Connect with us

Tech News

Microsoft unveils hands-on center for futuristic tech

Microsoft has unveiled their updated Envisioning Center where visitors can play with the technologies of the future first hand.

Published

on

microsoft future

microsoft future

Microsoft Envisioning Center launched

Technology has undoubtedly crept into almost every part of our lives, and while it feels like we’re on the top of the mountain, we’re still very much at the bottom, with many more futuristic devices ready to improve our daily actions. In that spirit, Microsoft has unveiled its reimagined Envisioning Center, offering a hands-on look at what the future of business and personal lives have in store for us.

Microsoft expects thousands of visitors to the center each yer, where they can test out all of the technologies from interactive desks to a Kinect-enabled kitchen. The company says the space not only showcases futuristic technologies, it serves as a laboratory for Microsoft’s engineering teams.

“We want to excite customers about the direction we’re heading in and show that we are constantly thinking about new scenarios based on trends and real work in Microsoft Research and the business groups,” says Jonathan Cluts, director of Microsoft’s Strategic Prototyping team. “These scenarios are based on reality, not science fiction.”

“We don’t imagine that we’re predicting the future,” says Anton Andrews, director of Envisioning in Office Labs. “But it’s case of staying on the cutting edge of the conversation, and promoting that conversation.”

[pl_carousel name=”Microsoft’s Envisioning Center”][pl_carouselimage first=”yes” title=”Envisioning Center” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/1.jpg” ]
The new Envisioning Center explores how technology will transform the way we live, work and play in the future.

[/pl_carouselimage][pl_carouselimage title=”Natural flow” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2.jpg”]
Microsoft believes that working from anywhere will reach new levels of ease and sophistication. Create and move work freely across devices and displays using natural language, ink, touch and gesture.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Interactive workspaces” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/3.jpg”]
Interactive workspaces will let you bring your ideas to life naturally, easily connecting to the insights, information and expertise you need as you work.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Team collaboration” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/4.jpg”]
Workspaces that emphasize social activity help teams collaborate. Here, interactive whiteboards add smart assistance and remote participation to a brainstorming session.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Team problem solving” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/5.jpg”]
In the workplace of the future, team meetings move from presentation and action items to real-time problem solving and execution. Technology in this action room amplifies the team’s ability to visualize projects, simulate real-time outcomes and make rapid decisions.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Everyone can be a chef” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/6.jpg”]
In the future, you will be able to explore new cuisines with recipes that adapt to dietary needs, and even get help cooking and learn a few new tricks from your personal, digital chef.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Smart stovetop” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/7.jpg”]
Ecosystems of devices and sensors will work on your behalf, helping you without getting in your way.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Home entertainment” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/8.jpg”]
With a 4k display and smart lighting, your living room can naturally transform from a movie theater to an art gallery to a personal chat with loved ones who live many miles away.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Storytime with Grandma” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/9.jpg”]
In the home of the future you can stay connected with loved ones in new ways, like creating a storyworld with Grandma at bedtime.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[pl_carouselimage title=”Augmented retail” imageurl=”https://theamericangenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/10.jpg”]
Retail in the future blends the best of online and brick-and-mortar to personalize your shopping experience on the fly. Experience augmented shopping and safely share information across public and private displays.
[/pl_carouselimage]

[/pl_carousel]

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Tech News

This Zoom alternative offers a branded video meeting experience

(TECH NEWS) AirConnect is a conferencing portal that allows for company customization and automated onboarding so you can focus on other priorities.

Published

on

video portal airconnect

The concepts of company culture and branding are now more important than they’ve ever been. When we were first hearing these terms, they felt like buzzwords and ways to attract new talent and business without any actual execution.

Now that we have an understanding of what they are and how to use them, they are so much more practical and necessary – from big businesses to a one-person Etsy shop.

It’s been a little different in the last few months trying to figure out how to make company culture exude in the virtual world. For places that are hiring, it is also tricky to show how they differ from the rest over a video conference call.

The creators of AirConnect have taken this into account and have unleashed the virtual conference concept with an element of customization. As they say, “nothing beats a personal touch”.

Through use of this video conferencing tool, you can meet virtually with customers and clients in a brand video meeting portal. Customization options include headers, logo placement, and colors.

Additionally, the tool allows for customers to access their data via a customer portal, which allows for some automation when onboarding clients, assisting customers, or meeting with partners. AirConnect urges users to “say goodbye to Zoom links”.

“Let’s face it, nobody likes the where’s-the-link, what’s-the-password, can-you-hear-me-yet: and that includes your customers. Say hello to a single place where they can meet with you, as well as seeing all their account information, resources and anything else you like. Ah, that’s better, isn’t it?” explains the website.

The fully featured customer portal allows users to go beyond the simple zone of a place to talk. The ability to connect to sheets is where customers can access the aforementioned data.

The video call feature in the branded portal offers as many video touchpoints as the user would like; whether it’s used for on-boarding or standard consultations. The fact that customers can access their own data anytime allows users to put their time towards the high-value touchpoints.

On-boarding processes can also be automated by capturing customers’ information and documents in a single portal, making activation simple.

This certainly differentiates from Zoom or Skype as it has the customization option. What do you think – is it useful or flashy for the sake of flash?

Continue Reading

Tech News

Google Messages adds features to catch up to iMessage

(TECH NEWS) Google Messages just added a bunch of features (including a web version) to make the chat service feel a lot more like iMessage. Better late than never!

