Monday, January 15, 2018

Unveiled at CES 2018 - The Arable MARK sensor

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Welcome smart agriculture! 

The Arable MARK sensor combines 40 data streams to give farmers the vital information they need to make informed decisions in the management of their crops, and the mitigation of calamities such as frost, infestations or crop disease.

The sensors measure precipitations, temperature, crop health, precise conditions of the soil, topographies, microclimates, plus more. With patented disdrometer functions, the sensors can even provide information on raindrop size, the sort of rain falling (hail or drizzle), and its impact on crops.

The Arable MARK sensors also use Artificial Intelligence prediction algorithms based on data incoming from the fields, in combination with publically available forecasting information, to give advice on crop management, using a congenial platform.

The data collected by the sensors is sent to the cloud via 4G cellular network and the sensors are solar battery operated.

The Arable MARK sensor with its multiple data streams, wireless connectivity, solar power and multifunctional data collection, falls within the explicitly stated scope of two recent patents, on file for Arable Labs Inc., the US design patent USD799998titled Disdrometer, and the PCT WIPO patent application WO2017156187,, titled Disdrometer having acoustic transducer and methods thereof. 

The Arable Labs Inc., disdrometer invention is acoustic, in contrast to accumulation methods of measuring rainfall, and raindrop counting. The Arable labs Inc., disdrometer invention uses an acoustic transducer to convert the sounds of the rain (i.e.; the frequency and power of the acoustic signal generated by the drops within a time interval) into actionable information. 

 The abstract of this invention is included below together with one of the patent drawings showing an exploded view of a non-limiting embodiment of the disdrometer invention. An image of the unveiled Arable Labs Inc., MARK sensor is also included above. The MARK sensor with its additional functionalities thus embodies the disdrometer disclosed in  WO2017156187, including the ornamental aspects of the device, disclosed in the US design patent USD799998.
An acoustic disdrometer is provided for measuring precipitation. The acoustic disdrometer has an acoustic transducer positioned within an acoustic chamber defined by an acoustic shell. Precipitation impacting the acoustic shell generates sound waves that are collected by the acoustic transducer for processing.                      [Abstract WO2017156187]   

Note: Remember to annotate your term bases with the term disdrometer. 

Arable Labs Inc. ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement) – US Dept of Energy - Disdrometers
M. Fernandez-Raga , C. Palencia , C. Tomas , A. I. Calvo , A. Castro , and R. Fraile (2011) Rain reaserch with disdrometers;l A bilbiometric review, in Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 4, 6041–6068, 2011

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Unveiled at CES 2018 - L'Oréal UV Sense

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Whoa. again at CES 2018!

L’Oréal is making strides in wearable personal sun sensors. From a scannable UV skin patch unveiled at CES 2016 to a miniaturized connected thumbnail-sized UV sensor in 2018, this cosmetics giant is determined, not only to repair sun damage, and to protect you from the sun’s harmful UVB and UVA radiation, but to prevent sun damage altogether, with direct customer education and feedback.

L'Oréal UV Sense on thumb nail
Also developped in collaboration with MC10 Inc., L'Oréal's miniaturized (thumbnail-size) UV Sense radiation sensor is 9 mm wide x 2 mm high. The sensor  comes in different styles, which can be (re-) attached for up to two weeks, not only on skin, but also on sunglasses, shoes, nails or anywhere else exposed to sunlight. The battery-less UV Sense is connected to your mobile device via NFC (Near-Field Communication), both for charging purposes, and for downloading sun exposure data to an iOS or Android UV Sense App. The sensor can store up to three months of data. The app provides feedback on duration and intensity of the exposure, together with coaching advice on the safest course of action, and recommendations on which products to use.

It might be a while before a patent application is published for the UV Sense technology, which will no doubt recycle some of the system know-how, recently disclosed for the UV skin Patch technology in WO2017120176 titled Device and system for personal uv exposure measurements, combined with the MC10 Inc., recently filed patent application US20170244543A1 titled System, devices, and method for on-body data and power transmission, as prior art.

The L’Oréal UV Sense is expected to be available to the public in the Summer 2018, for a retail price of less than 40$. In the interim, the L'Oréal UV skin Patch technology is available, free of charge, with the purchase of a Laroche Posay suncreen product, for both kids and adults.

ACS – American Cancer Society – What is ultraviolet (UV) radiation?
Herrmann, F. (Jan 2016) Unveiled at CES 2016 – L’Oréal’s My UV Patch
Laroche Posay – My UV Patch

L'oréal and John Rogers build a thumbnail-sized UV sensor - Engadget
MC10 Inc. Wearable Healthcare Technology and Devices
L'Oréal - Official site 
Fuse Project 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Oh, patents! CES 2018 - Self-driving suitcase

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Whoa. at CES 2018! 

How about a brand new carry-on suitcase prototype, designed by a company called ForwardX Robotics to follow you autonomously at the airport, giving you a hands-free experience? 

A self-driving suitcase with a max speed of 7 miles per hour, and enough smart electronics, together with sensors, to recognize you, and its surroundings, in view of avoiding collisions with obstacles; to determine its own position, relative to the owner, via GPS and Bluetooth connection; and to detect ground topography.

This invention was disclosed just at the end 2017, on December 28, in the PCT patent application WO2017219751, titled Mobile suitcase having automatic following and obstacle avoidance functions, and using method therefor. 

The hyperlinked abstract is included below together with an image of the suitcase prototype.

A mobile suitcase having automatic following and obstacle avoidance functions, and a using method therefor. The mobile suitcase comprises a mobile platform module, an environment perception module, a data fusion positioning module, and a following and obstacle avoidance processing module. The following and obstacle avoidance processing module plans a path for the mobile suitcase following a pedestrian according to information about a distance between the mobile suitcase and an obstacle in a surrounding environment, roughness information of the ground and positioning information, so as to implement obstacle avoidance and automatic following of the mobile platform module. The mobile suitcase and the using method therefor can be applicable to a complex environment, and the mobile suitcase can safely and reliably avoid an obstacle and follow an owner, thereby bringing great convenience to the travel of the pedestrian. [Abstract WO2017219751]

ForwardX Robotics

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Terminology - CES 2018 Whoa.

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

CES 2018 – The largest Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas, NV., for the past 50 years, has just opened for the public. During this week (Jan 9-12), approximately 20,000 new products will be showcased, 4000 exhibitors hosted, and 1,175 speakers invited! 

The CES conference buzzword, this year too, is Whoa. as in unbelievable! (different from Wow! as in amazing!)


Monday, January 8, 2018

Terminology - POTUS variations

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Surge in the use of the acronyms of endearment POTUS (President of the United States), FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States), even FGOTUS (First Grandma of the United States), FTODUS (First Daughter(s) of the United States) and FPOTUS (First Pet(s) of the United States), towards the end of the Obama administration, has sent terminologists searching for the origins of this whole new suite of US Presidential forms of address!

 According to the OED, a written record of the abbreviation POTUS dates back to the turn of the 20th century and the use of the telegraph. A shorter form, the  term POT – President of the. is listed in the 1879 version of The Phillips Telegraphic Code for the Rapid Transmission by Telegraph of Press Reports, Commercial and Private Telegrams, and All Other Matter Sent by Wire Or Cable, a shorthand, developed for use by the press, in the US.

The OED defines the origins of POTUS as: “Originally a newspaper wire and telegraph codeword; later used esp. among White House staff before passing into more general use.” The first record cited in the OED, from the Birmingham (Alabama) Age-Herald of April 1895, lists POTUS (President of the United States and SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States).  

FLOTUS, on the other hand, is listed in the OED as slang, chiefly US, with the first written record dating back to 1983, whereas FDOTUS, FGOTUS and FPOTUS are (to date) unlisted in the OED. 

The pronunciation of the acronym POTUS (President of the United States), and by analogy of FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States), and the whole creatively derived suite of US Presidential forms of address, varies. The following Youtube video offers some of the variation. As for the pronunciation of the brevity code  POT – President of the, found in the Phillips Code of 1879, perhaps that it could have had a short vowel variation (as in "hot"), had it been pronounced as an acronym and used as an endearing form of address.

Phillips Code
The Phillips Telegraphic Code for the Rapid Transmission by Telegraph of Press Reports, Commercial and Private Telegrams, and All Other Matter Sent by Wire Or Cable
FGOTUS: The latest presidential acronym you need to get your head around – The Guardian (June 16, 2015)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Terminology - ADS WOTTIES - And the 2017 winners are...

