watching Apple Watch

watch-dmI am fascinated by wearable, but I want them to completely replace the smartphones and tablet, but not be so clunky and weird to wear like Google glass.

This is a repost from TechCrunch by 

Apple’s first wearable is right around the corner, and the Apple Watch will likely debut along a very healthy selection of third-party apps. It might be hard to envision just how those apps will work, however, especially for potential buyers who don’t have the luxury of being able to wander over to an Apple Store and check one out in person.

WatchAware, a new site from the AppAdvice team focusing on providing Apple Watch media coverage, has created interactive previews of upcoming Watch Apps to let users see form themselves in a browser how they might work on the wrist.

There are currently 27 previews in total, including apps like Run 5k, Todoist, Deliveries and Infinitweet that have worked directly with WatchAware, and prominent Apple and partner apps like Facebook, Twitter, Maps, Pinterest and more. For each, you can see either the app, a glance (a focused display of your app’s most relevant information) or a notification, or a combination of the views listed if a developer has chosen to provide more than one.

The previews offer limited interactivity, showing some aspects of the Watch App’s functionality as a brief video demo, while letting users actually tap on other elements (both scrolling and tapping the digital crown to return home work on notifications, for instance) to load up preview clips of other features at the same time. Each interactive app demo is embedded in an Apple Watch hardware mockup so you can see what it would look like in the stainless Apple Watch version of the forthcoming iOS wearable. A brief description is included to give a general overview of the app’s functionality.

The AppAdvice team decided to build this site in part to help readers understand what the upcoming Apple Watch might be useful for in their own personal lives. There’s a lot of uncertainty around this new category, according to Mahmoud Hafez, AppAdvice founder.

“It was hard to start a new site from scratch since we have a strong user base at AppAdvice,” he explained to TechCrunch. “When the iPad launched we never considered making an iPad specific site, because the apps were so similar –  we saw it as more of a convenience form factor. With Apple Watch we see a true paradigm shift. We’re going to have radically different experiences and apps than we have on the phone. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about if this device deserves to exist and how it will change computing.”

WatchAware hopes to eventually make it possible for developers to use their technology to display their own apps, and will be working with anyone who contacts in the meantime to build a preview for use on the site together. They’re also looking to add additional interactive preview for detailed looks inside each app, over and above what they currently offer.

At this point, most people can imagine how a mobile app will work based on simple screens or a video demo, but that’s not the case for Apple Watch software. Providing some kind of mechanism that shows what users can expect from apps before they even own a wearable is indeed a useful service, and may help pave the way for more widespread adoption of the tech to come.

Future of Mobile Phone Carriers?

mobile WiFi everywhere, get on the bus

I heard this article on NPR yesterday and it reminded me of how temporary some of our staple technologies are. Disruptive technology is a beautiful but scary thing. Especially if you work in an industry whose major customers are the mobile phone networks. Free voice over IP is a future that is great for immediate timely human communication. Now Net Neutrality may be more of a juggernaut. If WiFi is free where ever you move thru a town.


Board any city bus in Portugal’s second-largest municipality, Porto, and you’ve got free Wi-Fi. More than 600 city buses and taxis have been fitted with wireless routers, creating what’s touted as the biggest Wi-Fi-in-motion network in the world.

The service not only provides commuters with free Internet connections but it also helps collect data that makes the municipality run more efficiently.

The tech startup behind this new service is called Veniam, based in Porto and Mountain View, Calif. It calls its project the “Internet of Moving Things.”

Porto is the first test market, but the company hopes to expand to several U.S. cities later this year.

In my crystal ball I saw the mobile network operators going out of business as Wifi calling, skype, hangout taking its place. Smart phone will all be unlocked and OTA a thing of the past. Sad face. I hope the companies I have been working for start adapting now…

The test of a robust Wi-Fi connection is if you can keep a Skype call up and running, with video, while moving around. So that’s what we try — while careening through different neighborhoods of Porto.

