Connected cars provides mobility for disabled and elderly

Disabled and elderly will benefit from connected cars and new vehicle technologies, says Thilo Koslowski, Gartner VP analyst on automotive and vehicle ICT, attending International CES 2014 with a focus on news and trends in the automotive industry.

When I ask Thilo Koslowski in a mail if disabled and elderly will come along better in the future with brand new tech solutions in the cars he says absolutely yes.

“Yes, absolutely. Elderly people and those with disabilities will benefit from new vehicle technologies. As a matter of fact, these technologies will provide mobility to more people than today. Going forward self-aware and ultimately autonomous vehicles will allow anyone to stay mobile. Grandmothers won’t have to wait for their kids annual visit and instead visit their families every quarter. Some people might not like this regained mobility but for the elderly or disabled it will mean that they will continue to be part of a mobile life!”, stresses Koslowski.

9 of 10 big automakers are attending the exhibition floor at CES 2014 and a lot of tech companies with solutions for connected cars are joining them. On Monday 6th Google announced a partnership with carmakers General Motors, Audi, Honda, and Hyundai, as well as with chipmaker Nvidia, to bring the Android operating system to vehicles in 2014.

The market is definitely heading towards connected cars and Gartner predict that by 2018, 20% of all new vehicles will be self-aware by capturing their systems status, positioning and surroundings’ state in real-time. By 2018, also two automakers will announce plans to become technology companies and expand their connected-vehicle value experiences to other industries and devices.

This change in automotive industry will have an impact on the whole society, not least the disabled and elderly. Great times ahead for Grandma!

Your next car will be connected

General Motors site Fastlane is heading up for CES 2014. The site quotes a Capgemini study that says 51 percent of consumers in all markets anticipate that their next car will be connected.

“Consumer Electronics Association industry forecasts predict sales of factory installed vehicle technologies will increase by nearly 20 percent in 2014, to $11 billion – including connected systems like General Motors’ OnStar.”

The 2014 International CES will give a first glimpse into what the next generation of connected cars will include.

Visteon Launches Connected Car Technologies at 2014 International CES

Connected cars and the future of driverless vehicles will be in focus at the 2014 International CES, Las Vegas.

Visteon Corporation is one of the companies that will attend and present its latest automotive cockpit electronics products and innovations, including several new concepts offering advanced connected car features and Cloud-based technology for upcoming vehicle platforms.

Presented for the first time at CES, Visteon’s HMeye cockpit concept features a unique user interface controlled by eye gaze and head direction data, coupled with image attribute tracking. Selection controls are retained on the steering wheel to improve response time while allowing the driver to focus on the road ahead.

Visteon’s Horizon Cockpit introduces a new application of emerging disruptive technologies using gesture recognition to operate various controls. An advanced camera system tracks and mirrors the driver’s gestures by mapping movement through a full kinematic spatial hand which, in turn, replicates the motion as a virtual hand on the cockpit’s display.

Also making its debut at the show, Visteon’s OASIS concept – an acronym for optimized, adaptable, secure, intelligent and seamless connectivity – protects the vehicle communication network by providing a secure method to connect the vehicle to the user and Cloud computing.

“As the ecosystem of consumer and automotive electronics merge, strategic collaborations are becoming essential to bringing innovative products to market quickly,” said Marty Thall, president, Visteon Electronics. “Visteon works closely with a wide and diverse range of technology leaders and vehicle manufacturers to deliver the next generation of connected car technologies.”

Visteon’s presence at CES extends beyond its exhibit. Tim Yerdon, global director, innovation and design, is among the “gurus of car tech” participating in the CES panel discussion, “Just around the bend: How technology will change driving,” from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Jan. 8 at LVCC, North Hall N259. Yerdon will discuss the influence of connected car features and Cloud-based technologies on the future driving experience.