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

The ADS voted Fake News as the 2017 WOTY. The term was voted with a double meaning -- not only as the “disinformation or falsehoods presented as real news”, but also as “actual news claimed to be untrue”, for example, arising in POTUS tweets.

As a reminder, the acronym WOTY is an abbreviation for Word Of the Year. WOTTIES is an acronym for the plural of WOTY, which rhymes with POTTIES. As for the acronym, POTUS (President of the United States), this is an abbreviation carved at the end of the Obama administration, together with FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States). Both acronyms rhyme with " Poets", without the diphthong. 

The ADS selected the following WOTTIES, in the other WOTY categories.The full results of the vote are itemized in the hyperlinked ADS press-release
Political Word of the Year
  •  take a knee: Kneel in protest, especially during a time when others are standing. (181 votes) 
Digital Word of the Year
  •  shitpost: Posting of worthless or irrelevant online content intended to derail a conversation or to provoke others. (78 votes)
Slang Word of the Year
  • wypipo: Humorous phonetic spelling of “white people” used to flag white privilege, cluelessness, or absurdity. (168 votes)
Most Useful 
  • die by suicide: A variant of “to commit suicide” that does not suggest a criminal act. (108 votes) 
Most Likely to Succeed
  •  fake news: 1. Disinformation or falsehoods presented as real news. 2. actual news that is claimed to be untrue. (226 votes) 
Most Creative
  •  broflake: Man or boy who lacks resilience or coping skills in the face of disagreements or setbacks. (100 votes) 
Euphemism of the Year
  •  alternative facts: Contrary information that matches one’s preferred narrative or interpretation of events. (181 votes)
WTF Word of the Year
  • covfefe: A (probably) mistyped word of unknown meaning used in a Donald Trump tweet. (113 votes)
Hashtag of the Year
  •  #MeToo: Indication by women that they have experienced sexual harassment or assault. (231 votes) 
Emoji of the Year
woman with head scarf or hijab. (96 votes)
Now, remember to tune-in for the 2018 WOTTIES! 
ADS – Press release – Word of the year is fake news as voted by the ADS 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Terminology - Nominations for the 2017 ADS WOTTIES

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Each year, since 1990, the American Dialect Society (ADS) elects the words of the year (WOTTIES) in various categories, and the WOTY, winner of them all.  The stated purpose of the vote is the following:
to highlight language change, to bring a few aspects of the study of linguistics to the public’s attention, and to have a little bit of fun”. (ADS)

 Nominations were accepted December 20th, 2017, up to the voting day, this evening, during the ADS Annual Meeting, held this year in Salt Lake City, UT, Jan. 4-9, 2018. 

The list of ADS 2017 WOTY nominations includes the following terms.  

For which words would you vote?

  • antifa: Anti-fascist movements and organizations, treated as a whole
  • dotard: An old person who shows a decline in mental faculties (used by Kim Jong-un of Donald Trump)
  • persisterhood: Blend of “persist” and “sisterhood”
  • take a knee: Kneel in protest, especially during a time when others are standing
  • blockchain: Technology underlying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which exploded in value this year
  • digital blackface: When a (usu. white) person uses images of black people as a proxy for themselves on social media
  • initial coin offering: Capital-raising process to collect funds to start up a new cryptocurrency
  • rogue adj.: Describing someone ostensibly working in an administration who is posting messages against it
  • shooketh: Mock-archaic way of expressing shock or excitement
  • snatched: Good-looking, attractive
  • wypipo: Humorous phonetic spelling of “white people” used to flag white privilege or absurdity
  • angry reactsad react: Expression of anger or sorrow (describing reaction emoji, e.g. on Facebook)
  • die by suicide: A variant of “to commit suicide” that does not suggest a criminal act
  • millennial pink: Tint of pink used in goods and social media by and for millennials
  • fake news: Disinformation or falsehoods presented as real news; actual news that is claimed to be untrue
  • stan v.: Be a big fan (from Eminem song, “Stan”)
  • unicorn: A one-of-a-kind person or thing
  • askhole: Person who continuously asks ridiculous or obnoxious questions
  • broflake: Man or boy who lacks resilience or coping skills in the face of disagreements or setbacks
  • caucacity: Blend of “Caucasian” and “audacity”
  • milkshake duck: Person or thing that is deeply loved until problematic behavior is revealed or unearthed
  • alternative facts: Contrary information that matches one’s preferred narrative or interpretation of events
  • avocado toast: A minor indulgence for which people unfairly judge others, esp. millennials
  • problematic: An understated way to say something is very wrong or unacceptably politically incorrect
  • covfefe: A (probably) mistyped word of unknown meaning used in a Donald Trump tweet
  • procrastination nanny: Person who moderates productivity for other adults, esp. as a group event
  • raw water: Water from natural sources without filters or treatment
  • #MeToo: Indication by women that they have experienced sexual harassment or assault
  • #NeverthelessShePersisted: Feminist rallying cry based on Mitch McConnell’s warning to Elizabeth Warren during a Senate debate
  • #Resist: Slogan of the (anti-Trump) resistance
  • #TakeAKnee: Statement of support for NFL players protesting racial injustice and police brutality
  • 🐐 : GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)
  • im🍑 : impeach
  • 🧕: woman with headscarf or hijab

