The Rise of the Wearables

WIRED’s article on Wearable Computers being the next big thing got us talking about whether  wearables were indeed what the future had ordered. When I was researching for the MSR Design Expo submission last year, I came across the fact that life-logging has been present since the early 1980’s. Pioneered by Steve Mann, who went on to found the Wearable Computing group in the MIT Media Lab, this was the beginning of wearable computing.

Steve Mann and his Wearable Device.
Steve Mann and his Wearable Device.

The start was almost 30 years ago and an idea ahead of its time. Today social media is brimming with people posting their day to day lives. Some do so with caution and a slew of new networks like Snapchat have risen to the occasion. Facebook has replaced my regular emails and Twitter my newspaper. To me, this is prime time for the rise of the wearable device. Smartphones with their multipurpose apps own the current era but they have that one fatal flaw; as Thad Starner, the technical lead of Google Glass and who spent nearly two decades wearing a wearable device, points out: “If you can’t get to a tool within two seconds your use of it goes down exponentially.” Wearables will be able to fix this gap. Already people are at work hacking this readily available tech for their advantage. Use cases like Patrick Jackson‘s fire fighting apps or Recon Instruments‘ sports training enabling devices are where I see the potential of these devices. Just the other day, I was part of a conversation where we were discussing which fitness device is a better buy. I think this should signal that wearable devices are very much a part of our future. This said, I don’t really like the idea behind Google Glass for “everybody”. Although designed with the core idea of reducing the time between their intention to do a task and their ability to perform that task, it does give the impression of not being there in the moment. I think the problem here is the obsession that people have with devices and services. Very often the human becomes the slave. Even though you seem to have access to capture every moment of your life today, how much of you remember living it?

Image Credit: Wikipedia and Avi Solomon

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Being Social

Pair is the latest app/social network that is creating a buzz in the west and most people would be wondering why anyone didnt think of it first ?  Actually they have but none have been successful.

A social network targeted at couples and especially at those maintaining a long distance relationship is quite a well thought fork to the idea of social. The Y Combinator backing they have is also giving them the essential technology press so that they will need to sell an idea that has been thought of before but never well executed enough to survive.

Pair also has some unique features like the “thumbkiss” which will surely be the next “poke”. Monetizing this app also would be simple and easy.

However i wrote this post not to share this app with you but because i was pondering on the unique negative scenarios that this app would produce  if it became the next big thing.

  1. An app can be installed only once in a phone, therefore would this reduce cheating ?
  2. Could this app actually help people cheat ?
  3. In case of a breakup, would an option of deleting the app signify an end to the relationship ?
  4. How about a new relationship ? would that mean that you would have an option to start using Pair from scratch ?

Also you should have noticed by now that the idea of social is shifting from the “have more friends”(Facebook) to “share with close friends”(Path) and the emphasis being on your “friends” being a very close knit group. This is the future of Social networking. Privacy concerns are the reason for this shift and come on, you wouldn’t really want to share many of the parts of your life with your entire network. That is why when i realized that, i stopped updating this blog in a diary like manner and its become more of a article like blog. Because you never know who’s watching.

Urban Dictionary: kenneth

Urban Dictionary: kenneth.

Kenneth 880 up, 162 down love it hate it

Kenneth is a chic magnet. He is the nicest straight guy you will ever meet. He is smart and sort of nerdy, but funny and cute at the same time. And of corse, he has awesome hair. Although he can be a butt sometimes, he is still awesome.
Eg: Look at that Kenneth over there! I envy his hair and chic magnatism

Kenneth 314 up, 29 down love it hate it

One of the most amazing guy’s you could ever possibly meet… He will really turn your world around. Make you forget all the things you don’t want to remember. Make you feel as if you’re the only two in the world when you’re with him. Kenneth is a guy you can always trust, no matter what. He will always know exactly what to say to make your heart race and make it beat faster and slower at the same time 🙂 Kenneth knows how to have fun and you’ll never find yourself bored when youre around him. Pretty much you will fall in love with him the day you look into his Gorgeoussss eyes. Kenneth is a wonderful addition to anyones life and it would be wrong not to meet one because NO joke… Kenneth is the most amazing,sweet and one of the funniest guys you will ever meet 🙂

Eg: Kenneth is one heckkk of a Kenneth. 😉

Some shameless ego venting 😛

Smstweeted yet?

