Showing posts with label Smartphone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smartphone. Show all posts

June 24, 2017

Way Out Of Social Bounds

So on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone...

I want to say that the iPhone is probably one of the greatest inventions of all times...congratulations to Apple and especially to Steve Jobs!

I also want to say how far people have gone crazy in using these smartphones without any filters as to privacy or propriety. 

HERE IS A TRUE STORY THAT JUST HAPPENED :

We are in this building waiting for an elevator to come. 

A man comes around the corner speaking into his smartphone held at chest height with the speaker on blast!

He sees us, but apparently doesn't even think to pause the conversation or turn off the speaker and put the device to his ear.

Instead, we hear from the phone from what is apparently his immediate family member.


"That's right, it's a yeast infection!"

We are looking at each other like is this really happening or are we on Candid Camera or something.

And he respond still on with the speaker as we get on the elevator:


"A yeast infection, yeah, yeah, you better not let it get any worse."

Then from the phone:


"With these yeast infections, you know how it can be. I'll try to take care of it today,"

Him again, now as he's getting off the elevator:


"Well anyway, hope I'll be seeing you over later today."

My wife and I look at each other, and I blurt out after the elevator door closes:


"Yeah, yeah, I guess we'll be seeing you later today--with that yeast infection and all--hope it's not contagious!"


And we both start cracking up at how insane people are. 

While we can't (completely) help what people are over-hearing -and seeing through surveillance mechanisms on our smartphones, this guy with his phone, he didn't even flinch at the conversation he was having in the open on the speaker. 

It's a different day and age, and some people have no sense of boundaries anymore. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 1, 2016

Technology Hope For The Future

Ok, this gives me tremendous technology hope for the future. 

This 4-year old kid is working diligently on her smartphone, while her mom is shopping not far away in the clothing store at the mall. 

She didn't seem to care about the clothes hanging all around her or the fun in the mall or really anything else at all...she was content with her tech!

And while I certainly believe in work-life balance and in kids being able to really jsut be kids, there was just something so amazing about the promise of technology, especially for those who are now growing up with it. 

After all, it was very cute how intent this kid was with all the technology power right in the palm of her hands, and I could easily see a budding CIO in the making here. 

And of course, with even better and more capable technology in the future. 

Through technology and belief, we can find hope in the impossible. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 24, 2015

Fashion As Art

I took this photo today in Washington, D.C.--although it seemed for a moment like I was magically transported to downtown Beijing. 

What an stunning outfit this lady is wearing!

Fashionable yet modest, with brilliant colors, and contrasting patterns and solids--more like art than clothing. 

She is walking with a complete fluid grace--even while she's reading on her smartphone. 

Don't tell Dossy--Oh, she's right here! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 12, 2015

Apple Desperately Needs Some New Fruit

I love my Apple iPhone, but this core product debuted in January 2007.

We're going on almost 9 years!!!

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is enormously successful:

- It accounts for 92% of the smartphone industry's profits (even though it only sells 20% of the smartphones). 

- The iPhone bring in almost 2/3 of Apple's total revenue now going on almost $200 billion. 

But, the new growth that Apple seeks in not based on any real exciting innovation.

Take for example Apple's announcements this week:

- A new larger 12.9 inch iPad with a stylus (the Apple Pencil).

- A revamped Apple TV set-top box. 

- Apple's iPhone 3-D Touch that controls the smartphone based on how hard you press. 

Uh, ho-hum--this is all V-E-R-Y boring!

Google has a similar problem with their core business of advertising on Search and YouTube accounting for 89% of their revenue.

But at least Google continues working towards their next moonshot, and has reorganized their innovation labs into a separate entity called Alphabet--working on everything from:

- Self-driving cars

- Delivery drones

- Internet balloons

- Smart thermostats (Nest)

- Broadband services (Google Fiber)

- Longevity research (Calico)

- Smart contact lenses

- Robotics

Unfortunately for Apple, the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 has meant the loss of their driving force for innovation. 

