14/05/2016 Click


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And the man who bought BHS for ?1 said that the retailer could have


conceived of his plans had been given more time.


Now it is time for Click. This week - running blind


in the Desert, literally. And fab, fun, flexi fairy


lights for your phone. For many, the ultimate test


of human endurance. A physically


and mentally draining feat that quite literally


changes your body. Now imagine doing one four times


in four days, in a desert. This is the Ultramarathon,


a 150-mile-long race through the Namibian desert, in some of the most


difficult conditions on the planet. And if you can't see,


you need a guide. And in this case,


the guide was a smartphone. You are experiencing


sensory deprivation. I had headphones in with the app,


so I couldn't really hear anything. All you've got is the feeling under


foot, you're never too sure Running through uncertain desert


terrain is what Simon Wheatcroft has spent


much of the past week doing. Simon has a degenerative eye disease


that has left him blind since he was 17 years old,


but he has never let himself be After proposing to his


girlfriend halfway up Simon took up running in the field


behind his house. He then moved to the path


and then the road, memorising a range


of objects, distances The things that you can't memorise


are the things that are moving. They probably don't


realise that you're blind, because you just wouldn't imagine,


if you were running towards me, What I try to do to sort of deal


with that is a lot of people are not willing to run as close


to the road as I am, so I am literally running


the curbs down. If you make a mistake,


you are running into the cars. A lot of people aren't


willing to be that close. To avoid people, I run the line that


other people aren't willing to run. I have been hit by a van


and stuff, but I carry on running. Stuff happens.


Get up, carry on running. His amazing feat has been made


possible by technology that helps him to keep his


amazing feet exactly Originally using a run-tracking


app called Runkeeper, the team here at the IBM


Bluemix Garage have helped to develop and adapt it specifically


for Simon's desert needs. The difficulty with the desert


is there is not a normal path. You can't just go along


the street with Google Maps, There's also no mobile


network in the desert, to make it work without mobile


network, just running on a GPS and help him not to get


off track and guide him If you go too far to the right,


it's a high-pitched beep, and to the


left it is a lower-pitched beep. the further left or right


you get off track. It beeps like crazy, because you're


too far from the desert. BEEPING


We're too far from the desert! We're too far to the left


of the desert now. Not right, because that would be


a high-pitched beep. We're too far to the left


of the desert. Simon actually trialled


the app earlier this year Except, Simon being Simon,


he went to Boston, ran Because, well...


Yeah, no idea. Developing such a specialised app


is not without a unique I had the idea, because he had


his cute dog, Ascot, with him at our office,


and I ask him, "Is Ascot And he said, "No, no,


it's the desert and the dog is not running with me


that far and that wrong, And I said, "OK, cool,


how about we do this app with the dog barking


if you get off track? But then he said he might be


scared to hallucinate because of the heat


and everything, so, yeah... Personally, if I started


hallucinating that dogs were chasing But, anyway, this app has


been a key component in allowing Simon to achieve his


dream of competing alone, without the aid of a guide -


or this lovely fella. When I was in the open-plain desert,


it worked fantastically. I got that real sense


of independence, it was the first chance I had to


run alone. There was one point where


I was running into a station and I just started to cry,


because I couldn't believe that, for the first


time in my life, I could It was thanks to this app and these


beeps that were guiding me Simon made it almost


100 miles into the race before having to pull out due


to the terrain and extreme heat. But, if anything, that


disappointment has made him even more determined


to succeed next time. As I finished, I was going to put


on Facebook that "I tried, I failed, I'm going back" -


but I deleted that bit because I thought, "If she finds


out through Facebook, So when I landed last


night and we went out for dinner, she said,


"You're going back, aren't you?" Otherwise you wouldn't be taking me


out for such a nice meal! Wow.


Simon, shake my hand. This is such a great story.


Thank you so much. My pleasure.


