Tag Archives: Play

From Work to Play, the Most Innovative Holiday Gifts of 2018
November 27, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

Need a Cyber Monday jolt? Time published its best Inventions of 2018 last week.  While this is not a gift list per say, you can draw inspiration from this collection of innovations, which I have organized into three categories for the office, relaxation and night riders (for all of you cyclists out there). Let’s start with the richest price tag and work our way down. 

Work

Open-office plans are all the rage today, but several studies have shown that they lead to distractions and sick days for workers. Help your employees find privacy with this soundproof phone booth by ROOM ($ 3,495).  Zenbooth offers a slightly larger model with an even steeper price tag.

Want supplies in a flash? Zipline made history by launching the first commercial drone service in Rwanda, expediting the delivery of blood and medical supplies to remote areas. This year, the California startup unveiled a new version of its craft that carries up to 3.85 lb. at 80 m.p.h. for up to 100 miles per round-trip.  They also streamlined their launch and recovery process, enabling Zips to make 500 deliveries per day.  While Zipline will continue serving rural communities in Africa, the startup has broad ambitions.  Zipline started testing emergency medical-supply delivery in the U.S. and will begin regular service in North Carolina in early 2019.

When it comes to safety, StrongArm Tech’s Fuse Risk Management Platform, helps employers protect vulnerable workers–and, by extension, their own bottom lines. On-the-job injuries and accidents cost U.S. companies some $ 59.9 billion per year. Since debuting in April, Fuse has been used by more than 10,000 workers, including those from 10 Fortune 100 companies.

Sleep

With a cold Thanksgiving in the northeast, weighted blankets were a hot topic around our dinner table. Gravity has sold $ 18 million worth of it’s weighted blankets ($ 249 each), which are available in 15, 20 or 25 pound varieties. Many swear by the therapeutic benefits, and they are certainly a fad on Instagram. 

Bose Sleepbuds ($ 250), are designed specifically to enhance your slumber. They are small enough to fit inside the ear without bothering your face or your pillow, and light enough to feel weightless. Their silicone tips are said to stay in place, even if you toss and turn.  Users choose from a preset menu of 10 soothing sounds, such as ocean waves, warm static or rustling leaves.

When you are ready to wake up, Philips’ Somneo ($ 199) is designed to simulate a natural sunrise every morning–along with soothing audio that gently rises in volume–to provide a less jarring wakeup experience.  If you can get this to work with the sleepbuds that would be brilliant. When it’s time for bed, the Somneo can simulate a sunset, as well, dimming the lights until you are fast asleep.

Play

Nocturnal athletes can now glow in the dark with this Solar Charged Jacket ($ 350) from Vollebak. The jacket’s phosphorescent membrane absorbs light during the day and releases “kryptonite green energy” after sunset. Part of the jacket’s appeal, of course, is novelty: because it can absorb light from almost any source, but more importantly from a safety standpoint, it allows runners and bikers to be visible after dark. If you get stranded, rescuers can spot you.

Cyclists will also love the story of Eu-wen Ding, a business-school student living in Boston who was looking for a better way to ride. “All I wanted to do was get from point A to B without dying,” said Ding. Eventually, that goal led to the creation of Lumos Kickstart Helmet ($ 180), whose LED lights not only increase a cyclist’s visibility but also blink to indicate a left or right turn. Riders can trigger the signal by clicking a wireless remote mounted to their handlebars or by syncing the helmet with their Apple Watch and making a hand signal. The Lumos launched in 2017 after a Kickstarter raise, and became the first light-up helmet sold in the Apple Store. 

Beyond these examples, the full list of inventions encompasses breakthrough products for fashionistas, new parents and even environmentalists.  Enjoy.

Tech

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Now You Can Play ‘Angry Birds’ for Real Money
February 21, 2018 6:10 pm|Comments (0)

The hottest game of 2009 is hoping to be just as big in 2018 by adding a cash component for players.

