Tag Archives: technology

The Sickest Music Phones Ever. (Concepts?)

The one above and below is my personal favorite. This thing looks so fun. These designers are pretty ridiculous. I highly recommend going to their site and watching the demo videos.

Share

Advertisements

Innovative Headphone Design [PHOTOS]

Stumbled upon these Y.I. earphones on Yanko Design are equipped with a zipper to steer away from tangling the chords up when not in use. Design by Ji Woong

Earphones

Share

The ‘Void’ Vinyl Player

This player was designed by Rhea Jeong from Korea. Here you see the black box that when turned on admits an auto-calibrating magnetic control which suspends the album in mid air. The red ball you see is currently the smallest record player in the world called the ‘vinyl killer’ which comes with a built-in motor, amplifier and speaker. Definitely a neat way to play your favorite records.

TEDTalk: Sixth Sense Technology

How awesome would it be to go to the store and digitally see information about every physical object you interact with. This opens up a whole new spectrum to technological possibilities in our future. Pranav Mistry of India speaks at TED India about his new technology and his current push to bring this awesome innovation to the hands of the general public around the world. Feast your eyes on this and just imagine all the amazing things you could do!!!

How Tech is Changing the Tone of Music as We Know it


Here I’m going to introduce you to 4 music technologies in particular that have already begun to change the music landscape as we know it. Let’s get right into it.

The Cubes:

First we have Percussa’s Audio Cubes. They’re some of the coolest new music making “instruments” out right now. Here’s how they work, straight from Percussa’s website:

“Each AudioCube is identical. You connect them with a USB cable to your computer, one after the other, and assign a colour and behaviour. After that, they work wirelessly with each other, and use their four onboard infrared sensors to communicate and measure distances to objects nearby. One cube stays connected, to pass the information from the cubes to the software on your computer.”  More Here.

Continue reading

The Horizon of a New Destiny is Upon Us: The UX Agency – The Future is Here, Now – What??


Haha, sorry for the stupid title..I don’t know if it’s because I’m watching the new Star Trek movie, or because this guy’s blog’s tone reminds me of it, but this blog article I ran into the other day, by Anthony Franco, was really cool. It describes a new kind of Agency emerging in our internet/software era, called the User Experience Agency.

The Process of Innovation – Think Social!

This is an awesome topic that I love to share with people whenever I can.

Innovation is something that can be thought of in several different ways, however there are good ways, and then there are better ones.

Innovation can be basically anything that solves a problem that has not been previously solved, or it can be something that solves a problem that was previously solved, while solving other problems at the same time(these are the better ones).

There are really two perspectives into innovating. One is purely the scientific aspect of it. The physics, the research, the testing, the technology. Then there is the practical, social side of innovating, which does not always agree with the scientific side.

The process of innovation should contain both views, almost at the same time. It is not enough to innovate and solve one problem technically, while socially creating another problem.

A quick example of this may very well be gas powered vehicles. They’ve solved a huge problem in enabling faster travel, but they’ve also caused a sort of social dilemma, because people are almost forced to use them in some fashion, and they are now proven to have negative impacts on air quality and perhaps weather.

Innovation should be approached from the view of the true designer:  the architect, who builds not only for aesthetics, but for purpose, and function. The architect builds for the social function, while utilizing the best scientific practices and innovations available. But the purpose is always foremost, for the people.

People are weird. They do not really seem to fit any set pattern as a whole. There is an infinite variation, and this must be accounted for in design.

Innovations when designed for people, tend to solve the most problems, and leave the least behind. The best innovations, the truly beautiful ones, seem to leave no problems behind, and just fit, like a puzzle piece finally being snapped into place.

When designing Beat-Play’s music search solution, I ended up solving several social problems: How do I find new music? How do I find good music? How do I not waste time searching for music?

The way I solved these problems was to think about it from the approach of the social first. The first step is always to survey what already exists. I studied the different methods of how music was found and shared now.

I found some methods that were better than others, and I looked at the best ones, and searched out the problems there. It turned out that I found some.

