August, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    IKEA Unveils Kitchen of the Future


    I’m doing a lot of future thinking at the moment and getting to spend time with the great and the good of Microsoft to get their views on how that future may look with technology. I’ll have a little more to say on that soon but suffice it to say it’s a big part of my new gig here in Redmond.

    Because of that, this story about IKEA’s Kitchen of the Future caught me eye. In conjunction with the cool cats at The Future Laboratory, they  took a punt as to how the kitchen of the future may look – it’s dubbed INTUITIV. Bear in mind my visits to the kitchen are few and far between as I’m limited in the culinary department but highly skilled in the opening the beer fridge department. Despite that, there is some stuff here that I’m liking about INTUITIV

    • celebrity chefs hologrammed in to your home (step up Marcus Wareing)
    • recipe suggestions
    • self cleaning appliances (mine already miraculously self clean…cough)
    • your kitchen will be your personal trainer and dietician as well as lifestyle coach
    • it’ll know your mood of if you’re hungover (lets call that the Saturday morning feature)
    • it’ll be synced to your calendar

    the Engadget guys are suitably cynical about it and frankly any predictions of technology that is 30 years off probably should expect that kind of reaction. However…I paid a visit to the Microsoft Home here on our campus in Redmond last week and I can tell you that some of this stuff is already on show. Recipe suggestions? Check. Your mood? Check. Your dietary needs? Check….and more. It’ll use surface displays to help you cook stuff (I know cooking will be old hat in 2040) and as you’d expect it’s synced to your calendar.

    Personally I think it’s great to see this kind of stuff from IKEA but as is usually the way with technology, what you think is years away is often around the corner from a technology perspective. The hard part is getting it mainstream and that may well take 30 years. Take a look at what GM and Monsanto thought the kitchen of the future would look like back in the 50’s…truly hilarious.

  • Steve Clayton

    Visualizing your FourSquare movements


    Even before Facebook announced Places yesterday, I was writing this post about the perils of location based services like FourSquare, Gowalla and now Places. Much has already been written about the theft and stalker aspects of these services and for those reasons I’ve been limiting my use of these services and Leo Hickman’s piece in The Guardian last week only encouraged me to further limit my use.

    What is interesting though is Weeplaces by Movity. It visualizes your FourSquare movements which I think for the user is fairly interesting in terms of looking at where you spend your time which when connected to other services like transport and housing becomes insightful. Of course this is a real goldmine for advertisers, especially if they have demographic information and given many people are less cautious than me when using FourSquare. This shows us where advertising may go – real-time, demographically targeted ads. Nothing earth shattering in that statement but it’s fun to see these things starting to happen before our eyes…it got me wondering about what else this could impact


    • land rents – imagine your rent changing weekly based on the shift of people or companies offering to offset your rent for sharing your data
    • traffic – it’d be interesting to have “things” checkin like our cars. it’d bring a new dimension to security tracking of vehicles but also traffic management and realtime parking charges
    • sales data – imagine combining this data with retail sales data to show the real spending patterns by demographics etc.


    The land grab is on for location services and new businesses will be built overnight. There is going to be a tonne of cloud storage needed for all of this data and hopefully, a whole new platform for building apps on the web.

  • Steve Clayton

    Facebook Places using Bing Maps


    [image courtesy of Chris Pendleton]

    Big news on the web today (well, on Techmeme) is Facebook adding location to their service in the form of Facebook Places.


    Starting today, you can immediately tell people about that favorite spot with Facebook Places. You can share where you are and the friends you're with in real time from your mobile device.

    You can do this from the most recent version of the Facebook iPhone app or – you just check in from either and your status appears in friends feeds. As interesting for me was to hear that Facebook is using Bing Maps to pinpoint locations on

    Nice…though right now it doesn’t seem to be showing up for me which I think it down to it being US only. I know, I’m in the US but I think one of my settings somewhere in Facebook still has me in the UK. Hmmm

  • Steve Clayton

    Windows Live Messenger + Facebook chat = 800m social


    New Facebook chat integration


    Chris Jones just did a post on the Inside Windows Live blog about todays beta refresh of Windows Live Essentials. The big news is Messenger now supports Facebook chat. You still get the Facebook social integration you may have seen in the previous beta but now you can directly chat with Facebook friends inside of Messenger. Rock on…that’s Facebook’s 500m connected to the 300m in Messenger.

    Connect to Facebook and Windows Live

    There is a tonne of other stuff in there refresh which rather than dwell on here, I’ll point you to Chris’s post. A few biggies

    • faster sign in to Messenger
    • Improved facial recognition in Photo Gallery
    • Better handling of Gmail downloading now

  • Steve Clayton

    The future of search



    This is not a post lambasting Google – it’s a post lambasting search. When you need a cheat sheet for search, you know there is room for improvement. Wolfram shows us some of what is possible with natural language searches but really, there is so much room for improvement. Search puts too much onus on the user right now – I want a search engine that finds stuff for me, by knowing me through information I choose to share. Too much to ask? Lets hope not…

Page 4 of 9 (43 items) «23456»