Space-Age Mouse

Just wanted to share my new futuristic ergonomic computer mouse. 


Thumb sits on the left.


Rest of the hand sits fully supported and swoops down towards the right. 


No wrist movement up and down. 


Left and right clicks buttons are at the top.


No bending of the fingers and no reaching.


Mouse helps protect against repetitive movement disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome. 


The HandShoe Mouse fits like a glove. 


It’s made by Hippus in the Netherlands. 


Comes in wireless or wired. 


Choose right- or left-hand model. 


And make sure you order the right size: small, medium, or large. 


Until we have full voice recognition or gesture control like in Minority Report, I like this space-age mouse. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Answer Your Watch

Watch

So I did it and took the plunge into a smartwatch. 

For over a year, I thought the technology just wasn’t there yet. 

Too clumsy, too difficult to use with such a small device. 

First, I considered just a Fitbit for tracking activity, but I quickly ruled it out, since you can get so much more with a full smartwatch.

Then, I looked into the Pebble, in particular the latest model the Time Steel, which runs between $200-$250. 

But I watched a review that pointed out the the Pebble does not have a touch screen, and everything are the buttons–okay, I immediately ruled that out. 

Next, I looked to old trusty, Apple…they have never failed me yet, and I tried on their various smartwatches. 

I settled on a simple sports model, since I figured as the technology continues to evolve or as the watch gets beat up in daily use, I could simply upgrade to the next great thing. 

Also, I figured if I really don’t like how it works, it wouldn’t be such a great loss monetarily. 

Well, the verdict is in–I really like it!

Easy to set up by simply syncing with the iPhone. 

And then all your major apps just show up on the colorful apps panel. 

In no time, I was checking the 10-day weather forecast, reading news headlines, tracking my activity, using the GPS locator, looking up calendar events, checking email and replying with easy voice dictation, sending text messages, and even calling family and talking to them into the watch!

I even started the music on my iPhone from another room by using the smartwatch. 

Oh yeah, I almost forget, it tells the time too!

Except for taking photos, which would be really cool with the watch, but it doesn’t do–it did most of the basics that I wanted it to. 

For not a lot of money, I felt that I was getting a lot of convenient functionality, and I am now encouraging my wife and kids to get it too. 

Apple, you still got it–so even though Google surpassed you in market value this week, I am still hopeful that you got some decent mojo left in you. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Simplify Me

Technology Complexity.jpeg

So here’s the monitor in the “modern” and beautiful Fort Lauderdale International airport. 


Can you see the number of electrical plugs, wires, connections, input/output ports, etc. on this device?


Obviously, it is comical and a farce as we near the end of 2015. 


Think about the complexity in building this monitor…in connecting it…in keeping it operational.


Yes, we are moving more and more to cellular and wireless communications, to miniaturization, to simple and intuitive user interfaces, to paperless processing, to voice recognition, to natural language processing, and to artificial intelligence.


But we are not there yet.


And we need to continue to make major strides to simplify the complexity of today’s technology. 


– Every technology device should be fully useful and usable by every user on first contact. 


– Every device should learn upon interacting with us and get better and better with time. 


– Every device should have basic diagnostic and self-healing capability. 


Any instructions that are necessary should be provided by the device itself–such as the device telling you step by step what to do to accomplish the task at hand–no manual, no Google instructions, no Siri questions…just you and the device interacting as one. 


User friendly isn’t enough anymore…it should be completely user-centric, period. 


Someday…in 2016 or beyond, we will get there, please G-d. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Drones Made Easy

OMG, this is awesome.


This Lily Camera Drone is “throw and go” and simply lands in your hand. 


You can set it to follow you–almost like a guardian angel– or to lead you where you need to go. 


Records video, sound, can do slow motion, and takes photos.


It has a tracking device.


It’s waterproof.


Awesome for extreme sports or personal surveillance.


Would like to be able to communicate with it by voice command, and also see what it sees and hear what it hears with augmented reality glasses or on a smartphone or wearable.


Finally, if only it would come with a laser to zap anybody or anything bad that may come at us–that could be reassuring. 


Costs = $619 and ships in May 2016.


That was easy.  😉

Apple Watch M~A~N~I~A

Apple Watch Mania

The Apple (Smart) Watch doesn’t go on sale for another 2 weeks…


But the Apple stores are streaming with excited customers already.


There are displays lined with the watches from the sports model to the stainless steel and even the 24-karat gold ones.


