artificial intelligence chatbot

Black Friday devices, smartphones and wearables: What’s new

Black Friday arrives right in the season of major innovations in technology and devices. Discover what it is trending and choose your favorite smartphone, wearable or Virtual Reality gadget.

Autumn brings us more gifts than Santa Claus in terms of technology. Both Apple and Google have recently launched their flagship products and Huawei has recently joined the game with a new high-class proposal. We talk about smartphones and wearables, but also about the most about advanced Virtual Reality headsets and cameras. Those that have been rushed to be updated for the deals of the Black Friday.

Flagship smartphones ready for Black Friday

We have been waiting long to unbox the latest smartphones. They come with new cameras that include artificial intelligence, high resolution in low light and incredibly powerful engines. However, the most expert users also dazzle us with technical details that promise wonders. An example of this is the range of iPhones Xs, Xs Max and Xr that Apple presented in September, disputing its successful bionic chip A12.

Apple

The CPU of the chip is 50% faster than its predecessors. If you ask why you would want so much power, wait to see what the smartphone is capable of, thanks to its predictive technology with machine learning. This allows the iPhone to predict what you are going to do. Where you are going to go and which photos you’ll probably share. And even more, what apps you’re most likely to open. For more information read our review here.

Google

Another big Silicon Valley company, which rarely launches devices, has presented its new Pixel 3. Google has introduced great advances in terms of camera, resolution and CPU, maintaining its classic shape.

The Pixel 3 camera is capable of taking up to 15 photographs in HDR in low light conditions. It also detects in which photographs we appear blurred or with closed eyes and eliminates them before saving them in the gallery.

However, what we are most thrilled about is its software – especially when we talk about the Google Lens application. It traps information and links it to the next natural step. For example, if we scan a restaurant menu, the app will directly give us information about the place and show us its phone number to make a booking. In some countries available the smartphone will directly make the call for us with its AI speaker. Needless to say, your native Android will be one of the best advantages of the OS.

Huawei

Huawei has also presented its latest high-end model, the Mate 20 Pro. This phone has three back cameras with artificial intelligence that detects and adjusts the exposition to capture us in the best resolution possible. However, the autonomy of the battery compared to other competitors is one of its main advantages, as well as the performance of the phone and the fluidity of the screens.

Wearables to buy on Black Friday

Smartwatches are today the most stable and extended wearables in the market. Although sometimes it is hard for us to get used to the fact of using a mini screen, it is true that they are reinventing themselves by offering more and more options.

This is the case of the latest Apple Watch Series 4, which has entered very seriously into the field of health and fitness, with a new ECG that stores information about our heart rate and detects arrhythmias. In addition, it has introduced a new way of navigating its haptic digital crown that predicts new changes in other smartwatches OS. Read the full review here.

Samsung is also betting on wearables but keeping the design of a standard watch, for those who like to go with a classic style. The new 4G Samsung Galaxy Watch is now finally available in most countries. This smartwatch detects the type of exercise we are doing and helps us control it and improve it. It also keeps track our intake of water or caffeine.

According to some experts, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is better at the audio system than other high-end smartwatches, and its OS Tizen is quite fast.

Virtual Reality to watch at the Black Friday

With Black Friday weekend around the corner, one of the things we’re more excited about is the new trends in Virtual Reality applied to Gaming. Sony has made one of the most attractive bets in this area with its Playstation headset with Virtual Reality. The pack comes with a PlayStation VR headset, a camera and two Move controllers that will take the latest games from the Japanese house up to a new level.

According to Facebook a few weeks ago, the new Oculus 2 headset will not be released until next year. This is because, in addition to software and hardware development, the company is trying to polish a global-scale strategy to make it a mainstream product, for which they need new VR games and apps, more competitive prices or VR usage scenarios. We’ll stay tuned.

The Apple Watch Series 4 and the apps you need this season

The Apple Watch Series 4 and the apps you need this season

The new Apple Apple Watch Series 4 has turned upside down the world of smartwatches, introducing a watch that has a bunch of new gimmicks compared to the previous ones.

Apple introduced its new iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr along with the new Watch Series 4 in the last keynote held on September 12th. No surprises here. What we did not expect, however, was to see a smartwatch capable of making us a reliable electrocardiogram (ECG). Let alone a feature that detects if we have fallen and we need assistance.

