Watch collaborative robot deliver a storming live set with his mentor, award‑winning DJ Yoda, at the unveiling of the next generation Ford Fiesta.
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Watch collaborative robot deliver a storming live set with his mentor, award‑winning DJ Yoda, at the unveiling of the next generation Ford Fiesta.
Just the phrase “laser tag” instill excitement in many people, who either have, or haven’t played the game, but now the game is changing. Plug the Father.IO Inceptor into your phone and start shooting – up to 50 meters away – with a precise and well-collimated hitbox. We’ve implemented 6 highly sensitive, infrared receiving sensors, allowing Father.IO to offer unmatched, full gaming immersion. Check the method.
Ever wonder which tools super-productive and super-organized people use to get things done? Fast Company contacted 10 productivity experts, and asked them which apps or tech tools help them get through their day.
Here’s a dozen tools they recommend you check out:
Smartwatches are the biggest upcoming innovation for productivity, especially to-do lists, says Amir Salihefendic, CEO and founder of the task-management app Todoist. While they don’t provide much new functionality over smartphones, Android Wear devices, which start at $199, make things faster to process because you can quickly add tasks using only your voice, says Salihefendic.
“They also make reminders more powerful since you can complete or postpone them without lifting your phone from your pocket and unlocking it—you just need to look at your wrist,” he says.
Digital lifestyle expert and Today show tech contributor Carley Knobloch says brainstorming with her team is easier when she uses Post-it Plus, a free app for Apple devices that works with paper Post-it Notes, allowing you to manage them digitally.
“Capture all of your Post-its in one photo, and the app breaks them up and makes them reorganizable and sharable,” she says. “It’s brilliant.”
Knobloch also likes the free calendar app Sunrise, which has features that streamline activities, such as automatically dialing into a conference call. The app also imports photos of people your contacts via their social media profiles.
“When I’m on a conference call, I can see all their faces [on my calendar],” says Knobloch. “And its clean intuitive interface makes it a pleasure to use.”
Claire Burge, owner of Get Organised Ireland, gave up email two years ago because it dampered her productivity. “I’m always in search of a solution that organizes my work and takes the emphasis away from the inbox,” she says.
Burge recently started using Uskape, an app currently in beta testing, which integrates all of her work in one place, including once siloed apps like email and Evernote.
“Now I can see my workflow in one connected workspace; it’s much easier to know where all of my projects stand,” she says.
Omer Perchik, founder of the task-management app Any.do likes to streamline communication with his team by using Slack, a free tool that eliminates the need for internal emails. It includes features such as group and private messaging, inline images and videos, rich link summaries, and notifications.
Slack integrates with Twitter, Dropbox, and Google Drive, and automatically syncs between your computer, smartphone, and tablet.
Perchik also likes Noisli, a $1.99 app for Apple devices that offers background sounds you can use while you work. The app identifies noises that help with productivity or relaxation. For example, sounds that can help you focus include rain, wind, a campfire, and a fan.
“Noisli helps me eliminate distractions at work,” says Perchik. “White noises help me stay concentrated and productive.”
While a lot of apps out there help you keep track of tasks, Peter Walsh, author of Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier With Less (Free Press; 2012), has a new favorite: Jamie’s To Do. Available for Apple devices, the free app organizes your to-do list with an easy-to-use layout that doesn’t overcomplicate the process, says Walsh.
“You can easily identify tasks you need to do and their level of priority,” he says. “And you get a really satisfying feeling when you’ve crossed an item off your list.”
Jamie’s To Do was created by an app developer who was impressed with his wife’s organizing skills, and its design is based on her process. “Could there be a more modern take on the classic love letter?” asks Walsh.
To be more productive, it helps to know how you’re spending your time, says Julie Morgenstern, author of Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life: a Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck (Touchstone; 2009). She recommends using Eternity Time Log, a time-tracking app for Apple devices. The lite version is free, while the full app, which includes more categories and functions, is $14.99.
“It measures how much time you work versus personal time, and how much time you’re doing proactive work versus things like interruptions,” says Morgenstern. “You get a report each week, so you can no longer say, ‘I don’t know where the time goes.’”
