This week on the HotSpot, brought to you by Memory Protection Devices:

  • Smartwatches have recently hit the market, and rumor has it, they may be an actual replacement for smartphones, but how the heck are you supposed to text on such a tiny display. Well, students at Carnegie Mellon University have developed the ZoomBoard system, a full miniature QWERTY keyboard for stand-alone smartwatches and quick messages for smaller displays. Tapping the display causes the system to zoom in on the keys. Holding your finger on a key gets you a capital version of that letter, a swipe to the right produces a space (as does tapping the space bar), and a swipe to the left deletes a typed character. Want the symbol keys, just swipe upward on the display with your finger.
  • A biometric payment terminal from Paytouch. Users interested in using the system register their prints at a PayTouch Enrollment station of participating businesses. Users can then make purchases simply by placing two of their fingers on the dual fingerprint scanners of a PayTouch mobile payment device. As soon as the system verifies their identity via their fingerprints, the payment is automatically made from the linked card.
  • Having trouble putting the kiddies to bed at night, or even to get them to put on their pajamas? Get them a pair of Smart PJs, interactive sleepwear that have bedtime stories digitally hidden in them.  The pajamas are covered with a pattern of multi-colored dot codes – each one of those codes is different from the others. When one of them is scanned using a smartphone running the accompanying app, a bedtime story that’s unique to that code appears on the phone.
  • Companies are developing miniature medical devices that tap the power of the smartphone in hopes of changing how people monitor their own health. Question about your b.lood pressure? Just plug the arm cuff into the phone for a quick reading. Heart OK? Put your fingers in the right spot, and the squiggly rhythm of an EKG appears on the phone's screen. Plug in a few more devices and you could have photos of your eardrum or the back of your eye, listen to your heartbeat, chart your lung function, and even get a sonogram.

Do you have story ideas? Comment below or email we'll cover them in an upcoming episode.

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