Thinking of the previous series of Apple smartwatch, there was an overall feeling that they are a great, luxurious extension of the smartphone. More ‘wearable’, directly accessible from our wrist. We could pick up calls, receive notifications and more, without bothering to take the iPhone out of the pocket. But still, this great innovation was seen as a basic shortcut of the smartphone, a mere extension of its functionality.

Apple has just changed this standard, though. Now we have a device of intrinsic importance. One able to control our health by doing an ECG. Let’s get down to details:

How does the ECG work on the Apple Watch Series 4?

The Apple Watch ECG works when we press the digital crown for 30 seconds to record our heart rate. Is it a powerful ECG? Yes, it is endorsed by the American Heart Association and by the FDA.

The heart rate is calculated in real time, differently from what is used in a hospital. In hospitals, ECGs are taken by placing several sensors around the patient’s chest, at strategic points. The results are measured by leads, which are 12 parameters that measure the heart rate.

In the case of the Apple Watch Series 4, it measures the heart rate through two contacts. The finger that presses the digital crown and the wrist that is in contact with the sensor on the reverse side of the smart watch. This calculation is less professional but highly effective in calculating common arrhythmias and alerting the user to seek medical treatment. The trick is that when you press the digital crown, the watch establishes a short circuit with your body, sending an electrical current and measuring it.

Despite being accustomed to devices that calculate the heart rate, it is a real breakthrough to see it finally featured on a device capable of sitting on our wrist.

What do we do with it later? All the information of the electrocardiogram is stored in a native app that we can reference to at any time or send the results to a medical professional. The app combines thorough medical data that could be useful in a diagnosis with simpler day to day facts for easier understanding.

Other functionalities that go in the line of protecting our health is the detection of falls. A feature that is activated directly in smart watch users for more than 65 years. However, everyone can manually turn it on. Once the alert starts, we can send an alert to our emergency contacts and seek help if the worst came to be,

How does the digital crown of the Apple Watch work?

The digital crown now has a haptic feedback when we scroll down. It might be seen as a small change but produces a more pleasant experience. Now we have the certainty that we are going through each element. We are also fascinated by the precision it has to move between the menus. Without hurry but without pause, much more fluid and elegant than its predecessors.

In navigation we see new faces and complications that are perfectly shaped to the curvy frame of the watch. Unfortunately this statement is limited. That is it because most of the complications are not updated for the new formats of Series 4. We must wait for the developers to catch up with the Series 4 and update them.

The watch comes in 40mm and 44mm. Their price starts at $399 for the 40mm GPS and cellular. For the 44mm the price starts at $499 and for the cellular one at $529.  As a novelty, we can see that Apple has joined the fashion of ceramics to make the screen, under the assumption that phone waves penetrate better and that it will facilitate reception.

Best apps for the Apple Watch Series 4

Little by little the developers are making the transition to the new design. And improving the design and performance of their apps for wearable users. Among them, we find the most useful ones that we need on our daily routine.

1. Find your car with MemoPark for Apple Watch Series 4

Never forget where you parked your car again with MemoPark, the most effective solution. With a minimalist design, it saves the location of the vehicle from our smartwatch or phone and takes us to the car using GPS directions. In addition, it has Siri shortcuts to activate it with a voice command and allows us to add images or notes. At just $ 1.99, you can always know where you left your car.

2. Find and track your workouts with Strava for Apple Watch Series 4

A classic. Strava is a very complete app that allows you to dive among workouts, choose the ones that you like the most and keep a report of your progress. In addition, it is like a social network that enables you to share your trainings and value those of other users. It is free with in-app purchases. It is free but offers in-app purchases.

3. Organize your notes and events with Cheatsheet for Apple Watch Series 4

A very visual organizer of notes, in the style of evernote. Cheatsheet has lists of tasks, to-do lists and it synchronizes with other devices. It is free but offers in-app purchases.

4. Have your boarding pass on hand with App In The Air for Apple Watch Series 4

Travelers can add all the information related to the flight on the small screen of their smartwatch Series 4. For example, the boarding time, the gate door or the baggage carousel. In addition to delays and other notifications. App In The Air is free but offers in-app purchases.

Best apps for navigating in the city

Best apps for navigating in the city in 2018

When we are in a traffic jam we often open Google Maps, Sygic or Waze, some of the best apps for navigating in the city. We see the traffic in real time and save a few minutes by taking a new, clearer path. When we travel to a new city we no longer go to the tourist office for a map but open our favorite GPS navigator app and find the ‘duomo’ at first sight. We are expert users.