Peggy Duncan, author of Time Management Memory Jogger (GOAL/QPC; 2011), says she likes to use her brain for thinking and external cues to help her remember. Alarmed, a free app for Apple devices, does just that. Like a customizable alarm clock, Alarmed lets you set single and recurring reminders, as well as add custom text, lead time, and snooze features.
“This app was built with time management in mind,” says Duncan.
Gary Keller, author of The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Bard Press; 2013), is an advocate of time-blocking tasks to get them done. “Simply put, you make regular appointments with yourself to do your most important work,” he says.
He uses the free app Timeful as a way to time-block and organize his day. Timeful, which is currently available for Apple devices and will soon release web-based and Android versions, helps prioritize your daily activities.
If there’s a scheduling conflict when adding an activity to your calendar, for example, the app will suggest another time based on your personal routine. You can also enter habits you wish to build, such as dedicating a few hours each morning to making sales calls, says Keller, who is also cofounder and chairman of Keller Williams Realty. “Timeful proactively suggests times to do that task, tracks your progress, and reminds you when it’s time to get to work,” he says.
To reduce the amount of mail she receives and has to process, Maura Thomas, author of Personal Productivity Secrets (Wiley; 2012), uses the free app PaperKarma, available or Apple and Android devices, which creates a central location from which you can unsubscribe and halt delivery of unwanted mail.
“It’s great for reducing the clutter and ideally, saving lots of trees,” says Thomas. “PaperKarma also helps harness the collective preferences of individual consumers and communicates those preferences to corporations.”
If you ever wished you could manipulate an image, you can with Skitch, a free app that is integrated with Evernote. Alexandra Samuel, author of Work Smarter, Rule Your Email (Harvard Business Review Press; 2014), uses the tool to share ideas with her team. Once available only for Apple devices, the app was recently released for Windows.
“I use Skitch for everything from quickly communicating website glitches to making quick images to uploading to social networks to annotative documents,” says Samuel. “Just yesterday captured a screenshot of the thumbnail view of a PowerPoint deck, and used Skitch’s built-in annotation to indicate all the changes I needed our designer to make to the slides.”
This concept computer-of-the-future by designer Jakub Záhoř allows the user to operate the device anywhere they can find a glass surface. The user simply attaches the central unit to any glass surface like a window or coffee table, switches on the power, and watches their system light up before their eyes. The display appears as an interactive hologram on the glass that the user merely has to touch to operate. It also makes for an easy, take-anywhere way to project photos and presentations or stream movies.
Designer: Jakub Záhoř
Saving and investing your money used to be a hard chore that people actually hated doing, but now as tech keeps evolving it is becoming almost fun.
Acorns is an app that invests your spare change from everyday transactions into your very own diversified portfolio. You can easily get started in minutes: anytime, anywhere.·A simple and intelligent automatic investment system not only helps you invest regularly but also optimizes your investment through diversification and automatic re-balancing.
In other words, we buy low and sell high without you having to keep an eye on things. Acorns protects your information, prevents unauthorized account access, and notifies you of unusual activity. No commissions, ever. It’s always free to move your money into and out of Acorns. Using Acorns for a year costs less than what most traditional brokerages charge for just two trades. Once you invest, Acorns is only $1 per month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25% of the account balance per year for accounts of $5,000 or more.
Wealthfront makes it easy for anyone to get access to world-class, long-term investment management, at a super low-cost. Within 5 minutes and a few taps, the automated investment service goes right to work, monitoring your investment portfolio around the clock and taking action as soon as an opportunity arises. Whether you’re investing for retirement or a different long-term goal, Wealthfront automatically rebalances your portfolio and reinvests your dividends, and every trade is commission-free.
Simple offers awesome support, simplified budgeting tools, and most importantly, financial peace of mind. We believe you should be proud of your bank. With Simple, you get a stylish Simple Visa® Card, no surprise fees, and powerful budgeting and savings tools built right into your account—all accessible via web, iPhone, and Android. You’ll never miss your bank branch—there’s so much you can do right from your computer, iPhone, or Android. Control of your account is in your hands, wherever you go.
