Smartphones

Dock It.

One thing that has always baffled me about my iPhone is the why it comes with a wall charger but no dock. Actually I know why it is. It’s all about the money, and by not giving you a dock they ask you to buy one for 40 bucks. The thing is, when I am shelling out the kind of money Apple want’s for a phone, the least they could do is toss in a dock. I hate the wall plug with the power cord snaking out of the wall across my counter or desk.

Thankfully though, if you want a dock you don’t have to give your money to Apple or whoever made your smartphone. You can instead opt for Native Union’s which costs about the same and frankly looks better, especially when it is bundled with their belt cable. I also like the fact that this design gives your phone additional support so the weight of your phone isn’t placed exclusively on the lightning connector and the port on your phone. (I’m pretty sure this is what eventually caused my old phone to stop charging and the port to eventually fail)

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Wonderful WonderCube.

I love well designed multi-function things that make my life easier and better. In this case I am specifically talking about WonderCube a one inch cube that can charge, sync, light, read a memory card, stand, function as a portable drive, and connect to any USB device for your phone. At 50 bucks it is totally worth it, if for no other reason than the emergency charge your phone with a 9Volt battery feature. Right now you can pre-order the cube on Indiegogo until April 15th. I think I am going to get 2 of them. Yes I’m that impressed.

Ben Canales, Three Days with the iPhone 6.

Five years ago, the idea of producing a video like the one below with your mobile phone was a pipe dream. The technology simply wasn’t there yet. Roll the clock forward though and look at just how far we have come. How far we have come in just the last couple of years. The video below was produced by Ben Canales a pro shooter who owns Uncage the Soul Productions. Yes the guy knows what he is doing with a camera, but even though he has serious skills shooting video, don’t fool yourself and say that is why this video looks this good. This video looks good because the hardware and software in smart phones has gotten that good. Canales film a fun three minute run through the Siera Nevada mountains as he learns all the new features of the phone and software. For more info you can read all about it on Vimeo here.

Skateboard Time Collapse.

Heres a bend your noodle little video to start your week off right. This was shot on a Nokia Lumia 930 by Cy Kuckenbaker, and features skateboarder Cory Juneau. This is a total of takes that have been composited together to create a seven scene video. The timelapse footage features no CG work and is absolutely mesmerizing. This is all part of a promotional channel for Microsoft to show off the capabilities of the camera in the smartphone and frankly I think it’s a winner.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/101557016″>Skateboarding Time Collapse: Shot with the Lumia 930</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/windowsphone”>Microsoft</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

My iPhone was naked Until It Found Aegis.

My iPhone runs naked with no case at all. When I picked up my 5s last year I did buy a case that was probably the thinnest I had ever seen. The thing was about as thick as a fingernail, and because of this didn’t offer any real protection against dropping it. I got it because it was nearly invisible and didn’t take away from the design aesthetic of the phone itself. I stopped using it because it was so thin it tended to flex and allow dirt and other pocket funk to get between it and the phone. I would have probably picked up another case, but the problem is, most are either butt ugly or so big they make the phone hard to fit in a pocket. So my phone has been naked for the last 9 months.

Today when I was out on Kickstarter looking around I came across MRD and the iPhone case they are milling out of a solid block of aluminum and I thought, “this I could do”. The Aegis iPhone case and wallet are CNC machined and processed to the same exacting standards as Apple products with a measurement accuracy level of .0005 inches. Thats less than the diameter of a human hair.

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Designed by Michael Rahban, the sleek case and wallet are produced from a solid block of 6061 aluminum, glass bead blasted, and anodized in the very same process that Apple currently uses. This allows the case to be aesthetically pleasing, and extremely durable. The design mirrors the design integrity of the iPhone itself   down to the chamfered edges on the case. Inside there is a nanofoam suction pad securely holds the phone in place ensuring that your case and phone do not separate when an impact occurs.

The wallet has some unique features as well. The materials provide a blocking mechanism against having your credit cards scanned by nefarious criminal types. It looks as though it will hold quite a bit, and it can be combined with the phone case to create one complete package. To really get an idea of how it works, click through one of the links above and watch the video.

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“Sensory Overdrive”. Land Rover’s Interactive Print Campaign.

This might seem a bit gimmicky but the results are pretty impressive. Y&R NYC created an interactive print campaign with social hooks for the new Land Rover Sport. Using Blippar’s Augmented Reality technology, readers of the ad were encouraged to use their smartphones to unlock additional interactive content. This gave readers an opportunity to experience the car in a tangible-digital way, activated from the large scale print campaign. The campaign became one of Blippars top five campaigns of all time and generated over 66,000 interactions in the first week of deployment.

The video below highlights what the interactive ad actually did and is worth a quick view. This is another great example of how print, and mobile are merging, and how publishing is embracing technology to continue to make the medium viable. I have a feeling we are going to see more and more of this kind of thing in the future. I guarantee as it becomes more ubiquitous, the number of interactions will continue to grow.

 

So You Want to Stop People From Texting and Driving.

iphone4-1This morning while I was drinking my coffee and watching the news, there was a story on Good Morning America about New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo cracking down on texting and driving. I say you go governor. The thing is, I think there is a much easier and cheaper solution to the problem. One that doesn’t involve law enforcement, and can be easily implemented by hand set manufacturers, and software developers.

Smartphones are rapidly becoming the standard in the United States. Every smartphone on the market has one universal feature. They know where they are and how fast they are moving thanks to motion detection, GPS, and any number of other hardware and software specific features of the handset. So, why don’t we simply require smartphone manufacturers to disable texting if the phone is traveling in any direction faster than 10 miles per hour? Now before you can say what about when I’m riding on a plane, or high-speed train? If the phone is traveling faster than, lets say 120 miles per hour, texting services work.

I think this is a fairly straightforward, easy to implement solution. It could be achieved with a simple software update to iOS, Android, and Windows mobile operating system, and it could be adjusted with updates in the future. It wouldn’t get every phone in use, but it would probably get about 80 percent or more.

So I’m thinking it could work like this:

  • If my phone is moving faster than 10 miles per hour in any direction I can’t text
  • When I get to a stop light texting remains inactive for 30 seconds (the typical length of a stoplight)
  • If I travel faster than X mph my phone lets me text again.

It might piss people off at first, but so did seat belts and other devices that have made driving a hell of a lot safer in the last 100 years.