Google is currently working on patenting a temporary electronic tattoo with Motorola that would be able to stick to the user’s throat. The patent, which was published last week, states that the tattoo would be able to communicate with smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and various types of wearable technology such as Google Glass. It would work similar to a Bluetooth-style connection and would include a power source and microphone. Users would be able to communicate with their devices via voice commands without having to wear an earpiece or use the Google Glass headset.
Another possibility mentioned in the ten page patent document states that the temporary electronic tattoo could also be used as a lie detector. This would be done by including a galvanic skin response detector, which would able to detect the reactions of users. “Galvanic” is a term that is in reference to the way that some surfaces and skin are able to conduct electricity. Outside of these options, the document even mentions that possible uses could include making incoming and outgoing audio clearer, such as for use with a smartphone. Clearly, while there are many options available for the use of the technology, Google hasn’t chosen any option specifically prior to the patent filing.
Images attached to the patent filing depict the tattoo with a size similar to a postage stamp or a small band-aid. The documents also mention that in addition to being able to stick to the throat with the use of an adhesive, the tattoo could also be used on a collar or a band around the user’s neck. Although it remains unclear about how this upcoming temporary electronic tattoo will be used, there are already an array of possibilities that are being presented. As wearable technology such as Google Glass continue to evolve, there will be countless additional opportunities to make use of options such as the upcoming temporary electronic tattoo.
Earlier in the year, Gmail introduced some quick-action buttons to help users improve their email interactions within their inbox. These features allowed for users to interact with various attachments without having to open their messages first. More recently, Google has focused on broadening the amount of support and functionality for the feature itself. Gmail now includes quick action buttons for YouTube, Seamless, OpenTable, and Dropbox. These new quick action buttons are incorporated into Gmail’s design to ensure that users can experience a more efficient email process, recognizing how much most people rely on their email in order to receive updates from these services.
If someone has ordered food from a restaurant on Seamless, Gmail allows them to rate and provide feedback for the business by clicking on a new ‘review’ button that is available. OpenTable works similarly, except it allows for users to edit their dinner reservations from their Gmail inbox. Individuals who make use of services such as Vimeo and YouTube can also benefit; their video clips can now be opened with a ‘view video’ quick action button. Shared Dropbox folders and Google Docs can also now be accessed through quick actions, which will end the need to search through folders in order to find links.
Since the initial release of the quick actions feature, Google has received a lot of positive feedback from users who have been taking full advantage of everything that it has to offer. Google has already stated that the company is planning on adding more quick action buttons in the future. This means that they may partner with more services to introduce them into the widening array of quick actions available. Ultimately, the continued improvements on quick actions will ensure that users have a more efficient and faster email experience every time they visit their Gmail inbox.
Google has announced that it will be releasing another update to Gmail today, which will incorporate a deeper level of Google Drive integration into the platform. Users will no longer have to download attachments in their email; instead, they will be able to view and save any sent files to their Google Drive instead. This new update comes a day after Google also released “Quick Actions” buttons which allow for users to have easier interactions with email messages.
The new Google Drive integrations into the platform are designed to ensure that users can have quicker interactions with their email content, such as attached files. Gmail users will be able to see new thumbnail previews for files at the bottom of their messages; this will include office documents, videos, photos, spreadsheets, and PDFs. Clicking on the file previews will display the item in a full-screen image format. Users can then interact with the file in the inbox instead of having to download it in order to view it or achieve full usage.
If users need to save the file for use or viewing later, they can click on the Google Drive button that will appear when they have hovered over the preview. The window that will appear will allow them to save the file to Drive and even choose the folder where the file can be stored at. If users ever need to download their file, there is also an arrow button that will allow them to download their files in the traditional manner.
Not only does this expedite and improve the email interaction experience but it also ensures that the online platform for Gmail feels more like the mobile platform, which had already featured less steps involved. It provides additional functionality for mobile devices, which would previously required a download of files in order to view and use them.
