Back to School

Control time, find the lost, and trust AI.

By Pierce Ashworth

September/October 2017

A Smartwatch, Powered by You

Use your own body heat to electrically power this watch. The human body emits heat, and as you exercise your skin gets warmer. This thermoelectrically sustainable energy powers the watch, its activity and sleep-tracking capacity, and a multitude of supported microapplications. The Matrix PowerWatch is available for preorder at US$159; it ships in September 2017.

Find Misplaced Items with Your Smartphone

It’s the solution to an age-old problem: the TrackR pixel is a Bluetooth tracker that connects to an item (wallet, keys, remote control) and lights up and rings when you need to find it. Use your smartphone to signal the tracker, or press the pixel button to ring your phone loudly—even when it’s on silent. A single pixel costs US$25.

Adoption of Artificial Intelligence

Would you consider an AI-powered tutor for your child?

For most young parents, the answer is yes. 74 percent of millennial parents surveyed said they would consider an AI-powered tutor for their child, while only 10 percent were unwilling to entertain the possibility.

Source: IEEE

Do you speak tech? Quiz yourself!

1. Who is credited with coining the term artificial intelligence in 1955 and is considered one of the early pioneers in the field?

A. L. Ron Hubbard

B. John McCarthy

C. Isaac Asimov

D. Alan Turing

2. What was the trembling name of the first general-purpose mobile robot that employed AI and was developed by the Artificial Intelligence Center of Stanford Research Institute in the late 1960s?

A. Nervous Nelly

B. Unimate


D. Shakey the Robot

3. Which Ivy League university held the first artificial intelligence conference in 1956?

A. Dartmouth

B. Harvard

C. Princeton

D. Brown

Answers: 1. B: John McCarthy; 2. D: Shakey the Robot; 3. A: Dartmouth

Apps: The New School Supplies

With these handy back-to-school apps you can organize your ideas, efficiently scan your projects and documents, and get some help with those tricky math problems.


Record, arrange, and develop your ideas with mind maps—diagrams for organizing and connecting information. With customizable layouts, media-adding capacity, and cross-device syncing, SimpleMind allows you to relate and more deeply understand concepts by mind-mapping them into an accessible format. Whether you’re a visual thinker or just like staying organized, mind maps offer a creative way to manage your work this fall.
Free (Android, iOS)

Office Lens

Scan and share documents efficiently. Office Lens trims, enhances, and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents easily readable so that crumpled and faded receipt you need and your group project notes are alive, well, and readable in your camera roll. Images can also be converted into editable text-based files.
Free (Android, iOS)

Photomath: Camera Calculator

Scan a handwritten math problem for an instant result—Photomath can even give you step-by-step instructions on how to solve the problem. And once scanned and input, problems can be edited with the app’s smart calculator, which makes for a versatile and effective aid for taking on tough problem sets or crunching numbers.
Free (Android, iOS)

Photography by, Matrix Industries, TrackR