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How Google is planning to use your location to create the perfect playlist

Spotify has its curated playlists, Apple Music has its exclusives and Google Play Music? Google Play Music has Context awareness.

Google has turned to its biggest strength in a bid to compete better with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. The company has announced the launch of a new version of its Music app that will use machine learning and context awareness to figure out not only what songs you might like (Spotify does it so well) but also include contextual information i.e. your location, the activity you are engaged in and the weather to better personalise the playlist.

googleplaymusic_contextawareness

…Google Play Music uses machine learning to figure out what music you like and then mixes in signals like location, activity, and the weather along with hand-picked playlists to personalize music for wherever you are and whenever you want tunes. Starting this week on AndroidiOS and the web, the new experience will roll out globally (62 countries, to be precise). – Elias Roman, Lead Product Manager, Google Play Music 

Spotify has arguably the best personalised playlists; their Discover Weekly and Release Radar features are two of the many features that I love when using the app. Spotify and other music apps including Apple Music that serve up personalised playlists use machine learning to figure out what music you might like based on your behaviour i.e. if you like listening to Adele, chances are that you will also like Sam Smith (yup, i just looked up my suggestions) but the biggest difference between this and Google’s latest update is – your location and activity.

Location Privacy?

By location, Google isn’t going to provide you songs that are trending in your country,  it plans to use it to “personalize music for wherever you are”. Sitting in an airport? Maybe you would be like to listen to some relaxing songs. Working out in the gym? Okay, lets pump up the beats then!

Remember that this music provider is Google, a company that has been working to increase its stockpiles of data on its users – most recently, by a privacy policy change that allows it to combine your personal info collected by Google services with DoubleClick cookie information for increasingly targeted, highly personalized ads. – TechCrunch

On one hand, its amazing to note that location and context awareness can help create the perfect playlist and is probably one of the most visible apps where Google’s Activity Recognition API is being used (Related:  Google’s Activity Recognition API is awesome but where are the apps? [Nov, 2015]) but naturally all of this raises concerns about data and location privacy. Google lets users opt-out of location tracking, if they wish to and if you are concerned about your location privacy, you must definitely make use of the opt-out.

But its still a pretty cool feature (barring the obvious privacy concerns) and its definitely  worth trying out just to see what music it decides to play when and where.

From parks to airports to bars, whether you’re walking, biking, or driving, the right music makes any moment better. With the new Google Play Music, we’re here to help with the perfect soundtrack for the things you do every day. After all, the only thing better than finding the perfect music is the perfect music finding you. – Elias Roman, Lead Product Manager, Google Play Music 

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Meet Tanky – world’s fastest racing drone

tanky-in-hand

Drone racing will soon become an official sport. Enthusiasts from around the world are organizing their own races, competing in a crazy, adrenaline-fueled competition. But for some of them buying a drone is not enough and they decide to customize or build flying machines on their own.

In 2015 Yuki and Bogdan, a marriage of drone geeks from San Diego decided to make the fastest race drone in the world. They have initially started the project back in July 2015 but they had to stop due to lack of funds. Despite the difficult start, the couple did not give up. The project was launched again a few weeks ago on Kickstarter.

features-tanky

The name “Tanky” comes from a mechanism for vertical adjustment of the built-in HD camera by Sony, which looks similar to a tank. As creators said – “The inspiration for Tanky’s name came from Tiny Tank, a video game from the early 2000s about a cute killing machine. Tanky is a cute flying machine”.

The first thing that distinguishes it from commercial drones is an amazing velocity, a good strength and intuitive control. The drone reaches a speed of 100mph (160 km/h). What is amazing is the incredible agility at such a high-speed. It can go incredibly fast, flip, roll, or race through the trees. To achieve this, Tanky can lean at an angle up to 80°.

tanky-package

Tanky was designed with an X-shaped frame. The more you lean it over, as you accelerate, the more aerodynamic it becomes. With Tanky leaned over by 45 degrees it actually provides a slight amount of lift, which means more of the motors’ energy can be redirected to forward momentum.

Drone has a rugged housing made of light carbon fiber and the body covered with polycarbonate. The plastic cover around the motors protects them from an impact. Another advantage is the size and weight. With just 282 grams it weights up to 30% less than comparable competitors.

tanky-vr

In the package you also get a controller that offers a flexible configuratio e.g. you can control angle of the the build-in camera during a flight. Drone is equipped with sixteen programmable diodes that indicate a position in the air to allow is easier control of the device. Another feature is a dedicated carrying case. But that’s not all. In the premium package you can also purchase Tanky with VR goggles that will allow you to fully experience the flight!

What else to add… Tanky hypes my expectations and I wish Yuki and Stefan to successfully carry out this project to success.

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