Wired Wednesday 001

On Air sign at the News 1130 studios

This week marks the start of a new series of segments on News 1130 radio in Vancouver where I’ll discuss a few of my favourite technology related stories each week. It’s called “Wired Wednesday” and will air throughout the broadcast each Wednesday. I’m looking forward to having a regular segment again on News 1130 as it’s been a few years now since I did the last “Tech Tuesday“.

Here’s the stories I talked about on air this week:

  • Signul: a $50 personal beacon for automating your life
    Local company, IOT Design Shop in Coquitlam, that crowdfunded the Signul beacon last year (I was a backer) and is shipping them now. The Signul allows you to set up automations based on your proximity to the beacon via your smartphone. Typical uses include having one in your car that autolaunches your music player when you get into the car, send an email or text message when you arrive or depart a location (say letting your family know you’ve left work), or trigger just about any app on your smartphone. Multiple users can use one beacon as well.
  • Smart Harness Tells Owners How Their Guide Dogs Are Feeling (source)
    Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a device that notifies users if their guide dogs are distressed or sick. Because dogs usually express illness or stress through their breathing, posture, and heart rate it can be difficult for blind or otherwise disabled folks to tell when they’re not feeling well. This device measures the dog’s breathing and heart rate and vibrates the harness handle to alert the owner when the dog is sick or suffering from heat exhaustion.
  • 3D-printed sneaker is made from ocean waste (source)
    Adidas has teamed up with Parley for the Oceans — a movement aimed at eliminating the plastic waste that ends up in our seas — to create a new 3D-printed sneaker concept. The design consists of an upper made from “ocean plastic content” and a 3D-printed midsole made from recycled polyester and fishing nets. Adidas says the shoe “stands for how we can set new industry standards,” but unfortunately it’s just a prototype for now — don’t expect to see it in stores any time soon.

Win a 3-pack of Signuls!
IOT Design Shop gave me a 3 pack of Signuls to give away. If you want a chance to win, leave a comment saying what you’d do with them and I’ll pick a winner on Monday, December 21st at noon PST.

Watch my friend Gillian Shaw talk about what you can do with a Signul with IOT Design Shop’s Trent Shumay:


  1. Colin says:

    Would be cool to have one of these to auto turn on my lights in my workshop.

  2. Matt Dirks says:

    It’d be great to have at work in the boardroom so my colleagues and I can all set our phones to silent automatically. Ideally, it’d also be nice to have by the bus stop by my home. I’d have it text my wife that I’m close to home.

  3. skjain2 says:

    I’d love to use this to augment my morning routine and to get my kids ready for school. I’d have it detect my presence as I get out of bed, turn on the kids’ lights, and start warming up the house. I’d also use it in my 3D printing workflow to turn spotlights on my 3d printer when I’m present and off when I leave.

  4. Matt Dirks says:

    Has a winner been chosen? Or, perhaps since there are 3 Signuls and 3 contestants, you could award 1 each?

    • John says:

      I’m just waiting to hear back from the folks at Signul who will be picking the winner…It may not be announced until after the holidays.

  5. John says:

    Just a delayed update: Skjain2 was picked as the winner by the IoT Design Shop folks. He’s been contacted via email to get his prize. Thanks for entering everyone!

  6. skjain2 says:

    Woohoo! Thanks John and IoT Design Shop!

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