Doctor Drone

A UAV is an ‘unmanned aerial vehicle’, which is known in Spanish as a VANT, a vehículo aéreo no tripulado. The term ‘unmanned aircraft system’, or UAS, is also frequently used. However, nowadays the use of the term ‘drone’ is widespread.

Whatever its name, this technological innovation is here to stay, and it is increasingly moving away from strictly military use and carving a niche for itself in civil society, making itself useful in our daily lives. Proof of this has been seen these last few days at the Smart City Expo World Congress.

22-year-old ESADE student Alfonso Zamarro has created DEA Drones, a drone service equipped with camera, microphone and defibrillators, able to fly to the site of an emergency in just three minutes. The DEA Drones team consists of a fleet of drones installed with cameras that can go to the scene of a medical emergency to help EMTs to assess more precisely the situation.

The idea, which initially started as part of a master’s thesis as a business project proposal, was originally intended to offer a service based on a network of drones equipped with defibrillators to attend to people who had suffered heart attacks in public places.

‘It serves as the doctor’s eyes so he can make the right decision,’ states Zamarro, who points out that the speed of these unmanned aircraft allows them to act even before the ambulance arrives, as the medical professional on the phone can give instructions to the person on the scene making the call, thus minimising damage while they wait for the medical team to arrive.

Kryptonite suitable for Superman

Post Expominer6 Kryptonite suitable for SupermanIf Superman existed, he wouldn’t want to go to Fira de Barcelona this weekend. Just to be on the safe side.

Because this year, amongst the many gems, fossils and minerals on display, Expominer will be showing some very special items: opals that fluoresce in daylight reminiscent of the famous Kryptonite, the fictitious green mineral that drained the superhero of his strength and destroyed his powers.

These new hyalite opals were found at the beginning of this year in Zacatecas (Mexico) and what makes them so interesting, aside from looking like Kryptonite, is the intensity with which they shine without being exposed to ultraviolet light.

Several stones of this types will be on show at Expominer, which will take place from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 November. One specimen of this singular mineraloid, measuring around 10 cm, could be worth as much as 1,600 euros.

It is hoped that these opals have the opposite effect from Kryptonite’s on Superman, that is that they increase even more Expominer’s ability to draw the crowds.

The Pokémon Invasion

Post Pokemon The Pokémon Invasion

The creatures from the most popular franchise among children from all over the world will be invading the Montjuïc venue over the next few days. Yes, we’re talking about the famous Pokémon characters (the name arose from the combination of pocket and monster) which, led by Pikachu, are part and parcel of the iconography of the manga and anime universe. In fact, it’s quite strange to find someone who doesn’t know who this cheeky  long-eared yellow critter with a thunderbolt shaped tail is.

The brand, owned by the Japanese corporation Nintendo, was created in 1996 by designer Satoshi Tajiri who, as a child, used to love to collect insects; hence many of the Pokémon characters – and there are up to 700 different ones – were inspired by animals. Thus began a saga to which Junichi Masuda, writer, programmer and score composer, has greatlyu contributed.

Since the launch of the first videogame more than 245 million units have been sold worldwide. It has also been hugely successful as a TV series (there are over 800 episodes of the animated series, which is broadcast in 160 countries and dubbed into 30 languages), and as card games, toys and even merchandising products.

Pokémon fever is such that even the Japanese state airline All Nippon Airways has a themed aircraft, whose crew wear Pokémon costumes, there are two theme parks (in Nagoya and Taipei), its main characters guest starred in an episode of The Simpsons and Pokémon was even featured on the front cover of Time magazine in 1999.

And now this universal star is the big protagonist of the Manga Show in Barcelona, the second biggest trade fair in the world in its specialist area outside Japan. This year it’s celebrating its twentieth anniversary among thousands of otakus (manga and anime fans) and cosplayers (people who dress up as their favourite anime and comic characters) who are bound to pay tribute to these entertaining little pocket monsters.

