Thursday, August 28, 2008

Record the Experience: Jik Experience Recorder

It looks like a retro glove from the 80's or Micheal Jackson's stylish handcuffs for little boys gloves (because you know he would have something like that.) In reality, it's Valeria Fuso's designed "Experience Recorder" that " fits on the hand and records not only photos, but sounds, movement, video, and temperature." The Italian designer says the product is, "Non si progettano prodotti, bensi comportamenti." This translates to, "Design not just products; design behavior." (How does it design behavior?!?! Maybe translates behavior!) The product has movement sensors, an audio recorder, still-image camera, video camera, thermometer, and wireless computer connection. It can record in auto mode, meaning it decides on its own, which information to collect. You can also put the device on manual mode. In manual mode, the user must activate the Experience Recorder through sensors in the fingers of the glove. To record in manual mode, the user must make their fingers into an O shape, and look through the newly formed finger-viewfinder to see what will be recorded.

It's micro-blogging!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Man's Best Friend Is MANVAN!

The idea that a man wants a pimped out sports car is so yesterday. The new thing is vans with extendable backs allowing outrageous amenities, as well as indoor and outdoor use. These vans are known as a MANVAN! A football loving man would be able to watch a big screen TV outside while having some drinks with the guys. The MANVAN will be fully customizable and easily accessible at the Manvan website.

The reality is that it has not been created yet. The Manvan was influenced by the NISSAN NV200 and designed by Ms. Aimee LoDuca. (I just want to say that this was deigned by a woman. Meaning that she came up with the idea while trying to find a way to get her significant other out of the house. If that was the case, then I would rather get out of the house and party in my sh-nazzy car!).

My suggestion is to check out the NISSAN NV200 because the similarity is unbelievable and when it comes out (which will be sooner than this car) you could use the van as an office on the go!

[Via Yanko Design]

Monday, August 25, 2008

Forget Craiglist! Use to Scalp

How many times have you scoured (I wanted to use this word) the Internet looking for tickets to a football game? After looking for countless hours, you start to think you might as well go to the game and pay a ridiculous price for a ticket from a scalper. (I've never done it, but I know people do.)

GREAT NEWS FOOTBALL FANS! The National Football League and Ticketmaster have teamed up (like a football team!) to offer NFL's first-ever ticket exchange service on NFL.COM.
The new service "enables fans to buy or resell tickets to NFL games through a convenient, league-endorsed website." the program developed by Ticketmaster will allow ticket exchanges for all 2008 preseason and regular season games, Playoffs and the Super Bowl.

The point of the service is to give fans (if they aren't going to the game then they are not a TRUE fan) who are unable to attend a game a way to sell their tickets to other fans who want to buy or upgrade their seats. (It's not like craigslist doesn't give you this option.) "The ticket exchange service provides fans the opportunity to find and buy resold tickets in a secure environment, in most cases with the ability to electronically validate the resold tickets at the time of purchase. Fans seeking to buy tickets may go to the site to view and purchase tickets offered for games that might be sold out, or obtain a ticket located in a specific seating section that might not otherwise be available."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Audi A4 Challenges IPhone Users Driving

The first major car manufacturer to tap into the iPhone phenomenon would be Audi. They created a new iPhone application called the "Audi A4 Challenge." As the news release states,

"a driving game that utilizes the iPhone's accelerometer (motion sensor) to steer
a digital version of Audi's entirely new 2009 A4 through a series of
progressively challenging courses. Players maneuver the course and race against
the clock to beat their own personal best time. The application is now available
free of charge on Apple's iPhone Application Store. The 2009 Audi A4 will be
available in Audi dealerships nationwide starting in September of 2008."

The game was created in two weeks and is featured on their specifically designed for the iPhone website: As Scott Mellin, CEO of Factory Design Labs (the ones who created this ingenious marketing campaign) says, "This is the first application by an automotive OEM, but it's also reinventing the shopping experience. In combination with the A4 iPhone web site, this is the first viable mobile marketing solution in the automotive space. Importantly, it is also a unique way to engage the consumer with the DNA of the Audi brand."

