Search engines make their business by finding information. But in today's data flood, highlighting topics of interest can require more of a human eye. Connecting users with pertinent information can be a subjective task, and this is why social media has found popularity alongside search for info discovery. Sites like Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr and others can be sources of information that users didn't even know they wanted to find in the first place.
These sites create value by using the wisdom of the crowds; the communities can judge the content and bring the high quality stuff to the top. Social sharing and bookmarking is an example of collective intelligence, a concept that will remain at the forefront of many new technologies for some time to come. I take a deeper look at it in my article on: Collective Intelligence.
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The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence is supporting a number of projects at the forefront of technology and emergent intelligence. Some of these projects take aim at some of the thorniest issues we collectively face: climate change, sustainability and the design of new products.
Can technology, combined with the wisdom of the crowds help solve climate change? Given some of the amazing things that collective intelligence has done, such as build an encyclopedia that was orders of magnitude bigger than anything before it, it's hard to rule it out. I run down some of the projects at the leading edge of this field in: Collective Intelligence Projects.
Since its IPO, Twitter has looked to make its advertising platform more robust, and one part of this platform is the Twitter Amplify program, a collection of partnerships between the social media platform and various television broadcasters. The latest network to join the program is ABC, who got involved in a big way with the recent Academy Awards broadcast.
The Twitter Amplify program is just one example of mobile apps that are becoming more integrated with the television viewing experience. I've already written about the second screen phenomenon, and there are a number of apps that are looking specifically to this second screen trend as a big opportunity. I provide a rundown of the biggest apps taking part in: Second Screen Apps.
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It was Twitter in 2007, and Foursquare in 2009. The people at South by Southwest are prone to trends, and this year, the app creating the most buzz at the festival appears to be Secret. Secret has taken note of this, and released a public view of postings related to SXSW.
Secret is an app that allows users to anonymously share updates and photos with friends. The public web view of SXSW is a pretty effective publicity technique, and has created some interest over the secret side of the festival. I've provided an overview of this phenomenon of anonymous apps in my Profile of Secret.
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Korean manufacturer LG is hoping to make a big splash in the world of TV with its flagship 55" curved OLED display. The TV is the latest in a trend toward OLED based displays which offer some key benefits over the traditional LCD and plasma technology.
OLEDs have been a topic of interest in many tech circles for some time, but flexible OLEDs like LG's curved model are also starting to emerge on the market -- experimental models of flexible displays have been around for some time. FOLEDs as they are called are an interesting technology that may have an impact on future generations of mobile and in particular wearable devices. I provide a look at the current state of this technology in Flexible OLED Displays.
Image © LG Displays
Amid the usual Oscar festivities, which took place on March 2nd, there was more of an emphasis on social media than ever before. One memorable moment of the night involved host Ellen Degeneres gathering a number of A-list stars together for one photo, claiming she would share it on Twitter. The photo was in fact shared on Twitter, and as Ellen predicted, the tweet set records for the most retweets ever. Users of the social network during this time would have noticed the site slowing down due to the flurry of activity, but as a testament to Twitter's increased stability since its IPO, the site remained available.
These antics during the Oscars highlight a technology phenomenon that has become prevalent during live TV events: the second screen. This is a concept that is becoming an important factor in the intersection of new technology and live broadcast TV, and I provide an overview of its importance in my article on The Second Screen.
Image © Twitter
South by Southwest has become a bigger and bigger deal in the world of new tech, and this years festival is no exception. The lineup of speakers, breakouts and events that will take place in Austin over the next week or so covers an amazing array of topics in the world of tech. Speakers range from entertainers like Mindy Kaling, to founders like Biz Stone. And thats not mentioning the major music and film festival that's happening too.
SXSW has grown from a local Austin music festival in the late 1980s to one of the biggest gatherings of tech and media influencers in the world. It has become a major focus for new tech founders, and a number of tech startups have met with early success at SXSW, including a fledgling company in 2007 called Twitter. Find out more about Tech Startups at SXSW.
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In typical Apple fashion, the company has remained tight-lipped over its new technology until right before its release. Apple recently made an announcement about CarPlay, the long awaited in-dash technology that had been known to many for the last year as iOS in the Car. The company recently released a number of details of what CarPlay will do, and also announced that the first CarPlay enabled cars will be available to the public in a matter of weeks.
CarPlay confirms that the next big battle that Apple and Google will engage in will be over the car interface. While right now, that technology may only control media and make phone calls, car technology is on the verge of some major changes, and the interface will become very important. Here's a look at Apple's first major salvo in this battle in: What is Apple CarPlay?
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We live in our bubble of technology in the western world; many people don't realize that the majority of the global population has never had an Internet connection. Many of the frivolous uses of the internet may be far from essential, but the Internet can also serve as a channel for economic development. Knowledge and data traveling to people can empower them and offer opportunities for employment that were previously impossible.
Some of the largest tech companies in the world recognize the power held in this technology, and recently Mark Zuckerberg took some concrete steps to unleash this power by creating Internet.org. It is a group of companies with a very ambitious goal, and I underscore the importance of its mission in my article detailing: What is Internet.org?
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As we've seen with the massive success of the Nest Thermostat, there are a number of areas of our life where technology interfaces need improvement. Few are as integral to our everyday lives as car dashboards. While in-dash technology is developing, there are many who wish car companies would just let a company like Apple or Google worry about dashboard interfaces, so automakers could just focus on the car.
Well, it looks like this wish has been granted. Both Google and Apple have entered into projects aimed at integrating their technology more closely with cars. Google is taking a similar approach to their rollout of Android by forming the Open Automotive Alliance. Will the results be the same as that of iPhones vs Android phones? Time will tell.
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