That’s why navigation apps no longer seduce us with words like real time or precision. The future should offer us more. And so the present. Therefore we have shortlisted the latest news and the best apps for navigating in the city.

1.  AUGMENTED REALITY TO NAVIGATE IN A CITY

How many of us have still lost with a GPS navigator in hand? Augmented Reality, a technology that we related to games like Pokemon Go, can help in the subject. Google recently announced new changes in the Google Maps app in its I / O conference.

Among them, one of the most significant bets in the world of augmented reality was to include arrows that help navigation on foot through the city. These arrows are placed on the street that we take and at the crossings to improve the understanding of the indications that the navigator gives us.

In addition to arrows that guide us positioning the smartphone on the sidewalk, there are other ways to interact with the city through augmented reality. One of the best apps for navigating is Blippar.  This application goes a step further by placing titles on the monuments and museums we pass through. A feature that delights the traveler but also the citizen, who often passes by without knowing what is in them.

“The accuracy of Urban Visual Positioning can take location-based AR to new levels of engagement. For example virtual departure boards in front of train stations, interactive guides in front of famous landmarks. Or even a virtual menu hanging on the wall of a restaurant”, said the company on its website. 

2. HYPERLOOP NAVIGATION

Here is one of the most used apps for navigating in the world. It was created by Nokia years ago and now it has millions of users. Its new alliance with Hyperloop will place its technology to their native app Virgin Hyperloop One. This app will soon include Hyperloop routes in its repertoire of transport options.This will make it one of the most complete apps for navigating in the world.

The supersonic train that we have been listening to for years has just premiered its first vehicle in Cádiz, Spain. The train is nearly finished and it will be assembled in Toulouse, France, where the Airbus planes are also built. Once the construction is completed, the train will arrive to Dubai to perform the first public route in the history of Hyperloop, that will connect the Arab emirates.

“Hyperloop is not just about A to B, it’s an end-to-end passenger experience. That means no waiting at any point along the journey,” said in a statements Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One’s SVP of Software Engineering. He also added: “Here shares our vision for optimizing travel. We will redefine the passenger experience by offering real time, on demand travel connecting hyperloop, other modes, and even indoor walking directions”.

We might wonder if Here will also integrate this experience in their app in the future. Stay tuned for it!

3. ORDER AHEAD WHILE DRIVING

Apps for navigating strive not only to optimize the routes but to offer a complete experience for the users while they travel or commute. For example, we can compare petrol prices in the nearest gas stations, find free parking spaces, or see the state of the traffic.

Speaking again of the king of the maps, Google, we came across some interesting news. Google maps is launching a new version that includes direct access to Spotify without leaving the app. Although this is not the great innovation we were looking for, it gets useful when we are driving.

These features inside our apps for navigating make our daily commute more bearable. But if we could also use that time for personal benefits such as ordering food, that would be great. That is exactly what somebody thought at Waze app. The navigation app has made an agreement with Dunkin Donuts to enable us purchasing coffee and doughnuts directly from Waze while we use it to drive to work. That means when we arrive to the store our order is ready to pick up.

This integration may be a faster way than simply using the breakfast brand’s own app. Presumably, we believe that it will use the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of the route we have chosen and notify the nearest store when we will arrive. 

“It could be almost anything that a driver could order ahead and have ready for pick up“, said to Associated Press Jordan Grossman, head of Waze’s partnerships in North America. According to a Dunkin Donuts representative, the agreement made sense because both services are related to the time of the commuting. 

4. FIND YOUR FRIENDS AND THE PLACE TO GO AT THE SAME TIME

One of the most basic needs we have is to find people. Finding a physical store is fairly easy as it does not change its emplacement. However, people are in constant movement and it is difficult to find them in crowded places such as in city centers, bars, shopping areas or parks. That’s why Wave Application is one of the best  navigating apps to find friends by sharing live locations on a private map.

On Wave, group maps represent a new level of interaction between friends or relatives. In addition to display the location of several people on the same map, we can set meeting points. This makes it easier for us to choose the bar, park or house of our friend as a meeting point. Once is placed, we can navigate there, call an Uber to get there or edit it.

