What Smart Glasses Are Really All About

Glasses2

Sorry, but Google botched the Smart Glasses it called, Google Glass. 


Why?


– Geeky-looking

– Privacy issues (e.g. videocameras in bathrooms)

– Apps lagged with practical applications


However, I am certain that computers wearables or implants will take off–although probably not through this first iteration of the Apple Watch either–still don’t know a soul who bought into this!


Until then, what about really smart glasses?


No, not the type that will provide apps and virtual reality superimposed over everything you see.


But rather, glass that medically allow you to see under any and all conditions. 


– It’s a “one time prescription”–that adjusts with you as your eyes change. Like the machine the optometrist uses to change the prescription this way and that asks you which is better, only these glasses automatically adjust to whatever your prescription is that moment, day, or year. 


– Autofocus and zoom–want to see what’s going on from the bleachers at the game or can’t see the sign in the distance, simply focus on the person or object and voila you can see in zoom. 


– All Terrain–and no more bifocals–wherever you look–near or far–that is where the prescription adjusts to.


– All Weather–sunny days or cloudy skies–the glasses adjust to the light and conditions automatically–no more polarized shades. 


If you ask me, these are functionally smart glasses–and you don’t need to go to the likes of Pearl Vision and get gouged on new glasses every year. 


Hey, and if your fashion conscious, you can still pop ’em out and fit them snuggly into another new frame with some designer’s name on it, all made in China for about a buck! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Lauding Over A Toilet Brush?

Not sure about this video on the SimpleHuman Toilet Brush



On one hand, it’s funny to have such a serious video lauding the functionality and design of a toilet brush.



But on the other hand, the video is pretty darn convincing:



– Slim for easy placement and accessible for quick use. 



– A magnetic collar for picking up the brush and housing with one hand–no messy spills.



– With a stainless steel rod for stability and durability.



– Specially innovative design crescent-shaped brush for those hard to reach areas under the rim.



– Easily detachable brush for when you need replacement. 



– Comes in black and white–so fashionable. 



Ok, so now I have to admit that I ordered one of these today.



I’ll let you know if it really works (Uh no!) 😉

Not Exactly A Genie

Umbrella Bottle
Okay, we all like a genie in a bottle (with G-d’s help) to grant us our wishes for the good. 



A colleague told me that if he had a genie in a bottle, his first wish would be to have infinite wishes; his second wish would be for all his wishes to come true; and his third wish would be that all the wishes would be free of ambiguity such that the intent would be fully clear–nice!



But this is no genie…this is an umbrella in a bottle. 



Twist the top (handle) and pull it from the bottle (case) and whoola, an umbrella. 



Cute design, but when I tried to open the umbrella, it felt functionally, like a piece of garbage (IMHO). 



Oh genie, how about an umbrella that actually works and who cares if it’s in a bottle or not. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A WOW Wheelchair

A WOW Wheelchair

Absolutely loved the article and video in Bloomberg Businessweek on the Tankchair.

Brad Soden makes these amazing ruggedized wheelchairs for wounded veterans and other disabled people in need of getting around some rougher terrain.

They are customized for each user and cost about $15,000 each.

They are built on tank-like treads and can go up stairs, through fields, across streams, and over snow.

“Basically, it’s get off the couch and go enjoy life!”

They are tough and can last 15-20 years!

He first made one for his wife who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and was having difficulty keeping up on a family camping trip.

Soden is truly inspirational–he produces these not too make money, but too help people.

“The body can’t keep up, so we’re gonna fix it.”

This is an awesome man making an extreme machine. 😉

(Source Photo: Tankchair)

Prosthesis Anyone?

Prosthesis Anyone?

This was a picture I took from the office of an orthopedic surgeon.

The surgeon is listed as a top doctor in Washingtonian Magazine.

Next to the medications, bandages, and splints was this statue of a sailor with a wooden leg.

I suppose the message is clear–if only he had a good orthopedic surgeon, he could have a modern functional prosthetic instead of this old wooden leg.

Well, thank G-d for modern medicine, and hopefully it will only get better and better with time. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Classic enterprise architecture is figuring out how to move from the current/as-is state to the target/to-be state.

Generally, anything “as-is” is viewed as legacy, old hat, probably not in the best condition anymore–and it’s going without any implied warranties or guarantees as to it’s condition.

Hence, at the local IKEA store, when I saw the “as-is” section for 50% off, I was like hey that’s right, the “as-is” is good if we want a bargain, but there is usually something wrong with it, and that’s why “all sales are final”.

If we want “the good stuff,” you don’t generally go to the “as-is,” but you want to buy stuff for the “to-be,” the target state, that you want your place to look like or what you really want to have–and guess what–that is full price!

You can architect your enterprise, yourself, or society for the momentary as-is–but is doesn’t last long, because it’s outdated, shabby, worn, and maybe even missing some critical parts already.

That’s why you want to architect for the future–for the to-be–with all the working parts, new and shinny, and geared to tackle the market conditions with innovation, functional strength and a design that is ready to turn heads.

You can save money staying with the as-is, but you’ll be getting what you paid for and will be falling behind for another cycle–if you survive. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Great Big Apple Donut

The Great Big Apple Donut

Some people think the new Apple HQs (or Apple Campus 2) looks like a flying saucer or spaceship–to me, it looks like a great big donut. 🙂

In all seriousness though, the planned Apple HQs is so cool–I love it!

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (4 April 2013) has a terrific article about this awesome design project.

