Posts Tagged ‘technology’

iPhone Dependence

April 30, 2014

iOS-6-2

For the last few months, I have been traveling non-stop for work. I run a business off of my iPhone. For me, that little rectangular screen is my link to the world. I have multiple email accounts, a phone, my calendar, an address book of contacts, a clock, the weather and even access to my gym and more, all in this handheld device.
On Saturday, I tossed it in my bag, tucked the bag under my arm and 15 minutes later, when I reached for my phone (to get loyalty points at the fish market, no less), it was gone. I turned the house upside down, although I knew I had just unplugged it from the charger before I left. Clearly, I was pick pocketed. I called it, and tried the “find my phone” app, but it was turned off.Game over.

Being just weeks away from upgrade eligibility, and not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars extra for the same item, I called AT&T for help. While they graciously agreed to let me purchase the phone for $199, vs. the $649 charged at the store if you are not in the upgrade window, I had to agree to wait for them to ship the phone to me. I embarked on a business trip, sans phone and proceeded to function as best I could, without the benefit of technology.

Without the easy access to check the weather, I left the house dressed for the temperatures in New York. While the sun was shining and it was projected to be sunny and in the low 60’s there, in Boston, it is damp, grey and freaking cold! My train was delayed and I could not call the car service to let them know I would be late.

When I arrived, I quickly logged in and out of multiple email accounts. I recreated my calendar on paper to account for the next few days of meetings. I emailed people to let them know I would not be easily accessible for the next few days. I even asked one of my contacts  to email me the day before our appointment as a reminder, since I didn’t have a calendar to put them in.

I hope I wake up in the morning, without my alarm to help me along. I am not sure I will be able to workout, without music to facilitate my run on the treadmill, or my circuit training app to spur me on. Forget my food and exercise diary, or twitter for that matter. I even had to contact a client to get the log in information for their social media accounts which I manage.

Don’t expect a call, as I have no record of your number, my passwords for almost anything, or a reminder to take care of things. In fact, if you need me, just write a letter and mail it to me. I am out of commission.

On the other hand, there is something nice about just living in the present, away from the constant need to check email, keep up with the Joneses on Facebook, or photograph dinner.

It is amazing how I spent a good part of my adult life without the benefit of portable technology. I finally got a cell phone when I had a child and wanted to be reachable at a moment’s notice. Shortly thereafter, my company purchased Blackberries, and the madness began. While many people were not yet using them, there was a constant stigma to “put away the Crackberry,” as we often called the addictive little device. Then came the iPhone, which disrupted the entire population by providing easy access at the touch of a screen.

Men and women, young and old, are now tethered to their devices, on the street, in the car and out in public. It is not unusual to be in a meeting, or even a restaurant, with everyone sitting around the table, punching frantically away on their smart phones. Even the bathroom is no longer a sacred place.

At what point is technology a good thing, and when do we realize as a society, that we have gone too far?  So far, I am 3 days into my smart phone cleanse, and I am happy to report that I am functioning, albeit slightly inconvenienced. With my laptop at the ready, I have to admit that it isn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be.

I often reach for it instinctively, and realize it’s gone. Then I step back and find a way to accomplish what I need to do the “old school” way, and for now, it’s working out just fine.

How dependent on your smart phone are you?

Solar Charge Me

June 20, 2013

Three businesspeople leaning on a wall, looking at phones and digital tablets

The first of many solar powered charging stations went live in New York City yesterday, providing residents with a place to charge their precious smart phones.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to be sure the city had the infrastructure to weather future emergencies.

He said in a statement yesterday: “New Yorkers will have improved connectivity and access to the wireless technology that has become such an important part of our daily lives.”

The 12.5 foot poles will have adapters for both iPhones and micro USB powered devices. AT&T is funding the project at no cost to the city, and is also providing free Wi-Fi, at parks throughout the area.

