Archives For Technology

Lifecasting isn’t new, but today’s tools enable citizen-broadcasting + voyeurism on an unprecedented scale.

It’s important to understand the lessons and pitfalls of our recent history in this era. And of course, Jennicam is the Godmother of this…

We’re Tweeting and Facebooking and Periscoping more of our lives than ever before. But all of these media give us the opportunity to tailor our online presence. To only portray the best, sexiest, smartest moments. Jenni showed us everything. The good, the bad, the exciting, the mundane. She gave control of her online life over to the public and the technology that broadcast it. It was adventurous in a way that even the most public facing lifecaster these days would not dare to be.

via Jennicam And The Birth Of ‘Lifecasting’.

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“All Teslas will get an over-the-air update this summer, probably around June, allowing them to drive in “Autopilot” mode… it seems Autopilot will be disabled when you’re not doing freeway driving, which is by far the easiest aspect of autonomous vehicle activity. Musk did confirm that the Autopilot mode would be “technically capable of driving from parking lot to parking lot.” The car will also be allowed to drive itself when you summon it, and when you’re parking it in your garage.

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about some far-off future Tesla. We’re not talking about Google driverless car prototypes or government road tests. This is a car you can buy today, which will be given the ability to drive itself in a few months via the same setup that updates your iPhone.

Automated automobiles, automatically activated.”

Mashable: Tesla basically just ignited the driverless car era.

Greg Swan joins space150

The big news is out that I’ve joined the talented team at space150, and they published a great piece and interview with me you should check out.

The bottom of the piece features the following marketing and technology trends we’re tracking. Good stuff!

Real-time Social Video

With the rise of smart phones and social networks, matched with the prevalence of 4G data networks, consumers can more easily push and pull a significant amount of data between their phones and their followers. The latest exciting step forward in this realm is Meerkat, a real-time life streaming app powered by a user’s Twitter network. This start-up application blends the ephemeral nature of Snapchat with the social newsfeed of Facebook with the real-time video power of today’s mobile tech. We are really excited to see how brands make use of this technology, especially since the streams are not archived. If you miss a stream live you missed it. And launching just prior to South by Southwest Interactive (where Twitter and Foursquare “launched” will give the world’s most passionate early adopters a chance to really push the boundaries of the platform.

Transmogrified Reality

You’ve probably heard of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), but Google’s head game designer Noah Falstein recently spoke of a vision of the future called “Transmogrified Reality.” Defined as the culmination of all the different technologies in development (VR, AR, HMDs and faster processors) combined to form one vision of the future and how humans interact with each other, physical and digital spaces, and of course, brands. Here at space150, our team just built an Oculus Rift-powered virtual ride experience for Victory Motorcycles. Beyond Oculus, we’re paying attention to the death of Google Glass, the rise of Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear, and how everyday consumers will react to and potentially adopt transmogrified reality.

Smartwatch Content Strategy

Setting the brands and specific products aside, our team at space150 is exploring emerging user behavior habits around wrist-mounted devices and opportunities brands have to add value to these new platforms. While responsive design has helped companies retrofit their desktop websites for smaller screens, like tablets and phones, formatting content for a screen the size of a wrist requires a different approach entirely. When you add in the wealth of sensors (accelerometers, GPS, microphones, speakers), brands now have an opportunity to root their content and engagement platforms in new contexts like activity and location. Our teams have been experimenting with the Apple Watch and are excited to share some of our findings at the Mobile March conference later this month.

ces 2015 Ah, the Consumer Electronics Show: the annual international destination for the most forward-looking technology each year, matched with a frenetic navel-gazing from industry insiders that pales only to the self-aggrandizing swagger of the tech world’s brand behemoths, and big promises from baby hardware start-ups hoping to make it big on a non-working plastic prototype and a semi-polished sales pitch.

Oh, and there are always more than a few gems that make it all worthwhile.

It’s a huge show. I logged 40,000 steps walking every aisle of the show floor over 48 hours, and I’m sure I still missed something.

It’s my third trip to Vegas for the annual tech toy fest. The first was seven years ago (2008 recap); then last year (2014 recap).

For 2015, I can tell you I was inspired, underwhelmed and energized at what I found at this year’s show. This was a year of paradox for a culture in the age of technology transition.

