Your Body is Your PIN with Bodyprint

[Christian Holz, Senaka Buthpitiya, and Marius Knaust] are researchers at Yahoo that have created a biometric solution for those unlucky folks that always forget their smartphone PIN codes. Bodyprint is an authentication system that allows a variety of body parts to act as the password.  These range from ears to fists.

Bodyprint uses the phone’s touchscreen as an image scanner. In order to do so, the researchers rooted an LG Nexus 5 and modified the touchscreen module. When a user sets up Bodyprint, they hold the desired body part to the touchscreen. A series of images are taken, sorted into various intensity categories. These files are stored in a database that identifies them by body type and associates the user authentication with them. When the user wants to access their phone, they simply hold that body part on the touchscreen, and Bodyprint will do the rest. There is an interesting security option: the two person authentication process. In the example shown in the video below, two users can restrict file access on a phone. Both users must be present to unlock the files on the
phone.

How does Bodyprint compare to capacitive fingerprint scanners? These scanners are available on the more expensive phone models, as they require a higher touchscreen resolution and quality sensor. Bodyprint makes do with a much lower resolution of approximately 6dpi while increasing the false rejection rate to help compensate.  In a 12 participant study using the ears to authenticate, accuracy was over 99% with a false rejection rate of 1 out of 13.

Filed under: Android Hacks, Cellphone Hacks

Massive Microsoft Machinations For Makers

If you’re not stuck in the tech news filter bubble, you may not have heard the Microsoft Build Developers Conference is going on right now. Among the topics covered in the keynotes are a new Office API and a goal to have Windows 10 running on a Billion devices in a few years.

There are, however, some interesting things coming out of the Build conference. Windows 10 is designed for hackers, with everything from virtual Arduino shields running on phones, Windows 10 running on Raspberry Pis, and Visual Code Studio running on OS X and Linux.

This is not the first time in recent memory Microsoft has courted the maker market. Microsoft begrudgingly supported the hardware dev scene with the PC version of the Microsoft Kinect, and a year or two ago, Microsoft rolled out drivers for 3D printers that were much more capable than the usual serial interface (read: the ability for printer manufacturers to add DRM). To the true, tie-die wearing, rollerblade-skating, acoustic coupler-sporting, Superman III-watching hackers out there, these efforts appear laughable – the product of managers completely out of touch with their audience.

Depending on your perspective, the new releases for the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other ‘maker-themed’ hardware could go one way or the other.

As far as educational efforts go, the Windows Remote Arduino and Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino are especially interesting. Instead of filling a computer lab up with dozens of Arduinos and the related shields, the WVSA uses the sensors on a Windows 10 smartphone with an Arduino. Windows Remote Arduino allows makers to control an Arduino not through the standard USB port, but a Bluetooth module.

If Arduinos aren’t your thing, the Windows 10 IoT preview for the Raspberry Pi 2 and Minnowboard Max is out now. The Win10 IoT distribution does not yet have working WiFi or Bluetooth, making it the single most useless operating system for Internet of Things devices. It was, however, released at the Build conference.

Also announced was a partnership with a fabulous hardware project hosting site, Hackster.io. Microsoft and Hackster.io will be collaborating with hackathons and other events focused on Windows technology. I get why they wouldn’t want another, vastly more popular project hosting site doing this, but I’m a little confused at why Instructables wasn’t the top Microsoft pick.

As always, you may express your infinite derision in the comments below. Spelling Microsoft with a dollar sign will result in a ban.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Raspberry Pi

More Hackathon Tickets Just Made Available

We had a number of people tell us they weren’t able to get tickets to our Hackathon in New York on Saturday. A block of tickets was just made available. Head on over and grab yours right now!