Over Skype, we reach André Cardote, Veniam’s engineering manager. From his office, he’s able to track our bus in real time, watching its Wi-Fi router connect to RSUs — roadside units — or fiber access points scattered across the city, through which it connects to the Internet.

This gaming accessory could be the future of virtual reality fitness from Mashable by Adario Strange


The latest virtual reality systems are promising us new immersive experiences for gaming. But look beyond the stunning imagery for a moment: how can we avoid creating another generation of out-of-shape, couch-ridden joystick jockeys?

The people behind the Realm System believe they have the answer in the form of a resistance accessory designed work seamlessly with the Oculus Rift.

SEE ALSO: Through the Looking Glass: Virtual Reality gets real at CES

Attached to the user’s waist and hands, the Realm system works with the Kinect camera to track your movements, and the Oculus Rift to let you see the corresponding actions in VR.

The key aspect of the Realm is that it actually forces you to exert energy when you’re swinging an axe to defeat virtual ogres, or makes you feel the tension of a resistant steering wheel while driving a VR racing car.

In the company’s demonstration video, users are shown wearing the Oculus Rift to lay out zombies with a sword. But in another video, we get to see a boxer using the device without a VR helmet while engaging in an onscreen boxing match.

So if you only have a Kinect, and aren’t a fan of VR, you can still benefit from the Realm system.

We’ve talked about how touch is the primary missing element to virtual reality systems like the Oculus Rift, but Realm’s resistance component adds yet another physical dimension in much the same way as the Virtuix Omni treadmill.

But where the Virtuix Omni merely adds a walking component, the Realm appears to be a tool that could really give you a workout — something many fitness-friendly gamers have been waiting for.

As a product idea the Realm sounds fun, and the presentation is convincing. But the rougher demo video, above, which shows first-time users gleefully swinging at virtual objects, really hints at the Realm’s potential.

The Realm is currently taking early orders on Kickstarter for about $200, with delivery of the product coming in September — assuming

The Weirdest Hybrid Gadgets of the Last 40 Years

The Microsoft Surface arrives today. It’s been touted as the perfect compromise between laptop and tablet. (From what we can tell, that’s not quite the case.)

But hybrid gadgets have a checkered past. Most seem to fail at first, and yet some find success later. So all hope might not be lost for this quirky device. And maybe, one day, we’ll see the Surface as a pioneer, like some of these 12 other examples—all greeted as mixed-up weirdos in their time.

IBM 5120


The Mac was not the first all-in-one computer. That honor goes to the HP 9810. In 1971, it combined a computer, a keyboard, and a very rudimentary LED display capable of showing calculator-grade characters. Actually, it was a glorified calculator. Later, in 1980, the IBM 5120 was the first to combine a traditional CRT display with the guts of a PC. As for Apple, the Lisa—the company’s first all-in-one offering—arrived in 1983.


Scanntronic Scanner-E


Companies like HP may be synonymous with today’s multifunction machines that print, scan, copy and fax. But the Scanntronic, a little box that could attach to any dot matrix printer, was a single tool that could accomplish all that in the 1980s. It could scan and digitize a document with the help of a Commodore 64.


Photo: MOS6502

Boombox TV

The 12 Weirdest Hybrid Gadgets of the Last 40 YearsCombining a boombox and a TV seems like the ultimate ’80s gadget for teenagers, and certainly had to be novel for the time, but one could only imagine how bad the picture and reception had to be on that thing.

Photo: Flowizm

TV/VCR Combo


The TV/VCR combo has it’s earliest roots in the 1970s, when a ancestral technology known as cartrivision popped up in the market place. Sony would later produce a combo unit that played Betamax tapes. But it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the TV/VCR combo would become a trend, popularized by companies like Sharp. The thing a lot people failed to realize was, when the VCR failed and had to be taken to the shop for repairs, you lost the use of the television in the process.