“There are no barriers for real time location services anymore, so our biggest challenge is to become an indispensable tool in all the smartphones users. That is why we are continuously developing new features to complete the user experience”, said Manuel de la Esperanza, CEO of Wave Application, in a statement.

What do you think of these navigating apps? Will they change the way you move? Stay tuned for more news about maps and navigation. 

School bus track app

Wola Schools tracks the school route to help parents

Most of us do not like to wait for others in the street but there are daily situations where it seems impossible to plan an exact meeting. For example, when our children are traveling home in the bus school route. In these occasions the traffic, the time at which leave the school or the delay of a parent make us have to wait in the street without being able to anticipate the arrival time.

Given the uncertainty, many parents choose to call the child’s school to ask what has happened with the school route. That way, they can contact the monitor that is on the school bus route to estimate a time of arrival. To improve this communication and give parents a peace of mind, Wave has created Wola. Wola is an app that connects parents and children on the school routes.

Optimization of the school route

Wola Schools app works as a private geolocation system between parents and school buses. Wola tracks the school route in real time. It is activated when the monitor on the route chooses the option to leave the school from their smartphone. From that moment the parents of the students will see the school route in real time.

The family will also receive notifications whenever they want. For example, they can set them for when the child is approaching their pick up place.

This real time location technology is a revolutionary and novel way for parents to better plan their children’s pickups. It helps them to stop waiting in the street for the school bus, sometimes with other small children. In addition, this tool enables them to feel safe and calm in case of delay. Parents know the cause in real time, can see if there are jams or the bus is still in a previous stop.

For schools it also means assuming a technological improvement of the school route planning systems by stop. Schools know more effectively the time it takes the school route to travel through each stop and the usual traffic. In this way, they can optimize rental times of buses.

How does it track the school bus?

Wola Schools uses a unidirectional positioning system. The school monitor that goes on each bus shares with the parents of the children her/his location in real time. It allows the application to send notifications to parents about the nearest stops. In this way, children do not need a smartphone to communicate with their parents in case of delay, since the application will inform the parents about their location they are.

The application is quite simple with key features such as the notification system, the map view showing the route of the bus in real time and the option to have several routes. This works for the situation in which parents have more than one child enrolled in school with different routes.

NOTIFICATIONS SYSTEM

School bus track app

Parents can choose when they want to receive a notification on their phone about their child’s route, applying geofencing technology in real time. It will update the estimated time of arrival of the bus to the nearest stop of each family. I will also warn them with 10 minutes or more in advance for parents to leave home. This accuracy is especially useful for those who come with others to pick up children and do not want to wait on the street.

This notifications system can be activated at the pleasure of each family. Over time the team plans to include several more functions that can improve the communication of parents with the school through Wola Schools and increase security.

MAXIMUM PRIVACY

Woman staring at her phone

The geolocation of Wola starts from a very strict perspective in relation to privacy. Since it understands that sharing the location is a very delicate and personal issue. Especially regarding the location of children.

Therefore, the application uses encryption with dynamic tokens and a closed system in which only the parents authorized by the school can access the private map. On the map, parents only see the location of the bus their children go. However, they do not have access to the data of each student.

Wola is a new application born from the leading positioning technology of Wave Application. Wave is a positioning app, in this case bidirectional, which has years of experience in the sector and millions of users.

Apps to make a perfect road trip

Google I/O: How navigation will change your life

Google I/O conference has introduced new projects to be unveiled in the upcoming weeks that will enhance the mobility ecosystem. They change the way we find places, find people and experiences. They vary the way we move around in a more comfortable way. Smart cars, advanced location tools in chaotic cities and friends recommendations are some of the best innovations we have found more interesting to tell you about.

 AUGMENTED REALITY TO NAVIGATE

 

 

 

Surely many of us laugh when we open Google Maps and listen, “turn northwest” without having any clue of where it is. Taking directions to go somewhere is a complicated task to do in some apps. This is not only because of their interface, but because of the mapping system they use. Therefore, there are already several applications that facilitate the indications, such as the recent update of Wave Application that allows navigating to a destiny while we geolocate our family or friends.

However, another way to understand the indications reported at Google I/O is thanks to the augmented reality. That is, the ability of the mobile to interpret through the camera the scenario we have around and superimpose in the screen the directions.

On its proposal launched at the I/O conference, Google has launched an improved augmented reality via Google Lens. It paints arrows and indications about that street. In addition it even has a funny guide to accompany us on our tour.

