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Tech Talk – 3D Printing and Handy Mapping

In this regular series, I roundup some of the hottest tech topics out there which you may not yet have heard about. Let's get things started…

Google Maps send to iOS

Google Maps recently updated their iOS application to version 4.7.0. This update featured a few interesting features including the ability to send map information to your iOS phone.

Recently I used the "send to device" feature to send directions to my son's lacrosse game and found it very easy to use and extremely handy. This feature would be great for businesses who are traveling to customer appointments with unfamiliar addresses, or need directions to their location.

Learn more about the new feature.


Robotic 3D bridge printing

Amsterdam-based company MX3D is planning to print a steel bridge using robotic-controlled 3D printers later this year. MX3D are using industrial multi-axis robots to print the bridge, allowing for more advanced printing techniques beyond a traditional box-style 3D printer.

From the MX3D site, designer Joris Laarman states:

“I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in “the new craft”. This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form."


The Battle of the Digital Assistants

Your mobile phone has most likely been equipped with some sort of digital assistant for quite some time now; Siri for iOS, Google Now for Android and Cortan for Windows Phone users. These assistants have been good for asking simple questions or getting directions, and they are getting better. At the recent Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) and Google I/O (an annual software developer-focused conference), significant improvements have been announced for the upcoming updates to the Apple and Android platforms.

Based on information from WWDC, Apple's iOS9 will apparently include an "intelligence" feature and Siri will soon provide "proactive assistance" where it will learn your habits and provide assistance based on time of day, location and what app you may be using. When you receive an email that mentions an upcoming appointment Siri can automatically update your calendar and give you pop-up notifications for your appointments. This will even take into account travel time from your location and current traffic reports. You could see how features such as these could help your business run more efficiently.

Now SoundHound has released a new voice assistant app simply called Hound, positioned to leap over the competition. Its speed is the most impressive part of its current functions, but based on the video below you'll also see its research capabilities. The Hound demo, even though it was filmed with a potato, is simply amazing and a glimpse of what we can expect in the future.

What tech topics have you been following the past month?

Tom Connon

Tom is a previous small business owner/operator and now has over 17 years of telecom experience. As a Portfolio Manager he specializes in product/service development, managing technical workforces and Customer/Segment Marketing. Outside of the office, Tom can be found shuttling his kids around from Lacrosse, hockey and ringette practices at a rink near you.

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