Photo: Brian Derksen



In the 1990s, computers were those small beige boxes you kept hidden in a home office. So a former Apple engineer had a bright idea: A device that could connect to a home TV to access the web from the comfort of a couch. Unfortunately, between a clunky remote and keyboard, the low resolution of standard-definition television, and the fact that mail was the “killer app,” it was a frustrating user experience. But, at least, it was bought by Microsoft. And, for its encryption powers, classified as a weapon by the US government.


Photo: Web Reference

Sharp J Phone


Developed in conjunction with Philippe Kahn, who happens to be the first person to ever send an image taken with a cellphone, Sharp’s J Phone was the first to reach any consumer market when it hit Japan in 2000. Capable of shooting images with 256 colors and a resolution well below VGA (110,000 pixels in all), the J Phone camera was hardly a powerhouse. But for the time, it was probably amazing. More importantly, it paved the way for the excellent camera modules we have in phones today.


Nokia NGage

The 12 Weirdest Hybrid Gadgets of the Last 40 YearsBefore Apple and Google convinced game devs there was money to be made in the smartphone market, Nokia was trying to do the same with its dumbphones. Its most aggressive attempt to takeover the portable gaming space came in 2003, the form of the NGage, a device meant as much for play as it was for communications. Unfortunately, the NGage lacked the A+ titles needed to attract buyers, and the hardware wasn’t quite good enough to dethrone the Game Boy Advance. It wouldn’t be until the iPhone arrived that gaming on the phone would be taken (almost) as seriously as gaming on a portable console.

Iomega NAS 100D


The world had already seen Network Attached Storage in 2004, but the Iomega NAS 100D was among the the first to tack wi-fi onto a 160 gigabyte drive. It allowed people to access content from a home network, sans wires and without the need of additional networking gear. Of course, devices such as Apple’s Time Capsule would go on to capitalize on this concept.


Playstation 2


Devices like the Sega CD and PS1 could play audio CDs, true. But the real hybridization of the video game console came with the PS2 and its ability to play DVD movies. Nintendo and Sega both shied away from this functionality, with Nintendo claiming it wanted to focus on being a gaming machine. But Sony fully embraced the future destiny of gaming consoles as all-around home entertainment devices. Today, the Xbox 360 is the ideal iteration of this hybrid concept.


Livescribe Pentop

The 12 Weirdest Hybrid Gadgets of the Last 40 YearsThe Livescribe is among the strangest of the hybrid beasts. It’s a pen with the power to digitize your handwritten notes. But it’s also a voice recorder capable of synchronizing audio recordings to the written word. Oh, and it has the ability to perform relatively simple calculations, such as mathematical operations and language translations. Before the rise of tablets and ultrabooks, this was coveted by copious note takers. These days, maybe less so, but surely there’s still some student, lawyer—or reporter—who prefers taking notes by hand.

Photo: Livescribe/AP

Canon 5D MK II


The Canon 5D was hardly the first device to capture photo and video. But it was the first DSLR to accomplish the feat at a level approaching professional grade. Equipped with a 21 megapixel sensor, the camera captured 1080p video at industry standards such as 24p and 30p. If you dropped the res to 720p, it could go all the way up to 60 frames per second. And because the video feature could take advantage of the powerful sensor and interchangable lenses, the camera found a role shooting several television and movie productions. Not too shabby.


Nikon CoolPix S800c

The 12 Weirdest Hybrid Gadgets of the Last 40 YearsThere have been wi-fi enabled cameras, cameras with select apps for uploading photos, and cameras with embedded software for photo fun. But none have ever come packaged with a full mobile OS like theNikon CoolPix S800c. Running a version of Android, the camera can use any photo editing app or photo upload service available on the platform without first having to connect to a computer. It’s one of the few ways the point-and-shoot camera can hope to stay relevant in the golden era of the cameraphone.