SHARE PLACES AT GOOGLE I/O

 

One of the funniest stages of organizing a dinner out with friends or family is to find a good place that everyone likes. While we dive in in great directories such as Tripadvisor or Yelp, we still need to comment them with friends and find an agreement.

There are many apps that facilitate the decisions in group via polls, as we have shortlisted in our post about organizing trips and events with friends. Google Maps has recently share its own way at Google I/O allowing friends to share reviews of restaurants on Maps with some friends. They can select and vote for the one that suits them best.

FIND THAT LITTLE RED HOUSE AT GOOGLE I/O

 

Anyone who has traveled to cities that have experienced rapid growth while their economic development has raised, have seen serious problems of linear structure and transport in cities. This affects directly maps and navigation. In Nigeria, as Google has emphasized in its I/O conference. Or even in Panama or in Indonesia, there are large cities that do not have specific street names. Therefore it was impossible to take directions on a map, until now.

Google has presented a new Maps in which they have tried to design the peculiarities of the big cities. It makes it possible to find shops and houses in the chaos of the streets, giving some referential indications. This is a great news for everyone using its API to build an infrastructure for a mapping app. It is time to adapt technology to a less digitized world.

AUTONOMOUS DRIVING

 

 

The war of the driverless cars greats is in full height, and among the companies working on it there is the Google unit Waymo, who has just presented at the Google I/O conference its new technology adapted to autonomous cars. They use a system that detects and avoid pedestrians, animals and obstacles. It also protects the safety of them and the occupants of the vehicle.

Today these technologies seek to adapt to the chaotic traffic of cities. But surely as soon as their development and legislation allows them to circulate, the cities themselves would probably be the ones to adapt to this new way of transport.

artificial intelligence chatbot

Artificial intelligence chatbots are your best friends- They’ll solve your life

Artificial intelligence is a great ally of our most immediate problems, such as navigation and commute, health, work-life balance and happiness of the hand of artificial intelligence chatbots. These tools are created so that we pour our queries into them and eventually establish a relationship. This way we can meet friends near us, virtually. They will offfer us the best consultations and recommendations.

Artificial intelligence chatbot is your best friend to tell your thoughts 

Writing a diary is a very healthy way of pouring out our thoughts, experiences and feelings, so that we are able to observe them from the outside, read them and analyze them. Sometimes we just need to find a friend. That way we can improve our personality and work on ways to feel better. How many times have we felt alone, or have we become angry with a friend or with our partner?

In many occasions, reading those feelings from the outside makes us see the real importance of what happens to us. Therefore, these artificial intelligence chatbots helps us to explore our deepest self.

Now that we have artificial intelligence chatbots is more fun and reliable, we can turn into one like Replika to confess our thoughts and get to know ourselves better. Replika is the chatbot that wants to become our best online friend. It is not necessary to invite us to barbecues or beach trips but to be exactly like us.

How does it work? It is very simple, we just need to talk to it as to a new friend. We turn ideas, thoughts and stories into the chat, which Replika will answer with predefined messages. As we talk and interact more with this artificial intelligence chatbot, it will get to know us better. And it will adapt our responses to our personality.

Probably, if you are a fan of Netflix Black Mirror series, it will remind you of more than one episode. But the truth is that is real and it works well for thousands of people. The reviews of the Apple Store are fascinating, in fact many people think that they could not delete the app because they would feel they have lost an online friend.

What do you think, would you give Replika a chance to know your inner self? Get it for free for iOS and Android.

Artificial intelligence chatbot to reduce the wage theft

Working as a freelancer is one of the most complicated ways of making a living in terms of hourly billing. Although we fill the month of projects and invoice them according to the market, it is really hard to know exactly if the time we have invested worths our wage.

Calculating how long it takes for one task to be done it is hard for everyone, though. In large companies agile methodologies are on trend as these softwares estimate task execution times to increase team productivity. However, for those of us who work alone, it is best to turn into an artificial intelligence chatbot that tell us how to bill our work.

Artificial intelligence helps us to do this with the chatbot Jornalero. This application counts the hours we work on each project and calculates what we have earned per hour. In this way it’s like we have met an online friend that says if it is worth to accept a project. 

Once the artificial intelligence chatbot has informed us of what we are earning, we can personalize messages to share them in the app or in our social networks. Those go from informing of our changes of work, to tell how good or bad were the projects we took. This will help other future workers. At the moment it is in beta version in Spanish and English. You have it free and available for Android and iOS.