Earlier in the year, Google decided to run an overhaul on its Gmail service and create structure for how various types of emails are handled, such as promotional pitches, social media responses, and discussion group updates. The main inbox that Gmail users encounter during usage is reserved for their actual conversations with their contacts. There are also some ads that may look similar to emails, which are placed above the tabbed folders section. As the structure stands currently, any sort of email correspondence from companies that are promoting new services or deals will get sent straight to the “Promotions” tab.
However, there are some companies that are still trying to determine how the presence of the Promotions tab affects their marketing strategy. For companies that rely on email promotions, such as daily deal sites, it can be damaging because it means that users aren’t instantly seeing their promotional emails when they log into Gmail; they have to actually navigate to the Promotions tab in order have access to these deals. For other companies, it seems that the Promotions tab hasn’t negatively impacted their marketing strategies at all.
Companies such as Shutterfly, Expedia, and Constant Contact have said that they haven’t seen any noticeable changes in how Gmail’s Promotions tab affects the outcome of their marketing. Although Constant Contact did report that there were slight changes with the new Gmail update, the changes weren’t significant enough to drive them towards needing to change their marketing approach. It would seem that for most companies outside of the realm of ‘daily deals’ have not been negatively impacted by the new tabs, leaving many to wonder why experts had projected such poor results initially.
Google has recently revealed its plans to make certain that Google Apps and Gmail will no longer work with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9. The company said that it has completely stopped any engineering and testing that would normally ensure that Gmail and Apps are able to work with IE9. In a few weeks, Microsoft customers will receive notifications that IE9 is now an unsupported browser, along with a recommendation to upgrade to a more ‘modern’ browser choice instead.
Although some may find this news to be a bit dramatic, the decision is actually in line with Google’s policy that was released a couple of years ago. It is not a reflection of Google trying to eliminate competition against Chrome, but rather a matter of Google keeping its word. Announced in June 2011, the policy stated that its apps and services would only work with current and prior releases of major browsers. That policy applies to Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple’s Safari browsers.
The only reason that Internet Explorer 9 is being eliminated is because Microsoft recently released Internet Explorer 11 last month. This means that Google only needs to ensure that its apps are able to work with IE11 and IE10. When Internet Explorer 10 was approaching release last year along with the release of Windows 8, Google prepared users as early as a month in advance to let them know that the support for IE8 would end. In comparison, Google is late in announcing the change for Internet Explorer 9. There hasn’t been any explanation of why Google delayed to inform users that it was ending IE9 support.
Recent reports online have mentioned that Internet Explorer 11 is not working properly with Gmail lately, leaving some concern for Microsoft customers. With the elimination of Internet Explorer 9, Google has narrowed their options to rely upon and left them with only with their remaining support for Internet Explorer 10.
Google has recently started testing a “Sign in to Chrome” prompt that appears when users of Chrome sign into Gmail. Google has confirmed that this is a test for Gmail, but hasn’t provided any further details. A spokesperson for Google provided a statement claiming that the company is always experimenting with new features, but that they don’t have anything specific to share with the public currently.
It’s important to note that not everyone is seeing the new test prompt. In order for it to appear, users need to be using Chrome and must not be signed into the browser already. Even under these circumstances, the test prompt page for Gmail appears only once or twice per account since it is just an experiment.
Although Google isn’t doing anything wrong, people who are concerned about privacy may become concerned. Most internet users do not realize that they are providing Google with their local data when they click the option to “Sign in to Chrome.” Most people wouldn’t care, but there’s still the concern that they should be informed about what information they are providing to Google and how that information is being used. There are a lot of people who are now suggesting that Google should include an opt-in page to ensure that people are aware, even though this is just a test process.
While it is just a test page, it should be kept in mind that many of the options that Google has tested over the years have eventually been released and eventually gained the acceptance of its group of users. Even if people are mildly concerned about the current test page, it’s very likely that Google will release a final version ready for the public that may also acknowledge some of their fears about internet privacy.