A tailor-made hotel room

SmartRoom A tailor made hotel room

Can you image yourself falling asleep to the sound of the waves and the blue of the sea, or being able to touch the moon with your fingertips? Or perhaps you’re the kind of person who fancies experiencing a live earthquake? Hostelco 2014 invited visitors to enjoy these and other experiences in the totally interactive Smart Room, an example of an intelligent hotel bedroom developed by the Hotel Technology Institute (ITH) and Broomx which uses state-of-the-art technology from the IoT (Internet of Things) to offer the ultimate experience of comfort tailored to guests’ individual preferences.

By means of an exciting journey in an area of 80 sq. m we first experienced the assistance of a robot receptionist capable of identifying us thru facial recognition technology. Once in the room, using a mobile app and our own smartphone as a remote control, we were able to customize the room with changes to both the ambience (thanks to an immersive screen system more than 18 metres long) and the furnishings.

These are just some of the options that the new IoT technology can offer hotels, and we discovered them in the Smart Room at Hostelco 2014. The variety of services that mobile apps can bring to the hotel and restaurant industry were the stars of a live competition/demo session in the IoTS space of Hostelco. A panel of experts evaluated the functionalities and capacity for innovation of the 10 apps submitted before choosing the winners.

Hostelco is hosting the debut of IoT Solutions, Fira de Barcelona’s new project based on knowledge and innovation and dedicated to the emerging Internet of Things sector, which will be incorporated into a large number of its trade shows. IoTS@Hostelco showcased the latest innovations in the interconnectivity of objects via the internet which, along with M2M technology and Big Data, will be revolutionizing the hotel and restaurant industry in the near future.

Manufactured waves

Post Waves Manufactured wavesThey have been seen in swimming pools, water parks and lakes… but never in the sea. At least, not until now. At the Barcelona Boat Show you can test out a wave maker, installed for the first time ever in the waters of a port, according to Clément Courtaigne, president of My Wave, the company which has come up with this invention to enable you to go surfing regardless of geographical restrictions or bad weather conditions.

And there you have it: although it appears contradictory and downright impossible, surfing in Port Vell over the next few days will be a reality. The device that makes it possible features an advanced pumping system in front of an inflatable structure on a slope, collecting water from underneath and propelling it onto the platform at high pressure. As a result, a sheet of water is produced that simulates the angle of a breaking wave which allows you to glide over the top of it riding a surfboard. More experienced surfers can create spectacular turns and patterns with this new activity which has been christened surf flow.

Maybe it will never produce the perfect wave that thousands of keen surfers travel the world in search of – especially off the beaches of Australia, California and South-East Asia – but it does recreate the emotions experienced when surfing almost anywhere else, and it can do so on every day of the year.

Celebrity campers

Post Caravaning Celebrity campers

What do the three-times world motorcycling champion Marc Márquez; the fashion designers Custo Dalmau or Miriam Ponsa; the model Malena Costa, or the Malaga Football Club Manager Javi Gracia share in common? Although the answer might seem to be nothing, in actual fact these well-known people from the world of motor sports, fashion and football share a passion for the motorhome and camping lifestyle.

The three-times world motorcycling champion Marc Márquez prefers to relax in a motorhome rather than stay at a hotel during the Grand Prix weekends. “If I have the motorhome in the paddock, I don’t have to leave the circuit, and I’m more relaxed and concentrated,” explains the Cervera-born racer.

Another world champion, the Catalan Kilian Jornet, who recently won his third ultra-running world championship, views his camper as a true home. “I like moving around and I spend most of the summer in the camper, because it gives me the opportunity to wake up each morning in a different place, in the midst of nature,” he says. Kilian encourages anyone who has not travelled in a motorhome to try it: “You’ll be surprised. It’s a different, more relaxed way to travel, away from the crowds. I’m sure that the people who have not yet lived in a motorhome will be delighted with the benefits it offers.”