For those of us who hiked several miles uptown to get power to charge our electronic devices last Fall when the super-storm rendered lower Manhattan powerless for several days, this could be a lifeline for future situations. Like when our batteries run low while picnicking…

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Dance for Your Music

November 29, 2012

Scottish Musician Calvin Harris is offering his new album for free, via an iPhone app.

What’s the catch? The music only plays if the phone is moving.
It’s a fun ploy to encourage people to dance as they listen. The app also allows the user to unlock additional tracks by taking photos of the album cover.

For those looking for a more sedentary experience, the album, entitled “ 18 months”, is also available for purchase on iTunes.

Be on the lookout for more motion enabled apps in the future.

Sites We Love: The Cools

June 28, 2012

The Cools, a new website that launched yesterday, is the brainchild of Olivier van Themsche. The Cools is a social network, style platform and e-commerce site that is curated by trendy young ambassadors, such as Dree Hemingway, Lola Schnable and Lauren Santo Domingo. The site also has advisors, including Antoine Arnault, Lapo Elkann and Erin Featherston.

These bold faced names don’t ring a bell? Guess you aren’t as “cool” as you think you are. But no worries, you can join the site anyways.

The Cools use member profiles to connect users with bloggers and sellers that reflect their personal tastes. Members can scan the site and follow others as they hone in on their style.

“Brands, designers, creators and artists have the opportunity not only to sell their stuff but to tell their story,” van Themsche said in an interview with WWD.

The products are original and eclectic, and the user experience is more akin to Twitter or Pinterest than eBay.

Be amongst the first to join the site and start interacting with The Cools.

photos:  The Cools

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Designer Food Stuff

May 25, 2012

Everything is getting the designer treatment these days, and food is no exception.

Here are 2 innovative concepts that take the culinary experience to the next level:

It’s not trendy enough to just eat sushi, now we need to design the seaweed wrappers too!
Japan’s Umino Seaweed Shop has created rolls of nori (the seaweed that sushi is wrapped in) that are laser cut into designer patterns.

Five precut designs are available, each based on an element of Japanese symbology.

Custom coffees and text messaging have become an obsessive part of our lives. Now you can receive a message in your half –caf soy latte and kill two birds with one stone!

Seattle based cloud texting company Zipwhip, has created Textpresso, a machine that can not only send and receive text messages, but can print them in your coffee foam too!

Zipwhip has merged the espresso machine with an android app that has SMS capabilities, and installed a printer stocked with edible ink. It can print short messages in your coffee foam, to personalize your morning joe.

What will they think of next? Any ideas?

photos courtesy of Springwise

Don’t Be A Slouch

May 9, 2012

Everyday, I start out sitting at my desk with near perfect posture. That very quickly deteriorates into a slouch, and by 4:00 I have slipped down so low in my chair, that my feet are under someone else’s desk.

Sound familiar? Guess what? There’s an app for that!

LUMOback is currently developing a flexible wireless sensor, that will monitor and measure the wearer’s posture. When the user slouches, it will send gentle vibrations to the small of the back, as a reminder to sit up straight. The sensors are connected to a mobile app that not only monitors the user’s posture, but also offers advice on back health.

The LUMOback app is still in development but expects to be ready to launch their Beta program soon.

Check out their website to be part of the trail.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Stop Sending Dirty Texts

May 2, 2012

I admit it; I am a bit of a germophobe. I wipe down the equipment at the gym before I use it, and douse myself in Purell the minute I get off the subway. I hate food that others have freely touched (Salad bars? Yuck!) and wash my hands the minute I get in the door.

It is no surprise that I love this little invention: a device that sanitizes your cell phone while it charges.

PhoneSoap consists of a box with UV lights on either side to simultaneously clean both sides of the phone. The box can be used alone, or with the USB cord provided to charge it at the same time.

Three to five minutes of UV exposure is enough to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses and is considered safe for humans.

With one in every six phones testing positive for fecal matter, we think everyone needs one of these (or needs to stop pooping and texting at the very least!)

PhoneSoap is currently available for preorder on Kickstarter for $39 and will be delivered in August 2012.


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