As a person that values a good marketing campaign and a company that embraces technology; I commend them on their approach to engage consumers. The other part of me is screaming at the idea that every car maker will be looking for a way to up the ante. It's only time before they find a way abuse this idea. hopefully it will not come to that and companies will continue to leave the choice to the consumer as to whether they want to learn about the product.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kill Long Phone Waits with Fonolo

While checking out Seth Godin's blog, I ran across his post on "Deep Dialing." A company called Fonolo (Phone-Oh-Low) has created a "beta that spiders phone trees at big companies and promises to make it easy for you to go straight to the spot you want. Then it calls you when the phone is answered and records the call so you can keep a record.

Let me break this down a bit more. How many times have you called a company only to hear, “please listen carefully as our menu options have changed…” or “If your language preference is English, please press one now. Si su preferencia de la lengua es espaƱol, ahora presione por favor dos.” As GTDTimes explains, this is usually the company's IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system that takes up countless productivity hours. The time spent listening to menu choices, disgustingly annoying music or random promotional jargon could be spent doing something productive like blogging! FONOLO has answered companies and consumers prayers by saving them time which is money.

Go to their site, find the indexed company, go through the visual map of the automated menu and click on the location in which you want to reach. " Fonolo will now place a call, do the navigating and waiting for you and then ring your phone once it has reached the location in the IVR system that you had previously specified." (See picture of map to the right from GTDTimes).

As I mentioned, this will definitely benefit companies as well as consumers. For example, health providers and consumers can get through medical insurance companies long IVR systems without losing productivity during the normal workday hours. Saving time and money is the first aspect that most people seek in a service. The next thing is the reliability and quality which the company seems to have at the moment.

I'm looking forward to this service because I know the company I currently am working for could really BENEFIT from this. Meaning I will no longer have bruises from banging my head on my desk while listening to automated voices!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Generation Gadget Kids Are Costly

My original plan was to blog about the Electronic Banking Monopoly game. Then I found out that the game came out about two years ago, meaning I'm two year to late to be in shock. I'm still in disbelief that they have taken one of the most sacred classic games and turned it into teaching children to use credit cards at a young age. Why do they need to learn to use cash or paper money when they can be taught to use a credit card to do all the thinking?!?

Then I found out that Nickelodeon (with Viacom & Imation) have done it again! Let's create a new cool line of electronic gadgets for kids under Nickelodeon's Npower brand like SpongeBob Squarepants speakers for their Ipod MP3 player (because every kid has an Ipod MP3 player and creating a boom box is to old school). Let's throw in a digital voice recorder, digicam, webcam, digital picture frame and whatever other gadgets we can think of. Maybe we can create a cellphone next! Then we can start creating computers and get kids hooked into the digital world early. Then they will never have to go outside and play with a ball or real people ever again! (Now, I'm starting to appreciate my parents not letting me have a gaming system growing up. At least I enjoyed the REAL world). We already have TV being a babysitter at home and in cars. Do we need children consistently hooked to a digital device to keep them sedated?

The other aspect is, how costly will children become in future? They will continue to desire the next best technology and at what COST?

[Engadget via Electronista]

Sunday, August 17, 2008

iPhone's That Give Light

For those of you using an iPhone or planning to buy one, here's something to keep in mind. Do you want to make the Apple logo do something cool like GLOW?!?

If there weren't already enough things that you could do to your iPhone, let's find some more! (I'm not saying this is stupid but it amuses me to see that there are tweaks being done. Let's add a pull out keyboard and a mini DVD player to it!)

It's a iPhone mod that some Russian iPhone fans created by replacing the Apple logo on the back of an original iPhone with a glowing version. The source claims it's just a matter of, "removing the aluminum 'fruits' and inserting the glowing ones." (what the hell does that mean!?!?) Basically, it involves replacing the metal insert on the back of the phone with an LED-equipped plastic one. Hacked Gadget suggests there is a similar step-by-step mod.
See video below:

[Engadget Via Hack a Day]

Friday, August 15, 2008

COMING SOON! DIY Hoovercraft

Thanks to Hacked Gadgets featuring Project Hovercraft, I have a new hope for the future of hovercrafts. If you remember, I wrote about having a Hoverboard awhile ago. My dreams of surfing through the air on a piece of wood styrofoam may come true!

The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Hovercraft Project created a hovercraft under $40 (if my calculation are correct) using an old RC servomotor (meaning the motor of a remote controlled toy car), batteries, propellers, and some things they had around the house.

