The future of our living room

worlds are shifting. seriously…

all around me i see the matrix moving all around – where ever i look…

examples? aplenty.

digital media consumption: slate devices are here to rule the world. the more i play around with my ipad the more i realize how wonderful a 12h battery can serve humanity on the go. and that is key here – on the go. consider it a platform and not a gadget. mobile devices are here to stay. desktop computers? time to turn them into art. they are out the door in terms of dominating the market. face it – we consume, and we consume a lot. in 2010 who is not HDD? seriously… having all media streamed and centralized in a long hour operating device with a crisp device and intuitive interaction will break all barriers. from kids to astronauts. it is just a matter of time.

learning: kids will benefit much from slate devices (BTW, there are over 8 competitors about to launch their products and compete head to head with apple’s ipad). i see kids carrying a huge school bag on their small backs, all these massive books – i say no more! soon enough all the material will be available as a digital book, that will fit within the pound a a half a salte device weighs. with many hours of operation it is a no brainer for schools. moreover, the content can be layered with videos AND become interactive. how about that for creating interesting course material, tests, quizzes and home work?

the kitchen: yes my friends, the kitchen. one of the most important and fun rooms in any house hold – the room where we feed our body, the room where mostly women spend time (excluding metrosexual guys who care for their bodies like myself) to prepare meals for their families. how come there is no digital help there in 2010? sure, we have DVD players etc, but that is used to consume media. how about enhancing the experience in the kitchen? from social media, videos of recipes, timers, integration and interaction with consumer products, baby monitoring and much more. times are shifting my friends, didn’t i mention that?

the living room: yes – last and definitely not least, the title of this post. the real cash cow of media and hardware companies. the area where we will notice aggressive and fierce competition. let’s start with what we have today: we have a one direction big screen and a cable company that decides what we can watch, when and at what cost. they shove commercial right where we don’t want them and make billions. all of that my friends will rapidly change. to date, youtube video uploaded in 2 months accumulate to more footage ever released by all major networks aggregated within the last 20 years. incredible isn’t it? the future is prime content mixed with user created content that will become more and more high end as we go along. check out gary vaynerchuk and winelibrary.tv for prime content centered around wine. and more people are doing their own home production while building brand equity.

so we have great content in our finger tips. what will shift is the hardware. more and more TVs will be released in the near future that will run an operating system. like android, windows and mac/iphone OS. what that means is that the TV will become interactive and essentially a new product. TV 2.0. not widgets a la samsung. but a real computer that has a huge and beautiful display, input and outputs that can allow decoding of HD video and audio signal etc. all we got to expect from a TV, but the control moves back to us – the consumer. and this will happen not a moment too soon.

how long will it take apple to create a beautiful 50″ backlit LCD that runs the iphone OS, which allows multi touch and can be turn into a table when u want a flat user interaction? there are a couple of android based TVs coming out very soon from japan. face it. the TV can and should do much more than it is doing today. screw the big networks – power to the people. consume media when u want it and how u want it. let me buy the episodes i like directly to my set top box, sync it with all my devices seamlessly and make sure i can collaborate around it with my close ones.

if so far we had seen a great and exciting new ecosystem rising – the appStores. from apple to android, blackberry and samsung. we will see apps made for the TV as well. and here is where i ask you – what kind of apps can u envision being used in the living room? how will the TV enhance the usage and integration with other devices around our living space? our phones, our slates, and in the future maybe our cloths and appliances.

worlds are shifting my friends – they are shifting…

iphone killer…qu’est-ce que c’est…

since jobs introduced the iphone the world has gone crazy, hasn’t it?

"iphone killer"

people are now connected to the cloud 24/7, with push access to their emails, calendar, sharing locations with the GPS data, streaming music and videos, playing fantastic games where ever they are, and overall living a better world, while having a copy of their digital life and a serious access point to the world in their pocket.

what can i say?

for the 6 years i have been in the US, i used the same shitty phone i got as a part of the deal from t-mobile when joined. it never really made sense to switch because nothing made sense to me. i remember playing with a palm pilot back in the day. my college roommate showed it off, pulling the stylus out, managing his calendar and notes. i thought it was boring. what a clunky big device that i need to carry on top of my desktop (did not have a laptop back then, they were too expensive) and cell phone… i need to sync my note with that cradle thing only when connected, and the worst of it all, i had to pull out that silly stylus and practice the letters which corresponded to the alphabet.

yes, hard to believe, a hard core techie such as my self, using an old nokia for so many years… i did not jump on the blackberry wagon when it came out. did not understand why i needed to pay so much and use such a huge device. i was waiting patiantly until a device came along that could do more, that would make sense, that will be existent in the cloud as possible and will be a true companion.

the iphone did and still does all of that for me. and then some.