I started to use Vakow! almost a year ago but the service sadly died midway through my VTU fest tweets. The tweets were cheap at 1ps and i missed them because i could only access twitter through Echofon(formerly Twitterfox). But recently i was pointed towards SMStweet.in by @Rishi

Now Smstweet is a service created by @mayanks and you can read more about it here.
This service is good for someone like me. I registered and tried it. It costs me 50ps to Tweet. But its still anyday better than the Premium sms rates or other methods of updating on the Go! This works for me when i need to tweet badly so i guess you’ll find more ‘on the go’ tweets from me.

A New use for Twitter

Twitter, the nano blogging service started in 2006-2007, has ever since then been in the news; maybe for its pros and cons. Its emerged as a more speedier of finding out about the latest events going on as tweeters the world over addictively tweet their thoughts on their profiles.
I was introduced to Twitter by Karthik , who had joined the service and I got hooked slowly. With the huge amount of applications available to make tweeting easier soon after its release , Twitter turned into a global phenomenon. There were other twitter imitators of which hardly any have actually enjoyed the fame and usage that twitter has. The usage was so high that some months back twitter servers were constantly down and this made a lot of people try alternatives but as soon as twitter was back to normal the people were back.
The reason that am writing the post is because recently I came across the new use of twitter, that is it along with twitpic acts as an efficient quiz blog. Take Tquizzer for example. Its tweets a question a day or so and then it tweets the answer the next day. Answers will be received via DM or direct messages. It prevents other users from checking out about the answers already submitted by other users. A normal quiz blog had this problem that unless the blog comments are withheld for moderation, the comments with the answer will be displayed at the bottom of every post thus perhaps helping others answer. Not that it would be some great sin to do so. But still it spoils all the fun and prevents us from knowing who the real geniuses are. So I welcome this new use of Twitter and am sure it will succeed and we will get to see more such profiles. Cracking the questions will still be tough unless you got the right search engines and a good brain on your side 😀

update: just came to know that Tquizzer was started by an online friend Manoj 😀

Vakow!d

Yeah thats a service that lets you twitter addicts in India to update your online twitter status from sms. It uses a normal 10 digit non-premium number and so you can just send an sms to it as explained in the simple how-to here.

i tried it out and found that the msgs were going through at the local sms rate(1 paisa for me).. am not sure that all of them will be recieved because i couldnt find one of my early morning twitter msg but overall its a better option to chronicle all the crazy things that i do instantaneously 🙂

follow me here.

Happy twittering 🙂

Social wars.

well a couple of days back , Orkut launched the application facility. Perhaps this much awaited move was a play to attract back a lot of people who seem to be quitting Orkut for Facebook. i know quite a lot of them who have already done this and some more are mulling abut deleting their Orkut account. I on the other hand am existent on both the networks for the apparent purpose that is networking. for a good bunch of my internet challenged friends, Orkut is the only link that they have to the world wide web. hence the need to retain my account.

one thing Orkut has done is that you dont need to invite more people to join apps u add- a fact that Facebook apps keep poking you with. Everytime you add a new app it asks you to invite a certain number of friends which effectively drains all the enthusiasm that you had. also it would be a nightmare going through the list of 400 odd people. Deleting apps is also easier in Orkut. just go to manage and delete them. The only problem will be that many people will ad all types of apps possible thus slowing down Orkut-the servers are busy missing their donuts. which is why i  have actually decided to clean out my Facebook profile of most of the apps and just keep the basic one up. Coming Soon.

One more thing that i wanted to write about is that there are some pretty crazy things going on out there in the networking /adworld. Advertising of other social networks like Bigadda and Ibibo appears on Orkut and Facebook. some type of ambush marketing?

Also highly irritating is the invite spam that you get when one of your friend joins up with some network or other. you can only get rid of them by signing up for the respective network or putting up a spam filter for those mails.Lucky for me most of those invites are directed to my old nowadays dormant Rediff account.

The war continues…..