Tag Archives: Health

smart infrastructure

A Smarter World Part 2: How Smart Infrastructure Will Reshape Your City

Imagine a city that monitors its own health, identifies potential fail points using AI algorithms, and autonomously takes action to prevent future disasters.

This is the smart-city of the future. In our first installment of our blog series on Smart Cities, we ran through an overview of how Smart Cities will change our world. In this second entry of our blog on smart cities, we’ll examine perhaps the biggest building block necessary to create a smart city: smart infrastructure.

The construction of a smart city begins with developing a vast, city-wide IoT system, embedding sensors and actuators into the infrastructure of the city to create a network of smart things. The sensors and actuators collect data and send it to field gateways which preprocess and filter data before transmitting it through a cloud gateway to a Data Lake. The Data Lake stores a vast amount of data in its raw state. Gradually, data is extracted for meaningful insights and sent to the Big Data warehouse where it’s structured. From here, monitoring and basic analytics will occur to determine potential fail points and preventative measures.

Check out the breakdown below:

Breakdown

As you can see, it all begins with the construction of smart infrastructure that can collect data. Here are some of the big applications in the smart infrastructure space:

STRUCTURAL HEALTH

One of the major applications of smart infrastructure will be monitoring key data points in major structures, such as the vibrations and material conditions of buildings, bridges, historical monuments, roads, etc.

Cultivating data will initiate basic analysis and preventative measures, but as we gather more and more data, AI and machine learning algorithms will learn from vast statistical analysis and be able to analyze historical sensor data to identify trends and create predictive models to prevent future disasters from happening with unprecedented accuracy.

Learn more about how Acellant is building the future of structure health monitoring.

ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS

There are a multitude of potentially environmental applications for smart infrastructure designed to optimize city activities for environmental health. For example, embedding street lights with intelligent and weather adaptive lighting will reduce the amount of energy necessary to keep roads alight.

Air pollution monitoring will help control CO2 emissions of factories and monitor the pollution emitted by cars. Ultimately, earthquake early detection can help monitor distributed control in specific places of tremors.

2017-05-08-151015.975562trashcity

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Boston is well-known as one of the top college cities in the United States. Every fall, over 160,000 college students from MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, BU, BC, Berklee School of Music, and more move in to their new living spaces, causing undue stress on the city’s waste management administration. ANALYZE BOSTON, the city’s open data portal, provided key data points such as housing rentals, trash volume and pick-up frequency, enabling a project called TRASH CITY to reroute waste management routes during this trying time.

CONCLUSION

Projects like Trash City show the many ways in which we can optimize city operations by analyzing data effectively. As smart infrastructure enables the collection of more and more data, projects like TRASH CITY will become more efficient and more effective.

Of course, the biggest application of Smart Infrastructure will be the many ways in which it will change how you get from A to B. Next week, we’ll focus in on smart transportation and how it will reshape metropolitan transportation.

Best Sleep Apps: Get Better Rest Using your iPhone

25% of people in the US report trouble with sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause decreased performance and alertness, impaired memory, stress, depression and more. Luckily, we live in a golden age of technology. App developers are actively working to develop iOS and Android apps which will help you get better sleep using your iPhone or Android smartphone. Below find some of the best iOS & Android sleep apps on the market.

BEDDIT

Beddit has made a name for itself as one of the consensus top sleep apps on iOS and Android. Beddit measures cardiorespiratory functions by detecting movements caused by respiration and heartbeats. The app uses an ultra-thin film sensor which goes under your sheet in order to  measure sleep time, sleep latency, awakenings, resting heart rate and snoring. While the Beddit app is free, the sleep monitor ranges from $99.99 – $149.99.

Beddit is available for iOS (iPhone and Apple Watch) via iTunes, as well as Android devices via Google Play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak3ireBUEnw

SLEEP CYCLE

For those looking for a more cost-friendly sleep app, Sleep Cycle is another of the top Android and iOS sleep apps—and it’s only $0.99. Developed by Northcube, Sleep Cycle uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to track sleep phases. When we sleep, we go through multiple states in our sleep cycle, the deepest of which is REM sleep where dreams occur. Sleep Cycle monitors movements using sound analysis and wakes users up during light sleep to ensure users feel naturally rested.

Sleep Cycle is currently available for Android and iOS for free with in-app purchases.