"The body of the hovercraft is made out of styrofoam, cut with a saw and sanded to smooth the edges. The skirt on the bottom is made out of pieces of a plastic GAP bag, attached with Scotch tape and hot glue. The radio control unit was scavenged from an old boat I had, along with the drive motor mounted on the wooden supports, while the lifting motor was from my physics teacher. The battery is 300 mAh 6V NiMH (or NiCd, I forget), and I have a pair of them. They were about $6-$10 each (again, forgot) and about $12 for the 2 1/2 hour charger. The servomotor for steering was from an old RC car I had"
Now that you know what it is made of, let's here their explanation as to how it works. How it works:
"The workings of a hovercraft are fairly straightforward: one high-power motor with an airplane propeller forces air down through the hole in the center, which pushes the bottom of the hovercraft off the ground. This greatly reduces friction, allowing the hovercraft to scoot around without much trouble. It also makes it much more difficult to control, however: when the hovercraft turns, it will keep traveling in a straight line unless more thrust is applied. Since we are used to controlling cars or boats, the newtonian behavior of a hovercraft is challenging indeed."
In other words, they have not gotten to the point that they can control the hovercraft but they have made progress. I guess I should be careful of getting my hopes up. Although, this project has really gotten me interested in creating my own hovercraft. I know I have tons of hot glue and love using it. Only problem is I don't have a toy remote controlled car. Can I use my car's engine and triple the size of the hovercraft?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Groove in a iPod Car

It's like driving in your iPod but with more capabilities! This newly designed car dubbed the Audi O was inspired by the iPod. It is a sporty four-seat hatchback with a killer audio system. With Internet connectivity to download music to a built-in 650 GB hard drive and bluetooth connectivity, you and your friends can create your own pumping club. If that's not enough. Then check out the pullout rear door that has a DJ set with mixing decks. The decks can be detached from the car for use.

You must be wondering a couple things; like what it runs on, the cost and who designed it. (You may be wanting more information but this is all I can provide you with. Sorry.) I can't tell you how much it costs because it has not been created for sale...(YET) but I can tell you that it would be a fuel efficient diesel/electric hybrid engine. (Vroom!!! I'm sold!). This is th dream car for thr younger generations. No wonder it was designed by Ondrej Jirec, a design student from the Czech Republic studying in Cali.

What they need to do is add a GPS system, voice activation, DVD player, heated seats and other luxury features. With all these added in, Steve Jobs will be first in line to get a new set of wheels.
Another idea is to be able to hook up your gaming system to the car. (I would never date a guy because of his car until this car is created. I may make an exception.)

Designer: Ondrej Jirec [ Via: Diseno Art & Yanko Design]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Join the Mile High Club in Bed

If you dream about flying or having sex on an airplane, then maybe you should get this groovy bed! The bed by MotoArt is made out of two DC-9 (passenger jet) rear stabilizers and a C-130 (military cargo aircraft) inner flap. Meaning they found another way to recycle aircraft and make money. The bed is named Mile High is 11' by 7'-6" and 4'-6" high. The best feature that will turn on all the ladies will be the red glowing internal LED lighting. RAWR! I think I'm getting turned on. The marketed slogan is "a wonderful playground for you and your co-pilot." I could see this being used in a re-make of Top Gun.
What I don't understand is why are people claiming this product is geeky. Geeky would be adding a computer into the bed or a gaming system. I would spend more than the supposed $35,000 for the bed if it had extra features like an integrated stereo system or a miniature computer system that has Wi-Fi. (That is if I had the money to buy a bed like that.)

Check out the slide show

[MotoArt via TFTS via GizModo]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Postal Workers Sport New Fashion

This may not be technology news but it sure as hell amuses a technology lover like me. The new trend for postal workers! The picture above shows off the new model prototype kilt uniforms for postal workers at the National Association of Letter Carriers' convention in July, 2008, in Boston, where Dean Peterson introduced a resolution to add kilts to the U.S. Postal Service uniform choices. (Looks like the postal workers are going Scottish! Maybe they need a new style or trend) The resolution to allow mailmen to wear kilts, is being called a Male Unbifurcated Garment, or MUG