Artificial intelligence chatbot to inform about your health symptoms 

Being able to talk virtually to a doctor is already part of many medical insurances around the world. We have the chance to call a doctor, have a video call or a virtual consultation to avoid going to the hospital. However, on many occasions and for all patients, before actually having an appointment with the doctor we would be grateful to just simply know if we need to go. If what we have is normal and can be cured at home. Finding a friend that would let us know would save us time and money too.

To do so, the artificial intelligence chatbot Your MD is a great solution. It makes people aware of their state of health and encourages them to go to the doctor if necessary.  Your MD, an artificial intelligence chatbot that can become our best ally, especially if we are a bit hypochondriac.

With Your MD we can open the chat and type in it all our symptoms and the app will recommend us what to do. That could be going to the doctor or taking care of ourselves at home. In addition to solve an immediate concern, it tracks what we send to prepare long-term pre-diagnoses.

Your MD is a useful artificial intelligence chatbot to learn more about our health, see what happens to us and take the appropriate measures. It is free and available for iOS and Android. It and can also be integrated with Slack, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype and Kik.

Survive an earthquake or a natural disaster with these 4 navigation apps

Those who live in Chile, Mexico or Japan know that an earthquake is likely to happen. The truth is that there are earthquakes everyday around the world and once per year there is a great earthquake somewhere, according to IRIS geological research. With this frequency it is always useful to be informed about what to do to survive an earthquake. 

It is important to know how to protect ourselves from an earthquake. Alsohow to find our friends to see if they are safe during an earthquake. The preparation is worth if we also get ready for a natural distaster like a volcano eruption or a flood.

There are plenty of apps that are great tools to survive an earthquake and to locate friends and relatives. We have tested many of them and we have shortlisted the best ones to navigate in the case of an emergency.

Get informed to survive an earthquake

earthquake-1790896_1920

One of the most reliable sources to know if an earthquake is happening near us, in the case we have not felt anything yet, is the app EC Report. It is a comprehensible news feed with information of all the earthquakes happening in the world. It takes information from different reporting agencies. It is supported by the non-profit organization SOS Earthquake.  

Experts can predict times of more common earth movements, however they usually shake suddenly. One of the advantages of being notified with the navigation EC Report is that it informs users about where exactly the earthquake is happening. It also tells us what magnitude it is and how to be ready for the replicas that follow the earthquake, which can be devastating.

EC Report works as a great tool to survive an earthquake. It comes with navigation features that geolocate us to have information about the area in which we are. It also displays useful news such as escape routes from the city, state of the roads, water or electricity supply.

Users can notify when a seismic event is happening using the button ‘I felt it ‘. It is free and available for iOS and Android and has a desktop version.

Locate your family in an earthquake

One of the biggest concerns we have when we are immersed in a natural disaster like an earthquake is to locate our family. For this reason the best solution is to have a real time geolocation application such as Wave Application.

Wave has a powerful navigation system that locates family and friends. It enables users to share their location in real time with their loved ones on a private map. People can track their friends and stay connected at any time and know where the others are.

It is great to rescue someone and to let other know our location to survive an earthquake. In addition to sending the position it is possible to set a meeting point on the map that is visible to all and navigate to the desired destination. We can also select any of the users and navigate to them, knowing how long it would take us to get there.

On Wave we can select a session for a limited period on time such as 15 minutes or choose the unlimited waves that runs until we stop them, this last one is the perfect tool to use to survive an earthquake.

Prepare yourself to survive an earthquake

Those of us who live in an area with a long tradition of seismic movements such as Central America or Southeast Asia are more aware than anyone that it is necessary to know how to survive an earthquake. That is why SAS Survival Guide app is one of the must-have navigation apps that we should have installed if we live or travel to areas with earthquakes.

This navigation and guide presents in a simple and practical way tips to get ready for a natural disaster. It takes the experience of the elite training techniques of Britain’s toughest fighting force. It is a great way to be calm if something happens as we are ready to deal with it.

Once the event occur, the application displays a list of tips to survive an earthquake that reply our most frequent questions such as where to take shelter? Is it better to be under a lintel of a door or under a table? Do we stay at home or do we go out on the street? All of them are answered by earthquake geologists and emergency experts.