Visteon Electronics, a division of Visteon Corporation, is a leading supplier of automotive cockpit electronics that delivers innovative in-vehicle user experiences through solutions in user interfaces, connectivity and open architectures. Supported by a global network of 16 manufacturing facilities, four technical centers and 11 customer centers, Visteon Electronics employs approximately 5,000 people in its consolidated operations.

About Visteon

Visteon is a global automotive supplier that designs, engineers and manufactures innovative components and systems for virtually every vehicle manufacturer worldwide through a family of businesses including Visteon Electronics, Visteon Interiors, Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. and Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co., Ltd. These businesses generated $13.8 billion in sales in 2012 and employ approximately 55,000 people at facilities in 29 countries, including non-consolidated operations. Visteon has corporate offices in Van Buren Township, Mich. (U.S.); Shanghai, China; and Chelmsford, UK. Learn more at

Europe needs to boost its startups

Europe needs to boost its startups.

”The fact is, here in Europe, we have many great success stories – but we are not telling them. There are so many talented people working to make their ideas a reality. So many innovations and innovators”, Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for the Digital Agenda, says in an article on CNBC.

”The fact is, here in Europe, we have many great success stories – but we are not telling them.”

Successful European startups such as Skype and Spotify from Sweden and Rovio with Angry Birds from Finland are mentioned as examples with great results.

But there is a funding shortfall compared to the U.S. In the U.S. entrepreneurs also are more risk-taking than the Europeans, the articles tells.

Read more on CNBC, Can Europe compete with U.S. tech startups?.

The map of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is mainly a virtual currency, primarly for online trading and payments. But if you look at the Coinmap there are also a growing numbers of physical places and locations that accept Bitcoin.

“As for Stockholm, there is a so-called ‘food truck’ serving French crêpes and taking payment in Bitcoin. I myself have bought crêpe of them and paid in Bitcoin”, Emil Oldenburg at Bitcoin-firm Safello writes to me in a mail when I´m asking him for places and locations that accept Bitcoins.

And he stresses: “Bitcoin is primarily an Internet-based exchange that is ideal for online trading, which may be one reason that the map is pretty sparse”.


Use the Coinmap to fin out places that accept Bitcoins.

If you got a spare Bitcoin and wants to go shopping you could have use of the Coinmap. It´s a map that points out any locations near your place that accept Bitcoin. In Sweden you will find twenty something places. Not that much, but the numbers are increasing. In early November 2013, according to the Coinmap, the number of places all over the world stood at 500. When December came it was around 1.000 and just after Christmas Day 2.076 places.

The Coinmap launched in April 2013 but it is just recently that it got wellknown. Just some days before Christmas Bloomberg TV anchor Matt Miller high lightened the status of the map, searching for places that accept Bitcoin.

He found a hot spot in Brooklyn, New York, with five stores and bars close to each other and got himself a beer.

But generally that’s not the common scene when you go shopping. 2.076 places is still quite sparse. But again, that´s not the point. The thing to notice is that Bitcoin is on Bloomberg TV and the first ATM in Sweden was launched in November 2013 and the numbers on the Coinmap counting places where to shop with the new currency is growing.

So keep an eye on this map next year. Could be new dots all over it.

The Google homecoming robot revolution

Care for erderly and service in home. Is that way Google acquiered eight robotic companies in 2013?

Sixteen teams from around the world came together at Florida’s Homestead Miami Speedway, December 20-21, 2013 to participate in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge Trials. Two of the robot companies acquired by Google, Boston Dynamics from US and Schaft from Japan, dominated the contest showing advanced skills in rescue service.

The video below shows Robot Atlas at the DARPA contest. Atlas is developed by Boston Dynamics, one of the eight firms acquired by Google.

Fighting in the war zones and rescuing people from disasters will not be the big market for these robots, says Gill Pratt, DARPA program manager, to MIT Technology Review.

Pratt says to MIT Technology Review:

“Most people don’t realize that the military market is quite small compared to the commercial market. And the disaster marketplace is even smaller than that. My feeling is that where these robots are really going to find their sweet spot is care for folks at the home—whether that’s for an aging population or other uses in the home.”

