​Analogue Living

Device turns playgrounds into a controller for video games

From Spain, HYBRIDPLAY has developed a smart clip that connects any playground to smartphone games, requiring kids to be physically active to complete each level.

One of the main complaints parents have about today’s kids is that, rather than going outside to play with their friends, they’d rather sit and play computer games. As well as annoying the older generation, it’s also not all that healthy. Unfortunately, kids’ love for video games is something that’s here to stay. In the past, we’ve seen Loop use smart sensors and audio feedback to make outdoors play more like an Xbox game. Now Spain-based HYBRIDPLAY has developed a smart clip that connects any playground to smartphone games, requiring kids to be physically active to complete each level.

The system consists of two parts — the smart clip and the HYBRIDPLAY app. Designed to work out of the box, the clip can simply be placed on any piece of playground equipment, such as a see-saw, slide or swing. The device has a built-in accelerometer and an infra-red sensor that can detect the activities being performed. The app features a catalog of different games, ranging from classic titles like Pong and Pacman to the company’s own Space Kids adventure game and various puzzles. For each one, kids’ activity in the playground determines what happens in the game. For example, one requires players to swing in sync with the game in order to help the character collect pieces of a puzzle. Another gets kids to work together on a spring rocker to direct a rocket through space and avoid asteroids.

Watch the video below to learn more about HYBRIDPLAY:

HYBRIDPLAY matches the physical exertion of outdoors play with the mental challenges of video games to ensure kids are exercising both at the same time. The developers are currently seeking funding through Indiegogo, where backers can get the full Hybrid Play kit for USD 99. The campaign runs until 28 November. Are there other ways to leverage the popularity of video games to get kids outdoors?

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Site challenges users to put money where their mouth is

Go Fucking Do It is a platform that motivates people to achieve life goals and deadlines by forcing them to pay up if they miss their targets.

Procrastination can turn those with optimistic big ideas into a ball of self-hate when it stops them realizing their dreams. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of negative reinforcement to scare people into bettering themselves. That’s the premise of Go Fucking Do It, a platform that motivates people to achieve life goals and deadlines by forcing them to pay up if they miss their targets.

The site is the brainchild of blogger Pieter Levels, who calls himself a digital nomad and aims to launch 12 startups in 12 months while on the road. Go Fucking Do It is the second, and aims to motivate people to complete tasks or achieve life goals. This could be finishing a college paper, starting a blog or running a marathon. The catch is that if they don’t do what they said they would, they pay a fine. Users log their target and deadline, and set the fee they’re willing to pay — up to USD 1000 if they wish — along with their bank details. They then choose a friend or family member to act as a referee. On the deadline date, the referee is contacted by Go Fucking Do It and asked to confirm if the goal has been completed. If not, the money is delivered to the startup to spend as they wish — the site says that sending the money to charity gives users an easy pass if they don’t reach their target. 

Although we’ve also already seen the Pavlok wristband deliver electric shocks whenever wearers fail to meet their goals, it’s open to debate whether penalties such as these actually achieve results. Are there other ways to prompt people into positive action?


Camera-embedded sports kits bring first person POV to all sports

Spanish tech company First V1sion has created sportswear that features an integrated camera to show real-time action from the athlete’s point of view.

Newly affordable tech such as the GoPro camera or HEXO+ autonomous sports drone has changed what we expect from action footage. Yet coverage of sports such as soccer, tennis and basketball often still use the same distant shots to show fans what’s going on. Spanish tech company First V1sion is aiming to change this, with sportswear that features an integrated camera to show real-time action from the athlete’s point of view.

While competitors in motor racing or extreme sports are able to attach a camera to their cars or gear to offer interesting viewpoints to bring the audience into the action, the same isn’t true for individual and team-based sports where extra equipment would be detrimental to their game. First V1sion’s sports gear integrates a lightweight camera located at chest height. This allows those in athletics, soccer, basketball, tennis, and almost any other sport to capture high definition footage and have it instantly broadcasted. The kit also includes pulsemeter and accelerometer to provide more real-time statistics that can be delivered through broadcasts. These combined technologies make the broadcasts more engaging for the viewer, dragging them into the action. For instance, rather the audience could see exactly what Messi sees before he takes a World Cup penalty, or be used to confirm refereeing decisions for foul play.

The system makes sports broadcasts more engaging for the audience by capturing footage never available before. Are there other technologies that could bring audiences at home closer to the action on the sports field or at other live events?



Virtual customer service uses AI to detect human emotion

IPsoft’s Amelia is an AI customer service agent that can accurately detect the mood of the customer to better deal with their request.

Dealing with the customer support department of many companies can be an infuriating task — as a recent viral recording of a Comcast call demonstrated pretty perfectly. But can digital alternatives offer an improvement? IPsoft’s Amelia is an AI customer service agent that can accurately detect the mood of the customer to better deal with their request.

While many businesses have already experimented with artificial intelligence for online web support, it can soon become very obvious when the ‘agent’ doesn’t respond in an appropriately emotional way, especially if the request is an angry one. Amelia is able to process the natural language of both business manuals and the customer in need of support. Not only can it search those business guides and the web for information to help each customer, but it also tracks their mood and other contextual data. This way, if a customer is unhappy, Amelia tailors its support to offer greater reassurance and works to ensure customers end the call in a better mood. If in any case the issue isn’t resolved, Amelia passes the call or chat onto a human. All communication is stored so Amelia can pick up each case with reference to any previous contact.

