Monday, March 31, 2014

"Always On" is a game changer

There have been two new products in the past 12 months that have me very excited for what's next.  First, the Motorola X, and most recently Ubi, the Ubiquitous computer.  Disclosure, I have not tried nor purchased either product.

What has me so excited, is not even the actual products, but more importantly the introduction of devices that are always *listening*.  Siri might get all the press, but to use it, you need to physically interact with your Apple device. With the Motorola X, and the Ubi, you need only talk to the device, and it responds/replies accordingly.

While I don't expect an interaction like Captain Kirk had with the Enterprise's computer, or the recent movie 'Her' anytime soon, I think going forward, every device will need to start listening, and I like where that will lead us.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Smart-Watches - The Do's and Don'ts of Product Design

I like being an early adopter, if for no other reason than to have new things to add to my junk drawer.  We all have a junk drawer, it's where bad technology goes to rot along with nail clippers, old keys and USB sticks.  So obviously, my appetite is wet for this next generation of devices - Wearables.

If you don't want your product to end up in my junk drawer, here are three things you need to know;

1) If you are making a Smart-Watch, DO KNOW that a Smart-Watch is a Watch first and foremost.  People treat watches as jewelry, and as such I do not want my Smart-Watch looking like a cell phone that has been strapped to my wrist (I'm looking at you Neptune Pine). I do however want a Smart-Watch that at first glance, appears to be a watch (I'm looking at you Moto 360 -Well done).

2) I do not want a Smart-Watch that is a brick, unless I buy your other products.  Samsung tried to do just this with it's Samsung Galaxy Gear watch.

3) Stop trying to replace my Smart-phone.  You can make the greatest Smart-Watch in the world, and 99% of the population will still keep a phone in their pocket.  I do not need a Smart-Watch to do everything my Smart-phone does. Specifically, I do not need 3G or 4G connectivity.  Just allow me to communicate with my Smart-phone via Bluetooth, and Wifi, and we're done.  Other than that, pack in as many sensors as you like.  A good camera would be nice as well.

I personally can't wait for 2015.  Even though all the big players will be releasing Smart-Phones in 2014, I can't help but think good ones won't arrive until generation two...2015.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why Facebook bought Oculas Rift

Mark Zuckerburg's Facebook just bought Oculas Rift (OR), a "next-gen" VR/gaming device.  Everyone is a buzz about how is it  a fit for Facebook?  Seems pretty straight forward to me.... Facebook Messenger via VR...Buy anything using an inflated stock price...Hardware envy....The next Iphone...ya these are the easy visions but I think The gift of Hindsight is 20-20, and if Zuck knew then what he knows now, he would have an 'eco-system' ...not unlike Apple's App store, or Google Play.  The nice thing about having over a billion users, is that there are sooooo many ways to monetize them.

Don't look at what OR is today (an immersive gaming system), and instead fast forward 5 years out. Though I fully expect OR to launch as a gaming system, and to be written about as a gaming system, try to picture if you will, what it might be able  to become.

I envision going to an 'app' like store, where I can download new immersive experiences that have been uploaded by other users. Maybe I want to experience first hand (via the OR's Virtual Reality system) what it is like to jump off a building in one of those Wingsuits - Or perhaps drive around a NASCAR track at over 200MPH .... The sky's the limit here, and if you think about it, some website has to aggregate all those experiences ....Why not Facebook? hmmmm