#googleglass goes underwater – #googlegoggles Cousteau 1.0

I hate swimming. It’s pretty boring going up and down and up and down and … you get the drift. Boom Boom. It needs to be sold to me to take the hook. They keep coming.

water bubblesSo I began to get mildly interested when Speedo launched their Aquabeat MP3 players integrated into their goggles some years back – latest product spec here.

I see Google Glass is to get an in-built iTunes type streaming music interface.

oceanic-04.8800.07Surely the next step is to stretch into a different product category and develop underwater Google Glass?! Simply acquire an HUD dive mask company, pop in some Glass tech on the mask, sprinkle in some Aquabeat MP3 tech (with the main processor integrated into the back of the mask) and Bob’s your Uncle – GoogleGlass (Google Goggles) v1.0 – “Cousteau”.

Input… ? Well, probably needs a little work, but either some Steven Hawking eye-movement tracking type stuff or the wearable “throat tattoo” microphone that Google have just patented (we’re getting progressively closer to the embedded-chip-at-birth concept here… !).

Throw in an HD camera with integrated light on the front for the scuba model and do-away with that cumbersome dive camera… dive computer and GPS to track your dive Nike+ style … feed to Facebook … cheers from your friends as you dive… not noticing your depth and/or sharks etc. etc.

Already a concept design model here – needs to Google bankroll to really get it going…

I’ll take my commission now thanks Larry. And a nice pool please.

Initial testing of Google Goggles underwater prototype.

Initial testing of Google Glass underwater prototype.

Advertisements

Australia over-regulated: Hong Kong multi-billionaire Vincent Lo at UNSW #BusinessinChina #VincentLo

VAttended an interesting and very frank presentation by Chinese property tycoon Vincent Lo at UNSW tonight.

“Why doesn’t Shui On [his company] develop in Australia? If I can be honest – the scale is minuscule and the regulation is far too tight here. Why would we? That’s the price you pay for democracy!”

 

VL

#Mavericks to be renamed OSX ADHD?

Installed the OSX Mavericks on a Macbook Air and a Mac Mini yesterday and here’s initial impressions on the most salient features and why it’s for the hyperactive mental butterflies.

weird-topgun#1 – dig the fact it’s FREE after the 20 sheets we had to outlay for a Mountain Lion which was a purely under the bonnet release (the classic IT developer “technical debt/architecture” release punted out to a screaming CFO – “where’s the capability uplift for the million bucks we’ve just outlaid? I don’t care what a scaleable SOA is!!” ).

Anyhoo. Here in Australia download took around 90 minutes with the install about 35 minutes. And I’d conveniently forgotten to connect up my Lacie this morning for Time Machine backup in event of brick – the Amber Gambler continues.

Here’s the salient features standing out for me.

Multiple displays with independent docks/menus

mavericks-multi-monitor_dtI’ve always had a second and sometimes daisychained third and fourth monitors with my laptops. But frustrating having to go back to the primary screen to get to the menu and mission control. And frustrating that full screen in one window freezes the other. So this update is perfect and fixes all of that – well done Apple! Breathed life into my 2007 23” Apple monitor that’s somehow still going… !

However – I did find the dock to be much slower in appearing on all screens which was disappointing (on a 2011 Macbook Air, should be fine).

What would have been nice would be AirPlay for any Apple device connected to your HDTV.  I have a Mac Mini connected to mine – would be good to Airplay from my Macbook Air to the Mini rather than bizarrely just to the AppleTV. A deliberate strategy I think to keep this product line going until the integrated Apple TV set comes out.

Finder Window with TABS

Ooh yes!!! How I lamented the loss of “File Mangler” on Windows replaced with this bloody awful Explorer thingmie making copying of files between directories a right Royal pain in the arse. Same deal with Finder on Mac. And lo – multiple Windows would be opened to solve this issue together with parallel working in different directories on different documents. Jumble.

osx-mavericks-finder-search-tabsSolution: multiple Finder Windows in one shell window  à la Safari style. Simple solution and works brilliantly – being able to copy between different groups of directories organized across different tabs, quickly and neatly and logically. One of these “just works”, “feels natural” UX upgrades that is awesome.

