On this edition of The Sniffer, Nora Young talks about all the buzz around Nest, the design-y, smart thermostat. On one hand, it’s a great example of how smart design can get people to buy into energy efficiency. On the other, given that it’s actually way more energy efficient just to live in an apartment or a small condo, there’s something about the idea of furnishing your fancy house with a sustainability tool that seems a wee bit ‘greenwashing’ – what do you think? I have to admit, it is pretty cool! Interesting profile of the Nest guys and what the future may hold at Technology Review.
Meanwhile, Cathi Bond flags this neat Kickstarter campaign to provide software that teachers can use to teach mindfulness meditation techniques to students. What do you think of it? Nora loves the idea of teaching mindfulness, but the particular use of ‘mindfulness messages’ as part of it seems a bit Stuart Smalley-esque.
In this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond expands on the POV video and video-sharing trends (see her related coverage on Spark, here) with a look at Vergence Labs’ Kickstarter project in social video eyewear. It combines video-enabled glasses with a video sharing service. Are we all going to be capturing everything that goes on around us all the time?
Meanwhile, Nora Young looks at another quirky example of passive monitoring: tracking your pet! Fujitsu is set to release a device that attaches to your dog’s collar, which will allow you to monitor your doggie’s exercise. Cathi and Nora ponder what data their pets would reveal (via Technology Review).
For this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond has been keeping an eye on who’s raising funds on Kickstarter. She found this family farm hoping to raise pigs and take production all the way to cured pork products. People seem to have an increasing appetite for putting their money into specific projects that they can have some sense of agency over; witness the success of projects like Kiva.
Meanwhile, Nora Young recalls the cute wi-fi rabbit, Nabaztag. Perhaps it was just a little ahead of its time, since we’re seeing all sorts of charming display tools aimed at helping us get a grip on all the information that’s coming at us. Nora points to two good examples: Feedair (via Gizmag) and Little Printer, by the folks at BERG. Little Printer is particularly distinct because it, well, prints things out on paper. Amidst all our electronic means for keeping tabs, is there still a role for paper lists in your life? Let us know!