Angry Birds Champions will let players toss birds at pigs and structures, as all the other games in the series have done, but this time, they’ll do so in a tournament mode, by wagering and winning real money.

Developer and publisher Rovio is working with WorldWinner.com on the game (which is played via the WorldWinner app, not a standalone one).

Players can compete in either a best-of-three or progression-style game, with their highest or combined score being recorded. The game then finds a similarly skilled person to play the same levels. Whoever has the highest score takes the cash.

Games typically cost under $ 1 to play and winners usually walk away with a $ 3 to $ 4 in their pocket for a victory. Players who just wish to compete against others for fun can also play without paying.

Because WorldWinner walks a thin line between amusement and gambling, it doesn’t offer cash tournaments in 10 states—Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

Rovio launched the original Angry Birds game in 2009, and has since released at least 25 variations of the game, including Star Wars, Transformers, and Rio-themed versions. In 2016, it co-produced The Angry Birds Movie for $ 100 million, bringing in nearly $ 350 million in ticket sales. A 2017 IPO, though, was disappointing for investors.

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This flying golf cart lets you play nine holes like god intended
July 22, 2016 12:25 am|Comments (0)


If you’ve ever rushed to get nine holes in before dark, this golf cart could prove to be a lifesaver. ‘Bubba’s Jetpack,’ as it’s affectionately known, is a golf cart jetpack designed for PGA Masters champion Bubba Watson. The jetpack, a marketing tool from viral video agency Thinkmodo and Oakley is capable of flight up to 3,000 feet while traveling 45 miles per hour. It also gets a cool 19 miles on a single tank of gas, great for those long courses. Watson, it seems, gets all of the cool toys as aside from this jetpack golf cart he was once piloting another…

This story continues at The Next Web


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Taking on the tasks of data integration and interpretation, IoT gateways play a growingly important …
May 31, 2016 4:15 am|Comments (0)

According to research firms, the world will see over 50 billion devices connected to cloud computing centers by 2020, among which 10 billion will be …


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Google Play Services 8.1 SDK ships with new app invites, permissions, Player Stats API
November 24, 2015 1:35 pm|Comments (0)

Google Play Games' built-in developer analytics tools grew more robust today.

Google has rolled out a series of updates for Google Play and Android 6.0 Marshmallow today aimed at giving better support for developers. The company announced that Marshmallow now has a new permissions model aimed at improving the way app installs and updates are handled. Additionally, Google Play services 8.1 offers support runtime permissions, a new Play Games Player Stats API, and more.

Within Google’s newest mobile operating system version, a new app permissions model promises to let developers offer more control to the users. Not only can the app declare the permissions it’s going to need, but permissions will be divided into groups based on their functionality, making the organization easier. Marshmallow also includes limits on how permissioning is handled at install time — users won’t be prompted to grant permission to some apps because of the nature of these services, such as alarm clock or Internet apps.

Developers interested in tapping into the updated permission model can view more information here. Google cautions that during the preview period, not all of its core apps will have fully implemented this new model.

Besides Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google Play services has received some updates. The completed rollout of version 8.1 now allows developers to customize the email invitation with a custom image and a call-to-action button. The idea is that by giving more control to developers, more engagement and conversions will happen.

Game developers will be interested in the new Play Games Player Stats API, which will let developers better tailor the user experience to specific segments of players. In an example, Google said that the most valuable players could be rewarded with a special welcome back message when returning to the game.

For those developers using Google Nearby, the company has added a feature that gives apps the ability to receive a callback when an active Nearby publish or subscribe expires. Google Nearby lets apps communicate with nearby devices, and traditionally it would hog up resources. But this update claims to improve accuracy and make it easy to enable apps across devices to talk to one another.

This is the first update to Google Play services since last month, when new APIs were made available that let developers utilize face detection, barcode recognition, and facilitated Nearby Messages.



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