Despite a workforce of about 100,000 and a gorgeous new flying saucer-looking headquarters, can you think of any major new products since Jobs?

Apple is a fruit in it's prime--ripe and shiny and hugely smart and successful, but without any new fruits going forward, they are at risk of becoming a stale mealy apple, versus a bountiful and delicious fruit salad. 

Apple is very secretive, so maybe the fruit is coming. 

I hope for our sake and theirs that Apple is seriously planting for the future and not just harvesting on the past. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 7, 2015

Light Up Your Life



We've seen colored light bulbs before...very hippie.

However, I like the Misfit Bolt, which is a multi-colored bulb, whose combinations are controlled by an app on your smartphone or -watch. 

It's was introduced at the Consumer and Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas this week. 

And it has lighting that simulates landscapes such as a beach sunset, forest, island volcano, rainbow, and more. 

It can also be set as an alarm to wake you up to a simulated sunrise.

At $50, it's more than a mood ring--how you feeling today, buddy?

But how nice to relax to, wake up with, and to create some pick me up feeling lighting around you. ;-)
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December 13, 2014

Smartphone Or Kitty Litter

Interesting...Bloomberg Businessweek ran a special anniversary issue with a countdown of the 85 most disruptive ideas (in the last 85 years), and guess where they think the smartphone fell in that?

#78!!! 


Right up there with the white board (#82) and good 'ol high frequency trading (#80).


But not as important as get this...the corporate campus (#77), the VCR (#74), Kitty Litter (#73), Singapore, literally--{Uh, and how about Israel?} (#71), bottled water (#56), High-fructose corn syrup (#48), Air Jordan sneakers (#45), Napster (#43), and junk bonds (#7).


They ranked the smartphone so low in disruption, even after giving it a two-page spread with no less than 32 "things the smartphone killed" and they probably missed a few hundred!


There is no need to list everything the smartphone does for you, because you use these functions every moment of every day


To most people now, the smartphone is one of their most prized possessions and they don't go anywhere without it and rarely do you see anyone not "on it." (Uh, I know more than a few people who even dropped them in the toilet!)


Honestly, Businessweek...I think you missed the significance of the smartphone big time. 


Yeah maybe Starbucks (#68) and the Pill (#9) are competitors, but not as important or disruptive as Kitty Litter...shame on you!  ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Lonely Bob)

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May 16, 2014

Making The Transition

Came out of the hospital yesterday.

Able to walk with a walker--thankful for this miracle already.


Thanks to good 'ol technology, I was able to send my surgeon a photo from my smartphone this morning, so he could see for himself what was going on and advise me. 


Later today, having nursing and physical therapy to the house and am glad to have yet another set of eyes on me, while I heal up.


Emotionally, it's trying. 


I am a very active and structured person, and for now I am just physically limited--no getting around it. 


As I push myself to walk, I can see my body pushing back to give it more time. 


Overall, I am determined to get back to myself with G-d's merciful help. 


I've already logged onto work--telework--and been in touch with my team trying to keep things moving forward.


I'm also here, on the blogosphere, sharing my experience. 


While in the hospital orthopedic unit, I got to meet many others with similar or even worse situations.


One guy had a knee replacement in January and was already back and had his hip done. 


Another, I was told had one hip done, followed about 2 weeks later, by the other one.


All sorts of amazing stories of people fighting to recover and get back on their feet, literally. 


One more time, I just want to say how my wife has been amazing through all of this, and I can't thank her enough.


And truly, as my parents told me, "If you have your health, you have everything!"


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 28, 2013

The Dancer and The Tablet


So we are at this Mediterranean Restaurant next to the beach.

We are sitting outside--it is a little chilly and we cozy up next to one of the fire poles to keep warm.

We weren't eating much; just a drink for our anniversary and something to munch on.

All of a sudden, my wife points to this lady from the next table who gets up and starts dancing provocatively.

You can see the sliver of ocean behind her, the night sky, and the cars and pedestrians are going by behind her.

There are multiple realities going on here:

She is in her own world--dancing to the music, swaying this way and that, and enjoying her femininity. 