We’re bringing a mini-van-load of hardware along with us for this one. Our hope is to see a hardware hacker claim the top prize of $5000, but we do have other prizes just for the teams that create something with hardware. You can team up with other creative hackers from the area, all while being wined and dined (well, fed and hydrated anyway) through the entire thing. We can’t wait to see what you can get working with just twenty-hours of build time! You can find out a bit more about the hardware we’re supplying and what we have planned over on our event page.

That’s on Saturday, but the fun actually starts this evening. Join us at 7pm this evening at Antler Wine & Beer Dispensary. We’d appreciate a quick RSVP if you’re coming, and don’t forget to bring some hardware you been working on lately. See you there!

Filed under: cons

CMO for Grand Prix of America, Formula 1 speaking at GrowthBeat Summit

formula 1


We’re excited to announce that Michael Williams, chief marketing officer for The Grand Prix of America, Formula 1, will be speaking at VB’s GrowthBeat Summit.

Williams joins a group of 180 chief marketing officers for the invitation-only summit taking place in Boston on June 1 and June 2. In an intimate setting combining keynotes, fireside chats, and small boardroom sessions that encourage open debate, these marketing leaders will be tackling the most pressing issues and opportunities of their time. (Request your invitation here.)

In his own role as CMO, Williams faces the
challenge of bringing awareness to a sporting event that has never been hosted in America, but instead has been seen for 60 years as exclusively international. The intent is to bring the Formula 1 race to New York in June 2016 — well, actually, to Weehawken, New Jersey, where the racetrack hugging the Hudson River will offer New York City’s skyline as the backdrop.

Williams’ route to Formula 1 started in the ad agency world at JWT, but he then migrated to sports franchises. He spent three years as CMO for the NHL New Jersey Devils, and for five years, served as VP, Marketing for the San Francisco 49ers — both of which followed his work for Disney’s ice hockey team, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Now his challenge is to get the general public, media and potential business partners understanding the importance of bringing the Monaco-tinged event to U.S. soil.

Referring to his B2B strategies, Williams deliberately doesn’t use the
word sponsor. He believes sponsor is an outdated term from the time when it was enough to slap logos up in prominent signage, host some hospitality events, and call it a day. Now strategic activation and engagement are critical, and for that, true collaboration is vital.

Above all, though, he knows that the story of Formula 1 is paramount, and the passion around the event is one that makes Williams concede that the brand story may as easily originate from the marketplace, especially with the backing of fans via social communities. Trying to exert control over that — through marketers and ad agencies — comes at the risk of missing the real opportunities for fans themselves to steward and shape the brand more convincingly.

This dovetails with the overarching theme of GrowthBeat Summit: ‘Mastering the CMO Role: Merging creativity with technology to drive growth.’ Telling the brand story in a thousand different channels and devices,
in a way that resonates appropriately with customers, is essential for companies. GrowthBeat Summit offers a chance to strategize with peers about rising to the challenge.

Request your personal invitiation here. 

Some of the other speakers at GrowthBeat Summit

Lynn Vojvodich, EVP and CMO of Salesforce
Vojvodich joined Salesforce in 2013 and has been very vocal about the need for change in a marketing world that is inextricably fused with technology. Speaking with McKinsey at the end of last year, she said, “As a CMO, if you’re not an agent of change — constantly innovating, constantly changing, constantly pushing the boundaries — then you’re working at a company that will be obsolete in five to ten years.”

Peter Hamilton, CEO and Partner at mobile attribution analytics company TUNE
TUNE works with some of the biggest leaders in the mobile-first space including Uber and Spotify. Just as Salesforce led the charge in SaaS, TUNE is setting the course for the way marketers use data to connect with customers in a multi-device universe.

Scott Brinker, Cofounder and CTO of ion interactive
(And the prolific blogger behind chiefmartech.com.) In his annual tracking of martech, Brinker found that the marketing technology landscape in 2015 includes 1,876 vendors across 43 categories. That’s not only an astonishing number in its own right, but it’s nearly doubled in just the one year since Scott Brinker last compiled the list.