There were more booths with Oculus Rift virtual reality demos than companies selling the 360 degree cameras and software needed to create content for it. However, there were many companies exploring new ways to maneuver in 3D and IRL realms, including via feet, ears, wrist and shoes. And NFC tattoos.

There was more talk about autonomous cars as a guaranteed reality than the infrastructure and near-term, baby-step innovations required to support a more realistic evolution.

The TVs this year were truly more picturesque than real life. Except the majority of programming is just finally starting to catch up to 4k, so buying an 8k TV would be lots of wasted pixels.

I witnessed people walking up to strangers and letting them plop a brain scanner on their noggin without a semblance of acknowledgement there could be side effects — or who owned the data from the experience.

There were drones galore. Talk about smart watches, smart homes and smart wallets. But none of it actually plays very well together, and not a lot of it solves immediate problems.

It seems to be common knowledge that if a device can send a notification to your phone, then it’s awesome. I struggle to disagree with this assessment, myself. And enchanted objects — regardless of how life-improving they may be — make non-smart objects look all the more dumb.

There were an increased number of 3D printers this year, and an encouraging base of 3D handheld scanners and material providers growing up to bolster the category.

Last year, the threat of an Apple Watch loomed over the wrist wearable and smart watch vendors. This year Apple stole some mindshare by announcing a March launch date on the first day of the show.

Meanwhile, the rise in haptic technology is truly amazing, and I look forward to that category growing into our computers, wearables and autos. Although, someone will surely get burned (literally), and I fear miseducation will impede its adoption. I guess we’ll see.

Here are some of the advancements I saw this year that caught my eye, separated into the following categories:

  • Virtual Reality
  • The Future of Hands Free
  • Technology to Impact Your Daily Life
  • The Future of Personal Transportation
  • Television
  • The Drones are Coming!
  • Internet of Things
  • Robots, because CES
  • Music
  • The Ridiculous Side of CES

Here we go!
Continue Reading…

Slate: What using a flip phone for a week says about technology and “coolness”

smartwatches

On the eve of Apple’s iPhone 6 and POTENTIAL smartwatch introduction, I was invited to share a presentation and lead a discussion about smartwatches with the intelligentsia of Mobile Twin Cities.

As a passionate fan of smartwatch technology, quantified self and consumer adoption habits, this was a fun area to research and resulted in a fantastic two-way discussion with the developers, technologists and skeptics in the room.

I guess we’ll see what Apple has in store for the market just a little later today.

We pay close attention to what the government is doing in digital/social/mobile because it either signals that cultural milestones have reached the tipping point of mainstream OR serves as leadership examples for the public and private sector (specifically thinking of the mobile-friendly website mandate in 2012).

Although this piece, The White House Gives Up on Making Coders Dress Like Adults, focuses primarily on dress code, it also highlights the need to bring in subject matter experts and talent who are excited about emerging technology AND aren’t necessarily conformists — in dress, but also where they went to school, where they’ve worked, and how they approach business challenges.

Watching a guy in an untucked, wrinkled dress shirt and khakis walk into a White House meeting may seem shocking today, but the government is starting to think more about the value of these big thinkers over their pedigree, what they look like, and what they wear. 

It’s a great lesson and example for companies looking to make transformational changes through new sources of talent.

Key quotes:

The U.S. Government wants to hire more people like Mikey Dickerson. He’s the former Google engineer the White House recently tapped to lead the new U.S. Digital Service.

Dickerson has impeccable credentials. He comes from one of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies. He flew into Washington a year ago to salvage the disastrous Healthcare.gov website. And by all accounts, he did an amazing job. Now, his White House on-boarding has become a kind of recruiting tool for Uncle Sam. And just for good measure, the feds want all the techies out there to know Dickerson wasn’t forced to do that amazing job in a suit and tie.

In a White House video, Dickerson says he is asked one question again and again by people curious about his new job. They “want to know if I’m wearing a suit to work every day,” Dickerson explains in the video. “Because that’s just the quickest shorthand way of asking: ‘Is this just the same old business as usual or are they actually going to listen?’”

When it comes to computers, the federal government has a nasty reputation for prizing ISO standards and regulatory checkboxes above working code. The video is the White House’s best effort at saying it’s going to get real and hire people based on what they can do, not how they dress for work.

The White House Gives Up on Making Coders Dress Like Adults | Enterprise | WIRED.