January 2016

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Ohio’s Telecommunications Transition

Technology is rapidly evolving and we’re always in a state of catch-up. Now Ohio is taking on a major effort to do just that by establishing a collaborative process for the telecommunications industry to transition and advance its network. Through House Bill 64, the network transition law will require The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to address the Internet-protocol transition.

As part of the bill and pending analyses being conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, providers will be allowed to discontinue basic telephone service so that they can devote resources to progressing their technology. Paired with that change will be a joint effort from PUCO, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, incumbent telephone providers and others to ensure all Ohioans will continue to have access to public safety services, such as 9-1-1, through alternative suppliers. Populations that could be impacted, including the elderly and rural areas, will be identified and safeguards put in places to ensure the continuation of their telephone service.

You can stay on top of the process by attending one of the upcoming meetings at the PUCO office (180 East Broad St, Columbus): January 19 at 1 p.m., February 23, March (TBD). If you have any questions or comments regarding the transition, please contact Anna Conrad at anna@tech4ohio.org.

Save the Date:

TOT Tech Lobby Day
March 9th, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Ohio Statehouse

Join startups, innovators and legislators for en evening reception celebrating Ohio’s innovation economy and those working toward digital inclusion.

Big Technology Trends to Look Out for in 2016

  • • Drones – Despite a shaky 2015 after mandatory registration was implemented, more and more big players are entering the ring with projects or large-scale releases. Ford instituted a challenge to app developers to create a way to launch a drone from a moving Ford F-150 truck, have it assess an emergency situation, transmit that information back and then autonomously land back on the truck it launched from. GoPro will be launching its own drone, Karma, which can be used underwater as well.
  • • Wearables – Although the Apple Watch has had a lukewarm response, activity monitoring has never been more popular, and the capabilities never more vast with better and better battery life. You can now check your blood pressure, glucose levels, sleep activity and more.
  • • Self-driving cars – A concept that at the beginning of 2015 seemed still five years away accelerated from 0-60 in no time. Tesla introduced self-driving in certain situations then kicked off the year with self-parking and summoning software updates. Everyone is now taking aim and this year that acceleration could go even further than we ever imagined.
  • • Internet of Things – We keep waiting to see when the IoT explosion will happen, but 2016 may be the turning point for your household appliances. The Consumer Electronics Show had a major uptick in upgrades, including a refrigerator that lets you know what needs to be on your shopping list.


Smart Gun Technology

You may have heard about a new push for safety measures on guns coming from President Obama’s administration, but what is a “smart gun”? The idea has been around for a while, but as technology has advanced significantly in the past few years, the call for more extensive research has grown. Politics aside, we wanted to go over some of the basics.

At the simplest level, the goal of the electronic personalized safety technology put into the gun would not allow any unauthorized users to fire the weapon—meant to save children from accidentally firing the gun or someone stealing a weapon from a home or store. To accomplish this, there are general two types of technology used: proximity sensors and biometrics.

Proximity sensors use the combination of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor on the person in the way of a ring, wristband or badge and a reader within the gun that authenticates the user’s RFID signal. There’s typically about a half-second delay and most require a proximity of not much more than a foot.

Biometrics for smart gun technology typically involve the fingerprint, but there’s been recent exploration into new methods, including detection of the blood vessel structure beneath the skin and grip recognition that learns an individual’s reproducible pressure pattern on a gun. It’s technology that’s moving fast and we’ll be interested to see where it leads.

Technology for Ohio’s Tomorrow is the Ohio-based project of Mobile Consumers for Choice and Competition, a non-profit organization of individual consumers interested in technology, broadband, and telecommunication issues. Our mission is to advocate for public policies that inspire and encourage innovation in technology while informing and educating technology consumers about legislative and regulatory issues that impact their lives. Technology for Ohio’s Tomorrow will strive to foster an environment that will embrace high-tech jobs, investment, and emerging technologies to better prepare us for Ohio’s tomorrow.

Technology For Ohio’s Tomorrow
P.O. Box 2378 Columbus OH 43216