Windshield-mounted device makes fast food payments even quicker
Physical wallets are gradually disappearing as new technologies enable consumers to pay through more automatic methods, and we’ve even previously seen companies such as Uniqul hint at cash and card-less payments with facial recognition. Although we’re not quite there yet, a new innovation called iDriveThru could enable hands-free fast food payments using RFID car windshield tags. READ MORE…

Windshield-mounted device makes fast food payments even quicker

Physical wallets are gradually disappearing as new technologies enable consumers to pay through more automatic methods, and we’ve even previously seen companies such as Uniqul hint at cash and card-less payments with facial recognition. Although we’re not quite there yet, a new innovation called iDriveThru could enable hands-free fast food payments using RFID car windshield tags. READ MORE…

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Tech innovators don’t see the rural poor as a viable market. They don’t put money into inventing better and cheaper ways for very poor people to light their homes, cook or run appliances off the grid. “But because of the things you desire, these things have become reality,” Gaurav said. “LED technology, very efficient batteries and a falling solar panel price have suddenly allowed lights to be delivered to off-grid households at a fraction of the cost. “

Behind the ‘Internet of Things’ Is Android—and It’s Everywhere - Businessweek
Android is becoming the standard operating system for the “Internet of things”—Silicon Valley’s voguish term for the expanding interconnectedness of smart devices, ranging from sensors in your shoe to jet engine monitors.

Behind the ‘Internet of Things’ Is Android—and It’s Everywhere - Businessweek

Android is becoming the standard operating system for the “Internet of things”—Silicon Valley’s voguish term for the expanding interconnectedness of smart devices, ranging from sensors in your shoe to jet engine monitors.

LED lights could become network devices, too | CNET News
Fraunhofer Institute has demonstrated how conventional LED lighting could be used to send and receive data to laptops or smartphones, with speeds up to 3Gbps.

Today, you’ve got wireless networks that use radio waves and you’ve got optical networks that use light traveling in tiny glass fibers. Tomorrow, if Fraunhofer Institute research comes to fruition, a combination of the two could turn living-room lights into network devices.
The German applied-research lab has developed wireless networking that uses rapidly blinking LEDs to transmit data through the air. The technology can send data at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second — and by using three colors of light, triple that data rate is possible, Fraunhofer said.

LED lights could become network devices, too | CNET News

Fraunhofer Institute has demonstrated how conventional LED lighting could be used to send and receive data to laptops or smartphones, with speeds up to 3Gbps.

Today, you’ve got wireless networks that use radio waves and you’ve got optical networks that use light traveling in tiny glass fibers. Tomorrow, if Fraunhofer Institute research comes to fruition, a combination of the two could turn living-room lights into network devices.

The German applied-research lab has developed wireless networking that uses rapidly blinking LEDs to transmit data through the air. The technology can send data at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second — and by using three colors of light, triple that data rate is possible, Fraunhofer said.

First wirelessly controlled drug-delivery chip successfully tested | KurzweilAI
Researchers from MIT and MicroCHIPS Inc. have developed and tested a programmable, wirelessly controlled  chip to administer daily doses of an osteoporosis drug normally given by injection.
This  is the first successful test of such a device and could help usher in a  new era of telemedicine — delivering health care over a distance,  say MIT professors Robert Langer and Michael Cima, who had the idea 15  years ago.
Pharmacy on the chip
“You could  literally have a pharmacy on a chip,” says Langer. “You can do remote  control delivery, you can do pulsatile drug delivery, and you can  deliver multiple drugs.”

First wirelessly controlled drug-delivery chip successfully tested | KurzweilAI

Researchers from MIT and MicroCHIPS Inc. have developed and tested a programmable, wirelessly controlled  chip to administer daily doses of an osteoporosis drug normally given by injection.

This is the first successful test of such a device and could help usher in a new era of telemedicine — delivering health care over a distance, say MIT professors Robert Langer and Michael Cima, who had the idea 15 years ago.

Pharmacy on the chip

“You could literally have a pharmacy on a chip,” says Langer. “You can do remote control delivery, you can do pulsatile drug delivery, and you can deliver multiple drugs.”

Rural Broadband Could Fill Those White Spaces - Ina Fried - News - AllThingsD
On the one hand, the decision by the Federal Communications Commission last week to approve the first devices to run in the “white spaces” between television channels was a modest one.
The decision initially covers only one product, and is limited to the pilot city of Wilmington, N.C.
But backers of the technology hope those white spaces prove as big a  boost to innovation as the unlicensed spectrum that gave birth to Wi-Fi.
“We see this as a multibillion-dollar industry,” said Rod Dir, CEO of  Spectrum Bridge, the company whose database is a key component of the  white spaces system approved by the FCC.
White spaces, for the uninitiated, are the spectrum spots in between  TV channels. Like the 2.4GHZ spectrum used by several flavors of Wi-Fi,  the white spaces are unlicensed spectrum, meaning any device that agrees  to play nice with others and gains regulatory approval can operate in  the frequency. Devices that are approved to operate in the white spaces  spectrum are required to check in with a database to see which channels  are available. (For more, check out AllThingsD’s handy FAQ post from last week.)
Over time, analysts imagine a range of wireless and wired devices  that can use the white spaces as a sort of “Super Wi-Fi” that can  operate over greater distance and perform better indoors.