When I think about kilts, I think about big hairy Scottish or Irish men playing a bagpipe. They are still worn by some in Scotland and Ireland due to their extreme comfort and practicality. This is the reason why postal workers are looking into expanding the "acceptable dress" opportunities for men. As women we have tons of clothing and style options. Men do not. Matt from Mensactivism says,
"If postal workers here in the US get the uniform code changed to allow them to wear kilts, it would be a huge breakthrough. So please, contact the American Postal Workers Union and voice your support (note that based on this document (.pdf file), it seems these four members of the union management: Rob Strunk, Idowu Balogun, Mike Foster, and Bill Manley are the people to contact regarding Art. 26, 'Uniforms and Work Clothes'. Their phone and fax numbers can be found here). You may also want the USPS to hear from you. Their email form is here and other ways to contact them are listed here."
Basically, let the mailmen have more options in what they wear and bring back the kilt! This just proves that our society wants to focus on comfort in the home and at work. Our society is becoming increasingly open to providing choices and options to their workers and customers. It's about time that postal workers have a choice.

Read More here

Monday, August 11, 2008

Virgin Mobile Fest Greens Technologic

I did not get a chance to blog at all this past weekend due to the Virgin Mobile Festival that I worked at.

I thought I would share some of the things that worked and some things that didn't work.

The festival wanted to focus on being green and eco-friendly. At the same time, they want to increase brand awareness by associating themselves with many non-profit organization and music. I felt they did a fairly good job at this but they lacked in some areas. For example, they did not train or inform their event staff of everything that was happening. (I found this out when I was passing out free sunscreen. This woman (an event goer) thanked me and mentioned that she wished she had known there was free sunscreen earlier. This was due to the fact that a 15yr old staff member told her there was no sunscreen to be found throughout the concert venue and another staff member told her there was NO FIRST AID! When has there ever been a music festival with NO FIRST AID!) They did not clarify what type of trash was designated for the different recycling bins. The initiative to recycle at the event was not prominent and the music line-up was poorly done. (They spelled Kanye West's name as "KAYNE" West. How does that happen!?!? As well as all the best bands were playing at the same time and at opposite sides).

There are many ways they could have fixed these problems but it was only their third year holding this music festival. I should say some things they did right.

The use of eco-friendly technologies such as recharging your phone, camera or Ipod via bike was very convenient. They had a Dell Dome where people could make their own buttons, T-shirts and use computers to sign up for Buzzd (a new social networking service like Twitter and Yelp.)

Real quick rant on Buzzd: It is described as a "location-sensitive entertainment
listings service with branded editorial and real-time user generated content on
the mobile device.'Your city, in real-time,' buzzd allows consumers to know
what's happening at any venue right now, rate events, and connect with friends
and people in the area." I can see how this could beat Yelp but they really need
to keep pushing it. They need to get more publicity if they want to beat their
competitors. When I heard about the service I automatically thought it was another social network trying to make it big. It did not strike me as a "OMG! THIS IS SOO COOL!" It needs to offer more to users.

On that note, let me finish what I was saying before this post gets to long. They had a spiffy VIP areas that gave free drinks and had actually beds to sleep on outside. They had a Recharge Dome for people to check out the new Kyocera Special Edition Virgin Mobile Festival "Wild Card" mobile (texting from this phone made my hand cramp up) which they could use to make phone calls, send a text message to the concert stage screens or ride a bike and recharge their phone. They had a Refresh Dome for people to cool off and they had a recycling program where people could get stuff for collecting empty bottles and cans.

There were more positive and negatives that I could list about the music festival but I don't want to drag on. They should have integrated the idea of charging your phone by dancing . . . Maybe I'll make a list and send it to Richard Branson.

[picture via Mobilecrunch]

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Calvin and Jobs Comic on Steve

Thanks to Gizmodo, I couldn't help feel the need to share. No idea on who did the comic strip but it wasn't Bill Watterson. There is the belief that it was in MAD Magazine (July edition). This strip was found on Flickr. To see a couple more, visit here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Farming Made Easy

The USDA and MIT are working together and testing a new gadget. "A wireless headset, called the 'Ear-A-Round,' has stereo earphones that transmit sounds directly into the cow's ears to guide its movement. Powered by a small solar energy panel, the unit contains a GPS device to monitor a cow's location and movement." The point of this product is to give farmers the ability to monitor and control their cattle while sipping lemonade in their office. (I didn't know farmer's had offices!) It will help farmers attain better use of their land and "we can also find out what the animals do all day." (What do cows do all day . . . that is what we all want to know. I could make a guess. They eat, moo, walk around, relieve themselves and sleep. Any other ideas? Maybe they take time out of their day to plan world domination! Just an idea.)