For the more adventurous ones, besides instructing us it has a quiz to see how much knowledge we have learned. It is free and available for Android and iOS.

Rely on your neighbour during and earthquake

If something has happened near us, our neighbor would also have felt it and is the closest person we have to help us. Next Door is a social network app designed to be used in small communities and neighborhoods.

This app was born as a way to help neighbors in their daily routine, however, it soon proved to be a powerful security tool. As the Daily Mail newspaper points out, a family in Houston, Texas, used Next Door app to ask their neighbors for help over the Hurricane Harvey. One of the neighbours came to rescue them in a canoe.

The application is now available in the US and it is expanding its service throughout the world. It is free and available for iOS and Android.

How you will move around in your city in 2018: Smart cities

Millions of people struggle every day to reach their workplaces and study areas in cities in where pollution and long commutes are decreasing the quality of life of the inhabitants.

Smart cities want to solve some of the most common problems that plague the big cities, but what are they? We list here some of the main concerns: pollution, traffic congestion, poor light efficiency and lack of safety for pedestrian roads.

Pollution is a global concern that is damaging the health of the population and speeding up the climate change. According to WHO it is a serious global health risk that is responsible for premature deaths and respiratory problems, especially in the most polluted cities in the world in Nigeria, Pakistan and South Arabia.cityscape-2394753_1920

It is worth to mention the quantity of vehicules circulating in massive cities. Just in Mexico City, the most congested city in the world, there are 5 million of vehicles and there are 30 millions of car trips everyday. In Jakarta 2000 new motorbikes join the circulation every day, according to a recent study by Citymetric.

In Europe Bucharest is the most congested city and a recent study of Tomtom estimated that roughly every driver spends 128 hours of extra time driving per year. Other very congested city is London, that over the past decade has taken a series of measures to reduce traffic. Those go from expanding the public transport network and bike lanes, to taxing the most polluting vehicles and cutting the city center completely to traffic.

Technologies for Smart cities in 2018 and beyond

To address these problems, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are basically collecting data from pedestrian walks and vehicles roads to better understand how people travel around the city and how to manage their flow better. There are complex devices that estimate how many people move around certain areas and at what time, as well as surveillance and sensors that do the same in roads.

There are various ways to determine the flow of people though, for example London Subway uses Wi-Fi pings to learn how passengers travel.

Citizens can also take advantage of real time location systems. For navigation, apps like Waze gather traffic in order to estimate if there is a traffic jam or an obstacle on the road.

People walking or driving to meet their friends in the crowd can also use location services in real time like Wave Application, a free app that facilitates the meetings by enabling two or more people to share their live location on a private map with their contacts.

Once cities have started to comprehend how their citizens move around the city, it is time to implement changes and improve their quality of life. These are the ones that can be visible in the smart cities of 2018:

Find a pak spot

tesla 3

Studies show that finding a park spot raises the congestion. To help people park their cars Palo Alto city developed floor sensors that warned via an app users when a parking spot is available. Now the city is expanding its use over the city.

As cities are introducing timidly electric and gas cars the question on how to distribute the charge stations around the city arises. Would they been in malls, as they plan to be in Madrid or in private parkings as the Hong Kong Baptist University suggests? Well, it really depends on the city as smart technologies are very adaptable. 

Light the city

The light consumption of the cities can be more efficient and better distributed thanks to the ICT information to determine when and where it is better to turn a light on or off. Thus, in areas with more traffic or with greater incidence of crime, the application could alter the brightness of the streetlights. In 2018 several cities around the world will use this system, like Wellington in New Zealand.

Safety of Pedestrians

The safety of pedestrians is another measure that we can begin to notice in Columbus, Ohio, that will implement an efficient crossing system in one of its streets. In Dubai we will see a passenger counter in one of its crossings to reduce the waiting time of the traffic light if there is a crowd. On the other hand, we will see new crosses adapted to people with less vision, thanks to a system of lights and signals in New York.

Reduce waste of water

The parks and forests of the cities are necessary for everyone’s health. Increasing their extension could be feasible if the consumption of irrigation water is reduced. To do this, cities such as Barcelona are implementing humidity sensors in urban parks that will determine how much water is actually needed to irrigate the parks.

As you can notice, smart cities are not only electric cars or Wifi Spots. The possibilities are endless and the New Year is bringing us amazing technologies to improve our daily life. What is your city doing to be smarter in 2018? Drop us a line!