How Much Would You Pay to Never Forget Your Smartphone?

Plus, an ice-skating robot that could prove useful for scientific research in the Arctic, and a life-saving device that alerts drivers to animals or children left alone in cars in hot weather.

by / January/February 2019

$350

How much would you pay to make sure you never forget your phone? That’s the newest feature of the $350 Jacquard smart jacket, a partnership between Google and Levi’s that already includes pairing with phones for music control and navigation. Always Together is a function that triggers an automatic alert when your smartphone is separated from the jacket — a notification appears on the phone and a tag on the jacket’s sleeve vibrates and blinks. It’s a hefty price tag for outerwear, but maybe that’s the value of not leaving a smartphone behind. 
Source: The Verge

Ice Capades

Robotic research has created devices that can traverse all kinds of terrain, and the design of the Velox robot allows it to transition seamlessly from water to dry land — and it can even ice skate. Created by Pliant Energy Systems, a New York engineering firm, the Velox uses an “undulating propulsion system,” which are flexible fins based on marine biology that harness energy from waves. On land, the fins rotate to navigate hard surfaces, and on ice, they rapidly skate back and forth, allowing the Velox to glide smoothly. The bot’s creators see this new skill as potentially useful for science expeditions in Arctic areas. Source: New Atlas

Mercury Rising

Especially in the summer months, devastating stories of children and pets forgotten in stifling hot cars make headlines with alarming regularity. A device looking to change that is Payton’s Charm, which contains an accelerometer that senses when the car stops moving, when the interior temperature begins to rise and when a child or animal is inside. If the temperature gets too high, a text is sent to the driver’s smartphone; if they are unavailable, a secondary number is alerted, and as a last resort the device contacts emergency services, hopefully saving a life.  Source: New Atlas

Lauren Harrison Managing Editor

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.

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