The one thing I have against it is, if the sound cues fail, the headset will give a small electrical shock to get the cow moving.

Once we have this technology working, then what is purpose of having a real farmer? With more technology inventions to do certain jobs, means less needed human experience or skill to run them.
I apologize for the crappy picture but I wasn't able to use my computer for this post.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Slydial to Voicemail

When reading about this new technology service, I thought that everyone already had this capability featured on their phone. You might want to check your voicemail features before getting excited about this service. I'm sorry I should probably mention what the service is first before commenting on it.

Slydial is a new service that connects you directly to some one's voicemail. In other words, you can avoid speaking to a person directly by using Slydial. It saves you time (if you don't count the ads that you have to hear before getting connected to the voicemail.) and awkward or long conversations. For example, you want to call in sick to work and are afraid if the boss answers then you have to answer questions and explain yourself. This makes it a lot easier to be a coward and go straight to voicemail. By the time your boss has gotten the voicemail; he will be to busy to call and check up on you (to make sure you are not playing hookie.) Here are some more situations. (Please do not use this service to voicemail break-up, unless your dating a psycho or your dog.)
The service is free to use but you can get a membership if you want to get rid of the ads. This leads me to what I was taking about in the beginning of the post. When I listen to my voicemails, I have the option to record a message and send it to a number. This is basically the exact same thing. To my surprise, this option is not available to all.
If you don't have this feature then I would suggest it as a great way to speak to your mother or girlfriend without having to listen to an hour long session of yapping. (No offense, but women can talk for hours!)
From another perspective, this service is making us more of a coward and continuing to change our way of communicating with each other. We are trying to find ways around directly communicating with people.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Spiffy Photoshop Online

Ask and you shall receive Photoshop Express!
Some people may be big fans of Photoshop (like me!) and some may have no idea what it is or how to use it. For those of you living under a rock or are slightly familiar with Photoshop, please step right up to Photoshop Express!

It doesn't have all the features, benefits or cool abilities that the Adobe Photoshop CS3 program has. But it does have some nice features. There is 2GB of space for photos and the ability to organize all your pictures in one place. For example, some people use Facebook, Picasa, Flickr and many more photo sites to organize and share their pictures. Photoshop Express works with these sites so that you can edit the picture and post them to any of these sites. As the site says, "It's an online photo library, editing and sharing website. You can crop, rotate, change colors, enhance, remove red eye, and even some crazy special effects like twirling and distorting. When you're done, you can share the photos using galleries and even give people a link to go see them."

There are some drawbacks . . . since it runs on Flash, it doesn't play well with the IPhone and IPod Touch. Lori Grunin from Webware points out,

"a policy pothole . . . Adobe's claims on your publicly shared photos. From the
Terms of Service: Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However,
with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on
publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide,
royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable
license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from,
reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly
display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into
other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later
(emphasis mine)"

With that being said, she mentions some other drawbacks here.

I don't want to bash the Beta (meaning it is still in the works and dying for testers and feedback). There are positives about the easy to use online photo sharing site. It integrates all the different photo sites you may be using, helps organize and provides a photo editing play area. If you make a mistake or don't like what you did to the photo at a later date, then you can easily revert it back to it's original state.

With every program, social networking site or gadget there are positives and negatives. The point is to decide whether it will make your life easier because that is what technology is for!

Friday, August 1, 2008

USB MP3 & Camera Spy Sunglasses

These sunglasses are the next gadget I would like to have. Who needs Prada, Gucci and other designer sunglasses when you can get something better.

These sunglasses are an MP3 player and a spy camera. You take picture by a remote in your hand. Meaning if there is a crime going on then you could take pictures of the criminal! Only thing that would make these sunglasses cooler were if they were blue tooth compatible or had wireless connectivity. For example, what if you were lucky enough to have a hot babe or Jessica Alba speak to you. You could snap a picture while speaking to her and send it to your friends! or TWITTER!

The specs are:

  • built-in MP3 player
  • 1.3 mega pixel camera
  • 2GB memory capacity
  • shoots 1280×1024 sized images
  • includes stereo headphones
  • plays MP3 or WMA files
  • lithium-ion battery lasts up to 6 hrs for MP3 usage
  • lasts up to 9 hrs for camera usage

This sounds great but what it comes down to is the price. The ultra hip spy sunglasses can be found at Brando for US$165.
Read more at Brando, found via Ubergizmo.