IBM Watson launches a “Siri for Cities” app as more tech companies clamor for smart cities where “things” can communicate and supply data

(Courtesy IBM Watson)

(Courtesy IBM Watson)

The IT industry is pushing relentlessly to institutionalize smart cities by installing internet-connected lampposts, digital signage, building facades, and more. IT research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, 2.9 billion connected “things” will be in use in the consumer sector.

IBM Watson jas joined the breakneck race with the launch of its “Siri for Cities,” a cognitive computing platform that enables users to ask complex questions about city services. By speaking into their smartphones, laptops or Apple Watches, residents can inquire about fire and police services to parking and waste collection.

Continue reading after the jump.

While Google is photographing your street, its cars will also be mapping the air city dwellers breathe

(Courtesy Aclima)

(Courtesy Aclima)

Will we call it Air View? Google is collaborating with San Francisco–based, pollution-tech start-up Aclima to begin assessing air quality in metropolitan areas across the United States. Cars Google uses to capture its popular Street Views have been equipped with Aclima’s environmental sensors and will be able to detect pollutants such as Methane, Carbon Dioxide, and Black Carbon.

Continue reading after the jump.

Google recruits Carnegie Mellon University to create a “living lab” of smart city technologies

Other
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
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(Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University)

(Courtesy Carnegie Mellon University)

Google has awarded an endowment worth half a million dollars to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to build a “living lab” for the search engine giant’s Open Web of Things (OWT) expedition. OWT envisions a world in which access to networked technology is mediated through internet-connected buildings and everyday objects—beyond the screen of a smartphone or computer device.

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Called out by Greenpeace for lack of transparency, Amazon commits to building solar farm in Virginia to power its data centers

East, Sustainability
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
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(Courtesy Flickr/Creative Commons)

(Courtesy Flickr/Creative Commons)

E-commerce giant Amazon is under fire from groups to catch up to its tree-hugging counterparts. To boost its “green” credentials, the company has announced the building of a new solar farm in coal-reliant Virginia to power its numerous data centers in the region.

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Here’s a bright idea: Tech firms wants to gather data through Kansas City street lights

A streetlight in Kansas City. (Daniel X. O'Neil)

A (regular, not smart) streetlight in Kansas City. (Daniel X. O’Neil)

Streetlights and lampposts are good for more than finding your way home and singin’ in the rain. Tech firms Cisco Systems and Sensity Networks plan to help Kansas City roll out smart lighting that can broadcast and share data with city agencies and private companies. Read More

Google and the University of Washington cook up new algorithm for turning your vacation snaps into time-lapse videos

Technology
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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Think twice before posting photos of your imaginary suntan online: Google could be sifting through your latest vacation snaps for an unforeseen ulterior motive. The search engine giant teamed up with researchers at the University of Washington to cull public photographs of iconic landmarks from the Internet and stitch them together in chronological order.

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Google trumped (for once) by LinkedIn, leaving Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick swoopy plans in limbo

Architecture, Development, West
Thursday, May 7, 2015
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One of Big and Heatherwick's four planned buildings for Google. (BIG)

One of Big and Heatherwick’s four planned buildings for Google. (BIG)

Mountain View, California’s city council has decided that LinkedIn and not Google will be able to develop the majority of its North Bayshore area, leaving Google’s ambitious plans by Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick in jeopardy.

Continue reading after the jump.

Google Maps turns any city into the eight-bit world of Pacman

City Terrain, Design, International
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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pacman-maps-01

In what appears to be an April Fools’ prank launched a day early, Google has added an eight-bit video game, ahem, Easter Egg feature to Google Maps. While browsing around the city of your choice, look for the Pacman box in the lower left-hand corner right next to the aerial photography button. Click it, and you’re transported into a dot-filled, ghost-infested city street grid in search of cherries. Take a look!

Breaking! Renderings and video of Bjarke Ingels’ and Heatherwick’s Google headquarters unveiled

(Courtesy BIG & Heatherwick Studio)

(Courtesy BIG & Heatherwick Studio)

Just two days ago, AN brought you word that Copenhagen- and New York–based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and London-based Heatherwick Studio were teaming up to design the new headquarters for Google in Mountain View, California. At the time, it was only being reported that the complex would comprise “a series of canopylike buildings.” Well, now we know what those canopylike buildings will look like and a whole lot more.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick are reportedly designing Google’s new headquarters

Architecture, Media, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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Bjarke Ingels, left, and Thomas Heatherwick, right.

Bjarke Ingels, left, and Thomas Heatherwick, right.

Presumably not wanting to be outdone by Facebook and its Frank Gehry–designed digs or Apple and its Norman Foster–designed doughnut, Google has tapped two architectural big hitters for its new Mountain View, California headquarters. According to the New York Times, the company is expected to announce that the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio are behind the yet-to-be-seen design, which given the two firms’ portfolios, should be pretty dramatic. But all we know at this point is that the headquarters will be comprised of “a series of canopylike buildings.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Lifting The Veil On So Many Secrets

Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, November 14, 2014
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If Google Doodle's are any clue, Sergi Brin's new house might look something like this. (Courtesy Google)

If Google Doodle’s are any clue, Sergei Brin’s new house might look something like this. (Courtesy Google)

It’s such a shame that we live in areas so full of secrecy. Why won’t Hollywood stars in Los Angeles or tech moguls in San Francisco let architects spread the word about their million dollar houses? Sure we hear dribs and drabs. For instance that Sergei Brin and a major executive at Yahoo! have both commissioned San Francisco architect Olle Lundberg to design their new abodes. But these tidbits are far too infrequent. So we at Eavesdrop are making a plea for you to share gossip on who is designing for the most famous people you can think of. We promise, we won’t divulge our sources. And we won’t partner with Us Weekly. Probably.

More secrets after the jump.

Gensler, LOT-EK Design Google’s San Francisco Barge With Sails, Shipping Containers

West
Friday, November 15, 2013
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A rendering of the Google barge (By and Large, LLC).

A rendering of the Google barge (By and Large, LLC).

The rumors are true: Google is building that barge docked at Treasure Island on the San Francisco Bay. Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle uncovered documents submitted to the city by By and Large, a company connected to Google, that revealed plans for a “studio and tech exhibit space.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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