So these upgrades cater to the “power users” – people who clearly work in parallel on the multiple streams of work simultaneously properly hyperventilating as they do so. Should have called it OSX ADHD

Safari / Notifications

mavericks_sharingTop sites.. meh. Shared Links – dig big time. This is basically encroaching somewhat on Hootsuite’s territory whereby you get a real-time feed in a window to the left of your browser window of all your social media updates that have links attached to them.

You add your internet accounts in Settings (Twitter, FB, LinkedIn etc.) and relevant updates appear in notifications, you can Tweet / Update directly from Notifications (again, Hootsuite type basic functionality) and show these updates in Safari.

A nice version 1 foray into social media management from the desktop for Apple.

iBooks

iBooksMovedMoved your books/PDFs from iTunes to new iBooks app. Meh. I’m not convinced my fine Scottish eBook Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” was in German when I downloaded it. Perhaps a hidden long-term strategy from Apple to seed us for a move for Infinite Loop to Munich.

Maps

iPlaetI was kind of “meh” about this… but I take it back big time. In addition to the new Maps native application, maps and location are an integral part of Mavericks now.

Map pop-up options or small map embeds are available everywhere you enter an address – calendar entries and contacts to name a few.

Here’s the kicker on integration.

You’re about to drive to your mate Balthazaar’s mansion. You either pull up his contact and click on map to see his place in the maps app, or just type in his name to the Maps app search and it auto-completes from your contacts (as per Maps on the iPhone).

You can enter directions … and then before you jump in the car hit “share” and choose your iPhone from the drop-down. The route will appear as a notification on your iPhone which you can bring up with turn-by-turn directions as you head out the door and mount the iPhone in the car. Dig.

OZ

Screenshot I took of the Sydney Flyover – Grand Theft Auto #2 rendering

And so to the gimmicky flyover function – kind of Grand Theft Auto 2 rough rendering of your cityscapes overlaid with restaurants, roadworks, street names and such. It’s actually kind of fun … if a little slow. Really don’t see much use for this – unless somehow Apple can negotiate a partnership with Google Streetview or send out a fleet of flying-monkeys with cameras from Infinite Loop to duplicate in Apple’s own ecosystem.

I imagine the flyover view for “selected cities” is limited to big ones. So if you don’t live in Wagga-Wagga, it’s kind of creepy to flyover your own property and see a rendering of your bedroom window. I wonder if there’s a rendering in Moscow with Edward Snowdon waving from the roof of the Kremlin with an arrangement of white stones spelling out “THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING SUCKAS!!!”.

Calendar

Would you believe as an avid iCal user across the ecosystem the wee update in iOS7 of different fonts actually made a massive difference?! It’s the little things.. And duplicated here in Mavericks. Much clearer to read, much slicker interface for events.

And finally – rather than a week by week view you can smooth scroll to show the end of one week and start of another on the same screen…. er… so you can drag across all the stuff you popped into your Friday to carry over to the next week. A frequent function for the procrastinators out there (I prefer to use the calendar rather than the Reminders app in OSX – find it easier to colour code and view everything just in calendar rather than switching between apps).

Loving the maps integration in the Calendar event. Your mate tells you the name of a bar to meet in – you set the appointment and enter the name of the bar, auto-looked up with drop down of options to select. Click on the name and it’s set as location in the appointment withScreen Shot 2013-10-24 at 11.46.44 am

  • full address
  • map part shown in the appointment (which of course you can click on from your iPhone for directions)
  • travelling distance time calculated from last appointment
  • WEATHER – for the particular location on the particular day/time – woah!

It’s the little things…

Glitches – minor grumbles!

On settings menu the groovy metallic iCloud icon has retro-morphed back to its blue original breaking with the theme. I don’t think this will contribute to global warming.

I can’t get my other devices to appear on the share button on the Maps application to send directions to my iPhone for example, despite being registered on iCloud. This is a pain as the transfer-as-you-jump-in-the-car feature is a major plus of Maps.

