IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 27th October 2016

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Welcome to IBM’s weekly IoT round-up: the latest news in the connected world of the Internet of Things. This week saw Tinder launch a new app to encourage millennials to vote in the upcoming US Presidential Elections, a disposable contact lens piggyback on radio signals to connect to smartphones, and Japan exhibit a smart mirror that politely points out your flaws, then covers them up for you. Read on for the latest stories.

Tinder’s new app to get voters swiping right in US Presidential Election

With the US Presidential Election just two weeks away, Tinder is introducing a new ‘Swipe to Vote’ card to encourage Millennials to cast their vote. In partnership with Rock to Vote, users will be able to swipe right to register their decisions on immigration, climate change and other important issues. Based on these decisions, the app will suggest which candidate users should back, and allow them to learn more by tapping on their names.

IBM Watson Education delivers learning app

IBM has announced its IBM Watson Element for Educators in partnership with Apple – the first IBM MobileFirst for iOS education app. The app aims to create unique, adaptable learning opportunities according to individual students’ aptitude and needs by analyzing information from text, audio and video to personalize the learning experience. The app provides a holistic view of each student in a classroom, including their grades, interests and learning patterns; allowing teachers to spot trends across groups of students as well as address individual needs.

Connected contact lens can get online without a power source

Shyam Gollakota has invented a connected disposable contact lens that can communicate with a smartphone over the Internet by recycling signals from WiFi devices, radio and TV stations. This means even devices with no power source of their own can be connected. The technology is known as backscatter, and Gollakota hopes it will have the potential to improve medical devices.

Microsoft reveals new VR headsets

Microsoft’s new range of VR headsets were announced at this week’s Microsoft Windows 10 event. The headsets will be available from $299, dramatically cheaper than the models currently available, and significantly, look like they will be available in cordless versions (without a long wire tethering the user to their computer.) So far, manufacturing partners include Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo.

US Department of Defense pilots self-flying plane project

The US Department of Defense is trialling a smart copilot feature in the shape of a robotic arm in the plane’s cockpit, controlled by a tablet and designed to extend existing autopilot features. The idea is that the pilot will spend less time on tasks that could be performed by the virtual co-pilot, leaving them freer to deal with bad weather conditions or plan ahead. 

Smart mirror detects your flaws and prints customized make-up patches to cover them

A technology exhibition in Japan showcased a smart mirror which can detect and point out blemishes (ouch) and print out a customized make-up patch to suit the individual’s skin. Not only is the patch lighter than traditional layers of foundation – it’s so realistic, that when applied, you can hardly see it.

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