On the other hand, the guy she's with is taking a video of her on his tablet computer--he seems more concerned with capturing the moment with his technology than enjoying his girlfriend. 

We are conscientious observers--I sort of wondered if the guy should've been paying more attention to the women who was wooing him than playing with his tablet. 

The other lesson that I can't help reaching is that cameras and microphones are truly everywhere--privacy is a complete myth!  

He is recording her, we are videoing them on our smartphone, and the restaurant is taping all of us on CCTV cameras, and NSA is laughing at us from Fort Meade. 

So if you want solitude, book a flight with Virgin Galactic. ;-)
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November 27, 2013

The Sony Wig Nut

Sony has so missed the mobile technology revolution.

In desperation, Sony has filed a patent for the SmartWig.

How incredibly useful (uh, not)?

Your faux hairdo can dial your hairdresser and make your next appointment for you.

It can locate via GPS the nearest salon.

And the SmartWig can even take selfies while you admire yourself in the mirror.

While Sony is goofing around again, and hasn’t had a hit since the to die for Sony televisions of yore (and let's not forget the Walkman from 1980s), Google is moving out with bravado on Glass.

Google is getting display space for Glass in eyeglass retailers, and working with opticians to make prescription lens eye-Glass.

Let’s just say one company gets wearable technology and the other is hiding under wigs in The Technology Hall of Shame.

Then again, one customer may be interested in talking with Sony—the CIA for undercover operations.

Maybe a Smart Groucho Marx mustache that automatically shakes out the soup after you eat would be a cool new product, as well--go for it Sony!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Annetta)

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September 12, 2013

Apple Is Giving Us The Finger

As I always say, I love Apple--and they still have the best darn Smartphone on the market--but they continue to disappoint with anything new.

This week, with the introduction of the iPhone 5S, Apple had the opportunity to introduce something new and exciting, but instead what did we get?

- A faster processor and Touch ID fingerprint reader. 

In nutshell, since Steve Jobs untimely passing, Siri was a bombshell, actually just a big consumer product bomb.

And now with the fingerprint reader as the big newcomer add-on to the iPhone, it's as if (sorry to say), Apple is giving us all the proverbial finger. 

While the fingerprint reader is cute and a faster logon, it is really not a must-have or a game-changer.  

The only thing less exciting than Touch ID is the new Yahoo logo.

In the last two years, Apple has taken a mighty innovation lead and squandered it. 

Still, no one can touch their highly integrated iPhone product.

However, if much more time goes by without something meaningfully new and innovative, they will be in trouble. 

Rumors of an iPhablet (iPhone/tablet) with a significantly larger screen (ranging from 4.8 to 6 inches) will be more like the Samsung Galaxy S4 with 5-inch screen rather than than iPhone 5S 4-inch screen, and would have attraction for people who like to read or watch on a larger, better display. 

Of course a significantly better camera would be helpful too--need I say more?

Some interaction with wearable technology, like a Google Glass with augmented reality would also be a winner. 

And a fully ruggedized smartphone, similar in concept to a Panasonic Toughbook--and up to military grade specs--that withstands drops, spills, dust, and lots of everyday field use punishment, would be way cool for the action-adventurer in all of us--and maybe then we wouldn't need all the silly looking cases.

In the meantime, put your index finger on the home bottom, while Apple puts their middle finger up at you, the consumer.

Steve Jobs, where the heck are you? ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to CNET)
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July 30, 2013

When GPS Takes You Down The Wrong Path

Mashable is reporting that a team of university students from University of Texas at Austin were able to spoof the GPS receivers on an $80 million yacht with false signals and make it veer off course without anyone even noticing!

I remember a couple of years ago, I was heading to an offsite meeting for work. 


It was planned for a location that I wasn't extremely familiar with.


Of course, I turned on my GPS device in the car and set the destination.


It was a cold snowy day--the roads were iced--and it was already treacherous driving. 


But I followed the GPS directions to a T.


I ended up in someone's backyard--at a dead end--practically in the middle of a cornfield. 


