Civilian Twitter experiments and professional Twitter strategies imagine an intoxicating and tangible upside. Jokes might gain an audience; a regular person or established media property might become an indispensable new information node; a snack food, or an airline, might foster goodwill from prospective customers and absorb the public outrage of detractors. This upside, in the long term, has either eluded its seekers or revealed itself to be vanishingly small.
naveen
naveen:

Wearables versus there-ables.
What if we’ve got it all wrong?
What if we’re not actually supposed to wear all sorts of technology on our bodies and on our clothes? What if we didn’t have to / weren’t meant to carry our technology with us as we moved around town?
What if the technology was actually already in the room when we got there? Maybe that’s the kind of Internet-of-things that will be more sustainable and will win long-term.
We already have early indications that this is a product category that is succeeding and sees more engagement long-term than the types we carry around. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve personally experienced or heard anecdotes about the typical wearable drop-off: you stop using a device or service after four to six weeks of breaking-in. On the other hand, the most successful types of hardware I’ve seen recently are Nest Thermostat and Withings Wi-Fi Scale, both of which you plug in and use, perhaps not multiple times a day, but every once in a while for many days and years to come.
It’s true that both tap into something that we were doing for years as opposed to having us learn about and track something new. (The Nest tracks temperature; the Withings, weight). But there are other smart devices that are around the corner that fit my proposal too: a bed that tracks you and vibrates to wake you up gently; a smart toilet or shower that tracks your body’s physiology, diet and illnesses; a smart kitchen that…well, you get the picture.
That’s not to say that wearables have no place in our future – perhaps the way they should evolve is to become really cheap, incredibly dumb single-feature sensors that actually need another layer like our phone or like a pairing with a there-able device.
Wearables know it’s us because we exclusively wear them and sync them with our phones. That’s the authentication: our phones and the identity handoff that resides in that exchange.
There-ables infer identity based on how you interact with them. There-ables know it’s us because, well, they are smarter: Nest knows our heat signature. Withings knows our body composition.
There-ables have fewer power restrictions; they’re often just plugged right into the power grid and, therefore, don’t need to have batteries charged everyday.
Meanwhile, by being battery powered, wearables can be smaller, cheaper and more abundant all over your body. Perhaps wearables can become like the zippers in our clothing: cheap enough and standardized enough to be in basically every piece of clothing we have on. Or perhaps wearables will take the form of the “smart pill” we keep hearing about: you take it and the results are later calculated by your futuristic toilet and zoomed to the cloud for review.
Here’s a final thought in this argument: that we may not want to carry more than one device with us when we move around. Currently, that is our phone. Yes, it’s a whole bunch of other things too (wallet, keys, …) but, more than likely, these things will all just continue to collapse into one thing: our phone.
And then maybe, besides our phones, the best technology is one that’s already present where we are going.

These are interesting and valuable thoughts refreshingly outside the current trends.

naveen:

Wearables versus there-ables.

What if we’ve got it all wrong?

What if we’re not actually supposed to wear all sorts of technology on our bodies and on our clothes? What if we didn’t have to / weren’t meant to carry our technology with us as we moved around town?

What if the technology was actually already in the room when we got there? Maybe that’s the kind of Internet-of-things that will be more sustainable and will win long-term.

We already have early indications that this is a product category that is succeeding and sees more engagement long-term than the types we carry around. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve personally experienced or heard anecdotes about the typical wearable drop-off: you stop using a device or service after four to six weeks of breaking-in. On the other hand, the most successful types of hardware I’ve seen recently are Nest Thermostat and Withings Wi-Fi Scale, both of which you plug in and use, perhaps not multiple times a day, but every once in a while for many days and years to come.

It’s true that both tap into something that we were doing for years as opposed to having us learn about and track something new. (The Nest tracks temperature; the Withings, weight). But there are other smart devices that are around the corner that fit my proposal too: a bed that tracks you and vibrates to wake you up gently; a smart toilet or shower that tracks your body’s physiology, diet and illnesses; a smart kitchen that…well, you get the picture.

