Cities Unlocked!

Our work on the project to enable people with visual impairments to enjoy an easier and more enhanced life through technology.

Cities Unlocked is a collaborative project between Guide Dogs Association, Future Cities Catapult, Microsoft and other partners. The projects aims to demonstrate the way in which future technologies could enable people with visual impairments to enjoy an easier and more enhanced life through technology. The Guide Dogs Association and Microsoft previously created the concept video below to demonstrate how a day out for a visually impaired individual could look in the future!

The Cities Unlocked project is focused on making the concept video as much a reality as possible. The Guide Dogs Association has partnered with many organisations that people come into contact with in their daily lives; transport, council, retail and entertainment.  I am currently working with the Guide Dogs Association and Microsoft towards enabling Tesco to provide an enhanced retail experience for our visually impaired customers through use of technology.

The project is an exciting one, we are currently investigating solutions using a number of interesting technologies including Wi-Fi, NFC and low energy Bluetooth beacons. For more information on the project please see the link below, and keep an eye on the Tesco Labs blog for future updates!

Wearables we’ll actually wear…

Will consumers every really wear wearables?

As the momentum behind wearable technology continues to build in 2014, I can’t help think that the devices and consumer products that will actually stick are those that get the correct balance of being both a ‘cool technology’ and a being ‘truly’ wearable ( and here I mean wearable in the sense that we actually desire and want these products about our person whilst we go about our normal lives.)

I think the Google Glass is the typical example here. You’d be a braver, more knowledgable man than I to predict the adoption of the Google Glass as a consumer product.

I’m deeeefinitely not going to do that.

However, as I’ve watched maiden voyages on the Glass product my experience has been that folk really need to digest the notion of having this new experience so vital, as it is, in relation to their head and physical person.

My point here with the Google Glass example – (and forgive me if it is relatively obvious) –  isn’t that Glass is not  a fantastically exciting consumer product, utilising some fascinating and compelling technology.

Of course it is.

It’s more the point that if consumers are going to adopt these devices as part of their daily routines and lives, it seems to me they really, really are  going to have to compliment our life’s – both practically and aesthetically – if they are to be taken to our consumer hearts.

My absolute favourite spot this year with regards a truly gorgeous looking consumer wearable is Todd Hamilton’s iWatch Concept.

If this Todd’s concept is a glimmer of the future of wearables, then I am all for it!