John Kennedy, CMO of Xerox
Appointed to Xerox last July, Kennedy previously was VP of marketing for IBM Global Business Services. Last
year, he was recognized by the CMO Club with a Marketing Innovation Award “based on a marketing executive’s demonstrated leadership in creating an innovative marketing environment that changes the game for ROI, customer engagement, and/or for the industry.”

Deena Bahri, CMO for Birchbox Bahri leads growth for the successful subscription service that delivers personalized boxes of beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products on a monthly basis. Last year the company was valued at $485 million with 800,000 subscribers. Bahri has talked openly about how essential data is to the success of the company. Prior to joining Birchbox in 2011, Bahri was senior director of marketing at Gilt, another e-commerce shopping destination.

 

 

 

 

 



How do you make sense of 2,000+ marketing tech companies?

what to think logo


Successful CMOs achieve growth by leveraging technology. Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we’ll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited. Request your personal invitation here!

This week on What to Think, we speak to John Koetsier, the vice president of research at VB Insight, VentureBeat’s new market-research arm.

VB Insight is taking a very data-driven approach to research. Case in point: For its
latest report on social media management tools, VB Insight surveyed over 1,100 social media managers, analyzed a quarter-million tweets sent by 1,600 companies, and considered almost 200 different social media tools, ultimately doing detailed analysis of 28 leading tools.

That’s a valuable asset in the marketing tech world, which has a huge number of players — over 2,000 at last count — and attracted over $3 billion in venture investment in the last quarter alone. In other words, it’s a market with a lot of complexity and a lot of hype.

We talk to John about the value of marketing technologies, what marketing clouds are standing out, what the current trends are, and about the inevitable wave of consolidation that’s coming.

Plus, we tell you what to think about:

All this and more is in our latest weekly episode. Give it a listen!

You can also find the latest edition of What to Think on iTunes or on SoundCloud.

In addition, you can
find What to Think on Stitcher or get the What to Think RSS feed for the podcast player of your choice.

Enjoy the show!


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.



Level up: Gaming industry reports for GamesBeat Summit attendees

level-up


Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook, and more at GamesBeat Summit. This is an invite-only event so apply now!

The global gaming market will reach $91.5 billion this year, according to a report from research firm Newzoo. That is a 9.4 percent increase on last year. Within that mega-market, mobile gaming is the
growing and changing at a rate never seen before.

To adapt quickly and win in an overly competitive market segment, you need fast insights based on reliable data.

Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly our goal for research at VB.

To help you out, we’re giving four new reports away for free to all GamesBeat Summit attendees, and an opportunity to gain more insight at half the usual price — in total a $1,395 value.

Here’s a quick overview of the reports you’ll get as a GamesBeat Summit attendee:

1. Mobile marketing automation

Android dollar money Palto shutterstockThe biggest mobile games and the most successful enterprises do things differently. Mobile marketing automation is
how Subway Surfer improves monetization. It’s how Despicable Me engages deeper with its users. And it’s how Plants vs Zombies gets you back.

We surveyed 375 mobile developers with over 900 million monthly average users to find the best mobile marketing automation platforms. Then we analyzed 1.8 million apps and games in Google Play and the iOS app store, conducted 23 live interviews, and surveyed 21 MMA providers.

The result is the most complete report on mobile marketing automation available.

Author: John Koetsier
VentureBeat, LinkedIn, Twitter

2. Virtual and augmented reality: Who will win?

Samsung VR

We’ve come a long way since the days of the Sega VR and The Lawnmower Man. Virtual reality and augmented reality appear to be headed toward a mainstream audience for the first time.

With so many devices hitting the market between now and 2016, video games are the initial delivery platform that could lead to wide consumer adoption. A whole raft of new VR and AR products promise to deliver where others have failed, with both big brands and indie crowdfunded startups looking to capture their piece of the pie.

But how big is the pie in the first place? And who might be taking the biggest slice? Will it be a console-based product or an accessory for your smartphone that wins?