Some of the facts about this planned facility:

– Houses 12,000 employees
– Has 4 concentric rings.
– 2.8 million square feet (2/3 the size of the Pentagon)
– 176 acres of trees, including the vast courtyard in the center which will have apricot, olive, and apple orchards.
– 40-foot high walls of concave glass
– 700,000 square feet of solar panels (enough to power 4,000 homes)
– Climate-responsive technology such as window treatments that automatically open and close
– Costs about $5 billion (1.1 billion more than the new World Trade Center)
– Move in expected 2016
– Just 2 entry roads
– 4-story underground garage
– 2 R&D labs
– Fitness center

While some think that this building is vanity, I think it is a work of art, and perfectly suits the innovativeness nature of the company.

Apple’s HQS is a reflection of itself, not just another building. The beautiful, sleek, and high-tech building melds with the company’s design philosophy and vision for great consumer products.

Just like Apple’s unique positioning in being able to integrate hardware and software solutions for their customers, their new HQS is a unification of their physical work environment with their internal vision for themselves as a company and the amazing products they put out.

Unlike some organizations which are foolishly tearing down all their walls and working as if they in sitting in Starbucks, Apple understands how to marry the need for a social and collaborative work environment with a proper and respectful functional space.

Apple’s building will be beautiful and functional just like their computing devices…and they remain true to themselves and us. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Cupertino Government)

Stark Raving Internet Crazy

Internet_crazy

An article in the Daily Beast/Newsweek called “Is the Web Driving Us Mad?”postulates that we are addicted to the Internet by virtually every definition of the word.

Physically:
– “Americans have merged with their machines”–literally starring at computer screen “at least eight hours a day, more time than we spend on any other activity, including sleeping.”
– Most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unableto be without their media links to the world.”

Psychologically:
– “Every ping could be a social, sexual, or professional opportunity” so we get a (dopamine) reward for getting and staying online.
– Heavy internet use and social media is correlated with “stress, depression, and suicidal thinking” with some scientists arguing it is like “electronic cocaine” driving mania-depressive cycles.

Chemically:
– “The brains of Internet addicts…look like the brains of drug and alcohol addicts.”
– Videogame/Internet addiction is linked to “structural abnormalities” in gray matter, namely shrinkage of 10 to 20% in the areas of the brain responsible for processing od speech, memory, motor control, emotion, sensory, and other information,.”
– The brain “shrinkage never stopped: the more time online, the more the brain showed signs of ‘atrophy.'”

Socially:
– “Most respondents…check text messages, email or their social network ‘all the time’ or ‘every 15 minutes.’
– “Texting has become like blinking” with the average person texting (sending or receiving) 400 times a month and the average teen 3,700 times!
– “80% of vacationers bring along laptops or smartphones so they can check in with work while away.”
– “One in 10 users feels “fully addicted’ to his or her phone,” with 94% admitting some level of compulsion!

At the extreme:
– “One young couple neglected its infant to death while nourishing a virtual baby online.”
– “A young man bludgeoned his mother for suggesting he log off.”
– “At least 10…have died of blood clots from sitting too long” online.

These are a lot of statistics, and many of these are not only concerning, but outright shocking–symptoms of bipolar disorder, brain shrinkage, and murderous behavior to name a few.

Yet, thinking about my own experiences and observations, this does not ring true for the vast majority of normal Internet users who benefit from technology intellectually, functionally, socially, and perhaps even spiritually.

Yes, we do spend a lot of time online, but that is because we get a lot out of it–human beings, while prone to missteps and going to extremes, are generally reasoned decision-makers.

We aren’t drawn to the Internet like drug-abusers to cocaine, but rather we reach for the Internet when it serves a genuine purpose–when we want to get the news, do research, contact a friend or colleague, collaborate on a project, make a purchase, manage our finances, watch a movie, listen to music or play a game and more.

These are not the benefits of a drug addict, but the choices of rational people using the latest technology to do more with their lives.

Are there people who lose control or go off the deep-end, of course. But like with everything, you can have even too much of a good thing–and then the consequences can be severe and even deadly.

Certainly people may squirrel away more often then they should for some un-G-dly number of hours at a computer rather than in the playground of life–but for the most part, people have taken the technology–now highly mobile–into the real world, with laptops, tablets, and smartphones being ubiquitous with our daily rounds at the office, on the commute, walking down the street, and even at the dinner table.

Is this a bad thing or are we just afraid of the (e)merging of technology so deeply into every facet of lives?

It is scary in a way to become so tied to our technology that it is everywhere all the time–and that is one major reason why cyber attacks are such a major concern now–we are hopelessly dependent on technology to do just about everything, because it helps us to do them.

From my perch of life, the Internet does not break people or attract broken souls except on the fringes; more typically it puts people togetherto achieve a higher individual and social aggregate capability then ever before.

If the pressure to achieve 24/7 would just come down a few notches, maybe we could even enjoy all this capability some more.

Now I just need to get off this darn computer, before I go nuts too!  😉

(Source Photo: here adapted from and with attribution to Cassie Nova)

The H2O Coat

Awesome coat called the Raincatchthat catches/stores rainwater and purifies it for drinking.

Designed by students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID).

The collar of the coat catches the rainwater.

The water passes through a charcoal and chemical filtration system.

Purified water is then stored around the hips of the coat where it can be distributed and easily carried.

A straw is built in and provided for easy drinking.

I like this for its functionality as survival gear and its practicality as a user-centric product.

One thing I would add is a place to put the Coca-Cola syrup to give it a little extra pick me up. 😉

Very cool–good job!