The best solutions available at this point for finding music are Pandora or Last.fm, where the music is suggested and played for you, allowing you time to focus on other things. This is a great innovation, but I saw flaws.

It went right back to thinking socially. Pandora finds songs based on other songs, using basically scientific data and variables to link songs together into an automated playlist.

This I knew, was the wrong way to think about it. People are not defined by any given variable. They are defined by many variables that vary all the time. Music is no different. It is a mere extension of people. There needed to be a social way for people to find music.

So my idea came to me almost rather simply. It was to use social networks, and people to create a user’s playlist, instead of a computer.

On Beat-Play you can follow friends or favorite bands, who you share a taste in music with, and who are infinitely as variable as you are; and the music those people like enough to save, will automatically get played in your radio.

This enables you to find the best new music literally as simply as a mouse click, without searching through mounds of bad music, wasting hours before finding a good song. And it keeps you updated.

Also this method does not limit a person’s playlist to one genre of music, or a certain group of artists, like Pandora does, unless the user wants these limits on.

This solution is so beautiful because it solves several other problems at the same time. When you hear music on your radio coming from your friend’s playlists, if you like it, you save it into one of your playlists, and it then gets sent to anybody following you.

For the best artists, this is an amazing way for fans to spread the music for them. It’s actually a form of free promotion and distribution in addition to being a much better way for fans to find the music. It can even be a great way for artists to gain advertising revenue by tracking plays, which could then result in the best music being free.

The more the people love and share the music for free, the more the artists will get paid, making everyone happy, and rendering piracy irrelevant!

That is what I mean by snapping in a puzzle piece. This solution fits on all sides, perfectly with it’s surroundings. This solution came by simply analyzing the environment that the innovation must exist in, which is always an incredibly social one.

If we inject this social perspective into our innovations, we can adapt what we know about the scientific, physical stuff, to coincide with the social factors, to form the ultimate solutions.

Design thinking is an extremely powerful thing, especially when approached in the right way. The formula is simple: Search out the problems, and then fix them, integrating what you know both about the social and scientific or technological environments currently present.

If you do that, you will do great things. Innovation is everyone’s responsibility. There are too many problems for us not to all try and solve them. Good luck. Think social!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

2010, and Still Very Much in the Dark

It’s not rare to hear middle-aged people go on about the technology we have now; the cell phones, and the video games, and everybody’s busy lives. But for all the talk about how advanced we are and how everything’s getting so uncontrollably complicated, there’s not enough talk about the truth of the situation.

The fact is, as a country, America is pretty advanced, but in the age of the world wide web, there’s a lot of that web still missing from the picture. The internet has the ability to transform commerce, transform communication, and transcend boundaries. It could be argued that it’s the most important thing missing throughout the world.

The internet has means of education, means of trade, and opportunity. Food and water sent from a rich country can save a life, but it cannot sustain it.

For all the talk about how advanced we are, I think it’s time we start realizing that the rest of the world is still very far behind. When we think about “our” situation, we need to think about it from the perspective of the world as a community, because in reality, and even more so in the future, we are all connected.

I am undoubtedly a huge advocate for more innovation and more technology, but in these circumstances, I would readily support a stand still of all progress in developed countries, in order to catch under-developed countries up at least to America’s standards, which are certainly not the highest, but would still be great for the world.

This stand still would never happen, but I am hoping that with the coming technologies to emerge out of the developed countries in the years to come, a solution to this problem can be found that brings, if nothing else, widespread internet access and computers to the world.

America, Europe, and parts of Asia may be relatively advanced, but in many parts of the world, there’s still not much difference between now and 200 years ago. We tend to make a huge separation between us and ancient people, or even the victorians, but as a whole, we are not much different, and as a world community, we still have a long ways to go.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Browsers the Future of User Profiles? Step it up Chrome!


