You wouldn’t watch a football game being curious only about what new type of ball they are using, right? So we won’t tell you about what phone Samsung or Nokia launched at the biggest mobile congress in the world. Instead, a list of technologies and products that will probably score big in the future.
Deep search for apps is finally coming
A future where when searching for “room for one, Barcelona 24-27 of February” will display results from Booking.com and AirBNB on the same page is not so far. There is no doubt apps on your phone are wallets with valuable information, often personal and customized, but they are designed to keep it walled from you if you’re not flipping its very own pages. Quixey it’s a radical idea that wants to deep-search all the info inside apps and give it to you when you’re looking for something on you phone. Speaking at MWC 2014, Tomer Kagan, CEO of Quixey, said also that his deep app search engine won’t make any difference between delivering an info contained in a local app and one contained by an app you haven’t yet installed. Quixey will offer you to download a new app if that’s the wallet containing the info you need. With a soon to be launched public product, the startup is very well funded with $74.2 million raised from Alibaba and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. Given the hard times app publishers have on being noticed in an ever growing app market, we expect that Quixey will be well received by developers that see in Quixey a terrain leveler. After all, maybe the web is not yet dead as Chris Anderson envisioned in Wired in 2010.
Lazy eye reading
You can’t yet upload into your brain the book “Learn how to pilot a helicopter” just when entering the cockpit but Spritz is the next best thing. You can read a book with a speed of up to 900 words per minute instead of the regular 220 words speed you have right now. After 3 years of stealth mode, the founders of Spritz Inc announced at Barcelona that their technology will soon be incorporated into some small screen Samsung devices. As you can see, the increase in speed has its cost in comprehension.
The app that ate your plastic cards
Isis, the American mobile payments app backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon made a demonstration of how the phone can set you free from banking and loyalty cards you now carry with you. The system uses NFC phones and a special SIM card to work with some of the largest US retailers just by swiping your phone when at checkout. The app shows you a visual representation of your plastic credit card, you can choose which one you want to use and it automatically redeems discounts if you have a loyalty card at that specific retailer.
“Lie to me” meets machine learning
There were mixed feelings expressed around the stand of Emotient, a facial recognition startup based in San Diego. Everybody was playing with their system by making faces in front of a display with a camera that was telling if someone is happy, angry or sad. Its founders announced that their technology will be incorporated into wearables like Google Glass to instantly analyze what reaction is having the person standing in front of you. On the long term, the aim of the team is to become the sentiment analytics engine for any connected device with a camera. Now doctor Cal Lightman, can you lie to Emotient?
See what’s hot from afar
Flir One, the first personal thermal imager, is a case for iPhone 5 and 5s like no other. Once attached to your phone it transforms it into a Predator-like thermal scanner that not only lets you see your dog in complete darkness but also shows you if he was lying in your bed the hour you were missing from home. Its an expansive case for iPhone at $350 but the most affordable thermal imaging system.
If you would combine Google Glass with an Xbox sensor, you would get Mirama, a gesture controlled pair of eyeglasses. Instead of shouting “Ok Glass, take a picture” you will need to stick your thumbs and index fingers out as if you would frame a picture. The set of commands is limited now to a few basic ones but already it can detect a known person standing in front of you to send him/her an email. The japanese company Brilliantservice that is making Mirama OS has just started to sell its prototype to developers.