I'm thinking to myself Crap!--what type of crazy GPS is this? 


Thank G-d, I had my smartphone in my pocket and I opened up the GPS app on it and set the destination again. 


Sure enough, it takes me off and running to the meeting location--about 10 minutes away!


Some things I learnt:


1) OMG, we are so very dependent on our technology; with technology gone wrong, I was stuck in nowhere land USA; with it right--I got out of there and to the correct location and thank G-d. 


2) GPS is a capability that is critical for everything from getting us to where we need to go to getting our missiles to hit on target. Take away or mess with our GPS and we end up missing the mark--potentially big time and with devastating consequences. 


3) Always have a backup, plan B. One GPS can be wrong as in this case, while the other GPS was correct. Redundancy and contingency planning is a must have, period. 


4) When you're heading down the wrong road (or you're off course in international waters), man up and admit it and make a course correction. You don't win any brownie points for continuing to drive into the cornfields. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 28, 2013

We're All Digitally Distracted

Focus, focus...forget it!

With smartphones, social media, email, texting, phone calls, meetings, and more...it takes a lot of discipline to not get distracted and actually get things done. 

The Wall Street Journal (11 December 2012) laid out half jokingly that most people wouldn't even be able to finish the article because of all the technological and people interruptions in our daily lives. 

There are various aspects to this problem:

1) Digital Addiction--We love and are addicted to the information, connectedness, convenience, and entertainment that computerization, digital communications, and the Internet provide. Loneliness be gone!

2) 24/7 Expectations--Employers, family, and friends expect that we will be available to them around the clock. We are tethered to our jobs and each other with computers, smartphones, Blackberries, telework, social media, and more. If I can't get to you, it's because you don't want to be gotten!

3) Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)--One of the concerns we have about getting off our devices is that we may miss out on something--that critical phone call or email may be regarding an important event, a special sale, a job interview, a long lost friend or lover, someone who needs help, or whatever. But if you shut yourself off, then you may just be missing the opportunity of a lifetime!

For most people the smartphone is the last thing they look at before going to sleep and the first thing they look at in the morning...assuming your significant other doesn't intervene. 

Even going on vacation, for many, means checking work and personal emails and voicemails...a vacation is no longer a real vacation, just perhaps less work than going into the office. 

On one hand, we have more information and connectedness at our fingertips than ever before, but on the other hand, we are living in virtual, and not physical, reality.

One example is how we sit with our families and friends, but every one is on their device and no one is interacting with each other in the room. 

No wonder there is a movement now to "Turn it off!" or "Leave it at home (or work)!"--We are desperately trying to balance between cyberspace and personal space. 

We can't afford to be distracted or to distract ourselves, incessantly--we need to focus on what's important, what needs to get done, and on those who love and need us. 

Whether you do a zero email day or just leave it all behind vacation--everyone needs some time be human with each other again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 16, 2013

A Shocking Bra To Stop Attackers

In the medieval times, to help ensure fidelity of partners and protect against rape, they invented something called a chastity belt--I am sure you get it. 

There is one for women and there is another one fitted for men.

Now in light of the horrible rape attacks in India, 3 female students in India's SRM University have developed an anti-rape bra that literally shocks attackers. 

The bra is called "SHE" (for Society Harnessing Equipment) and unlike the chastity belt of the olden-days, this bra according to Popular Science delivers 3,800 kv to attackers. 

Women can activate the bra when they feel unsafe and it is pressure sensitive and is calibrated to be able to differentiate say a hug from something more violent. 

The woman is insulated from getting shocked by a polymer lining on the inside. 

The bra is also being outfitted so the pressure sensor sends a Bluetooth signal to your smartphone to send text message alerts to family or friends and the police with your GPS location. 

I want to end with a quote from one of the students as to their inspiration for this innovative anti-rape bra:

"Studying in a convent girls school, we were always taught to be good to everyone and bear a cheerful smile. After stepping into the real, cruel world, we realized that our smile could not last for long as the threat to our purity and integrity always lingered on...Hence, we have initiated the idea of self-defense, which protect the women from domestic, social and workplace harassment."