Ask the Apple salesperson and they’ll set you up at the next table for an associate to help you try on the watches including the 38 cm and 42 cm displays and various fashionable bands. 


They have this cute little rag to shine up the watch displays before you try them on over these black mats, just as if you are in a fancy jewelry store sampling diamond rings or something. 


I’ll tell you, while there is plenty of well-founded skepticism about these ranging from their not being a killer app to their inherent obsolescence (the battery is like 6 quarters thick on this version), and the watches are NOT intuitive to use, people are STILL going to buy these just to be stay current with the changing technology. 


Right now, I’m pressing down on the display (in my mind) and sending my heart beats to Apple for another transformative technology move.


One of my favorites on this watch is using the voice control to send text messages…Dick Tracy eat your heart out. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Apple Is Giving Us The Finger

Apple Is Giving Us The Finger

As I always say, I love Apple–and they still have the best darn Smartphone on the market–but they continue to disappoint with anything new.

This week, with the introduction of the iPhone 5S, Apple had the opportunity to introduce something new and exciting, but instead what did we get?

– A faster processor and Touch ID fingerprint reader.

In nutshell, since Steve Jobs untimely passing, Siri was a bombshell, actually just a big consumer product bomb.

And now with the fingerprint reader as the big newcomer add-on to the iPhone, it’s as if (sorry to say), Apple is giving us all the proverbial finger.

While the fingerprint reader is cute and a faster logon, it is really not a must-have or a game-changer.

The only thing less exciting than Touch ID is the new Yahoo logo.

In the last two years, Apple has taken a mighty innovation lead and squandered it.

Still, no one can touch their highly integrated iPhone product.

However, if much more time goes by without something meaningfully new and innovative, they will be in trouble.

Rumors of an iPhablet (iPhone/tablet) with a significantly larger screen (ranging from 4.8 to 6 inches) will be more like the Samsung Galaxy S4 with 5-inch screen rather than than iPhone 5S 4-inch screen, and would have attraction for people who like to read or watch on a larger, better display.

Of course a significantly better camera would be helpful too–need I say more?

Some interaction with wearable technology, like a Google Glass with augmented reality would also be a winner.

And a fully ruggedized smartphone, similar in concept to a Panasonic Toughbook–and up to military grade specs–that withstands drops, spills, dust, and lots of everyday field use punishment, would be way cool for the action-adventurer in all of us–and maybe then we wouldn’t need all the silly looking cases.

In the meantime, put your index finger on the home bottom, while Apple puts their middle finger up at you, the consumer.

Steve Jobs, where the heck are you? 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to CNET)

They Aren’t Smartwatches…they Are Dumbwatches

They Aren't Smartwatches...they Are Dumbwatches

The Wall Street Journal asks “Is it Time for Smartwatches?”

With the arrival of the first generation of smartwatches–Samsung Galaxy Gear, Pebble, and Sony Smartwatch–we have hit the rock bottom in innovate and design thinking.

These watches look cheap–flimsy plastic or ultra-thin aluminum or even stainless doesn’t cut it as a fashion statement when larger and substantial is in.

The screens are too small to be user-centric–let along there being any room for a physical or soft keyboard.

You can’t really read on it and you can’t type on it (any significant form of email, texting)–except by voice command. Ah, let me talk into my wrist, no!

Also, for videos or gaming, the small rectangular screens aren’t of any useful function–how much of Madonna’s new wild getup can you see or how far can you fling that angry bird on your wrist?

Downloading music on the Gear, uh, also no.

Taking photos with a 1.9 megapixel camera on the Galaxy Gear at a time when the 8 megapixels on the iPhone is running way short is good for maybe a James Bond, but not anyone else.

Plus for smartwatches like the Gear, you still need to pair it with a companion smartphone for it to work, so you now have added expense (between about $150 for the Pebble and $299 for the Gear smartwatch) with no significant added benefit.

For the Gear, you also have a separate charger because the watch only has a battery life of about a day, while for the Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2, you have between half a week to a week.

And believe it or not, the Galaxy Gear is not compatible with their own Galaxy S4 smartphone–oh, so very smart.

My 16-year old daughter said, “If they had this 10 years ago maybe, but now, who needs it!”

No, Google Glass has it right–concept yes, fashion still to be worked out–and the smartwatches for now, have it wrong, wrong, wrong.

If you buy it, you’ve bought yourself a very dumb watch.

Maybe the iWatch can save the day? 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Nathan Chantrell)