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robotics

NEW OBI™ ROBOTIC DINING DEVICE WINS INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED “OSCAR OF INNOVATION”

12/07/2016

NEW OBI™ ROBOTIC DINING DEVICE WINS INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED “OSCAR OF INNOVATION”

Dec 7, 2016

 

Obi™, a revolutionary robotic dining device, is a winner in the Mechanical/Materials category in the 54th annual R&D 100 Awards. The announcement was made at the recent annual award ceremony celebrating the 100 most technologically significant breakthroughs introduced into the marketplace in 2016.

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Media hype of the same tech firms -- more clicks, less benefit

Aren’t you tired of technology that doesn’t exist – or could hurt you? Let’s consider the technology offerings we cannot buy and perhaps do not ever want to buy.  There is a growing and increasingly tedious list of them, as noted in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, ZDNet, CNET, and blah, blah, blah elsewhere.  The tech companies these media influencers want you to know about include Facebook drones, self-driving cars, those ubiquitous robots, and anything that has the word Apple in the text – can you say Wall Street Journal?  It is getting tough to select from the conflicting survey articles on driverless cars. The word 'fear' crops up a lot – perhaps having to do with concerns about a recent autonomous auto casualty. This gem is from today, about the cities that will lead the driverless car 'revolution.'  Condolences to you if you live in one of those cities.

Refunds for international buyers of Jibo Robot -- the peril of hype

See a product swamped by global media hype miss expectations.  Refunds for international backers of Jibo. In December, 2015, cute ‘social’ robot Jibo “received $16 million from Asian VCs to enable it to speak and sell in Japan and China.” And that was just a portion of the total of $52 million raised, the first chunk on IndieGogo found 5,554 supporters raising $2.3 million.  But what just happened should not be a surprise. Why? Because “it won’t function up to our standards in your country… and will create more issues with Jibo’s ability to understand accented English than we view as acceptable.” Why all this money for a poorly defined, loosely described $500 table-top and presumably robotic companion beloved in the media?  Why indeed, as the GeekWire article rightly observes, Amazon Echo began selling at the same time, with many of the original Jibo hyped features and at a lower price point.

Five key trends driving 2016 technology for older adults

A look back to look forward.  Consider the context for 2016 innovation, despite (or as a result of) a still-erratic economy, and smaller-cheaper-better base technologies. At the same time, the assisted living industry watches residential age climbing – over half now are 85+. So the desire (or perhaps the only option) to age at home has further intensified. That has created opportunities like the AARP and Leading Age funds; research initiatives like Baycrest and Philips AgingWell; and startup pitch events like Louisville Innovation Summit, or Aging 2.0. Based on looking back at 2015, here then are five categories of trends for 2016:

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