Author: Stewart Rogers
VentureBeat, Twitter

3. Mobile marketing bundle

mobile-vb-6001In this consolidated report, you’ll discover the most popular mobile analytics solutions, and what solutions winning mobile games developers use. You’ll find out what the most successful — and least successful — monetization strategies are, and which companies can help you win the day. In addition, using the latest data and insights, you’ll find out exactly what the most successful games developers do differently when acquiring users.

We’ve taken
headline data from three of our extensive mobile studies and brought them together. And for GamesBeat Summit visitors, we’re including a 50% discount for those who want to dig deeper and get the full, comprehensive edition of each report.

Author: John Koetsier
VentureBeat, LinkedIn, Twitter

4. Video game industry influencers — who do you need to impress?

gamersIf you want to reach consumers, social media is one of the many marketing channels you may consider. And
while most brands use social as a broadcast channel, the smartest engage with the audience, curate other people’s content, and make use of influencer marketing.

Talking about yourself is fine. But if others talk about you, it is much better.

With the help of data partner and influencer marketing platform Traackr, we look at the top bloggers, vloggers, gamers, and journalists in the gaming industry.

Author: Stewart Rogers
VentureBeat, Twitter


All reports are available for free for GamesBeat Summit attendees.

The focus of GamesBeat Summit is on bold ideas, the kind that will propel the industry forward, particularly in a global context. Limited to only 180 senior execs, we’re looking forward to the kind of open sharing that happens when
like-minded visionaries come together.

For more info and to see if you qualify, go here.


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.



Microsoft details Windows 10 as a service

microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-windows-10-event-10


Successful CMOs achieve growth by leveraging technology. Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we’ll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited. Request your personal invitation here!

At a Windows breakout session during Build 2015 today, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s operating systems group, talked more about the company’s favorite new term: “Windows as a
service.” Belfiore talked about what it means for Windows 10 upon launch and beyond.

Microsoft has referred to Windows as a service multiple times throughout Windows 10’s development, mainly to emphasize that the company’s latest and greatest operating system will not just have updates like previous Windows releases, but more significant improvements over its lifetime. Today we learned a lot more.

Belfiore told a group of reporters that Windows 10 will not be arriving on all devices at the same time. To put it simply, Windows 10 will launch on PCs first, and sometime later will arrive for phones. Other devices like Surface Hub and Microsoft HoloLens will follow.

Microsoft
did not share a Windows 10 release date yesterday like many expected, nor today. Belfiore said that the company is sticking with its “this summer” timeframe, but emphasized that when the company reveals a date, it will only apply to PCs. Everything else will come in the weeks and months that follow.

As Belfiore noted, Windows of course has a much bigger userbase on the PC than on the phone. Because of this, and since Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for the first year, Microsoft wants to make sure it properly promotes, and gets users excited about getting, the new version.

Furthermore, Windows 10 for phones has to go through carrier testing, something Microsoft naturally has little control over. The last reason for the release gap is one we have heard
Microsoft say before when admitting that Windows 10 for phones is behind its PC counterpart in terms of features and stability: Windows 8 was released before Windows Phone 8, so the latter simply has a late start.

Windows 10 as a service also means that some Windows 10 features we’ve seen already won’t be there at launch. Microsoft mentioned a few of these yesterday, and Belfiore reminded reporters of two today: support for Win32 apps in the Windows Store and extension support in Microsoft Edge. Both won’t be available when Windows 10 launches, but will come soon after.

Last but not least, Belfiore confirmed that the Windows Insider program will continue even after Windows 10 launches. In other words, when Windows 10 testers upgrade to the final build, they will be able to choose if they want to stay with it, or to receive newer builds and continue testing upcoming features.

A lot of the above was rumored last month, but now it’s official. Windows 10 will be a massive, but staggered, launch, both in terms of initial debut and new features.