The famous designer Custo Dalmau says that travelling in a motorhome is “a way to become one with nature. It’s like going back to your childhood and revisiting forgotten sensations.” The Barcelona designer highlights that travelling in a motorhome is a way to “discover incredible places. I’ve visited many places around the world in this way and it’s a fantastic way to discover them. If you take children, it gives them a whole memory bank of unforgettable experiences.”

Javi Gracia, from Navarre and current manager of the First Division Malaga Football Club, says that caravanning “gets you closer to nature and you can travel without any ties”. The former player for teams such as Real Sociedad, Real Valladolid and Villarreal adds that “for those of us who have children, travelling in a motorhome or spending a holiday at a campsite is very comfortable and fun.”

Miriam Ponsa, a young designer who was one of the big names at the last Pasarela 080, thinks the same: “I love the freedom of travelling in a motorhome and being able to stop where and whenever I want. Also, family connections become much closer when we’re in a smaller space than we’re used to.”

All of them are fans of this lifestyle and have joined the ‘I am Caravaning’ movement, aimed at increasing interest in this way of enjoying holidays and leisure time and sponsored by Fira de Barcelona’s International Caravanning Show, to be held from 4 to 12 October at the Gran Via site.

The home decoration must-have for the coldest of months

Post Expohogar144 The home decoration must have for the coldest of months

The simple act of adding, removing or relocating decorative items like picture frames, candlesticks, vases, pictures, cushions, boxes or candles helps to customise or revamp the character of any room. Catalan company Foimpex, headed up by Alegría Fernández Barnosell, has selected the “must-have” items of the season for Expohogar, presenting four styles that set the tone this autumn-winter with the addition of home decoration objects that need not cost a fortune.

‘Victoria Station’: Using British Racing Green, a dark green associated with British racing cars from the 1920s. It is a shade that adds an air of dignified elegance to a living room. Touches such as a clock, an umbrella stand, a side unit or simply a change of chairs… The only condition being that it has to be green. This also provides the still on-trend vintage feel. Surprising results can be achieved with the addition of a patch rug (in red, brown, grey or blue).

Bistro Black: Black is back, always in fashion. Tables, shelves, chests of drawers, mirrors… will be excellent features for bringing some bistro style (from French café society) to any corner. And if you mix black with white, another very fashionable colour, it can give any room a luxurious modern look. Simply combine pieces of furniture or add a black and white mirror. Metal signs also feature, along with clocks with messages, even seen on cushions, bags and wash bags. Another trend comes in the form of wooden or metal letters, with or without lights, used individually or together to make up words or whole phrases. We find them on shelves, on top of furniture, on the wall, set down on the floor…

Merchant of Venice: With Christmas round the corner, gold comes into its own, an essential later in the year. A candle, a lamp, a vase, a picture frame… Small gold items provide yule-tide warmth to a lobby or lounge. Antique styling is also hot, reminiscent of the Merchant of Venice, reflected in suitcases and trunks made of linen with leather corners and decorated with stars, drawings and messages. Similarly, wooden items marked with graffiti, allow the quality of the material to show through.

‘Wildlife’: Modernity that harmoniously blends wood and white. Cushions that make the wild wolf king of the lounge or an armchair home to a deer grazing among snow-covered trees. Tree trunks are brought in as placemats or candle holders, dressed up oil lamps, the house infused with touches of the forest.

Where do fish come from?

Post Seafood3 Where do fish come from?In many people’s minds, hake comes from the north, prawns from Huelva or Arenys, langoustines from Sant Carles de la Ràpita, clams from Carril and eels from Aguinaga. Leaving exorbitant prices aside, the seafood products that Catalans, Spanish and Europeans eat come from all over the world. The Seafood show, held at Gran Via venue, made this very clear and illustrated, once again, the economic importance of the sector and the crucial role that seafood plays in our diets.