That’s not to say that wearables have no place in our future – perhaps the way they should evolve is to become really cheap, incredibly dumb single-feature sensors that actually need another layer like our phone or like a pairing with a there-able device.

Wearables know it’s us because we exclusively wear them and sync them with our phones. That’s the authentication: our phones and the identity handoff that resides in that exchange.

There-ables infer identity based on how you interact with them. There-ables know it’s us because, well, they are smarter: Nest knows our heat signature. Withings knows our body composition.

There-ables have fewer power restrictions; they’re often just plugged right into the power grid and, therefore, don’t need to have batteries charged everyday.

Meanwhile, by being battery powered, wearables can be smaller, cheaper and more abundant all over your body. Perhaps wearables can become like the zippers in our clothing: cheap enough and standardized enough to be in basically every piece of clothing we have on. Or perhaps wearables will take the form of the “smart pill” we keep hearing about: you take it and the results are later calculated by your futuristic toilet and zoomed to the cloud for review.

Here’s a final thought in this argument: that we may not want to carry more than one device with us when we move around. Currently, that is our phone. Yes, it’s a whole bunch of other things too (wallet, keys, …) but, more than likely, these things will all just continue to collapse into one thing: our phone.

And then maybe, besides our phones, the best technology is one that’s already present where we are going.

These are interesting and valuable thoughts refreshingly outside the current trends.

Don’t Punch Above Your Weight

You know a simple two-step way to solve all project issues?

1) Tell the person directly concerned. Yes, to their face. 2) Having done Step #1 (and you must do Step 1) — if that doesn’t resolve or clarify the situation — inform your boss, so he/she can tell that person’s boss. Really. It’s that simple. You’ll be surprised at how many things those two steps can actually solve.

wreckandsalvage

A well-educated time traveller from 1914 enters a room divided in half by a curtain. A scientist tells him that his task is to ascertain the intelligence of whoever is on the other side of the curtain by asking whatever questions he pleases.

The traveller’s queries are answered by a voice with an accent that he does not recognize (twenty-first-century American English). The woman on the other side of the curtain has an extraordinary memory. She can, without much delay, recite any passage from the Bible or Shakespeare. Her arithmetic skills are astonishing—difficult problems are solved in seconds. She is also able to speak many foreign languages, though her pronunciation is odd. Most impressive, perhaps, is her ability to describe almost any part of the Earth in great detail, as though she is viewing it from the sky. She is also proficient at connecting seemingly random concepts, and when the traveller asks her a question like “How can God be both good and omnipotent?” she can provide complex theoretical answers.

Based on this modified Turing test, our time traveller would conclude that, in the past century, the human race achieved a new level of superintelligence. Using lingo unavailable in 1914, (it was coined later by John von Neumann) he might conclude that the human race had reached a “singularity”—a point where it had gained an intelligence beyond the understanding of the 1914 mind.

The woman behind the curtain, is, of course, just one of us. That is to say, she is a regular human who has augmented her brain using two tools: her mobile phone and a connection to the Internet and, thus, to Web sites like Wikipedia, Google Maps, and Quora. To us, she is unremarkable, but to the man she is astonishing. With our machines, we are augmented humans and prosthetic gods, though we’re remarkably blasé about that fact, like anything we’re used to. Take away our tools, the argument goes, and we’re likely stupider than our friend from the early twentieth century, who has a longer attention span, may read and write Latin, and does arithmetic faster.

The time-traveller scenario demonstrates that how you answer the question of whether we are getting smarter depends on how you classify “we.” This is why Thompson and Carr reach different results: Thompson is judging the cyborg, while Carr is judging the man underneath.

If a Time Traveller Saw a Smartphone [x] (via wearethemakersofmanners)
Beyond Oculus Rift, it’s worth thinking about what Kickstarter project creators owe their early backers—the very people that help put them on the map in the first place. Do these creators merely owe their early backers pre-order products and other goodies, or something more substantial? With Oculus Rift, specifically, are prototypes and developer kits a fair trade for a less risk-averse form of capital investment? Or maybe it’s further evidence that early Kickstarter backers should be given the option to own stock, which is currently illegal under crowd-funding rules provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission.