Kid-friendly smart watch tells them when to brush their teeth, so you don’t have to

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Getting a small child to brush their teeth can feel like hosting a nightly WWE wrestling match in your bathroom. But the new icon-based Octopus watch for kids ages 3 to 8 aims to help with this and other daily habits. 

The Octopus watch’s Kickstarter campaign has raised more than $ 231,000 in pledges — more than four times its $ 50,000 fundraising goal — which could indicate that at least a few parents are seeking help in the instilling-good-habits department. 

Actually the Octopus, designed by JOY, has three intended functions. It’s a watch, teaching kids to read time using both digital and analog faces. It’s a scheduler that parents can remote-program with pop-up icons to notify kids when it’s time for certain activities: basketball practice, bath time, feeding the cat. And it’s an assistant, providing tips, notes, and reminders for both kids and parents. Read more…

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Apple will open Siri to developers and launch Amazon Echo-like smart speaker, report says

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Apple has big plans for Siri that will make the company’s famous assistant a lot more useful, according to a new report.

The company will soon open up Siri to developers with new software tools that will allow Siri to tap into more third-party services, according to a new report in The Information. Apple is also working on a new pice of a hardware, an Amazon Echo rival that will work with Apple’s smart home platform.

Apple plans to put Siri in the hands of developers with a new software development kit (SDK) that will reportedly be called the Siri SDK. The Siri SDK could launch at next months’s World Wide Developer Conference, where Apple typically previews the newest version of IOS and its latest developer tools. Read more…

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When Smart Cities Fight Mother Nature

Anyone who has ever spent the night huddled on a rooftop surrounded by rising flood waters knows it’s terrifying. Alejandro Zelada, a survivor of massive floods in Buenos Aires in 2013, describes the experience. “It was like a wave, a tsunami, and all the furniture started to float”, said Zelada. “We only lost our belongings, but others lost their lives.”


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