SLEEP GENIUS

If you’re searching for the most high-tech sleep app, look no further than Sleep Genius. Designed with the help of research by NASA, Sleep Genius helps you determine the perfect bedtime, revives you with a soothing alarm, and even helps you make the most of your naps with psychoacoustic music scientifically designed to trigger a relaxation response. NASA’s magazine, SPINOFF, recently celebrated the app for its use of NASA technology to create a better world.

At $4.99, the app is moderately priced in iTunes and Google Play. It’s a steal considering the level of high tech utilized to make it work.

Looking for more great sleep apps? Check out these awesome curated lists from HealthLine and Tom’s Guide.

Mystic Media is an Android & iOS app development, web design and strategic marketing firm located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

Apple Watch: Everything You Need To Know Before You Buy

At Apple’s Spring Forward event, the tech giant unveiled detailed plans for Apple Watch. We’ve documented everything we knew about the new device based on last year’s Fall Announcement in our article Shaken Not Stirred: Apple Watch’s Anticipated Impact on Wearable Platform. Here’s what we learned from the Spring Forward Event:

SPECS

Apple Watch will come in three different versions: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch (standard edition), and Apple Watch Edition. Each version has two different sizes: 38 mm and 42mm (catered to the average male and female wrist respectively) and 38 different band designs.

Apple Watch Sport

 

Apple Watch Sport Image via Apple Store

Apple Watch Sport is the cheapest version, starting at $349. It comes with a synthetic rubber band and has an alluminum-alloy body.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch image via Apple Store

Apple Watch, the mid-tier model, comes in stainless steel with a sapphire crystal and ceramic back. It starts at $549.

Apple Watch Edition

Apple Watch Edition image via Apple Store

Apple Watch Edition appeals to the upscale buyer. It has an 18-karat gold body with a sapphire crystal and ceramic back. It starts at $10,000.

FUNCTIONALITY

Functionality for the Apple Watch will primarily be reliant on a connection to your iPhone. Apple Watch will also support fully-fledged native applications, however, they will not be available until later in the year. In the meantime, as the smallest screen in the Apple ecosystem, Apple Watch is perfect for micro-managing iPhone apps. “Glances” are one-shot views of apps. For Uber, you can see when your taxi is arriving. For Instagram, you can scroll through images of those you follow.

Check out this The Verge article for a glance at some of the best Apple Watch apps in the App Store.

Apple Watch utilizes Apple Pay to offer quick, card-free payments for small items (drinks and snacks). In participating hotels like the W, Apple Watch apps can open your door for you. The Lutron app will help users save energy by sensing when lights are left on in the user’s home and allowing the user to turn them off remotely on their watch.

COMMUNICATION

Communication-wise, users can take calls on their watch, as well as send voice-memos. The Watch is smart enough to recognize quick replies to basic questions. Users can also draw and pictures to other Apple Watch users. Perhaps the weirdest feature, however, is the ability to send your heartbeat to anyone with a watch.

Heartbeat

Image via Redmond Pie

WHAT’S LACKING: STORAGE AND BATTERY LIFE

Two negative features stand out about the new device: Storage and Battery Life.

Apple Watch comes with 8GB of storage. Of that storage, the bulk is reserved for apps. 2GB is available for music, and 75 MB for photos. Photos will be resized to take up less screen room than the originals. Unfortunately, the 8GB storage limit will apply to all versions. Even those who shell out $10,000 for an Apple Watch Edition will be stuck managing a limited amount of music on their phones.

The device will require daily charging. One full charge will last for 18 hours, a figure brought about assuming it is paired with an iPhone and used for 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30 minute work out with music playback through Bluetooth.

HEALTH

Health-wise, Apple Watch can track movement, estimate calories burned, and monitor heart rates. While Apple initially ran tests to include a stress sensor and blood pressure monitor, they failed partly because of individuals with hairy arms. One of the innovations in Apple’s approach to setting health goals is how the device sets goals based on the user’s past behavior, rather than allowing the user to set their own goals or setting a default goal. Customizing exercise goals to the user make the goals achievable and less intimidating. Unfortunately, Apple Watch lacks diet tracking functionality.

OVERALL

Apple Watch will have a major impact upon release. Current projections estimate around 20 million Apple Watches to be sold in the first year. The biggest technical detriment of the first wave of Apple Watches is the limited battery life and storage space. Moving forward, how developers take advantage of the platform to create native apps independent of the iPhone will be crucial to the platform’s growth. Until we see an influx of native apps, the Apple Watch will be a supplement to the iPhone and a luxury; however, the possibilities are endless for this new platform.

