Smartwatches: Coming Soon to a Cosmos Near You

This is a column I did for the BBC World Service, broadcast this week.  There’s been a lot of talk that the big boys — by which I mean Apple and Samsung — are about to launch so-called smart watches. But how smart does a watch have to be before we start strapping them to […]

Carrier IQ’s Opt-Out Data Collection Patent

ZDNet writes here about an Carrier IQ patent that outlines keylogging and ability to target individual devices . Which is interesting. But Carrier IQ owns a dozen patents, including this one, which to me is much more interesting. This patent indicates what Carrier IQ software could do—not what it does—but it is revealing nonetheless: A […]

The Third Screen Talks to the Second

Nokia has finally woken up to the potential of connecting its phones to a computer. I’ve written elsewhere about the PC Suite, but its latest version has made some great strides in allowing you to use the computer to manage and monitor your cellphone. The vision is a simple, and yet elusive, one. We work […]

The Predictable Human (and a Privacy Issue)

A study of mobile phone data shows that we are extraordinarily consistent about our movements. Mobile phone data, unsurprisingly, provides rich pickings for researchers since we carry one around with us all the time, and, unlike dollar bills, it’s more likely to stick with one person. But some have questioned the ethics of such a […]

Bluetooth Tracking

Research from Purdue University shows that Bluetooth would be a very good way to track travel time. Bluetooth devices give off unique IDs which could be used to measure speed and movement of pedestrians and vehicles. But why stop there? Wouldn’t it be possible to track people via their Bluetooth signal, if you knew one […]

Bye Bye, Laptop?

The day seems to be getting closer when we can do something that would seem to be pretty obvious: access our pocket-sized smartphone via a bigger screen, keyboard and a mouse. Celio Corp says it’s close. Celio Corp have two products: their Mobile Companion (pictured above), a laptop like thing that includes an 8″ display, […]

Pocket Lockets

videocapture from myTreo.net Here’s something that caught my eye from CES: D.A.V.E. from Seagate. Despite its awful name (it stands for Digital Audio Video Experience) it’s a great idea. It’s basically a small 60 GB external hard drive but it’s small (65 x 90 x 16 mm) and light (106 grams) and connects to a […]

Sleeping, Frothing, Typing and Sealing

 The Wall Street Journal’s holiday gift guide is out. My contributions, some of which would be familiar to regular readers: Sleeptracker Pro $179. A successor to the Sleeptracker which I wrote about a couple of years ago (Sandman’s Little Helpers, Jan 13, 2006), the Pro is a watch which monitors your sleep patterns — more […]

How To Report on the Road

I’ve always been looking for the perfect way to report on the road — do you write shorthand notes, do you record it all and transcribe it later, do you use digital writing tools like Logitech’s io Pen? Or a combination? Each one I’ve done has fallen down, usually because I get bored transcribing or […]

Bluetooth’s Missing Suitcase

Remember when Samsonite launched the Bluetooth suitcase? No, well, that’s not surprising, because they didn’t. This week’s WSJ.com column is (subscription only, I’m afraid) the first in a series about finding stuff in the real world. I started with a hunt for the Bluetooth suitcase, first announced in 2002 (and weirdly, still up on the Samsonite […]