ADS - Nominations for the 2017 Words of the Year
ADS - All the Words of the Year, 1990 to the present
ADS - Nominations now being accepted for the 2017 Words of the year

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Oh, patents! Charlotte Perriand's LC4 chaise lounge

Copyright © Fraoise Herrmann

Here is a beginning of the year find that will probably surprise you too (on more counts than one)!

Le Corbusier’s famous LC4 reclining chaise lounge, sometimes called "the relaxing machine", was actually designed, in 1929, by a brilliant 22-year old, French woman architect, called Charlotte Perriand., who understandably, considering just the costs of producing prototypes, "couldn't care less"! (Architectural Review - Interview  2014

The 1930 French patent, FR672824, titled Siège, clearly corroborates this situation, listing her first, as Madame Scholefield, née PERRIAND (her married and maiden names), together with Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, (aka Le Corbusier), and André-Pierre Jeanneret (Le Corbusier’s cousin).  Indeed, Perriand, was invited to work at the already renowned Le Corbusier Studio, in Paris, mid 1920s, jumpstarting a lifelong and close collaboration with the Le Corbusier team, even though she worked on many other distinct projects of her own, and in collaboration with other famous architects and artists, during the course of her 70-year career. 

The French patent disclosing the LC4 chaise lounge recites multipurpose “seating”, functioning equally well as an armchair or chaise lounge, a therapeutic leg-supporting chair, and/or resting chair. It is also a “rocking chair” (the English term is used in the French patent), in that the frame is bent, and the user “rocks” into the various functional positions, in contrast to rocking “back and forth."

FR672824 Siège

The patent describes a bent metal frame, supporting a hammock, with body curving lines, and the double “T” stools on which the frame rests, and rocks from one position to another. The positions illustrated in the patent drawings cover the full range of motion, from one end position. as a therapeutic leg-supporting chair (Figure 1), through a horizontal resting position (Figure 5), and a regular armchair position (Figure 2) (at the opposite end of the therapeutic position), plus everything in between, including the intermediate positions illustrated in Figures 3 and 4. Indeed, the multiple positions of the LC4 chaise lounge require no mechanical parts to operate. The seat slides "rocking" from one position to another, on its double stool base.

The sheet of figure drawings, extracted from the patent, is included with a picture of Charlotte Perriand, using the LC4 chair in the therapeutic leg-supporting position. Another picture of the chair, in the regular, and opposite armchair position, is included, under the watchful eye of Le Corbusier (captured in the poster). 

In an agreement with Le Corbusier, the 1929 LC4 chair was first produced by the Italian Cassina furniture company, in 1964, and is still produced to date by the same company (The Financial Times, 2013). The chair is marketed under the better known Le Corbusier studio name, while the label retains the 1929 Le Corbusier, Jeanneret - Perriand designer names. 

Meade, M & C. Ellis (2014) Interview with Charlotte  Perriand in The Architectural Review, March 6, 2014.
Watson-Smyth, K. (2013) Design Classic: The LC4 Chaise Lounge by Le Corbusier, in The Financial Times, September 20, 2013.