For those who are looking to see what the Apple Watch will look like on their wrist, check out this awesome augmented reality app which makes the iPhone look like an Apple Watch:

Mystic Media is an app development, web design, and strategic marketing firm located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

Bite the Apple: Maximize iOS 8 to Vanquish Your Competition

Apple touts iOS 8 as their biggest iOS release ever. Coming from the biggest, most innovative technology giant in the world, that’s a major statement. In our ASO series, we found the apps which exploit the latest technology are much more likely to get featured in the Apple App Store. iOS 8 represents a major opportunity for app developers to get ahead of their competition by both creating new apps, as well as revamping current apps to take full advantage of the latest technology. In order to do this, one needs to understand the ins and outs of the new platform. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of the latest features and what they mean to developers.

Device Continuity

Device Continuity is the future of Apple products, and Android will likely to follow suit. The idea is to allow users to seamlessly transition between devices without interrupting their current task. Imagine writing an email on your iPhone, putting it down, going into another room, and finishing it on your Macbook. Or playing a game on your iPhone, pausing it, going to the  bathroom and continuing on your iPad. The possibilities are endless.

The concept of Device Continuity has been planted in iOS 8 and the device compatibility will be expanded in the upcoming release of OS X Yosemite. MacBooks and iPads will have all the functions of iPhones in the future: the ability to make receive calls and FaceTime in addition to the functions they already retain. Devices will be so seamlessly integrated, MacBooks will be able to connect to your  iPhone’s personal hotspot for internet. When MacBooks are in use, iPhones will automatically shut off to conserve power.

App developers who are able to utilize device continuity both effectively and creatively will have a great chance at getting featured across the App Stores for iPhone, iPad, and Macbook.

iCloud Drive

While iCloud was used in iOS 7, Apple is now pushing the iCloud Drive (as it’s now titled) as it’s own cloud storage service like Box and Dropbox with data plans available for purchase. iCloud Drive allows for any type of file stored on computers and phones to be accessible from any device. iCloud Drive plays into Apple’s major conceptual push for device continuity and will be further explored with the release of OS X Yosemite this Fall.

Health App

In our previous article on iOS 8 rumors, one of the most talked about reports concerning iOS 8 was the “Healthbook App”. Sure enough, one of the major innovations in iOS 8 is the Health app, which can interact with other health-related apps on iPhone to create a one-stop dashboard of health data. The Health app can track the amount of steps you take, the distance you run, the amount of calories you consume, and more in conjunction with apps such as Fitbit and Jawbone. Unfortunately, many apps are currently unable to connect with Health due to a bug at the launch which Apple claims it will fix later this month. Despite the temporary road-block, the Health app is built to be compatible with other health-related apps and thus represents a great opportunity for iOS developers to find opportunities to capitalize with Health-compatible apps for iPhone and iPad users.

Family Sharing

Another major feature of iOS 8 is Family Sharing. Family Sharing allows for families of up to six people to share their digital purchases from iTunes, iBooks and the App Store without having to share one account on one credit card. When kids attempt to buy things in the App store, a notification goes to the parent and the purchase can only be complete pending the parent’s approval. Family Sharing could potentially make in-app purchases for kids games much more profitable.

Credit Card Scanning

Safari can now use the iPhone camera to scan credit card numbers when making online purchases, speeding up iPhone-based eCommerce. A savvy developer could certainly find a way to integrate this into their in-app purchases to simultaneously exploit the latest technology and make it easy for customers to spend more money on their apps.

Minor Improvements

The host of other minor improvements includes a Siri equipped with Shazam, allowing her to recognize songs when asked. Apple also followed Android’s lead in employing QuickType, which gives shortcuts to the words users may be writing based on their texting history and what’s being typed.

Another minor innovation is the ability to send mini-voice messages as texts. As we’ve previously explored, communications apps are big business. Developers could potentially ingrain themselves in these voice messages by finding an innovative way to make voice messaging more fun, perhaps through audio filters.

Concluding Thoughts

The Verge got it right when they said “We won’t see the full potential of iOS 8 for weeks or months after its release”. While Apple’s announcement and subsequent release of iOS 8 is big news for developers, until OS X Yosemite releases later this year, we won’t know its full potential. In the meantime, developers start your engines, the race to exploit the latest technology in iOS 8 has begun.

Mystic Media is one of the most versatile and elite software design agencies in the United States. With experts in iOS and Android software development and marketing, Mystic excels in all processes involved in both app and web development. Learn more by clicking here or call us at 801.994.6815