Today while perusing my Alltop page, I found a post titled: What will be the successor of the current user profile in online networks? by Eric Mariacher. In the post he stated:

My answer is: I guess LinkedIn is pioneering the “successor of user profile” with 3 specific features:
1. who you know – your network
2. recommendations from current and past colleagues
3. LinkedIn Q&A feature where you can advertize your skills by asking and answering question. from what I understand this is what you call “software usage”.

When I read this, I needed to make a comment. LinkedIn is pioneering the successor of the user profile? If that’s what pioneering is, then what is Beat-Play? These three features are cool, and very useful from a professional standpoint. They add reasons to have a profile, other than telling everyone that you’re at the ski lodge for the week so robbers will have open access to your house.

Adding practical functionality is always good, but these uses alone are not enough. Not only should the profile represent you professionally and personally, but imagine if your profile information was tied to the content you view online, and your web use in general. Imagine if you accessed all of your favorite stored content through your profile. Imagine if you only needed one profile!

The future of profiles online will lie in the browser. It seems like a strange concept at first, but given a closer look, it just seems practical. There’s literally millions of websites out there, and every one pretty much does something different, and useful. This goes back to my Toolbox post from last week. We need a place to keep all of these great tools, and the browser is the place to do it.

Browsers like Safari, and now Chrome, are beginning to offer quicker ways to access your favorite sites, by offering a function that shows you screens shots of your favorite websites upon launch, so you can easily 1-click and be off. However this is only a very small way browsers can save us time.

Many websites I use require me to sign up, register, and usually create a profile. For many people, this is a big deterrent from actually using some sites. There have been attempts by companies to create universal profile systems such as Open ID, and many others. However this also requires a person to create a profile, and then not all websites support these forms of identification, or they support one, but not another.

A better solution would be for the browser to house the user’s profile information. Think about it. There are about 5 major browsers on the market today. Compared with the number of websites, which is the more universal medium? If even the top 3 browsers had systems to store profile info, the websites would have a much easier time integrating their logins with those browsers. Many websites already make Firefox Add-ons and widgets. It’s become extremely easy, especially with the open source browsers, to integrate websites into them. Also, it wouldn’t be too hard to sync a user’s Twitter, Myspace and/or Facebook profile with a profile stored on a browser – the ultimate solution!

I cannot wait for the day when I go to sign up to a new website and it asks me to agree to the terms, and then I get a little box that says “Syncing to Browser Profile Data.” That would sure save me a headache, and it could be an amazing thing for websites as well.

But hey, if the big browsers wait to long, then shit, I’ll just have to do it myself. Browsers are for sure the future of profiles, and in my opinion, computing in general, even over OS’s, just ask Google.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

The Loss of Competition in Tech

The key to success is knowing something nobody else knows. It seems to me that too many of the people in the web or tech fields are strictly focused on what everybody else does know, and they don’t take this information and use it to create the next big evolution, but instead, they try to create something that fits into what everybody else is already talking about, or are focused on at the moment, in order to fit into a perceived market trend.

There also always seems to be much speculation about what the next big trend will will be, but usually we end up being very wrong. For example, many people are betting on the tablet PC to be the next BIG innovation, however, I will suggest something later in this post that could make the tablet PC obsolete, and even if it isn’t realized now, the chances are that someone will realize it eventually, and it will then take the place of the tab. I will give you a very recent example of why this issue occurs.

Currently, and widely because of this years CES Convention, the web is buzzing about tablet PC’s and iSlate speculation, and eReaders. It seems to me that in both categories, there are many competitors with extremely similar products. At least all of the big brands out there seem to be following a trend. There aren’t very many different solutions in terms of features and technologies.

How could they all have come out with similar products at the same time? The future of eReaders and portable PCs is so uncertain.. How could they all have come up with the same answers to the same questions, and especially when there are many different directions left unexplored by any of them?

It seems to me something fishy is going on, like they’re all talking to one another.. However, the fishy big companies aren’t the only causes of the problem. There just doesn’t seem to be any push from new companies to completely out-do their bigger competitors and introduce an innovation that makes their competitor’s products obsolete. Maybe it’s lack of resources, but I know if I’m a venture capitalist, I’m going to invest in innovation*.