Good luck for next year. That time of year when you know


summertime's on its way. But, for many, that also means


the start of allergy season and, with allergies on the rise,


over 30% of people are suffering So I've been taking a look


at some of the latest Whilst much of our time may be spent


in environments we can't control, Sensio AIR hopes to improve


matters in your own home. This allergen- and air-particle


analyser closely tracks the quality of the air around you and,


at the same time, you can input any symptoms that you're


having into the app, which means that it'll


match up any data on how you're feeling with what's


going on in the surrounding


environment. Its sensors aim to identify allergy


triggers like dustmites or pollen, potential irritants such as acetone


or formaldehyde, plus mould spores, They work in conjunction


with harmful gases, temperatures, humidity, and these factors


have a direct impact on the way this


interacts with you and causes your We are able to tell you exactly what


was in the environment during your symptoms, and all these data


that we are exchanging today allows us to really personalise our


unique algorithms. The settings of


your home, if you have a home automation, or by giving new direct


advice on how to improve the air at home, whether it is by hoovering


your carpet, or by washing your cat, or by simply closing the windows


when it is allergy season. They are not the only


company hoping to This device is pitching itself


as a smart personal air purifier. And surprisingly,


indoor quality can be substantially worse


than that of outdoors. Or for a place to simply keep track


of your symptoms, then this app could help,


whilst at the same time you will be Input your symptoms


to their Britain Breathing app and they will match them up


to time- and location-based The aim is to better


understand common triggers and potentially learn why


allergies are increasing. are environmental,


though. If yours is a food allergy


or intolerance, then this app could


come in handy. Tell Spoon Guru the foods


you can't eat, or about any special diets, and it will help come


up with ideas and recipes for what


you can eat. For the purposes of testing the app,


I have told it that I am intolerant to gluten and


shellfish so that we can see what it


thinksI can and cannot eat. This is the best bit from me,


you can I was impressed by just how


many products It also came up with these clear,


easy-to-read ingredient lists and nutritional graphs,


which are handy for speed or if you struggle with the small


print on labels. The next stage could be devices


like this prototype. The Nima aims to test solid foods


or liquids for gluten. A small amount is placed


in this tube, where it is the device will tell you whether it


is safe to consume or not. Hello, and welcome


to The Week in Tech. InstaGram revealed a minimalist


new logo that induced a rainbow of


responses. Samsung also announced a micro


SD that is even more massive than the most


massive-ist one before it. And NASA treated us all to this


spectacular astronomical event - that tiny little


dot there is Mercury passing between us


and the sun. It was also the week that engineers


at Google unveiled a set of 13 emojis that they say


better represent women in the world


of work. The designs, which include doctors,


scientists and bussinesswomen have been presented to the


Unicode Consortium, that is the body charged with the incredibly


21st-century job of approving and


standardising emojis. And it has been


a great week for tech


billionaire Elon Musk. First, his company SpaceX


stuck another landing had its first public test


success. Hyperloop 1 ran this impressive,


albeit short, testable We visited Hyperloop


HQ back in January, and it is pretty cool


to And finally, in what some


are calling a major breakthrough, a robotic arm has


finally figured out how to spin a The robotic arm developed


by researchers at the University of Washington uses a combination


of delicate hand-like hardware and computer simulation in order to work


out how to complete the task. By learning from its


mistakes, the arm can gradually get better at handling


and manipulating objects. I never thought I would


see the day when a robot could spin coffee


beans like a real human.


Incredible. their head in a mobile


phone these days, don't they? it is the platform


to be on. And in developing nations,


many have skipped the PC altogether and gone straight to cheaper, $100


smartphones, to do their work and


shop online. So what if you wanted


to make your own mobile app? and how much it


would cost? mobile developers


are not easy to find. Both in places like London,


and in areas that are more remote In a moment, I will


talk to someone who is hoping to open up mobile apps


to anyone with a good idea. But first, Dan watched children


young as six build their own mobile apps


in his final report from Malawi in Africa.


Three, two, one. Go!


We think this is the first mobile app-building


contest for children to be held in Africa.


And it has been made possible because these kids have


spent just a few hours the day before learning how to use a mobile


phone app that builds mobile phone apps.


All you have to do is to decide what to create.


of things. different types


It might be an app about Malawi, and app about mhub, or an


The SnapApp builder works on smartphones, but it


This app is supposed to help raise awareness for those who do not know


I will also add a page where they can help, so I


can maybe tie in a link to Unicef, and they can help donate money to


these girls who do not have education.


This year, for the first time in Africa,


smartphones will outsell more basic feature phones.


Yet creating just a basic mobile app to work on that smartphone could


set you back $2000 to $3000 in development costs.


And that is if you can find a developer.


This new breed of apps could change that, and


they are getting support from some big names,


with providing food and water than tech.


What we're doing today is we are asking the children to


think for themselves and come up with innovative ideas


that will help other children.


Sometimes adults are not always best placed to think


about what the needs really are. Children think outside the box.


For those who are still put off doing it


themselves, the staff at the mhub, the technology


service so they can create one for anyone who walks in.


It is easy enough now to create apps.


I have built mobile appls in 27 hours.


And I can have something that is a good


Snap says that in nine months users in 197


countries have created 4000 apps which are all now available online.


In a few weeks, e-commerce services will


allow buying at the touch of a screen.


For these children today, it is all about winning a smartphone. But the


real prize will be the communities and transformed by the app which are


now becoming commonplace. Dan reporting on the first


competition of its kind, Since then, many more


app-building contests have I'm joined by Asaf Kindler,


who you saw in that film. You are the boss of SnapApp,


one of a growing band What has happened


since that first competition? We have seen competitions


happening all over the world, from Africa to Latin America,


India, and also the US. It is the impact on the people,


the people building an app. The kind


of app you can build is simplistic, the equivalent of a mobile website


where you can share information You can't build the next


Angry Birds using an app builder. At this stage, no,


but what you can build now is both on the builder of the app


and the user. With these type of app-builders,


you can build about 80% of the things you want to, and


the 20% left, the innovative part, could be later integrated into the


builder as we see them coming out. Asaf, thank you for your time.