first, i read 90% of all my feeds through the iphone, it is quick and efficient. i sync my calendar over the air (over 11 different ones) which i share with people all over the world, i do voice recording, follow my stock portfolio, weather, get instant directions based on my location, find the magnetic north, measure short distances with a sonar, measure BPM, play strategy games, stream my personalized radio stations from pandora, tether my data plan, study musical chords, connect with the vark community, listen to police radio, follow global financial trends, retouch my images, shop and eat healthy and “locavorilly”, tune my guitar, search for metals, play the ocarina, wire money, search for flights, tweet, skype, tether my nikon DSLR, learn about the universe, search for sexual offenders, post to my blog and more.

yes, there are over 100K apps in the app store, and a big challenge is interfacing the good ones. Lots of people got rich, lots of people are about to get rich, and us, the consumers are the biggest winners here.

the iphone did what no other phone could (yet many had tried, and still trying), revolutionize the way we interact with technology on daily basis. finally, we found ourselves connected to each other 24/7, and all is within a couple of finger swipes away. thank you apple.

many companies have been looking at apple take the lead. many had seen apple’s stock more than double itself. when jobs previewed the iphone i bought apple stock for the first time. they were less than $80 back then. easy bet wasn’t it?

the question that troubles CEOs around the world is, what is next? what can match up the success of the iphone?

at the moment there is only one answer i can think of: android.

i am a linux user and fan from the slackware days. you know, those days when installing linux meant using 7 floppy discs to boot the kernel. the days when u were able to install linux u were a guru.

android is one of the best thing, in my eyes, that could happen to this industry and google’s support in created an affordable device is spot on: give us something affordable that works. well, android does more than just that, and google’s tailored in services make it a great operating system. the real questions is: can the hardware manufacturers step up to the plate and provide quality phones?

in a recent post i had discussed google’s need to produce hardware lest it ends up where microsoft is: lagging behind, too big a ship to turn and respond (that article is here). there is something to be said about software licensing as opposed to full vertical integration (in the case of apple some horizontal as well). i said much in that article so give it a read if you find that topic interesting.

sooooooooo…. what is an iphone killer… is the droid an iphone killer?

sadly no in my eyes. sadly, because i am a firm believer in competition and capitalism. the free market creates such competition that we, the buyers, benefit from the most. but no, the droid is not an iphone killer because the hardware just doesn’t just cut it. first (and the debate can actually stop there), the battery cover keeps falling off. that my friends can be so annoying that the droid may find itself smashed on a wall.

but let’s ask this question from a different angle. what is missing on the iphone?

good questions, u answer… what is missing in the iphone indeed?
well, one thing is affordable (i.e. free) turn by turn voice commanded navigation system.

droid has that, and google made a bald move there, which came highly appreciated by consumers. clearly an app that is worth getting the phone for.

well… yes and no.

yes, it is a great app and i would love to have it available on my iphone, and certainly it is worth considering.. but no, because the iphone does so much more, and so elegantly, with gesture man, with multi touch gestures..

okay.. back to the last question: what does the iphone DOESN’T have?

it doesn’t have flash. yeah man. it doesn’t have flash…

WHY?

so many posts out there try to understand what is going on.. seems that adobe got pissed lately with apple and produced this message just to let us know that apple is holding all the cards…

in this post i am not going to dive into the details of how good the iphone processor is and what are the demands from flash are etc. what i do want to discuss (after quite an intro) is adobe flash 10.1 and air v2 that were released november 11th.

an iphone killer will have flash available to it, that can scale down to the needs of the phone, and will allow diligent development of creative apps, and especially especially games. think about it. the core developers for flash is much much bigger than the core developers for the iphone. while more developers out there are taking the cocoa framework challenge, there is still many of them out there who did wonders with the iphone. a quick mention would be “N the way of the ninja“, one of my old time favorite games build with action scripts.

now that air supports multi touch i can vision a rapid development of apps for an enabled phone. check out this video right here.

there are actually a ton of features that you can look into right here.

the iphone will have decent competition when a serious hardware will be developed AND an already available development platform is used (i.e. webOS or FLASH). i for one would love to see some serious competition for the iphone, and i hope the google phone will deliver it, so we can start enjoying better and smarter phones, and hopefully a much much reduced rate for our plans (white space unlimited data plan anyone?).

heck, maybe we WILL have an xPhone one of these days: check it out.

do it yourself video baby monitor (with multiple viewers)

this is a wonderful post by lauren hirsch over at TUAW. I love these type of posts, where a techie uses the equipment they have to create a whole greater than the sum of it’s parts.

here lauren uses an older mac mini and a webcam, combined with her computer-networking experience and a couple of apps, she creates a real-time baby monitor that allows her to view the crib via chat on any computer at home, on her iphone (soon pushed upon audio detection, when the baby cries for examples) and moreover, to allow friends and family worldwide see the baby in real-time.

The mighty mini, take two: DIY video baby monitor.

simply wonderful.

Innovative iPhone Developer Smule Raises $3.9 Million

one of my favorite tech companies out there today. wishing them great luck and i cannot WAIT to see what they have in stock for us soon.

PS-
my score for star wars is number 2 in all time views in the TV and Movie forum: http://ocarina.smule.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=13&start=0

Innovative iPhone Developer Smule Raises $3.9 Million.

Good luck guys.