Detecting customers’ feelings and responding appropriately could make online helpdesks even more like face-to-face support, while helping reduce the burden of customer service teams on businesses. Are there other ways this type of mood-detecting technology could help digitize human responsibilities?


App offers travel recommendations based on time of year

What’s It Like is an app that aims to let users simply choose the time they’re looking to get away in order to receive a suggestion that’s perfect for the time of year.


Travelers are always looking for suggestions as to where in the world they should visit next. We previously wrote about the Hitlist app which even makes the decision for them based on their social media profile. However, recommendations for any location may be better at one time of the year but not so good at others. What’s It Like is an app that aims to let users simply choose the time they’re looking to get away in order to receive a suggestion that’s perfect for the time of year.

For those with holiday time availble in early September, it may be no use trying to catch the Northern Lights in Norway as they’re best in late December. However, they might be just in time to catch the famous New England fall or the Whale Festival in South Africa. Users of What’s It Like will be able to enter in their dates of travel and receive a number of recommendations for destinations where they’ll be right on time to witness a natural phemonenon or annual activity. Still in beta at the moment, the startup is currently collecting information to drive its suggestions, as well as travel experts to advise travelers. 

The app aims to make the limited time workers have off for exploring the globe more fruitful by ensuring they don’t miss out on what the world has to offer in limited timeframes. Are there other aspects of trips abroad that comparison sites can use to recommend the best options for travelers?


Let's get you healthy!

Imagine measuring everything about yourself during you daily life. Now try to imagine future of health, that of yourself and generations to come. It isn't that big a stretch to see the symbiose between the two and where it's heading in case of technological possibilities. That is if, the ''sharing is caring'' policy of privacy stays alive. That aside, one of these advantages is the Application 'RevUp!, Health Accelerated'. A digital platform started by Samir Damani from a company called MD Revolution. Their mission is to control your health through connecting all kinds of services and tools for example Nike+ and Fitbit. There's also an option to link 23andme. In this way they gather personal data and with all the knowledge of your daily exercise and food intake, experts and certified professionals are keeping track and making sure that you keep healthy by giving you the right advice when needed. They simply measure, monitor and motivate.

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All health, food and sports related data stuffed into one digital platform. It Sounds easy and logical. Together with expertise and personal help based on your own data  I say YES!  I'm in. It makes sense to not have all kinds different apps to work individual. Let's connect them and take advantage of the internet of things. It makes data more measurable and visual of your daily life and therefore it could affect your food, work and leisure choices for the better. 

But there is a price tag, although the app is free we put a lot of personal data in the hands of commercial companies we don't actually now. Will it be sold or shared, are they bound by the Patriot act? It raises many questions. This new initiative is definitely a step towards better personal health (tracking) but it's married to the raising privacy issue of the way companies are collecting and using our data. It's a side note to keep in mind because simply put losing your privacy is not a good thing for your mental health in the long run.

Slavery gets shit done

Well I've got a lot going on recently and in reaction to that I respond quite the opposite of normal human beings. Yes, I get kind of lazy! See, I work real hard when I have goal that I'm passionate about. Craving to get that one big oppertunity or breakthrough, and when I finally tend to get there my mind hollers with a deep afro american cinema voice - DONE!

I then litterally turn my back and the priority of napping grabs first place again. It's not the weirdest phenomenon, but still. So if you're in this pickle too, high five the shit out of someone's ear next to you! because I have found a solution! *warning if you think this last joke is not funny in ANY possible way you are better off just stopping right here, or here,

I do not have a shiny docter's degree but I will give you the same advice. Wheter you're turning blind because tasks are pilling up at your desk or your rasta attitude is getting the the best of you, Get (a) Carrot

It's a application that preforms the role of this Absurd football coach screaming casual questions guided with some serious spit. Refreshing as it is, you need it on your phone to do some actual work with style. 

New York's Crowd Solution

The ‘Lowline’, Dan Barasch & James Ramsey wanted to create a new green space in their crowded hometown. They discovered an abandoned trolley terminal in the lower East Side of Manhattan and are planning to turn it into the world’s first underground park with natural light. It will be a new kind of public space, using solar technology an cutting edge design to capture the beauty of a very special and old industrial space.


This Solar Technology could be widely adaptable and made universal for a lot of cities that have the same crowd and therefore space problem. It could also work in different circumstances for instance a solar panel on side of the roof where’s no light. I think there’s a long road ahead of us when you look at solar power and they way it’s been collected, stored and used. I can’t help but wonder when the day will come that all the sun in dessert will be sustainably captured and power our lives in the future.

The actual park will host a lot people and activities and is the redesign of a urban space becoming a public one. As cities in the Netherlands attract more people every year and even homes become more crowded there will be a point that we eventually run out of space. Therefore new approaches on the way we live and build are interesting for the future. We know a limit is near and practical interior design is making its way into homes so that space can be used more efficient, for example ‘life edit’.

The same can be said for the places we spend our leisure activities. It brings a new dimension of where and how we spend our free time. That in relation to the quality of life it raises the overall bar according to activity, development and social wellbeing. With the ‘Lowline’ you see that there are also architects and designers with innovative ideas who are building the exterior world around us and try to build places and buildings that will suffice the needs of people in the future.