Pain or Gain: Human Behavior Motivators and Object Attributes in Marketing Business Software

My husband is doing a lecture this week in psychology on human motivation. As he was bouncing his ideas off of me, it reminded me of a Marketing Plan template I created back when I was studying Business IT and Marketing Automation software. Here is an excerpt:

People make most of their purchase decisions to either avoid pain or experience some gain. If you can tap into these emotions, you can grow your business market. When describing your ideal customer, focus on the pain they seek to avoid or the gain they seek to obtain more that trying to identify their demographic

Back in the early 2000s, there was a trend in business system modeling to refactor object models that simply described product or service attributes and attempt to match those attributes to a vertical market segment towards defining objects that describe the motivations of a consumer and their behavior in the purchasing process (marketing funnel & sales cycle). see Information Management article. As digital interactivity and social networking matured, the objects attributes of of customer motivation also branched to the object attributes of content in a customer shared thought (or known as conversation) triggered by the motivation. This leads to event driven objects that better map process objects behind what a customer wants, thinks/feels, and is primed to interact on.

So back to pain or gain and human motivation.

In our most primal brain functions, the most powerful human motivator is fear: fear of pain, disease, injury, failure, not being accepted, missing an opportunity, and being scammed to name a few. Nick-named the flight fright reactions, most fear based triggers motivate humans quite well. Our mind is set up with a nifty system to feel pain to repel us from danger to our survival in some way and to develop fear memories of that pain so as to develop behavior modification to avoid those dangers all together. So really what we are talking about in regards to PAIN based motivation, is assuaging our fears of feeling pain in the midst of danger to our survival. Gain taps into to the relief of avoiding a missed opportunity to obtain the security of “on demand” pain relief  (which is also known as pleasure). Eating yummy food, for instance, in both a pain reliever and a gain. The PAIN is hunger and fear of not having food to eat or eating food that doesn’t taste good (either somewhat a poison or unfamiliar and potentially a danger). The GAIN is the pleasure of satisfying hunger, feeling safe and secure ,that what you ate won’t hurt or kill you. GAIN in the case also refers to the relief associated with avoiding the danger of starvation or rendering oneself prey to some other organism (microbial or saber tooth tigerish) that seizes on the opportunity to feast on a weak malnourished human body. There is a lot to be discussed here on human chemical addictions and power, dependency and control, but that is for another article on ethics. There is also the topic of pain as a necessary survival mechanism and what happens to a system (living or man made) with out such a mechanism. Again, another article.

In the Psychology Today article, The Main Ingredient: Getting out of my comfort zone, Robert Wilson writes, “Marketers use fear as a motivator as often as they can.  They present a scenario they hope will invoke our sense of fear.  Then they show us a solution – a path back to our comfort zone – that entails using their product or service.  Fear is used to sell virtually everything: cars, tires, and life insurance are classics.  But, clever marketers also use it to sell breakfast cereal and deodorant. As a result we purchase all sorts of things that a generation ago were considered unnecessary: antibacterial soap, alarm systems, vitamins… the list goes on and on. WARNING: Fear can be too powerful to use as a motivator because it can also paralyze – the classic deer in the headlights syndrome.  Would you like to use fear to motivate your employees to perform better?  “If you don’t sell more widgets – you’re FIRED!”  It can work, but there are rules you must follow for it to be successful.  To use fear successfully as a motivator, a solution must be offered with it. A new path to follow. You can tell an employee he or she must sell more, but unless you show them how, fear will cause flight or worse: paralysis. Fear is a powerful motivator, but it is a negative one. I prefer to motivate someone by eliminating doubt.  Doubt destroys motivation.  If you can help a person get rid of it, you will motivate them positively. ”

In psychology, there are a few strong theories regarding human motivation. These include: Incentive theoryEscape-seeking dichotomy model Drive-reduction theoryCognitive dissonance theoryNeed theoriesCognitive theoriesIntrinsic motivation and the 16 basic desires theory. When broken down to their most basic components, most of these theories describe some basic human needs to experience relief from a pain/fear or pleasure in satisfying an associated need.