:47am
 
Nightcrawler wrote on Mar 19th, 2014 at 8:12pm:
Don't be short sighted. Having the ability to add baseline intelligence to nearly ANY product in ANY industry could be a game changer. Yes, it's superficial and probably downright stupid in some products and industries, but the flexibility is there to add it to ANYTHING. It makes a lot more sense in other products and industries.


You're right. I guess that's why Intel is hosting that contest to see people's creativeness. I guess the question now is 'what' people want/need to have intelligence and what doesn't. Other things like security and battery life (if it is not going get power from AC) will also come into issue, especially on some sensitive equipment. I guess a lot of these are just guesses now because Intel hasn't disclosed any useful information yet.

I've looked at energy harvesting for the past year or so. I haven't seen anything really cheap enough to actually implement indoors and have a broad implementation to everyone. Solar cell is great outdoors, but with the implementation of LEDs, there's a possibility that indoor solar cells will die out (unless someone develops a new cell that can effectively gather energy from LEDs) of use if everything becomes LED. Piezoelectric and other vibration type harvester requires a vibrating environment, and tends to be quite expensive for an everyday sensor (at least $50+ USD). Cheap enough if that's a factory sensor, but not quite for mass commercialization unless it gets cheaper. One interesting but not yet ready implementation is to generate power off of (any? all?) wireless signals. This can become interesting because we are surrounded by tons of those nowadays.
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Re: Technology in Recent Years
Reply #3 - Mar 23rd, 2014 at 3:02pm
 
Well, the smart earbuds that Intel designed with it for CES was powered by nothing more than a microphone. I imagine batteries are a perfectly viable option as well.

It would indeed be nice to start harnessing all of those unwated radio waves passing through us day and night and turn them into something useful such as power.
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Re: Technology in Recent Years
Reply #4 - Mar 28th, 2014 at 10:13pm
 
I guess the sleep/wake ratio is what will eventually matter the most, besides the main device power consumption. No battery is going to last if its wifi is on all day (we all know that too well). If it runs on a continuous power source, however, then it is fine. I guess in the end it depends on the design and use that determines the type of power source.

From the looks of its antenna, the case holder of these products will have to be plastic or anything that doesn't affect the wireless transmission. The antenna looks on board with no visible sign for external connection, yet. I wonder if they will release a future version with that option available? (or just doesn't matter, plastic case all the way)
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