Friday, February 24, 2017

Smart Homes

Smart Homes are all the rage these days and not without good reason. It can be nice to be away from your home and look at an app on your phone to check in on the security cameras. It might feel a bit creepy inside your home if you're there and you know that someone is watching you but  what a great way to monitor the exterior if you're on vacation or even just away for an long day.

There are also thermostats like the Nest. This thermostat will learn your habits and you can even turn on the heat remotely when you're on the way home.

Samsung has a "Smarthings"  product list that features many products with smart sensors. Water leak sensors, small appliances and lights can all be controlled with your smart phone.

Let's not forget the Amazon Echo and Google Home.  These devices can do many amazing things such as playing games, ordering items from the internet and controlling items in your home.

I'm not sure that I need a device in my refrigerator to tell me what I need to buy at the store but I know there will be many new uses of  this technology.  It's hard to remember life before smart phones and that was only 10 years ago. What changes will the next 10 years bring?

Friday, February 17, 2017

More About Maps

Another conversation about maps this week. Road maps can get you around the roads but is this really the best way for pedestrians to get around? UW’s Taskar Center for Accessible Technology has developed Access Map. This is a map that is designed to get people through the city in the easiest way. This map will not only tell you the easiest route but also tell you which side of the road is the easiest to walk down. Sometimes bad curbs, sidewalks and construction can mean that the shortest route isn't the safest. 
Give the map a try. If you use it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

City of Seattle Building map

Seattle Buildings
It's interesting to see what is changing in Seattle. We've seen tremendous growth in the city in the last few years as more technology firms are expanding their businesses in Seattle. We have new  buildings that are both residential condos and buildings that are primarily office and business space. The City of Seattle has released a new mapping tool that identifies the status of proposed changes as well as the timeline, documents that have been filed, comments on the project and even planned meetings  that you can attend. Take a look at the map and see if there is a building that you are interested in and watch to see what kinds of changes are being proposed and planned.

City of Seattle Building Map

Friday, February 3, 2017

Interesting People

We all love to meet interesting people. Just what is it that makes one person more interesting than another however?

There have been many conversations about this topic. Some people are just naturally interesting but you can also learn to become more interesting.

Several things that I love about interesting people is their passion about specific subjects and their quirkiness.

Usually interesting people have interests in something outside of my expertise or experience. Maybe it's old sewing machines, or new technologies. It might even be something like how many different kinds of Hummingbirds there are in Washington. I had no idea there were four different types that called Washington home.

I also love their quirkiness and their willingness to not hide the fact that they are unique. So many people try to hide the things that make them different. This can be with clothes, ideas or even lifestyles. I know a woman who got tired of her hair color and although she is well about the age of senior citizen, she now sports a short vibrant purple hair style.

As I'm learning new things this year, I'm going to try and meet more interesting people and listen to their stories.  I'm sure that I will have some things to share with my friends as we move through the year.