Glass Fishing–maybe…
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Still chasing the Glass Application. I’ve got a number of ideas but researching the concept, development and execution takes considerable time.

The combination of motion computing and wearable computing is interesting, although the space requirements for motion computing and the reality of people looking at you is something to consider.

Society changes over time. When I was a little kid my grandfather always wore a watch. My father always wore a watch. People today use their cell phones and don’t wear watches as much. But suddenly the concept of a SmartWatch introduces that change. So I suspect while waving your hands in front of your face for motion based computing would appear odd now, in 10 years it may be common place.

Still that is a couple of years away (imagine sitting next to a person on the train or airplane using motion computing. You might edge a little closer to the aisle or ask the attendant to move you to another row). Or worse, they are watching a movie and swipe left to right for fast forward knocking over your drink.

Back to fishing for Glass. Which by the way, would be a fantastic motion based Glass app. Fishing. Fishing is a wonderful sport (catch and release unless they are big enough to eat). It calms you and gets you outdoors. I miss having a boat to be able to explore lakes and figure out where the fish are. For me its not the actual throwing of the hook into the water, it’s the scientific search for fish that I enjoy. Sonar, underwater video, water temperature and weather conditions all play into the search for fish. Sometimes I don’t even put a hook into the water at all, just search for the fish.

Still, a game would require more points of reference for the camera and while it is good, its not that good. So back to the drawing board, which by the way has a full trash can by it now.

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Connectify–great products, great company!!!!!
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There are a number of solutions that intrigue me from an enterprise perspective. One of the software solutions that I use heavily is a product from Connectify. They built a router from the API within Windows 7 (Microsoft didn’t implement the router for many reasons). Since the router they have also built a WAN/LAN acceleration toolkit called Switchboard.

In combination the two optimize your home network traffic as a WAN accelerator would do for your enterprise bandwidth. I use it at home when I need to move large amounts of data, and also to create a whisper network. I use the whisper network to capture and move traffic from the various (and frankly rapidly growing) number of sensors in the house. It let’s me take the existing traffic and as my good friend loves to say bifurcate it.

With the new version of their software Switchboard Pro, you can now connect to their servers on the Internet and receive a bandwidth boost. The product today will take every connection your device has (LAN, WI-FI, Cellular) and combine them into a single unified data stream.

It also allows you (as stated above) to bifurcate your network traffic. You can use a lower speed (and therefore different bandwidth) connected directly to your router heading to the Internet for the sensor data. You don’t need a high speed ac or even a g network for the sensors.

The three products are hotspot, dispatch and switchboard. Hotspot allows you to create a personal hotspot on your computer (Macintosh or Windows). Dispatch allows you to combine your connections (wired, wi-fi, cellular data). Finally switchboard takes you to high speed.

Overall I’ve been using these products since right around the time Windows 7 shipped. Well I started using the Hotspot product about 6 years ago. They have added the other two products over that time period.

Great customer service.

Great products.

If you are looking to speed up your network connection – I highly recommend these fantastic products (combined with Carbonite, and you have a killer home network solution)!


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Motion is the new touch.
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Motion is the new touch – multi-touch based motion computing is coming. There was a great Kickstarter project called Haptix multi-touch. The Macintosh version of the software was just released so I will be playing with that this weekend.

When I think about what is coming or what is next in relation to technology the sky is the limit now. What once was impossible is now within reach. Motion computing is growing, and it will in the end change a lot of computer interactions.

Presenters no longer need mice or presentation devices, you simply wave your hand forward or backward. People like me who talk with their hands will have to create special control gestures for moving forward and backwards with slides. Otherwise I will get lost in my slides.

Motion won’t work in cars – and I suspect voice command while effective shouldn’t be supported as much as it is. Its easy to get distracted and that isn’t a good thing while driving.

On a day like today when DC has 6 or more inches of snow and getting around isn’t going to be easy – personal presence devices connected to Google Glass devices would be impressive. You can interact with your pc while the Glass device interacts with your presence device. It wouldn’t in my case even need to be mobile all the time, just in my office when people drop by to say hi.

Controlling your personal presence device with motion would be a great addition. When you walk around a space your device moves around as well.

As I have said motion is the new touch. I wonder what the old motion is doing (touch) to catch up?


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The concept of a Bluetooth (BLE) hub…
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Bluetooth is an interesting problem. its very chatty and not as reliable as it could be. It also seems to have the single thread sweater problem (you know, one loose thread on the sweater, you pull it and now you have a hole in the sweater). I’ve noticed moving to BLE 4 that the range has increased (inside a house from basement to second floor used to be impossible – now it works). The ability of the device to maintain a reasonable charge has worked as well.

But the limits remain. You can only have so many total devices in your cache and you can only connect to a few at once. Its like the days of 8 bit computing. You can only cram so much data down an 8 bit path before the spinning sand dial of wait appeared.

One of the reasons is of course the what of BLE. It is low energy and has to live on a cell phone. Since none of us want to return to the days of 3 watt bag phones there has to be a better way.