Published

on

From the way people talk about iMessage, you’d think Apple has the market cornered on instant messaging–and, if you have an Android, you’re pretty much out of luck. With some new additions to Google Chat in the last week, this may no longer be the case.

According to CNET, Google added a slew of features to the RCS Messaging–typically referred to as Google Chat–app, all of which should now be available directly within your Android’s Messages app (technological limitations for older devices notwithstanding). Among these features are reactions to messages and the ability to text from your computer.

CNET notes that you’ll have to use the Google Messages app–not your phone’s built-in chat app if it’s different–in order to access these features, though they also point out that Samsung is in the process of adding the RCS Messaging suite to their proprietary messaging app as well.

You do have to jump through a couple of hoops to ensure that you’re able to use these features in Google Messages, starting with making sure you’ve updated your phone to the latest operating system version. That’s just good life advice anyway, so double-check your phone’s settings for updates before you proceed.

Obviously, you’ll also need Google Messages installed on your phone as well. The app is free to download from the Google Play Store, and it should be compatible with most devices.

Once your phone is updated and Google Messages is installed, you can set Messages as your default texting app from within settings. This process will differ slightly depending on the Android model you have, but the easiest way to do this is by opening Google Messages after installing it, and then following the on-screen prompts to set it as your default texting app.

If you’ve ignored these prompts in the past and you don’t want to redownload the app, you can search your Android’s settings for “chat” or “text” to narrow down the possibilities for where the default texting app setting is hiding.

There is one last step you’ll need to accomplish before you can actually use Google Messages’ chat features, and that’s enabling the features themselves. Google Messages will usually prompt you to upgrade to these features once you start a conversation (this typically takes the form of a message asking if you want to see when your friends are typing), but you can also navigate to Google Message settings, elect to “turn Chat on”, and follow the ensuing prompts.

From here, you’re free to use Messages, much like you would iMessage; you can react to messages by long-pressing them, check and respond to messages from Google Messages on your computer, organize and view message history, and so on. If you’re someone who feels like you missed out on the iMessage craze–or you’ve recently switched from an iPhone to an Android–Google Messages should feel right at home on your phone.

Continue Reading

Tech News

“Mine” helps you find your digital footprint and DELETE it

(TECH NEWS) Most people value their online security, but don’t know to manage their data without abandoning the apps and websites that they love. Mine is trying to change that.

Published

on

I’m pretty concerned with keeping my personal data safe these days: I recently got a VPN and I try to use a privacy browser for everything I do on the internet. But it’s impossible to completely avoid sharing my personal information, especially if I want to watch, buy, say, or do anything at all online.

So when I first heard about Mine, a new machine-learning tool which claims to be “the future of data ownership”, it really piqued my interest. 

Using your email history, Mine identifies companies that are most likely to be storing your information based on the headers of the messages in your inbox. Its AI then independently locates the privacy policies for these companies to determine what kinds of information they’re storing, rather than looking through the actual contents of your emails.

Mine seems very mindful of the fact that they must be trustworthy in order to be successful. It’s free right now while they’re still new; Mine only got started in January. But they have plans to introduce a subscription service in the future.

To quote their FAQ: “Tech companies that are not interested in your money are interested in your data, your online behavior, or other personal assets they can monetize. In other words, if an app is free, they’re probably getting their money from somewhere else 🙂 Our goal is the opposite – we want to make data ownership accessible for all without monetizing our users’ data.”

Of course, when I saw the smiley face, I figured I’d give it a shot. Hey, if they help me get my information out of the hands of a less smiley entity, everything evens out, right?

After sifting through my emails, Mine spat out a list of the places that were allegedly storing my information. I was pretty shocked to see around 100 different companies pop up. Some of them were there for obvious reasons. Google, for example, was self-explanatory… but there were also names that I could swear I’ve never heard of.

I ended up submitting over 50 data deletion requests. The tool made it really easy to see who had my information, and streamlined the process of sending requests to these companies. With two taps, it was bombs away.

My inbox was suddenly buried in automated messages, mostly about how “support” would get back to me “as soon as possible.” I spent the next few days virtually waist deep in what was, for all intents and purposes, spam mail.

The select few that promptly, and properly, addressed my request produced mixed results: only three companies immediately confirmed that they had erased the data they were storing about me. The rest were going to make me do a bit more legwork, with each having their own rabbit holes for me to jump through before they would delete a dang thing. I won’t lie, this frustrated me, but the reasons for these extra steps are not necessarily sinister.

When I spoke to Gal Ringel, co-founder and CEO of Mine, he shared that often, companies do this because they need to be provided with more information than an email address in order to fully complete the request. He says that Mine will soon be incorporating “enriched” data erasure requests that should cut back on the need to inconvenience users with these outside processes.

In the meantime, he and his team have been working with businesses to develop policies that facilitate the process of data erasure. The majority of businesses, he says, consider it a good investment in building trust with the public. It’s also a prudent move to prevent identity theft, should others gain access to their records.

So, what’s my verdict on Mine? It really simplified the process of asking companies to delete my personal information. It is an important step on a long journey towards redefining the relationships that we have with our data, since the majority of people simply don’t have an accessible way to exercise control over it.

Mine is still in development, and I really look forward to seeing what it becomes in the future. (Hopefully, something that involves fewer emails!)

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!