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Category Archives: Electronics
On today's podcast, Cathi Bond has been on the hunt for the e-reader that can trump the experience of the good old paper book. She surveys reviews of the new Amazon Oasis, and thinks it may be the killer tech for e-books - for a price. Meanwhile, Nora Young points out this terrific story The Guardian did on how Uber approached taking on the London market. Regardless of what you think about Uber, it has great lessons about how to really nail the user experience. Did you like this episode? Please consider sharing it, rating us, or leave a comment! Thanks! [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4352429/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
A look at new developments in media this time. Cathi Bond talks about Bublcam, a round, 360 degree camera on a stick. The Toronto-based startup lets you explore spaces immersively. See, for example, this image. In an interview with PSFK, Brendon Montgomery from Buble Technology talks about how VR experiences might change the news. Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about research that looks at motion sickness in virtual reality, and also in HD video with lots of rapid action watched on mobile (via The Guardian). Cathi and Nora reflect on how much of our use of screens is contrary to how our bodies naturally work. Oh, and here's the early Walter Cronkite newscast Nora mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmQTfYTe044 [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4003418/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
On today's podcast, Cathi Bond talks about WallJax wireless electronics chargers. There are two versions, the Float and the EZ, that free you from the tyranny of power cables (via Gizmag) She also talks about FurniQi, furniture with embedded chargers (via Gizmag). How about you? Have you seen cool wireless charger solutions? Let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, Nora Young mentions the recent trend report at Trendwatching. It talks about life beyond demographics, where people increasingly create their own narratives and can be marketed to as individuals. The down side? All that data that's known about us. [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3867379/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3
Hi there! This time around, Nora Young points to a recent Google Glass hackathon (via PSFK), which produced, amongst other things, the GlassFrogger game that re-imagines the old video game Frogger as an augmented reality game for Glass (see below). Fun? Sure, but it's also got Nora thinking about all the cool stuff you could do once you imagine Glass as including a whole app ecosystem. Nora and Cathi talk about the coming world of virtual personal assistants, the forthcoming movie Her, and an upcoming episode of Nora's show, Spark. Cathi Bond has the story of the CouchBunker, a sofa that contains a safe in which you can store up to thirty guns (via Gizmag) It comes complete with bullet resistant cushions. Nora also thinks you should check out this article on the relationship between "gut health" and mental health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8wXr3QFXZM
Happy summer, all! This time around, Cathi Bond has some tips for summer fun. Going to be away all day at the beach? Why not feed your pet remotely with Pintofeed, an app-controlled food dispenser! Not only does it let you feed your pet remotely, it gives you all kinds of stats on your little sweetie's eating habits. Sounds about right for the Quantified Self pet owner in your life! (Via Gizmag). Plus, what's better on a hot day than a cold beer? Cathi's all excited about the Chillsner. Just pop a frozen Chillsner in your beer, and you're good to go (via Gizmag). Meanwhile, Nora Young's been trying out DuckDuckGo as a search engine, mostly because she's curious about a search tool that doesn't track user data. New Scientist has an interesting interview with its creator here. It has Cathi and Nora wondering if there's a market for tools that protect privacy. Do you think regular people are starting to get fed up with tracking?
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.
On this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond and Nora Young are back from a midwinter break with some wacky stories that nonetheless point to bigger trends. Cathi has two examples of tech for babies. There's the Bubble Baby futuristic, self-cleaning crib, which Cathi and Nora would both like for themselves (via Gizmag), and the slightly more dubious sounding iPotty (via Gizmag). Nora looks at The Polaroid Cacher, a very cool art project which is built off a vintage polaroid camera (via Prosthetic Knowledge). Essentially, it recreates the experience of taking instamatic snapshots, but in this case, it captures your digital, on-screen interactions. It's part of a trend we've looked at before on The Sniffer, and on Nora's show, Spark, of combining the digital and the mechanical or analog. Why do we love this stuff so much? Finally, Cathi saw this Samsung easel TV which came out of this year's CES (via Paste Magazine). She points to it as part of a flood of new TV designs. What would it take you to invest in a new TV?
Hey trendwatchers! This time, Nora Young talks about PredictGaze, software that can be incorporated into electronics such as TVs. It tracks your eyes so that you can, for instance, stop the TV when you walk out of the room. Also, marketers could use its facial recognition capability to see how you're reacting to what you watch (via Digital Trends) It brings together several trends: facial recognition technology, 'relationships' with our technologies, and non-touch interfaces. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about [Y/N] Design Studio's concept plan for London's old canal system: turn it into lanes for swimming! (Via Gizmag) The charmingly wacky idea reminds Nora and Cathi that here in Toronto, we often lose sight of our history, in spite of attempts like the Distillery District. Nora herself just discovered "The Ward". Who knew?