Best of luck with it all. As you know, we love a good


world-first on this programme, Last year, we filmed


and edited an entire programme using just mobile phones and tablets.


These days, everyone is at it. But mobiles can be really useful


for journalists, helping them report


more quickly from more places. LJ Rich has been to the Mobile


Journalism Conference in Dublin to check out the latest


tools of the trade. It's not everyday you see mobile


journalists sitting still, but here are around 700


of them transfixed a convention


for those who want to improve their The exhibition in the next room


shows off the next generation of mobile gadgetry soon to be


snapped up by these early adopters. This prosumer accessory


ecosystem centres around one fact - many of the latest smartphones can


shoot at extremely high resolution but can't yield a polished result


without a bit of help. Simple things that elevate


smartphone footage include lighting. These flexible LED mats are easy


to control, though pricey unless Any kind of steady


light source improves your video. Even battery-powered fairy lights


are better than nothing. Simply holding a smartphone steady


makes footage look good, and many holders are on display to


give broadcasters a helping hand. Some solutions are more cumbersome


than others. Padcaster turns your iPad


into a mobile production studio, essentially a frame that connects


various accessories to your tablet, including lenses,


lights and microphones. Another holder has also caught


my eye, or should that be ear? A one-handed mobile grip


with an integrated microphone input. Getting decent sound so you can play


it back is a problem, and a lot of manufacturers are trying to address


that, including IK Multimedia, which means you can plug things


like radio microphones straight in. This works with any smartphone,


although sound records Mobiles just don't


like recording more than one channel As most broadcasters record both the


person speaking and background noise One company attempting to address


this is Sennheiser, who's betting on 360 video and VR


becoming more popular. This is their third prototype


of a fully 360-degree sound mic not The processing is done afterwards


from mono and stereo through to fully immersive 3D sound


depending on your preference. The company told me it


will probably cost around ?1500. More affordable is this app, Mavis,


which puts a pro-camera experience inside an iPhone,


including the complexity a pro camera offers, which may be


off-putting to novice users. Far from a simple point-and-shoot,


the app gives access to manual controls like white


balance, focus-pulling Being able to tweak settings can


make for arty and therefore polished shots for those who fancy


climbing up the learning curve. but cheap compared to


a new manual camera. There is currently no


single solution to filming broadcast-quality footage


with a mobile phone, although if the appetite


for digital storytelling continues to spread, it won't be long before


smartphone manufacturers themselves want a piece of the prosumer


accessory action. I wonder whether you spotted


the fact that that entire report Good.


Now, can a machine make art? The first annual robot art


competition aims to discover


if they can. Teams from


around the world have entered and have one simple task - to create


the next robotic Rubens - and I'm The founder


of the competition is Andrew Conru. We know robots can perfectly


recreate an image What is the point


of a robot art competition? First, it is very difficult to get a


robot to paint something perfectly. An inkjet printer can create


something stunningly precise, but when it comes to using


a physical brush and paint, it is a lot more tricky


and there is a lot more nuance. The idea behind it is trying to see


what is the process between an


artist's creation and the execution. and artificial intelligence


behind that, is the core. I'm sure there will be those


around who say is this art if it is entirely created


by a machine? The key part is whether or not


the artwork itself creates something


that gives an emotional response. If you look at when cameras


came around, we went from people who were painting portraits to


basically taking a photo. We have photos now worth hundreds


of thousands of dollars because they are able to capture something


that is inspiring and gives


an emotional feedback response. There are different teams and robots


using different pieces of software. Can you give us


an idea how they work? How are the robots creating


these images? We have 15 teams


from seven countries, and each of them have taken a different approach


on how to create an artwork. Perhaps the majority of them start


with some sort of photograph that Then the software tends to parse


the image, find different regions it wants to have for different


colours, figures out what layers it needs to do first,


then sends those commands to the robot arm that will try to


paint them in sequence. It is a whole spectrum in terms


of complete automatic software to something that is more teamwork with


a human designer. Where do you go from here?


What is next for the competition? We have been loose


on the rules this year. Our goal was to have every robot


have a physical brush and dip it But we realised art has evolved


in which there is anywhere from an inkjet printer


to a plotter system all the way to what was


originally intended with a brush. in terms of what constitutes


the execution side of the artwork. In future years,


we will be more stringent and try to keep all of the teams


using a similar type of materials. We will bring you the results


of the competition Follow us on Twitter


for more fun during the week. And they serve persons and me would


not remain jailed just how warm things were last


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