Walking down the street with my technology on

That we use technology everywhere we go isn’t news, but did you know that you can also wear technology as normal clothing?
This post is about wearable technology. Interested? Read on!

Let your feet charge your phone
Using our bodies to generate energy is an upcoming idea. Anthony Mutua, a 24-year-old entrepreneur in Kenya created a shoe which can charge our mobile devices as we run or walk. There is an ultra-thin chip within the soles of the shoes, when you put it under pressure with the weight of a person’s body the crystals inside the chip can create electricity. When you are done running or you arrive at the place where you wanted to go, you can sit down and charge your mobile phone for example. The crystal chip fits in any type of shoe except for flipflops. So basically you generate your own energy to charge your gadgets! That’s pretty cool. You are not just sucking the energy out of an electrical outlet.

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Charging your phone at the beach
Another example of a garment which is capable of charging your mobile phone is the solar bikini developed by Andrew Schneider. This bikini has a USB-connection and the male-version is already on it’s way, called the iDrink.

solar-powered-bikini

We will have to find more ways to generate electricity in the future because we are running out of sources eventually.
This is a nice, sustainable and simple way of creating more energy without having to make extra effort.

Smart headphones
Headphones which know exactly where you are and give you directions. No, we are not talking about Google glass. The cool thing about these intelligent headphones from Danish audio specialists GN is that they look completely normal, but are ‘smart’.  They can connect to a tablet or a smartphone via Bluetooth and are an audio version of google glass. The smart headphones can be used in many different situations in the future. To support and navigate blind people for example, or to give information for a tour through a museum.

3daudio_headset
Sources:
http://www.solarcoterie.com/
http://www.nsmbl.nl/een-energie-opwekkende-bikini/
http://www.psfk.com/2014/04/google-glass-headphones.html#!Fk35n

 

Mobility will be improved by using apps

The way of moving in cities will be different in the future, that’s for sure. But what is the biggest change we see in mobility ?
Technology has been developing itself for a few years now and these developments are mostly focused on making our every-day lives easier.
In a few more years their will be apps for everything. We will be able to control a lot of things with our smartphones, wherever and whenever we want.
Do you need a taxi as soon as possible? There is an app for that.
Travelling in your own car and want to know which is the shortest way with the least obstacles? There is an app for that too. You can easily move from place to place without losing time in a more sustainable way.
A few examples of apps who already get used by a lot of people to improve mobility in cities:

Taxi’s get used a lot in big cities. And they will need to transport more people in a shorter amount of time since cities become more densely populated in the future. There are some easy digital solutions for that.

Get Taxi
With the Get Taxi app users can order a taxi in a fast and easy way. Once an order is placed, the most nearby taxi gets a notification and goes pick the person up. While the costumer is waiting, he or she can check where the taxi is with a GPS tracker. Its like you track your order from a webshop. Also the payment is regulated by the app itself if you synchronised your creditcard with your smartphone.
This app doesn’t only make life easier because you can get a taxi within 2 minutes, it is also more efficient than using your own car, because it’s often very difficult to find a good, unexpensive parking spot. You can’t run out of gas and you will never waste time because their is an 4G Wifi network available in the Get Taxi cars, so that you can work or amuse yourself while you’re moving from place to place. That sounds like a pretty cool way of travelling to me.
Get-Taxi-Covent-Garden

The app Uber is another example of an easy to use app to get a taxi. You can also see the price before you leave and you can easily split the bill with your friends because of the link with your creditcards and smartphones. Easy!!

Waze
Waze is an app which gives you directions and monitor traffic conditions for others who are on the road at the same time as you are. This app is all about togetherness with your fellow-drivers in order to promote the traffic flow.

waze-app-cebu
Taxi services and apps like this have future growth potential. New apps are invented everyday to make life easier and to make people move faster.

It is also important for many cities to improve urban mobility with sustainable transport options. A normal taxi drives 4 miles extra between orders and got waiting passengers. These services are more efficient. The same number of taxi’s can take more orders and transport more people in the same time. So the emission of Co2 can be reduced as well.
These changes affect the quality of life in several ways. Your physical wellbeing can be improved when you don’t have to wait outside for a long time to get a taxi. Your emotional wellbeing can also be affected positively because of that. You can save time, which makes it possible to do other things and improve your development and activity.
So the next time you’ve got a problem to get somewhere, search in your playstore to find an app for it!

sources: http://www.flushthefashion.com/life/get-taxi/
http://max.limpag.com/article/waze-app-gps-cebu-traffic/
https://www.uber.com/

Smart urban furniture and screens in the future city

Technology is taking over. Life in the future cities will be all about techonology and sustainability. I imagine this futuristic city with touchscreens, urban furntiture and gadgets with augmented reality everywhere on the streets.

Eyestop
Eyestop is a busstop. But not a normal busstop , it’s a ‘smart’ busstop which uses technology to give information. Not only advertisements and common information you need if you want to use the public transit, but also touristic information, weather alerts, e-mail access and much more. This Busstop is developed by researchers at the Massachusetss Institue of Technology.

eyestop

Smart subwaymaps
In New York there are already smart subwaymaps with touchscreen. The first was placed last February in NYC. You just have to tap on the station you want to go and the screen will automatically show you wich route you can follow. The screen shows real time information, so it keeps you up to date about any possible obstacles.

nyc-subway-touchscreens-3

Smart urban furniture like the Eyestop or the subwaymap with touchscreen will be totally normal in the future, but at this point it’s really exciting.
The Eyestop is also powered by sunlight and can detect air pollutants and weather changes. So the concept keeps an eye on the environment and improves sustainability, which is already pretty important but will be even more important in the future.
Plus, we are living in a very busy 24/7 economy where everything is going really fast. These concepts contribute to a quick movement and offer as much efficiency as possible.

Urbanscreens
Another thing I think we’re going to see a lot are urban screens. Buildings that are made of hundred moving televisions screens to show the work of artists, to give information or to show advertisements. Many people can be reached in a short time by using these buildings.

Opera-House-Sails-by-URBANSCREEN5
Urban screens in sydney

So in short, we will be seeing A LOT of screens in the future city. They offer information in a fast way.
If we take a look at the Quality of Life model from Felce & Perry, we see different options why these concepts improve the quality of life.
Development & activity can be improved because your mobility will be enlarged. So you’ll have more opportunities for leisure, education and jobs. It also gives you more idependence when you’re visiting a city. But also your emotional wellbeing can grow when you feel satisfaction because you get to the places where you want to go in a short amount of time.

What do you think about urban screens and smart urban furniture? Do you think it will help us to live an easier life, or do you think it will make the society to fast and gives us too much information?

Sources: http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/nyc-installing-touchscreen-subway-maps-130321.htm
http://www.designbuzz.com/eyestop-futuristic-bus-stop/
http://www.urbanartcore.eu/urbanscreen-lights-sydney-opera-house/