In Finder re. tabs – you need to manually open the first tab rather than having a “+” button icon appearing on the right to click on as per Safari. It’s the little things…

Conclusion

This is a winner – especially as free!

The performance is noticeably faster on Safari, Mail and Calendars, which is awesome in itself.

You can see the strategy here as more iOS7 apps are introduced to the desktop (iBooks, Maps). The convergence of Mac OS releases across all devices simultaneously with a common set of apps/UX.

And the further strategy of the Apple value proposition. The ecosystem. The hardware/OS/UX experience integrated and controlled by the one company. With the native apps being so COOL that you you are drawn into the iCloud Apple ecosystem big time.

original

A bit like buying a Gilette razor except the initial razor purchase isn’t as cheap.

Well done Apple. Now let’s see a new form-factor iPhone6! (vs. last disappointment!)

iAssault: Samsung & Windows Mobile v iOS7

Microsoft has jumped on the Apple iAssault bandwagon with another non-MS device buy-back program, this time targeted specifically at iPhone users.

Took this snap on Sydney’s George Street the flagship Samsung store – opened aggressively diagonally opposite the crystal Mecca of the AppleStore complex. They updated their window display the day after the iPhone 5S launch with the “iChanged” campaign:

SAMSUNG

Anyone remember the Apple campaigns targeted at desktop switching? Switch to a Mac (2002) and Get A Mac (“I’m a Mac / I’m a PC” – 2006). Get A Mac coincided with the fresh, minimalist rebranding of Apple stores with the blue shirts and symbol signage to aesthetically differentiate the product and build-in perceived value for the premium pricing.

I never needed convincing of how cool the machines looked. As a developer, my value proposition was for home use – I was sick fed up of interrupt issues et al with home PCs having spent too much time with IT Operations resolving similar issues with our custom-built  trading apps in the office. The “just works” thing was a solid case for me for core non-tech usage. A bit like a chef coming home and whacking a microwave dinner in the oven.

But back in 2000 Office compatability was pretty shoddy, hardly any mobile phones would sync with the Mac address book et al(hardwired of course – except the gloriously kitsch Sony Ericsson P800) and remote office access? Forget it sailor.

I digress. Regarding mobile – Samsung and Microsoft must have been rubbing their hands together as the “coolness” factor is clearly the most important consumer product attribute now. And Apple missed the mark big-time with the boxy iPhone 5S – yes, EVEN with 9 million units pumped out in the first weekend. It’s the longer game that counts with brand value.

Apple’s lengthy product cycles won’t permit a revolutionary “non-boxy” iPhone coming out  anytime soon. Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition gives a real opportunity to knock out an awesome device (the Lumia 1020, although essentially a different category focusing on the camera, is pretty impressive) and with the stability of pure-play Android devices, Samsung’s superior hardware is looking like the go-er.

I’m an Android, I’m a kosher non-jailbroken iOS”  –  the next set of Google ads whacked out across the international channels to join Samsung/Microsoft to encircle Apple?

#NBN review – latest specification update to include #sydneyferries

#NBN review – in the latest leak from the current #NBN review process a Government source has revealed a plan to connect Sydney Ferries to the NBN as the first stage of a transport trial.

#sydneyferries are to be connected to NBN by really really long cables from Circular Quay which are let out as as ferries sail away, and pulled back on return.

The source could not confirm plans for a similar trial on Melbourne bus network which is allegedly held up due to “logistical issues”.

1980 – 1K of RAM ! Sinclair #ZX81

A friend of mine was having an Australian Spring clean in Scotland yesterday and found this little gem at the back of a cupboard.

ZX

The original Sinclair ZX81 circa. 1980 – with a whopping 1K of RAM, with a HUGE 16K RAM expansion pack on the back (that kept moving and crashing the machine mid- BASIC program entry pushing the dodgy touchpad keys hard for input).

Nostalgia. I learned to code on the next up model, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (image on the header of this blog).