More information:

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VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics… Chime in here, and we’ll share the
results
.
More information:

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Apple opens beta testing of analytics tool for iOS app developers

iOS 8


Successful CMOs achieve growth by leveraging technology. Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we’ll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited. Request your personal invitation here!

Apple mentioned a new app analytics feature at last year’s WWDC conference, and now the company is finally starting to invite registered developers to beta test the product.

Apple sent out invitations to iOS developers today and is admitting participants on a first-come, first-served basis. For
some developers who requested access early, the feature is already up and running.

iOS app developers have been waiting a long time for an analytics tool from Apple. Apple tightly controls the customer behavior data from the App Store, and doesn’t share it with third-party analytics firms. So, in a sense, Apple is the only game in town.

App developers can use the analytics tool to learn things like how customers made their way to finding and downloading their app. They can also learn about customer demographics and buying habits. All this will help them fine-tune their development and marketing efforts.

Apple acquired an app analytics company called Burstly (and its products TestFlight and FlightPath) last February, and it was only a matter of time before Apple started to offer the analytics tools it got in the deal.

In January the
TestFlight team at Apple said they would be shutting down the old Testflightapp.com service in February, making way for the new analytics tool from Apple.


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.



$50k In Play: Giving Away 50 LightBlue Bean This Week

This week we’re awarding a LightBlue Bean board to 50 projects entered in The Hackaday Prize.

We love this little board so much we put it in our store. It brings a microcontroller that has plenty of room and peripherals (and is quite well-known… the ATmega328) with the connectivity of Bluetooth Low Energy. If you’re planning on building something that needs processing power and connectivity with smartphones this is a good place to start. And this week you might just score one as part of the 2015 Hackaday Prize.

We’ll be looking for entries that are getting ready for the physical build and need connectivity. The best way to let us know your project should be one of the fifty winners is to post a new project log with your construction plans and how the Bean (or BTLE) would fit into that plan. Submit your build by next Wednesday and you’re in the running!

We’re giving away $50,000 in prizes, 1/10 of the total Hackaday Prize pool during the build phase going on right now.

Last Week’s 30 Winners

OSHpark-coupon-prize

Last week we were looking for great entries in need of circuit boards and boy, did we find a lot of them. Judging is super hard. We looked at all the entries and ended up with these 30 winners. Each will receive $50 to use for custom PCB manufacturing from OSH Park. We expect to see a lot more purple boards popping up on entry pages in the coming weeks! Congratulations to all winners. Each project creator will find prize info as a message on Hackaday.io.


The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

$50k In Play: Giving Away 50 LightBlue Bean This Week

This week we’re awarding a LightBlue Bean board to 50 projects entered in The Hackaday Prize.

We love this little board so much we put it in our store. It brings a microcontroller that has plenty of room and peripherals (and is quite well-known… the ATmega328) with the connectivity of Bluetooth Low Energy. If you’re planning on building something that needs processing power and connectivity with smartphones this is a good place to start. And this week you might just score one as part of the 2015 Hackaday Prize.

We’ll be looking for entries that are getting ready for the physical build and need connectivity. The best way to let us know your project should be one of the fifty winners is to post a new project log with your construction plans and how the Bean (or BTLE) would fit into that plan. Submit your build by next Wednesday and you’re in the running!

We’re giving away $50,000 in prizes, 1/10 of the total Hackaday Prize pool during the build phase going on right now.

Last Week’s 30 Winners

OSHpark-coupon-prize

Last week we were looking for great entries in need of circuit boards and boy, did we find a lot of them. Judging is super hard. We looked at all the entries and ended up with these 30 winners. Each will receive $50 to use for custom PCB manufacturing from OSH Park. We expect to see a lot more purple boards popping up on entry pages in the coming weeks! Congratulations to all winners. Each project creator will find prize info as a message on Hackaday.io.


The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Filed under: The Hackaday Prize