Posts tagged predict

TOTW: New Google Maps Will Make It Impossible To Get Lost

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The Google I/O has brought another big change in Google’s wide range of products. That product is Google Maps, which will get a pretty big redesign soon. It will have some features (which I will explain) that will make it easy to plan trips to anywhere. Also, it has a seamless and very responsive design that learns your preferences and customizes itself to fit you. Google Maps is no more just a virtual map; it’s your travel assistant.

Everything is going modern. That includes Google Maps. It’s new design takes away the sidebar (which isn’t a very big loss) and expands the map to the whole screen. This lets you use a MUCH wider view for planning and will be very be beneficial. Also modern.

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The New Sidebar In Use

But, there will have to be SOME way to put in you desired location. For that, Google has put in a little floating bar at the top. From that bar, you can put in your destination, and Google does the rest. You can also pick the way you want travel; bike, car, walking, public transit and even sometimes planes. For each of these settings, Google Maps highlights the best route, while also dimming out roads it doesn’t think is important. All the small details matter to get the easiest and best experience.

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Public Transit Screenshot

So, when you put in your address, Google Maps will (1) place the usual marker on the building and (2) show a drop down square on the search bar that has all the needed information. This square is probably the most important feature of the new Google Maps. You will see all the information on it that you would need such as a directions button, a review for stores, other information and more.

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The New Maps Being Displayed At The 2013 Google I/O

Google Maps is also a good way to find a store, restaurant or other retail. You can put in a general term, such as Italian Restaurant in a certain area and it will bring up all the options as red dots (red for food only). Once you hit one of them, a square will come up with the information. Also, the map will adjust and show similar restaurants and streets. Over time, the map will learn your preferences and adjust the map for exactly what you like. It’s actually scary how fast smart computers are developing, and Google is surely working to speed that up. Soon, (I think) they will be able to PREDICT exactly when you will look something up or or go somewhere. Lets just hope they don’t turn against us.

TOTW: Funf Open Sensing Framework

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Personal lifestyle analytics can be fascinating. How fast am I, how much do I use my computer or my smartphone, and so on. Special apps and technologies such as accelerometers help feed our thirst for knowledge about our own behaviors. Behavio’s new open-source data collector Funf hopes to make this analysis easy.

Funf uses built-in features in Android phones to make fully customizable data aggregators. Their app can track your location, sleeping and walking patterns using the accelerometer, in addition to phone usage patterns, texts, calls, and much, much more. Funf Journal is an Android only app that basically makes it easy to track, analyze and export data. With Funf Journal, you can know almost everything about yourself, the good and the bad.

A Screenshot From Funf Journal

Funf is not only a personal tracker, it’s also a developer tool. With Funf In A Box, you can make an easy app that uses certain Funf capabilities. After setting up Funf In A Box, it makes a folder in your Dropbox account (if you don’t have one, it’s about time to sign up). Then, you can get your app in the Android App Store and it will send the data to your Dropbox folder for you to see. Easy! (Funf In A Box is still in beta, so results may vary)

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How is Funf In A Box useful? Well, you can export your personal data into other programs. For instance, Alex Pentland, director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, is running a experiment to try to predict social fads. He choose Funf and gave 130+ participants Android phones with Funf installed. While the results are not yet in, the app could prove a valuable tool for online social analytics. I’m just wondering if he can predict if I’m going to buy Funf or not!

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