SIGNALScape

Cool App-titude: Pounce

August 27, 2013
By Rachel Lilly
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From a print advertisement to an online purchase in one click, a new iOS app lets you pounce on products from your favorite brands. The free Pounce app uses image recognition to let users scan an item from newspapers or magazines. It securely stores shipping and billing information to automate the buying process. Just scan a product and click "Buy Now." The processing, packing and shipping are done directly from the retailer just like with a regular online purchase.

The app will recognize products from any retail partners, which currently include Target, Staples, Toys "R" Us and Ace Hardware, among others.

According to the app's FAQ page, developers are "working hard to make Pounce available for Android users soon."

Download the app from the iTunes App Store.

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Contest Seeks Creative Uses for Space Imagery

August 27, 2013

European Space Imaging is challenging innovators to propose new applications for 50-centimeter optical satellite imagery through its High-Res Challenge. The winner will receive €20,000 (more than $25,000) of imagery data to support the realization of the idea.

The competition only requires submission of an idea and not a prototype or finished product that uses high-resolution satellite data. Ideas must be easily implementable and sustainable as well as cut costs and create efficiencies. Last year’s challenge winner used the data package within Cerberus, an emergency mapping crowd sourcing game. Entry information is available online.

European Space Imaging’s challenge is part of Copernicus Masters 2013, a program to provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. Other challenges that are part of the program include GEO Illustration, Best Service and ESA App.

The deadline for entries is September 15, 2013.

Google Glass Through My Eyes

August 27, 2013
By Rachel Lilly
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It’s not every day you get the chance to try on one of the most buzzed-about consumer technology advances in recent memory, so I jumped at the chance to try out Google Glass during a recent visit with Thermopylae Sciences and Technology.

Thermopylae, a defense contractor based in Arlington, Virginia, acquired the glasses through the Google Glass Foundry and Explorer programs and now is experimenting with how wearable computers could integrate with its current and future products. (Read more in "Google Glass Sharpens View of Wearable Computer Future.")

Having never seen or worn Google Glass, I anticipated an augmented-reality experience—staring through two glass lenses and seeing information projected over my view of the world. The reality of Google Glass is much different. The frames hook over your ears and rest on your nose like traditional glasses, but the viewing piece is raised to the right. When you stare straight ahead, you have an unobstructed view as you normally would. To actually see the Google Glass “screen,” you have to consciously look up and to the right.

The glasses are extremely light, and it’s easy to see how you could wear a pair for a prolonged period of time. John-Isaac Clark, chief innovation officer of Thermopylae, wears a pair all day and says he stopped noticing the glasses after about an hour, just like you might with regular glasses. But while you may not feel the glasses on your face, others will certainly take notice. Clark sums it up nicely: “It looks stupid.” Not my finest fashion hour.

Special Ops Hunts for Psyops Tool

August 26, 2013

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is seeking radio broadcast systems that can search for and acquire every AM and FM radio station in a region and then broadcast a message across the specific area. This capability would be used to share information simultaneously with residents in locations where unrest or natural or manmade disasters make it difficult to communicate. The synchronous over-broadcast system must be lightweight, able to operate on multiple frequencies and demonstrated at a technology readiness level 8 or higher.

To propose their secure communications system, companies must submit a summary outline not to exceed five pages that describes the performance specifications. Submissions must include name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address for all points of contact.

This is a sources sought announcement only. If SOCOM decides to acquire one of the proposed systems, a pre-award synopsis will be posted on FedBizOpps.gov to pursue procurement.

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