Looking at the data from the popular Mercat del Peix (fish market) in Barcelona, you can choose from around one thousand varieties of fish and shellfish, fresh or frozen, from all over the world: half the fish we eat is imported; 18% is caught off the Catalan coast, within what we refer to as Km0 or very close to the coast, while the remaining 23% is caught in other Spanish waters. This is without counting the growing importance of fish farming: 40% of the fish sold in Spain now comes from this reproduction technique, making it possible to eat species that were once prohibitively expensive on a regular basis.

But even in the hinterland of Catalonia there are surprises. In contrast to what many people assume – or used to assume – the fishing fleet based in the Port of Barcelona catches more than those of Roses, Cambrils or Arenys.

Yet beyond the democratization of certain types of products and their origin, when it comes to children they usually have the same reaction to fish as they do to vegetables. There’s a certain lack of enthusiasm in choosing a nice fish fillet in preference to a burger, even though experts assure us that every euro invested in eating fish, with all its nutritional properties and indispensable role in a healthy, balanced diet, will result in a 10 euro saving on the healthcare bill within ten years.

Thanks to new awareness-raising campaigns, this is a message that society is increasingly taking on board and also opens up new business opportunities. Seafood Expo Southern Europe has no doubt about it.

Walls that talk

Today the world is facing major challenges in the near future. Its societies, organized in megacities that comprise large and small buildings have a duty to find solutions for sustainability, safety and energy efficiency together with an exponential growth and a pressing shortage of resources. Urban development has entered the twenty-first century with one of the biggest challenges in its history, but the good news is that it has already begun to work on the first solutions. Smarts cities and smart buildings will certainly change the world of construction, urban planning and architecture as we have known them so far.

Buildings will cease to be independent and passive structures and become interconnected horizontally and vertically managed, integrated and automated. It’s not just about more or less automated buildings or the amount of technology applied but rather of structures that talk, share information and act accordingly to obtain more flexible, more adaptable and more efficient structures regarding energy consumption, safety, or comfort with less environmental impact and significant cost savings. This also involves changing the way they are built and the materials used.
HVAC, lighting, or the building’s response in the event of fire, space management, maintenance systems, control input or the use of parking are just some of the areas where a smart building can give better solutions.

Fira de Barcelona also faces these challenges reinventing its international Construction Exhibition. Construmat will become Beyond Building Barcelona in its next edition in May 2015 Be to go beyond innovation with smart buildings, new materials and technology for home automation and building solutions. To go beyond a networking platform for national and international business and design for the latest market trends in construction and architecture.
With Beyond Building Barcelona, ​​Fira will be close to an industry facing major challenges and will contribute to building a new future for it.

The new Queen of the Seas

The Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, is visiting Barcelona. This colossus has become the new Queen of the Seas, usurping Poseidon himself. The figures speak for themselves: 220,000 tonnes, 360 metres long —the length of three football pitches—and a capacity of 6,300 passengers and 2,300 crewmembers.
This is the first time a ship of this size has visited Europe, as up to now they have only operated in the Caribbean. During its three planned visits to the Catalan capital, up to 37,000 passengers will be disembarking, generating an economic impact of more than 4 million euros. This figure could only be surpassed by its twin sister, the Allure of the Seas. And it will be. In 2015, this other giant will be using Barcelona as its base port for its 25 cruises from the city (with , welcoming up to 158,000 passengers on board who will leave some 17.5 million euros in the city.
There is no doubt that the arrival of both ships further strengthens Barcelona’s leadership of the European and Mediterranean cruise market —last year the city was visited by a total of 2.6 million passengers. This means that hosting an international event on the cruise sector in Barcelona is no coincidence.
Indeed, later this month Seatrade Med will be launching at Fira de Barcelona, the biggest dedicated cruise sector congress in the Mediterranean, the world’s second most popular cruise destination. The meeting will be showcasing all that’s new in an industry that has changed exponentially since the famous TV series The Love Boat revealed a new way of travelling: on board giant floating cities. This travel option plays host to more than 20 million passengers every year, with around 300 companies offering some 2,000 destinations in practically every corner of the world.

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