So what´s Google up to? Taking the artificial intelligence back home? That we really don´t know yet. But on the robot company Meka´s webpage we can read: “We have been acquired by Google and are busy building the robot revolution. Please come again.” The same quote can be read on the webpages of two other acquired robotics companies; Redwood and Holomni.

A robot revolution it is. And Google is taking lead.

Bring 3D models to life

Engineers and designers may from now bring 3D models to life with a new real-time multibody simulation module for SpaceClaim Engineer. In cooperation with Algoryx Simulation, provider of interactive physics simulation solutions, the two companies are announcing the new feature Dynamics for SpaceClaim by Algoryx.

Dynamics for SpaceClaim adds value to the entire design process, from conceptual studies to detailed mechanical analysis. Further, when used with Luxion KeyShot, the same simulations can also be used to produce high impact photo-realistic product videos for design reviews, sales and marketing.

The video below demonstrates a bicycle chain being simulated in Dynamics for SpaceClaim. All contacts are automatically generated during the simulation. Exported to Luxion KeyShot for rendering.


”The market has never seen dynamics that can be built this easily and provide this much visual information regarding the physical performance of their work,” said Frank DeSimone, VP of software development for SpaceClaim in a press release.

”We provide compute performance and a user experience that help engineers use simulations in their everyday work. Much of our focus is on the creative engineering process and solutions that enable designers, engineers, sales and marketing professionals to work much closer together,” said Anders Backman, CTO and co-founder of Algoryx.

Dynamics for SpaceClaim is immediately available for evaluation and purchase from all SpaceClaim resellers globally.


Wearable computing at CES 2014

Wearable computing will be a hot topic at International CES 2014, according to Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. The Digital Health section of the exhibition floor space has increased with 40 per cent compared with the last year, and will showcase more than 65 exhibitors with solutions for diagnosing, monitoring and treating a variety of illnesses.

Smart watches is one of the innovation to keep an eye on, says McIntyre, even if an unclear value proposition will hold back the consumer´s spending.

Wearable cameras in glasses or such as stick with a clip onto clothing, is another tech that will be seen at CES.

Smart glasses of course, and headsets that reads your brain waves will also have their place at CES.

A lot of these wearable gadgets will be used for measuring health and fitness, and support the “quantified self” trend, says Angela McIntyre. With a fob or a wristband, embedded in a wrist watch, in clothing or in shoes, there will be new opportunities for people to tracking signals from their body and their health status.

The importance of integrating all these systems with one and other will be a need to make lufe easier for the consumers.

“To build successful ecosystems around devices, providers of wearable electronics should understand that consumers will consider how easily their wearable devices communicate with each other, with their other computing devices and with multiple screens”, says Angela McIntyre.

At International CES 2014 we may follow how far the providers and bigger brands has come on this road to effectiveness.

Read the whole press release with Angela McIntyre.

Busy building the robot revolution

“We have been acquired by Google and are busy building the robot revolution. Please come again.”

The quote comes from the robot company Meka´s webpage. The same statement can be read on the webpages of two other robotics companies; Redwood and Holomni.

In 2013 Google has acquired not only these three robotic companies. On the list comes five more. The last one was a big shot; Boston Dynamics, renown for its four legged running robots.

Obviously Google has transformed. It is no longer just a search engine. Today Google has a broader spectra founded on the artificial intelligence that the company has built up during the recent years.

Autonomous and driverless vehicles are one result of this more and more effective AI. Combined with the knowledge from the now acquired eight robotic companies we may see in a couple of years a breakthrough of cars that will revolutionize traffic environments.

Or as they say on the webpages; “We are busy building the robot revolution.


The revolution is also coming to the young ones. Picture above: Two girls, 15 years of age, having a chat with Nao and Neia, two robots a Umeå University in Sweden. Not yet acquired by Google.

Read more:

Google Officially Enters the Robotics Business

Google Adds to Its Menagerie of Robots