Rural Broadband Could Fill Those White Spaces - Ina Fried - News - AllThingsD

On the one hand, the decision by the Federal Communications Commission last week to approve the first devices to run in the “white spaces” between television channels was a modest one.

The decision initially covers only one product, and is limited to the pilot city of Wilmington, N.C.

But backers of the technology hope those white spaces prove as big a boost to innovation as the unlicensed spectrum that gave birth to Wi-Fi.

“We see this as a multibillion-dollar industry,” said Rod Dir, CEO of Spectrum Bridge, the company whose database is a key component of the white spaces system approved by the FCC.

White spaces, for the uninitiated, are the spectrum spots in between TV channels. Like the 2.4GHZ spectrum used by several flavors of Wi-Fi, the white spaces are unlicensed spectrum, meaning any device that agrees to play nice with others and gains regulatory approval can operate in the frequency. Devices that are approved to operate in the white spaces spectrum are required to check in with a database to see which channels are available. (For more, check out AllThingsD’s handy FAQ post from last week.)

Over time, analysts imagine a range of wireless and wired devices that can use the white spaces as a sort of “Super Wi-Fi” that can operate over greater distance and perform better indoors.

Duke Energy embraces cellular for smart grid | GigaOM
Duke Energy is turning to cellular networks as the backbone for its  smart grid. The utility detailed the network plan in a white paper released earlier this month, and revealed one of the most aggressive uses of cellular networks by the utility industry in the U.S.
In the white paper Duke Energy’s Manager of Technology Development  David Masters wrote that Duke plans to invest $1 billion into digital  grid technologies, and the utility decided to rely heavily on already  available networks like cellular connections for a variety of reasons.  These reasons include: cellular networks are based on existing standards  that have been used extensively, carriers will continue to invest in  the network infrastructure to the benefit of the utility, and carriers  use Internet Protocol as the transport layer. In addition, one of the  most compelling reasons Masters writes:

Duke Energy has no desire to be in the communications  business. We need to harness already- existing expertise and  capabilities that the cellular networks provide in designing, building,  and maintaining the communications.

Duke Energy embraces cellular for smart grid | GigaOM

Duke Energy is turning to cellular networks as the backbone for its smart grid. The utility detailed the network plan in a white paper released earlier this month, and revealed one of the most aggressive uses of cellular networks by the utility industry in the U.S.

In the white paper Duke Energy’s Manager of Technology Development David Masters wrote that Duke plans to invest $1 billion into digital grid technologies, and the utility decided to rely heavily on already available networks like cellular connections for a variety of reasons. These reasons include: cellular networks are based on existing standards that have been used extensively, carriers will continue to invest in the network infrastructure to the benefit of the utility, and carriers use Internet Protocol as the transport layer. In addition, one of the most compelling reasons Masters writes:

Duke Energy has no desire to be in the communications business. We need to harness already- existing expertise and capabilities that the cellular networks provide in designing, building, and maintaining the communications.

Sifteo launches intelligent blocks as a new form of entertainment | VentureBeat
Sifteo, a table-top game  startup, is announcing today that it has begun selling intelligent  blocks known as Sifteo Cubes. These devices are like little dominoes  with displays on one side.
The cubes are wireless, motion-aware 1.5-inch blocks with full-color  screens that create unique interactions when moved, tilted, rotated and  placed next to one another. Merrill referred to this as “intelligent  play,” inspired by games such as dominoes, Tetris, and Sudoku. The  devices are really embedded computers, armed with ARM Cortex M3  processors. Merrill said Sifteo created its own wireless protocol so the  blocks could talk to each other within a range of a few inches, without  consuming too much power. The blocks can connect to a USB stick on a  computer within about a 20-feet range. The batteries last about four  hours.
The Sifteo Cubes are a clever creation, but will consumers pay for  them? You pay $149 for three Sifteo Cubes and $45 for each additional  one. Downloadable games cost around $5. If the idea takes off, Sifteo  will succeed in creating a new form of entertainment that combines video  games, physical board games, building blocks and toys. It may be a  tough sell, but there’s no doubt that the company has something very  creative on its hands.

Sifteo launches intelligent blocks as a new form of entertainment | VentureBeat

Sifteo, a table-top game startup, is announcing today that it has begun selling intelligent blocks known as Sifteo Cubes. These devices are like little dominoes with displays on one side.

The cubes are wireless, motion-aware 1.5-inch blocks with full-color screens that create unique interactions when moved, tilted, rotated and placed next to one another. Merrill referred to this as “intelligent play,” inspired by games such as dominoes, Tetris, and Sudoku. The devices are really embedded computers, armed with ARM Cortex M3 processors. Merrill said Sifteo created its own wireless protocol so the blocks could talk to each other within a range of a few inches, without consuming too much power. The blocks can connect to a USB stick on a computer within about a 20-feet range. The batteries last about four hours.

The Sifteo Cubes are a clever creation, but will consumers pay for them? You pay $149 for three Sifteo Cubes and $45 for each additional one. Downloadable games cost around $5. If the idea takes off, Sifteo will succeed in creating a new form of entertainment that combines video games, physical board games, building blocks and toys. It may be a tough sell, but there’s no doubt that the company has something very creative on its hands.