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Category Archives: Internet of Things

Beyond the Screen: Creating Context-Aware Alerts

When designing push notifications and alerts, it's vital to consider technology's context of use and the user's environment as whole to ensure alerts are delivered effectively. Let's look at two examples to visualize this. Read more

My Diabetes Coach – A Holistic Care Management Solution

The My Diabetes Coach solution is designed to improve and strengthen the teamwork between parent and child in diabetes management. Establishing and encouraging good practices and patient compliance at an early stage will provide significant benefits to the patients over the years by mitigating the complications that can result from non-compliance. Read more

Using Computer Vision to See Cyber Threats

We as humans can very quickly visually identify threats in complex environments, but what if we could train the computer to ‘see’ the markers of cyber attacks in real-time? Read more

Harnessing Connected Med Device Data for Improved Patient Outcomes

Lorraine Chapman, Sr. Director of Healthcare at Macadamian sat down with Ivan Delevic, President and CEO of OrthoSensor to discuss connected medical devices and how OrthoSensor is using data analytics to improve patient outcomes in Orthopedics. Read more

Developing Alexa Skills Locally with ngrok and Node.JS

How you can start developing Alexa skills locally using ngrok and your NodeJS server. Read more

Unit Test Alexa Skills Locally

Is it even possible to test an Alexa skill? That's the question our lab team was asking. We outline a solution to test Alexa skills locally. Read more

Cognitive Healthcare – The Evolution of Connected Health

One of the great barriers to achieving Connected Health has been providing a natural, intuitive interface that seamlessly gathers relevant health data from consumers. Read more

Interaction Design and the Physical Environment

Can there be value in embedding sensors into objects and our environment? Absolutely. But, all too often there is an automatic assumption, that with that connected sensor, there’s an app for it. That assumption is a missed opportunity for a more holistic approach to designing the experience, one that looks beyond designing screens for everything. Read more

Analytics for your Alexa Skills

Without solid analytics, it will be almost impossible to understand what is and isn’t working with Alexa Skills. We went on the hunt this summer for an analytics solution that could help us better understand how users were interacting with our new skill and where they were having issues. Read more

The Future of Medication Compliance – Voice Interaction Meets Predictive Analytics

Medication non-compliance is an expensive burden on the US healthcare system, costing between $100B and $300B a year. The emergence of conversational UX platforms like Alexa can be leveraged along with the use of predictive analytics to increase compliance and cut readmission rates. Read more

Alexa Skills 101: Before the First Line of Code

With the explosion of Amazon Alexa enabled devices entering consumers homes, developers are flocking to the platform. This getting started guide will focus on Alexa Skills 101, and things you need to know before digging in to write the first line of code. Read more

Navigating IoT: Lessons Learned from the Microsoft Taipei IoT Expo

For most companies, success means rethinking many aspects of their business and embracing a degree of complexity that can seem daunting at first but can be successfully managed with the right development partner. Read more

Internet of Things Security and Privacy – Part 1

As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, our dependency on it will grow exponentially. With complexity comes hidden vulnerabilities; the “unknown unknowns”. We cannot fully predict where security weakness lies because no single group has full access to all the code and hardware. Read more

Meet LifePod, Your Amazon Alexa Powered Virtual Caregiver

The Alexa Voice Service and other voice assistants are becoming commonplace as a way of interacting with our favorite products and services. One client came to us to help bring their idea of a connected virtual caregiver to life. Read more

Hacking Smart Lock Security: The Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock

The Internet of Things has given birth to a boom of connected smart home devices. With these devices, connected via Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, hooked into important functions of the home, the security of these devices have increasingly become a topic of discussion. In this guest post from our friends at NewSky Security, we take a look at the security of one such device, the Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock. Read more

Three Ways to Make Alexa Interactions More Natural

As the language model of Alexa expands, the interactions will be more and more natural. With these and other capabilities, richer experiences will be possible, which will bring us closer to seamless ambient computing. Read more

Tips for Choosing Alexa Skill Names

After the first couple certification attempts, selecting a name for an Alexa Skill seemed as hard as finding a nice and affordable .com domain name. For a Store with, at the time, less than 500 Skills, that was surprising. Read more

Four NLUI Design Ideas that Make a Big Difference

It seems obvious that interacting with a product, app, or skill via speech is very different from interacting with a screen, yet many early offerings use the same design metaphor as traditional graphical user interface (GUI) products. Read more

Creating a Connected Conference Room

Despite Shiny iPad systems at the door of conference rooms, many people fail to check in, cancel rooms they no longer need, or borrow vacant rooms without booking. To solve these challenges, we have teamed up with to automate these issues in a connected meeting room. Read more