While I hope these students don't believe that everyone in the world is cruel, I applaud these young women for doing something positive to help protect women worldwide.  

I don't know how practical this anti-rape bra will end up being (i.e. wearing something that produces a dangerous shock), this is a good step in thinking about how to make women less of a target and increase the risk to any would-be attacker. ;-)

(Source Photo: adapted from here with attribution to Nicolas Sanguinetti) 


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January 16, 2013

Jumping Jean Saves The Day

Metro
This was beyond my belief this evening--it is a true story!

As I was getting off the train, my iPhone slipped out of the OtterBox clip on my belt and fell...but it didn't just fall down, it fell at the precise moment that I was disembarking the train and it fell perfectly vertically right between the small space between the train and the platform. 

I couldn't believe it--I don't think I could drop it through that way myself even if I tried. 

Sure enough the phone is laying in the rock bed on the tracks. 

As the train pulled out, I was sure it was a goner, but apparently it survived not only the fall, but also the train running over it as it lay there.

A woman next to me, saw the whole thing unfold and she says to me after the train pulls out--"if you're going to get it, you better hurry up and do it now!"

I must've looked completely astonished when she said that as I peered over to the signage that said the next train was arriving in literally 1 minute!

I looked around for someone from the Metro to help, but no one was there. 

Out of nowhere, a young man rushes forward and says, "I can get it" and before I know it--he jumps into the tracks with the train approaching.

He did it so fast, picked up the smartphone, and jumped back out onto the platform, all in the nick of time--I've never seen anything like it--it was completely amazing. 

I was in disbelief that anyone would do something so crazy as to jump in front of an oncoming train to get a dropped phone that didn't even belong to them--simply to help a fellow human being. 

I tried to help grab him onto the platform, shook his hand, thanked him profusely, and offered him a reward--he refused to even take that. 

On the train we sat together, and he told me about how he came from Cameroon where he had little opportunity and was working two jobs here, including helping seniors and working at McDonalds. He told me how he liked to help people--and that was more than evident to everyone who witnessed this. 

In the end, the iPhone was still working and Jean strengthened my faith in good people still out there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal from a prior Metro ride)

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December 2, 2012

Flying Gizmo At Brookstone


I took this video of a flying drone at Brookstone at Avetura Mall in Miami. 

The drone is flying among the crowds and actually goes right over my head a couple of times--I literally had to duck (as I think the salesperson was having some fun with me recording)!

The device is called the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and sells for $299.

The drone is being controlled via wi-fi by a iPhone and also works with iPads and Droid devices.

The controlled flying as well as the stunts seemed easy to do. 

It has a front facing camera (and I think the salesperson said it has a rear-facing one too). 

You can capture the flight imagery and post the recorded video and still photos online. 

The quadricopter has stabilization controls and hull protection to keep the device safe and in the air. 

If you appreciate this technology and likes to have some fun, you may want to take this for a little spin around the yard, park, and beach. 

Also, watch out at the mall--this flying gizmo may be coming right at you. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 12, 2012

Why Orange?

So I made some new "friends" on the train home this evening.

These two Tibetan Buddhist Monks.

I asked about their amazing robes--"why orange?"

They said, they didn't know why, but told me black, white, blue, and red were a no-no. 

They started to teach words from their language to another inquisitive fellow from New York riding on the train, and asking them how to say this and that.

They were laughing at his pronunciation. 

As he was about to get off the train, he grabbed for their hands and gave them a good shake, and off he went. 

I asked if I could take their picture and they smiled and immediately sort of sat up and posed. 

At one point on the ride, the monk on the right pulls out a cell phone and starts talking away--the modern technology was sort of a funny contrast with their religious robes and serene nature. 

Anyway, I loved this picture and wanted to share this experience. 

Hope you enjoy!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 24, 2012

G-d's Creation and Man's Adaptation

Technology_everywhere
I took this photo today at the East View of Sugarloaf Mountain. 