Betterment is the largest, fastest-growing automated investing service, helping people to better manage, protect, and grow their wealth. Use Betterment’s smarter technology to manage your investments in a customized, globally-diversified portfolio. The Betterment portfolio is designed to achieve optimal returns at every level of risk. Through diversification, automated rebalancing, better behavior, and lower fees, Betterment customers can expect 4.30% higher returns than a typical DIY investor.
In the stock market, a fraction of a second can mean the difference between a profit and a loss. Our team has built low-latency trading systems used by some of the world’s largest financial institutions, and we’re bringing that expertise to Robinhood.
As a Robinhood customer, your self-directed orders will receive the best possible trade execution. We cut out the fat that makes other brokerages costly — hundreds of storefront locations and manual account management. Robinhood notifies you in advance of scheduled events — like earnings, dividends, or splits, so you can get up-to-date information at the right time.
BillGuard is the fastest, easiest and most elegant way to manage personal finances. It helps you stay on top of your spending, lower your bills at your favorite places, and protect your cards from unwanted charges. Take control of your money by seeing your spending by category over time like you’ve never seen it before. Make things fun by competing with yourself month over month.
Irish researchers have achieved a breakthrough in the production of ‘wonder material’ graphene. Scientists at the AMBER, a materials science centre at Trinity College Dublin and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, have discovered a way to produce the material in industrial quantities. What makes “Graphene” so incredible you may ask? The substance is one the strongest known with a section 1mm thick being 200 times stronger than steel and a superconductor of electricity more than 1000 times more effective than copper. It’s also 97.3 per cent transparent and extremely bendable.
Until now, it was extremely difficult to produce because it is essentially a single-atom thick sheets of carbon made from graphite. In mass quantities, graphene could potentially revolutionize many parts of our lives, from providing the next step in battery technology, biomedical sensors, water filtration, to even photovoltaic cells used in solar panels The Dublin findings are to be published in the Nature Materials publication, heralded as a ‘global breakthrough’. “This shows how industry and academic collaboration can lead to research of the highest calibre, with real commercial applications,” Prof Jonathan Coleman from AMBER said. “Graphene has been identified as a life changing material and to be involved at this stage of development is a wonderful achievement.”
Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock praised the team’s work, saying producing graphene in mass quantities is “something that USA, China, Australia, UK, Germany and other leading nations have all been striving for and have not yet achieved”. Thomas Swan Ltd have now signed a contract with AMBER to scale-up production. The project was part of the Graphene Flagship, spanning 17 countries with 126 academics as well as industry partners working on a common goal, and was part of the €1 billion research project announced by the EU, of which Ireland received 1 per cent.
Plug your phone in for five seconds and it would be all charged up. The downside here is that you won’t be able to use a dead phone as an excuse anymore.
What if we actually had a clear solution for cleaning up the tainted water near Fukushima? Scientists at Rice say graphene could potentially clump together radioactive waste, making disposal is a breeze.
Water, water everywhere and EVERY drop drinkable. MIT mindshave a plan for a graphene filter covered in tiny holes just big enough to let water through and small enough to keep salt out, making salt water safe for consumption.
Touchscreens that use graphene as their conductor could beslapped onto plastic rather than glass. That would mean super thin, unbreakable touchscreens and never worrying about shattering your phone ever again.
Just a single sheet of graphene could produce headphones that have a frequency response comparable to a pair of Sennheisers, as some scientists at UC Berkeley recently showed us.
High-power graphene supercapacitors would make batteries obsolete. You wouldn’t have to charge your phone for years.
Graphene could pave the way for bionic devices in living tissues that could be connected directly to your neurons. So people with spinal injuries, for example, could re-learn how to use their limbs.
Since smart watches have been all the rage on the tech scene, designers have been introducing concepts, but until now, we hadn’t really come across one that was all that impressive. The Apple iWatch concept from Todd Hamilton certainly caught our attention though. The San Francisco based designer has taken on obvious design cues from the Nike FuelBand, opting for a vertical screen orientation. All of the Apple iPhone functions we have become familiar with over the years are still intact – tap to use Siri, the traditional swipe to unlock, pull down notifications, home button on the left side, and volumes on the right hand side.