Going From IoT Prototype To Commercial Product

Managing the transition from something that works on a lab bench to a viable IoT product can be tricky, but understanding the technical gaps between conventional and IoT capabilities can illuminate the way. Read more

Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service in Healthcare

The Amazon Echo and Alexa voice service have been a hit in the consumer market with skills that help you order a pizza or call an Uber. Now with the introduction of the "KidsMD" skill, the Alexa voice service is making its way into the healthcare market. Having focused on healthcare IT and stressing the possibilities of voice interaction for years, it’s great to see Alexa for healthcare finally in action. Read more

Integrated Solution Providers: The Team Approach to Healthy IoT Projects

Firms with one specialization will sometimes subcontract skills they don’t have in-house, but that’s a different thing from a truly collaborative partnership among professionals with the autonomy to make the best decisions based on their expertise and suggest new approaches to their partners in the interest of the best outcome. Read more

Five Criteria for Selecting a Healthcare IoT Solutions Provider

Success with IoT can be tricky. It is a constellation of complex technologies from which you need to pick, choose and customize to craft a product that can succeed. Many companies fail in their IoT initiatives because they underestimate the challenges of navigating this complexity and don’t engage a partner that can provide guidance throughout the project. Read more

How the Internet of Things Changes Business Models

If you’re considering creating a connected product or service, the Internet of Things will have a profound impact on how your business creates and captures value. Read more

Four Enhancements We Want for the Amazon Echo

Our annual MacHack happened a few weekends ago and as always the teams at Macadamian put in 24 straight hours of hard work to bring some amazing ideas to life. This year many of the teams focused their efforts on creating IoT solutions, many of them using the Alexa voice service of the Amazon Echo, highlighting how interactions with Alexa could be made more natural. Read more

Applying User Experience Principles to Alexa Skills

Crafting a voice controlled interface for our text message skill posed some interesting design hurdles. To have a truly successful skill, expect to commit some time to the wordsmithing that likely kept William Shakespeare up at night. Read more

The Importance of Context in a Sea of Data

With more physical things being connected to the internet, the amount of data collected by these devices continues to grow. When designing an experience for an IoT device, considering context becomes increasingly important to avoid agitating users. Read more

Creating a New Alexa Skill

Over the last several weeks, we went through the entire process of designing and developing a new Alexa Skill for Amazon’s Echo and then submitting it for approval by Amazon. The skill in question? One we would likely use many times a day: sending text messages. Read more

IoT, My Home, and the Connected Egg Tray

Over the next few years, almost everything will be connected to the Internet. We will have smart toothbrushes, a garbage can that generates grocery lists, or even a smart chair that alerts you when you have bad posture. Read more

Hands-on The Internet of Things at IoT613

IoT613 is a two-day conference in Ottawa dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT) and provides a unique collaboration between the user experience (UX) and design communities. This was IoT613’s inaugural conference in response to the growing IoT trend in the Ottawa/Gatineau region as in most of the world at large. Read more

IoT: Life In A Connected World

Everything discussed is based on technology that is already available today and that is just not yet accessible for everyone. As the technology enabling the connected world moves forward with increasing speed, so too will its adoption. Get ready! Read more

The Internet of Things: Cordova Plugin for Electric Imp’s BlinkUp

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new and exciting trend where everyday objects are being connected to the internet. Read more

Building your own IoT product: Design. It’s not just a 2D screen.

Let’s call this holistic approach: designing for the context of daily use. Read more

Building your own IoT Product: Bad radio! (Wi-Fi, Wireless / LTE, BLE, NFC) – Oh, my!

Picking the right radio solution can make or break your product (or seriously cripple customer adoption). You have to build or select components that make sense for your context of use and build solutions around the trade-offs of each radio option. Read more

Building your own IoT Product: Is your IT team ready?

Follow these three steps, and you've begun your IoT journey. Never forget that technology is just a portion of the overall experience that a customer and/or user will have with the IoT device you are creating. Read more

Hacking for Health

Participating teams were tasked with developing solutions that demonstrated the use of sensors, data collection, and the interconnectedness of hardware and software. Read more

It’s 9:00 am. Do you know where your corporate assets are?

Revolutionizing the world of asset tracking. Read more

Reactive Experiences Meet the Enterprise

The Internet of Things, Connected Sensors, and the Enterprise Read more

CEO Insights: The impact of a connected world

Lessons learned from Mobile World Congress & SXSW 2014 Read more