Although a variety of technological innovations and tools continue to make the fax machine seem almost obsolete, there are a number of different elements working together which manage to keep the use of the fax machine alive and well. Undoubtedly, one of the largest factors that drives people to continue using the fax machine is found in the use of the internet fax industry. Options such as Google fax and eFax are essentially cloud products which allow people to be able to send and receive faxes in the form of PDF documents. This makes the fax process more convenient and efficient.
The fax machine is used frequently in other countries which rely on it as a method of communication, such as in Japan where it is still greatly used for business purposes and even to provide warning advisories to surrounding governments. In the United States, every February the fax machine gains a large amount of attention during college football’s National Signing Day. This is due to the countless high school recruits which are required to send their scholarship commitments and agreements via fax. There are also many other situations where the fax continues to be used on a daily basis, such as sending tax documents for business purposes or even getting written approval from doctors for medical procedures.
While there are some that belief that the fax machine has a very short-term relevance in the modern world, it’s undeniable that faxing continues to maintain function. As long as businesses, academic institutions and other facilities require faxes, the method of communication is never going to completely disappear. There are always going to be consumers and customers who are going to rely upon it for some form of communication. This is especially true as the internet fax industry continues to evolve and make faxing documents more convenient. Although faxing as we recognize it may eventually change, there’s still many circumstances where faxing itself will continue to survive.
New reports claim that Japan’s reliance on the increasingly outdated fax technology may be to blame for the failure of warning citizens about the danger associated with Typhoon Wipha. The Japan Meteorology Agency defined Typhoon Wipha as a strong “once a decade” storm; its strength brought heavy rains that ultimately led to deadly mudslides responsible for the deaths of 28 people and over 20 other individuals that remain unaccounted for.
The issue is that the Tokyo Metropolitan government sent a fax transmission to warn the affected local governments. The Miyake government received the warning and advised all of the residents to evacuate as soon as possible, but the office staff in Izu-Oshima had already left and the officials didn’t see the faxed advisory until almost midnight, six hours later. At this point, it was already deemed too dangerous to ask the residents within the area to leave their homes. Although Japan has one of the world’s fastest internet connections, most of corporate Japan and its officials continue to rely on fax machines. Fax machine technology itself became fairly widespread in Japan during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Despite the issues associated with using the antiquated version of fax technology, the Tokyo Metropolitan government is still defending its continued use of the methods. They claim that it has worked well in the past and that it hasn’t led to any serious issues previously. One official said that that the government will keep the current fax system in place, but that they have also collected the mobile numbers for disaster prevention and control at the local governments in the area so that they may contact them directly when fax communication fails. The government maintains that sending a fax is the most efficient warning option available because it allows them to transmit all of the advisories at once.
Is using Google Glass while driving risky to other drivers on the road? That’s what many are asking after the first woman to be ticketed using Google Glass is now defending her decisions. Software developer Cecilia Abadie shared in an interview with Associated Press that she is already in preparations of her defense for the unnecessary arrest. She claims that although the Glass was on, she wasn’t actively using it during her driving experience. Glass was in a passive mode while she was driving and wasn’t even active by the time that the cop arrived.
The officer who stopped Abadie said that he stopped her because she was supposedly speeding. However, when he noticed that her eyewear was a bit different from the norm, he proceeded to add a citation for ‘distracted driving.’ Abadie now claims that due to the officer’s citation, she feels that the laws are fairly outdated now. One officer offered the definition that any item that might take your attention away from the motoring public can be considered to be a distraction, regardless of what it may be; this would include reaching for food, or indeed, using Google Glass.
Yet now that one woman has been ticketed in association with using Google Glass while driving, there are now legislators in states and even other countries wondering whether if it would be easier and safer to just ban the use of Glass. It started with West Virginia and then followed up with Delaware, New Jersey, and even the UK. Abadie has already stated that she will be fighting the legal situations to come because she views it as ‘transparent justice.’ Many of the original Glass users have said that they believe that Google Glass improves driving safety because it ensures that they don’t have to reach for their cell phone.