The one hardware example of a new company at least slightly distinguishing themselves from their competitors has to be Plastic Logic with their Que proReader (shown at top) that is designed specifically for business solutions. But as luck would have it, eReaders may be in danger of becoming obsolete all together due to evolving portable PCs that can do almost infinitely more.

I think the winner of this debate for the hardware would be Light Blue Optic’s Light Touch 10 inch touchscreen projector; but even this has many problems, or holes, in functionality that could prevent this particular model from going to the next level. Imagine if this product was also a mini PC, but the screen expanded to Microsoft Surface proportions. It could potentially make the Surface obsolete, and in the process maybe the tablet PC as well, due to no limitations on screen size, with much less hardware, therefor less price, and the same capabilities. Why hasn’t Light Blue Optics figured this out?

It’s the same story with websites and apps. There’s about 182,000 (not accurate) music websites out there, all with extremely similar models, and if not, with similar problems. For independent artists, they either charge you too much upfront without you being guaranteed results, or they’re free but offer you no way to actually promote your music other than spamming people, or you need to use more than one site because one provides a tool that you need that the other doesn’t have, and vice versa. There’s many similar problems from a fan’s perspective as well. Why can’t someone come up with a website that solves ALL of these problems for everybody!?! (Beat-Play)

It seems that even with all of the amazing possibilities that the web is capable of providing, with a market place driven by poor competition, still, nothing is easy.

You might say “But Dante, it’s not so easy to innovate in a field these days. Where do you even start?” And I’d say to you “But it really is! And you start with your competitor’s products.” An innovation doesn’t have to be some huge evolutionary leap, like morse code right to Telephone, it just has to solve a problem that is currently put up with by society. Be the person to solve that problem, and your company should be off to a great start.

Try using your competitor’s products. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. If you don’t know what industry to start with, chances are you’re a consumer of something..what problems do you face with products? I once saw a great TED Talk by Charles Leadbeater, about the occurrence of innovation. He talked about how the invention of the mountain bike didn’t come from the R&D labs of major companies, but they came from the consumers. Avid bikers became fed up with the restrictions placed on them by the big companies, and they began modifying, and eventually selling their modified bikes. The mountain bike industry today accounts for 65% of all bike sales in America

By looking at all of the slate computers, and finding the fundamental problems, creating an alternative to these problems becomes a lot easier, instead of creating something that poses the same problems. It seems that many times the major company’s definition of “compete” is to create a product with almost identical features as the other company’s products, so when you’re in the store staring at both of them on the shelf, you’re so confused that hopefully you’ll end up picking their product. This is either lunacy, stupidity, or treachery towards the consumers. I have a feeling there’s a little bit of all three floating around in this marketplace somewhere.

People only pay attention to the products of existing companies when it comes to hardware. The web is the only medium where mass mainstream media advertising can have absolutely no effect on the success of a website. In other words, a website can completely explode, seemingly overnight, with no TV commercials or billboards up initially whatsoever.

For almost every other major industry, advertising could make or break you, which is why new competitors don’t arise very often. But, it turns out that the internet and social-ecommerce could very well offer a solution to this problem as well, especially with the massive networks of people being created by the Web 2.0 revolution. However, how the internet can make advertising obsolete is a subject for another blog.

For now, if you’re a consumer who wishes they weren’t constrained by company or brand restrictions, then now is the time to do something about it, and come up with the solutions to those problems. You might as well, the big companies aren’t going to solve them. The key to success is knowing something nobody else knows…or admits..

Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

*However it is worth noting that most venture capitalists are probably in their 50’s-70’s and they’ve seen so much innovation in their lifetimes, that to them, they kind of have the outlook that enough is enough. They may even resent the fact that the world will continue to advance without them. At least this is my theory. I also happen to think the world would be a much better place if run by intelligent people in their 20’s. I should also note that I’m 21 :).

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine