Korea Technology in Silicon Valley

Korea Technology in Silicon Valley

The two-day KTech – KGlobal@Silicon Valley 2015 symposium and expo organized by the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning along with KOTRA Silicon Valley; was dedicated to promote Korean technology and its ties with Silicon Valley. The event took place on November 12-13, 2015 at Marriott hotel in Santa Clara, CA. The opening remarks were delivered by Yong Soo Kim, Assistant Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, ChangYup Na, Managing Director of KOTRA in Sillicon Valley, Jong-Lok Yoon, President of National IT Industry Promotion Agency, Congressman Mike Honda from 17th District of California and Dongman Han and Consul General of Republic of Korea in San Francisco.

The main theme of this year event was “Automated Future: Human + Technology”.

The first keynote speaker Curtis Sasaki, Vice President of Ecosystems and IoT General Manager from Samsung Electronics stated that in 2020 many of our devices will be connected. Sasaki who worked in the past at Apple and Sun Microsystems, and today at Samsung, the most recognizable brand from Korea, described some effort and the products that company offers: Samsung Sleepsense, the sleep monitor, Samsung Gear S2, stylish and smart watch, and Samsung gear VR. According Sasaki, next area where we should expect a lot of traffic is VR (Virtual Reality). And VR is not just for a gaming but may also conquer other territories such as real estate, where surprisingly, people are willing to buy a house without visiting it or in education where the technology can offer the VR tour of the world in every school. Samsung applied the VR in their smartphones, like the Galaxy 5, and just headphones are needed to get a VR experience. In his summary, Sasaki pointed out the challenges that society faces nowadays and summarized the solutions: IoT can be a catalyst, partnerships are critical, technology and innovation are moving at an even faster pace than in the past.

A world experienced wide robotics revolution – stated second keynote speaker Rodney Brooks, Founder, Chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics – sustaining growth in the face of demographic inversion. Brooks is convinced that time for the robots to interact with humans in the daily life is now. As he described it: It knows what you mean and it does what you want. Radical rethinking of manufacturing strategies is underway. The time is now because of convergence of Industrial Internet (Intelligent devices networked into intelligent systems), Additive manufacturing (Changing the economics of scale), Near-shoring (Benefit of low-cost outsourcing is eroding), Digital revolution (Cheap sensing, cheap computation, pervasive connectivity). As the population enjoys long life expectancy the robotics is going to get pulled into in home for elder care and find it use in the aging population. Brooks showed the statistics from Europe, 1950 when the population reaches 349.8 million and life longevity was 80, in Europe 2050 the population will be 401 million with life longevity to the late 90. The speaker reminded the audience that the first commercial robot was developed was in a GM factory in New Jersey in 1961. Today robotics represents baxter, research robot; the product of robust and growing developer community sharing code and applications, uses the Unified RobotDesriptor Format (URDF) for collaboration across groups, uses open source ROS framework, the standard in academia and corporate research, complete robotics platform with low-level control for custom application development, interface for custom end-effector development.

The keynote speakers set the mood for a vibrant Automated Future: Human + Technology panel discussions over the next two –days of KTech symposium. Meanwhile more than 35 Korean companies in security, wearables, big data, e-learning, hardware and software were presenting their solutions for the world at the expo area along with international job fair at the Marriott hotel in Santa Clara.

Photos of the event can be found at: https://brightblueii.com/photos/ktechsilicon-valley-2015/

More information at the website: http://www.ktechsv.org/

Hamlet for the ages

Hamlet for the ages

On the evening of November 10, 2015, thousands of fortunate theatre-goers world-wide were treated to a rare theatrical experience.  They were offered the opportunity, through the good graces of Fathom Events, to witness a filmed live presentation of William Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy, Hamlet staring Benedict Cumberbatch of “The Imitation Game” fame in the title role.  And a rare treat it was.

At the ripe old age of 400, Shakespeare’s iconic work, bursting at the seams with 4,000 vibrant lines of verse and prose, is as vital and relevant today as it was to audiences in the 17th century.  An un-cut version of the play can run up to a daunting four hours, yet in an age of instant global communication and fast food, it nonetheless remains for us one of the greatest works of dramatic literature ever penned.  Shakespeare  not only belongs to the ages…he belongs to the world.  In fact, his 37 plays have been translated into more than 100 languages and in the past ten years alone there have been seven professional productions in Arabic and over the years countless amateur and professional performances have been done in Yiddish.

Shakespeare’s plays were performed at the fortuitously named Globe theatre in Elizabethan London, a large round “wooden O” which was open to sky and could accommodate 1,500 spectators, with the gentry seated above and commoners standing below in the yard and having put 1 penny in a box at the entrance (origin of term “box office”) for the privilege.  The bare stage thrust out into the yard where those Groundlings (also called “Stinkards”) stood and was completely devoid of any scenery.  Consequently, the actor relied almost exclusively on Shakespeare’s dialogue to fix the location of the action.  Such lines as “Here we are in the Forest of Arden” fulfilled this demand admirably.  Costumes and props were minimal, limited to perhaps an occasional crown or sword, with Claudius no doubt wearing an identifying crown and Hamlet with sword in hand, dispatching the hapless Polonius behind the areas in Gertrude’s bed chamber. “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, I took thee for thy better.”

But that was then, and even though the language of the plays has remained constant throughout the centuries, what has changed radically has been the style of acting and the entire miss en scene, i.e., the sets and scenic design elements, the sophisticated computerized lighting, the elaborate costumes, etc., all determined by the culture of the time and place where the plays were performed.  A minority of productions have remained faithful to the bare stage tradition of the Elizabethan period such as Richard Burton’s  dynamic, bare-bones1964 Broadway presentation, performed on a bare stage with actors  performing in rehearsal clothes (Burton hated period costumes).  In contrast to that production, we need look no further than the over-the-top, sumptuously extravagant 1996 Kenneth Branagh film version which he directed and played the title role.  His is a Hamlet that pulled out all the stops and was roundly criticized for it, not being “faithful” to the original text it was claimed. In one scene for example, Ophelia is in a padded cell sporting a straight jacket with little evidence in Shakespeare’s text of such a fate.

The National Theatre’s offering at the Barbican clearly leaned more to the Branagh rather than the Burton tradition, but with infinitely greater moderation, being quite legitimately, a richly staged production which captured the dark essence of the play.  Here we have an Elsinore that is dank, cold and cavernous, dwarfing its doomed inhabitants, and being at once both elegant and decadent, fostering a thematic tone of foreboding that took on the qualities of a forbidding damp tomb, perfectly complementing the emerging tragedy that is unfolding.

And Shakespeare’s language?  Mr Cumberbatch, ably backed by a splendid supporting cast, delivered his lines with an honesty and clarity that immediately engaged his audience and allowed Hamlet to come alive for us through the immediacy of the emotion he so effectively conveying.  His was not so much the traditional “melancholic Dane” as he was a man beset by overwhelming passions and unbridled fury, the inevitable escape from which could only be realized in death.

If, as Hamlet extols to the visiting players, “the play’s the thing…”,  then this well balanced, forceful production of Hamlet, splendidly sculptured for a 21st century audience, fulfilled that admonishment.

Lidia Paulinska and Hugh McMahon


BioForum Fireside Chat with Robert Nelsen

BioForum Fireside Chat with Robert Nelsen

The lunchtime plenary session at the Bio Investor Forum in San Francisco featured a fireside chat with BioTech investor Robert Nelsen. Nelsen described himself as a self-motivated investor who started his investment in projects at age 11. His key strategy today and main personal belief on investing is that science and technology matters, and that basic research is key. His premised was explained in his love the Scientific American which has a section showing the understanding and ideas in science 10, 20 and 50 years ago. The results shown in this section, are that what science understood at a given time was wrong based on the current understanding and science. This is an on-going challenge, as the improvements in science research and the interpretation of the results are constantly returning new explanations for basic science, and delivering new opportunities for business.

Using this information, Nelsen believes that companies should try new things and in new ways to learn the best ways to make something right, based on the latest information available. This mentality allows Robert to invest and focus big hard problems that multiple angles and aspects to address the problem. This gives multiple opportunities to find valid solutions over traditional methods. An area of the biggest interest is psychological drugs which address the varied space of Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

Right now, the cost of treatment and medication is 80% of the cost of a reactive care treatment plan. The cost increased as hospitalization and invasive methods are tried. He believes that many of these cases can be treated with drugs rather than invasive physical care. This would bring the treatment to an out-patient methodology, and dramatically impact the $3T in physical care billing annually.

From an investment and business strategy, the IP piece is secondary to getting the right scientists on the best practice for the program. The place for these pieces is cures require first line defensive IP, secondarily in the marketplace offensive position IP. This idea yields a belief that in the bay area, with the right strategy and the right team (good science and good people) can do anything and can beat big pharma to market and with innovative products.

Pepcom Holiday Spectacular SF

Pepcom Holiday Spectacular SF

Holiday spectacular event hosted by Pepcom in San Francisco on October 28 was featuring some great gifts ideas for quickly approaching holiday’s season. This annual event provides a sneak peak into the offering at CES coming up after the holiday season in January. This year’s event had over 50 exhibitors presenting the new or improved version of their electronic consumer targeted products, most of which are available for the 2015 holiday season.  A highlight list of some of the more interesting products at the show follow.

AeroGarde is the indoor gardening system that lets you grow fresh herbs and vegetables all year-round.  This is a standalone “pod” with its own grow light source to be used indoors in any location is produced by the Miracle Gro company.

ArcSoft demos Perfect365, its celebrity favorite, 65 million user, digital makeover app and simplicam Wi-Fi home monitoring camera with both face detection and face recognition.

BACtrack showcased BACtrack Vio and BACtrack Mobile smartphone breathalyzers; featuring Bluetooth connectivity and iOS and Android compatibility. These powerful devices allow users to quickly and easily estimate their BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and make smarter, more informed decisions.

Beddit Smart sleep tracker makes any bed a smart bed by combining an ultra-thin sensor placed under the bed sheet with an iOS device; there’s nothing to wear and nothing to do but go to sleep.

Belkin, WeMo and Linksys showed off their latest products for the holiday season including new smart home gadgets, smartphone and tablet accessories and wireless networking gear.

Bitdefender 2016 come with a new ransomware protection that prevents untrusted applications from tampering personal documents and “machine learning-based technologies” that enables it to detect even brand new threats faster than ever.

Canary is a complete security system packed into a single device that you control from your smartphone.

Cobra Electronics and sister companies Escort, Inc. and Beltronics showcased their newest models of radar detection systems, featuring digital signal processing (DSP) technology for award-winning range and added rejection of false or unwanted alerts. Also on display will be Cobra’s recently released Cobra JumPack™ CPP 8000 portable power/jump starter system and Drive HD™ Dash Cams.

ecobee3 now includes geo-fencing in addition to Siri and room sensors, for more intuitive control of your home comfort, particularly in the rooms that matter most.

ESET  showed its latest cybersecurity solutions that protect people from cyber threats while shopping, banking, doing email and more.

Exeo Entertainment, Inc. is an interactive entertainment company that manufactures patented Psyko® 5.1 surround sound gaming headphones and Krankz™ lifestyle branded music headphones.

Fizzics  showed the world’s first personal beer dispenser that delivers a fresh from the tap experience from any bottle, can or growler.

FLIR Systems showed its latest consumer devices designed to enhance visual perception and awareness for home, work and play.

Gazelle showed Gazelle Certified™ pre-owned iPads.

Hasbro showed Playmation table that allow experienced this groundbreaking system of toys and wearables. The next step in the evolution of play, where digital gets physical and imagination becomes real.

HTC showed the newest addition to the HTC One family, unveiled last week, the HTC One A9.

Huawei presented the latest Smartphones, wearables and tablets.

iBaby Labs  Not only revealed Helmet, a family monitor under the new iFamCare brand, iBaby Labs will showcase its award-winning baby monitors.

Immersion demonstrated the latest consumer electronic device and video game to launch with its TouchSense haptic technology – for more dynamic, versatile, touch effect experience – expected to be on the market this fall.

IMVU is the #1 avatar-based social network, introduced 3D stickers to bring your online conversations to life.

JLab Audio showed the Epic Bluetooth Earbuds, a lightweight, sweatproof fitness headphone that provides a customized fit and 10-hour battery life.

Kingston Technology showcased its latest selection of gaming, mobile, and memory products that get you into the action and keep going wherever you are.

Loot Crate, best known for shipping themed mystery boxes of the best geek, gaming, and pop culture gear, showcased the company’s holiday 2015 line-up.

Martian Watches debuted its recently launched Active Collection of award-winning Voice Command Smartwatches; water resistant smartwatches that honor classic analog designs with advanced features like voice commands, Smart Notifications and access to thousands of apps.

Master Lock showed its new line of Bluetooth Smart Padlocks, a new level of convenience and security that turns your smart device into a key.

MoCA®  –Multimedia over Coax Alliance, demonstrated how networking products with MoCA from members Actiontec and TiVo turn existing coax TV cable into a powerful, easy to use wired backbone that supports and extends Wi-Fi®.

Moshi presented new bags, cases and speakers designed for the stylish tech connoisseur.

Muse is the brain sensing headband, helps you to take the guesswork out of meditation by giving real-time audio feedback that motivates and guides you through a more fulfilling and ongoing meditation practice.

NETGEAR showed its latest solutions for supporting the increasing number of Internet devices that enable your networked life: routers, extenders, adapters, security cameras, cable modems, and mobile WiFi hotspots.

Parallels presented Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac and the Parallels Access mobile app (for iOS and Android devices plus PCs and Macs).

Performance Designed Products demonstrated the latest gaming accessories from the Afterglow and Rock Candy brands, along with premium licensed products like the Official PS4 Universal Media Remote.

PERI, Wi-Fi audio technology company showcased its Duo product, a first-of-its-kind iPhone case featuring high-definition Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled speakers and a 3000mAh battery.

Petzila showed off the Petzi Treat Cam that lets people (‘see’) video, (‘speak’) audio, (‘snap’) take pictures and (‘treat’) dispense treats to their pets at anytime from anywhere.

Piper Icontrol Networks is showing Piper nv, its all-in-one home security system with no monthly fees required; ideal for families, pet owners, aging parents and apartment dwellers.

Plantronics is a global leader in audio communications for businesses and consumers and has pioneered new trends in audio technology.

PlayOn demonstrated technology for the new way we watch TV. Stream, record, cast, discover.

Ring presented its Ring Video Doorbell, the world’s first Wi-Fi-enabled HD video doorbell that streams live audio and video directly to your iOS, Android or Windows device.

Roominate showed rPower, the first device that lets girls program and control their builds from a phone or tablet through the new Roominate app.

Rover.com showcased the latest services and technologies of its peer-to-peer marketplace that connects dog owners with a nationwide network of dog lovers.

SanDisk showcased its latest mobile memory solutions.

Skyrocket Toys presented the third generation of Sky Viper Drones which continue to deliver hobby-level performance at unprecedented mass market pricing and availability, and includes a Streaming Video Drone, an HD Video Drone, a Stunt Drone and an lightweight and nimble, Nano Drone.

Sling Media showed the Slingbox M2, its newest product which allows to watch 100 percent of your live and recorded content on unlimited mobile devices, with no monthly fees.

SpeedX  just launched SpeedX, a fully integrated smart cycling computer, on Indiegogo on October 27.

Tech21 is the leader in impact protection for mobile devices and fastest growing major case brand in the U.S., now offers its Evo line of cases, presenting the best in style, protection and performance with a broad array of designs and colors.

The ONE Smart Piano is a connected device that teaches you to play with light-up keys, video lessons, and piano games.

TiVo showcasted the new TiVo BOLT, a 4K unified entertainment system & mobile experience that bridges cable & Web content into a universally searchable experience, allowing users to skip full commercial breaks and watch shows 30% faster for unprecedented speed to and through content.

TP-LINK, the world’s leading provider of Wi-Fi networking products, showcased next-generation wireless technology, including its first Tri-Band and MU-MIMO routers.

TripIt from Concur, the world’s highest-rated travel-organizing app, automagically creates a master itinerary for every trip, so you can instantly access all your travel plans in one place—any time, on any device.

VidMob demonstrated the first app marketplace, coming soon for iOS, which connect people with affordable, professional video editors so that life’s moments can be more easily shared.

ZAGG showcased its brand new Slim Book for the iPad Mini 4, in addition to other key products like the Pocket Keyboard and Speaker Case.

Zolt showed the Laptop Charger Plus, the world’s smallest, lightest, smartest laptop charger that can power a laptop, phone and tablet at the same time.

ZTE presented devices that make the perfect gift for every budget.


Ambiq Micro brings low power to ARM TechCon

Ambiq Micro brings low power to ARM TechCon

At the ARM TechCon in Santa Clara, Texas based Ambiq Micro announced the capabilities of their latest MCU for the IoT market.  In an overview dinner with CEO Mike Noonen, VP of Marketing and Strategy Mike Salas, CTO Scott Hanson and VP Sales Vince Murdica they discussed the release of their new 32 bit MCU for the wearables and IoT market that is based on the ARM Cortex Core.  The design uses the Ambiq Micro Sub-threshold technology to produce a processor that can be benchmarked at the lowest power in its class.

The product has recently moved to volume production, and is being used in a currently available sleep monitor and fitness monitor.  To support the design, which is an ARM M4 core with FLASH memory and FPU, is a software development kit, a Free RTOS and a full development board.  Wireless development products, supporting a Bluetooth Low Energy connection, from their partner Dialog Semiconductor, were on display at the show.  All of these development products are currently available.

The system can be operated at voltages down to 2 volts which allows the system to have extended operation between charges, bringing new lifestyle applications to the IoT and wearables marketplace.

Ambiq Micro ULPBench2015