This guy is sitting on the rocks towards the summit of the mountain and doing of all things...technology--it's REALLY everywhere!

He is nestled away in the brush and trees on this rock--off the mountain edge--and is typing away on a laptop computer. 

Not what I was expecting in the middle of all this nature, but then again I was guilty of bringing along some of my tech toys too. 

And at one point--on this--what felt to me--like a near vertical climb (but it wasn't)--and standing lopsided on these protruding rocks, all of a sudden my smartphone rings. 

"Hello," I say grabbing onto a branch of a nearby tree. 

On the other end, "Yes, the is so and so from Dr. whatever's office, and your test results came back as this and that..."

No, it wasn't bad news, thank G-d, but it was just so awkward getting this call up on the this lush mountain and in this way. 

I thought for a moment--maybe, I shouldn't have brought my phone and other technology stuff on the hike--then it would be just me and the beautiful nature--man and mother Earth--alone and as one. 

That thought lasted about a full split second--yeah, that's truly nice--but like Adam in the Garden of Eden without his fig leaf, I feel truly naked--without my technology.

The garden is a lot more inviting when I know the rest of the world is just some personal technology away. 

Like the guy reading and working on his laptop nestled on the mountain--maybe what we have is the best of G-d's creation and man's adaptation--a beautiful marriage--good for the body and the soul. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 19, 2012

What's The Internet Worth To You?



What a great question--what's the Internet or your Smartphone worth to you? 

Most people seems to say they wouldn't give these up--not even for a million dollars! 

Maybe $15-20 million--enough to never have to work again. Okay, now you're getting closer. 

Nah, I want a billion dollars to give up the Internet--that's what some people responded.

For me, I'm not certain even a billion dollars could keep me off the Internet--but I could certainly try it for a few days.

Being able to communicate, connect, learn, share, and transact online is like air and water to us now-a-days--an absolute necessity for modern survival. 

Without being able to do these things, you may as well be on a stranded island--you may own that Island (like Larry Ellison who bought the 6th largest Hawaiian Island of Lanai) and it may be quite a nice one at that, but you'll still be quite secluded and alone in the Internet age. 

Yes, the Internet and all we get from it costs only pennies on the millions (and/or billions) of dollars worth we each receive from it--and that's why on some things you cannot put a price tag. 

We're in this world to learn and grow and for that we need other people far and wide--either that or you'll need to have one heck of a big and non-stop party at home in paradise. ;-)

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July 16, 2012

iPhone With Ears

Here's to a very stylish iPhone case.

As you can see it has bunny ears, and in pink nonetheless. 

No, the rabbit ears are not like on old televisions of yesteryear where they served as the antenna that you moved up, down, and around and still couldn't get any decent reception.

These ears are not for listening, but rather for e-f-f-e-c-t--style that is. 

This is some Washington D.C. cool right back at you! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 5, 2012

iGlasses, Your Next Smartphone


Yesterday, a hyped-up video came out by Google on Project Glass.

Basically this is Star Trek-type glasses that provide everything that's on your smartphone plus some augmented reality, where real world sensation is augmented with computer-generated information. 

The video shows the glasses integrated with functionality for email/messaging/phones calls, photos/videos, music, reminders, weather, maps/directions, transportation updates, and more. 

Aside from the integration into the glasses themselves, they really didn't demonstrate any major new technologies--and was sort of disappointing actually.

It reminds of Google+, which came out and didn't add anything much new over FaceBook, and hence hasn't really caught on--copycatting just isn't enough in the high-tech industry, where real innovation is what's valued. 

While I like the idea of more and better ways of getting the types of information and functionality that's on your smartphone, I really don't think glasses is the way to go.

Frankly, after having LASIK surgery more than 12 years ago, I am so happy not to have to wear those obtrusive frames on my face anymore, and I certainly wouldn't want to go back.

I would envision having these functions either built microscopically into contact lens or projected by mini-wearable cameras in front of you as a true reality overlay--and I think Minority Report thought of that one first. 

The only way that I would even consider wearing glasses for this was if Apple made them and called them iGlasses. ;-)

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