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Viewing entries tagged with 'Google'

Clever watch brings peace of mind and potential – made in NZ

Posted by Philip on 17 May 2015, 11:40 am in , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago at the Home and Community Health Association conference  I met some of the team behind CleverCare, a new service that connects an Android smart watch to a web interface and a 24-hour call centre.

CleverCare is the brain-child of Maria Johnston. As the website explains, "developing the Clevercare system was driven from a personal need for Maria to make a positive difference in the everyday life or her parents. She then found that her family’s problems were experienced by many and now, through Clevercare making lives better with independence and peace of mind can be achieved for many."

Designed for people with dementia, the Android watch runs a simple app and contains a GPS geolocator. The device is tracked via Google Maps in an online dashboard. Boundaries can be set to alert family, friends or support workers if someone wanders beyond a safe distance. Reminders can be pushed to the watch via the dashboard.

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14 things I'd like to see happen in 2014

Posted by Philip on 31 December 2013, 9:07 am in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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New Zealand's relatively small population, land mass and infrastructure creates so much opportunity to lead the world in recognising some fundamental changes that would improve society in general. Here's my bucket list.

  1. Economies other than financial — eg. resources, time, value — are discussed, considered viable and used in more viable ways.
  2. As the Pope pointed out, poverty and wealth inequality is officially recognised as the cause of most, if not all, social problems.
  3. Government invests in technology — such as breath tested ignition locking and GPS-enabled vehicle intelligence — to lower vehicle-related deaths and injury, rather than more policing.
  4. New conversations about universal needs — such as shelter, food and clothing — begin to create the conditions for nobody to be homeless or hungry.
  5. Government portrays a true representation of society's diversity in social campaigns.
  6. Schools use a wider understanding of diversity as a way of making education more accessible and relevant for students.
  7. Labour wins the election.
  8. Politicians have job descriptions and regular performance appraisals.
  9. The internet is used to enable more democratic, public involvement in local, regional decision-making.
  10. The Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project's ideas and designs of a resource-based economy become common knowledge and popularised.
  11. I win Lotto. Just kidding — Lotto is abolished and proceeds are used to alleviate poverty.
  12. Everyone realises that alcohol and drug addiction is about dosage, not about substances, and are symptoms of poverty and wealth inequality (see 2 above).
  13. Apple, Microsoft, Android, Google etc stop competing and start collaborating to make some really cool shit.
  14. Lorde doesn't forget where she comes from.

Happy New Year!

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Six online tools I love that I’m surprised more people don’t use

Posted by Philip on 4 November 2013, 3:08 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’ll be no surprise to anyone I know when I say that I love technology. I’m a bit of a geek, an early adopter and, sometimes annoyingly, quick to switch to the next new thing.

What surprises me though is how many cheap or free online tools and apps are available, yet few people I know or work with use them. So I thought I’d list a few I use and encourage you to try at least one.

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What Google can teach us about raising children

Posted by Philip on 20 March 2012, 7:47 am in , , ,

Computer translation has been around since the 1950s, according to online geek-zine Gizmodo. Apparently back then the first computer able to translate one language into the other had six grammar rules and a vocabulary of 300 words.

Google has, in its enigmatic way, recently revolutionalised computer translation. As you probably know, Google Translate can translate just about anything into anything.

Google started with rules and then realised there was a better way. They began feeding their super-Google-computers thousands and millions of existing translations — really good translations, some from the UN even — and let the computers work out patterns and create their own rules.

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