January 22 – Data Innovation Day

Posted on January 22, 2015
Yes, this is really how we used to do
research. Not only did we have to get
somehow to a library, we even had to
crouch down, often, to flip through
all those tiny cards!
It has never been so easy to get information as it is now. I remember growing up without the internet. I remember having to wait for my parents to take me to the nearest library (not VERY near!), having to look up books in the card catalog that was drawers and drawers of physical cards, having to find the books on the shelf – and often being disappointed because they were NOT there – and still having to wade through tables of contents, indexes, and pages and pages of text to find the information.

Now, of course, I google using a few key words or a full sentence of ordinary English. Even before I stop typing, the answer or a great source for the answer pops up.

Information, information everywhere!

Of course, one of the problems with modern times is that there is TOO MUCH information! Sometimes it is hard to find the fact you need among all the quadrillions of facts and of course all the MISinformation. Yikes! Now, we don't have to be sleuths tracking down information, but we have to be CIA analysts comparing various stories and trying to suss out the truth!

The people at Data Innovation have announced that today will be a great meeting-of-minds of the people who are trying to invent the next big steps in making accurate data available and ever more easily accessible.

Here are a few topics for the day's virtual meeting:

  • Open Data, Civic Hacking, and Data-Driven Government
  • Wearables, Sensors, and the Internet of Things
  • Visualization
  • Startups and Entrepreneurship

Sounds interesting, right?

I only have time to research one of these topics, right now, so I decided to look into wearables. In other words, wearable technology.

Wearables began in the 1980s with the calculator watch.

Some more recent, but still fairly early, wearables include Bluetooth headsets hidden in a pair of earrings, the Spy Tie with its hidden camera, and USB hand-warmer gloves.

Five years ago beanies and headbands with phones stitched inside them allowed snowboarders and other athletes to stay connected, hands-free. Wearable technology also allows athletes to monitor and get realtime feedback about their heart rates and other stats.

Here's an intriguing one: A do-it-yourself way to show your latest posting on Twitter on your ordinary clothing is called Pocket Tweets! Wow! That's pretty cool!

And Loud Tweets is a LED name badge type thingie that has been changed into a wearable: your latest tweet scrolls across the small screen, for all to see.

I guess you have probably also heard of Google glasses?

Wearables are a booming industry, apparently, and are predicted to become more and more widely created and sold in the decade to come!

It's probably no surprise that Apple is
innovating in the wearables field. This
is one design for an iWatch.

Also on this date:

Choreographer George Balanchine's birthday  

Plan ahead:

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