I use BLE devices in my car, house and office. Although when I am on the run I use my headset, I don’t often try to use multiple BLE devices while I am moving. I learned that lesson a few years ago in falling flat on my face. I normally only use one to two at a time (Pebble is a BLE connection + ear piece two normally used at once). There has to be a BLE signal enhanced/multiplier or a device that you connect everything to, then simply connect your phone to your home.

You could do the same for your car (I have many fewer devices in the car obviously – but still there is radar, car itself, automatic device so there are truly three devices). This concentrator could be small, hard wired into your house and car. You could even make them smart enough that when you pulled into the garage they would do a handoff.

Based on my weekend of talking about what happens with connected devices I realize that this would present a new interface that could be hacked. So perhaps you limit that by only allowing them to pair if you press the button. That way at least if someone wants to hack your system they have to break the law first (car or house).

Someone has to have thought of this…


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Still searching for Glass…
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My first true IT boss many years ago used to say “On a clear disk you can seek forever,” I wonder if I am searching on a clear disk right now.

I am still struggling with the business case and need for a Google Glass application. I’ve struggled with that question for the past three weeks. The technology is very cool, and the device looks cool but cool doesn’t have business value.

Wandering around YouTube I found some interesting applications of the hardware. The GE solution was intriguing, improving the quality of HUD’s on the manufacturing floor. Turn by turn directions while walking was also a nice use of the tech. HUD for doctor’s and facial recognition round out my top four functional applications.

The problem is I can get a PICO projector and replace the need for the Glass Hardware quickly. Simply connect the small projector to your cellular phone and you can project your phone display on any wall. Plus you can make that display much larger and therefore makes viewing video even better.

Not being able to view video on the Glass hardware is a limit, it removes the value of it as a VR device. You can get the Sony HDMI goggles for less than the Glass Explorer costs and they are simply a 100 inch screen you can use for Video and Gaming. The Glass would be a nice form factor for that type of device.

The initial case is going to struggle until the Glass product and its competitors are out and about in the wild. Using them as meeting recording devices and QR readers (automatic) would be a significant value. Super imposing the map of a store, with your shopping list and then using the QR reader to remove the items as you add them to the cart would be a killer application. Being able to recognize faces and names would help me – I am terrible at remembering names frankly.

Once they are in the wild however things will change. Wearable computing has been as much a promise in the past 10 years as a reality. The Google Glass experiment shows that in fact wearable computing has come a long way. So, I will keep looking to find the 5th application of the Glass, there has to be another solution that is just outside what I see now.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The great age of innovation, and risk!
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Yesterday I blogged about the concept of home appliances being hacked and in the end not acting as we would expect them to. Somewhat tongue in cheek I added the concept of my being on a diet to explain the why of no sugar in the house.

If however, we take a moment and dissect the reality of where we are there are many interesting concepts to consider.

Personal device security – you see on television and in various media locations the concept of cloning and ultimately activating your phone when you are aware of it. There was a recent iPhone issue published that frankly revealed that you could in fact seize an iPhone and turn on the camera and audio without the owner knowing it. The same is true for every other phone that is sold. So in fact your device can be hacked without you knowing it.

The other side of this is beyond personal devices and into the realm of home security and safety. There are a number of devices and systems now that support remote home connection. Some are push (from the device to the Internet) and some are push/pull. The example in a recent article was the concept of a fridge sending spam mail as a spam-bot.

There are a growing number of smart devices. Door locks that can be opened and closed remotely – who gets sued when that gets hacked? A system that opens your front door also shuts off your home security system for convenience. Burglars simply need a hacker and a connection to break into your house.

The same is true for garage doors, video security systems and many other home systems. The reality of our world today is not that anything can be hacked. It is that everything at one point or another has been hacked. I have a great health device that measures my blood pressure, another that uses my phone to check your BAL (blood alcohol level) in both cases these are uploaded and well, you blow a high BAL – and the device should notify the cops that in fact you are driving. As for the BP – if I were the president of the United States or the CEO of a major company my BP would be critical information.

We live in a great age of innovation. We also live at the edge of risk. If you aren’t careful and don’t take proper precautions the potential exists that your world will change, rapidly. Taking the road less traveled now is as risky as taking the traveled road. Now you have to walk softly as an Teddy Roosevelt said “carry a big stick.” But Teddy’s stick – you also have to pay attention.

I love the old adage “I don’t have to our run the bear – I just have to outrun you.” In the new age of innovation and risk you have to be careful who you are running with as well.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Secure your Internet connected fridge…
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Yesterday my fridge was compromised. I know it was compromised by Malware. Why? Well the following tell tale signs:

  1. The door was open
  3. The vegetables had increased somehow
  4. The fruit door was sealed
  5. The light wouldn’t come on
  6. The fridge wouldn’t stop running

I’ve designed a defense in depth strategy involving the fruit rotting so that no one touches it, including the malware. I’ve created a defense in depth strategy by removing all bar codes from the food. When it enters the refrig it is anonymous. When it leaves the fridge it is anonymous. Taking the labels off has also made dinner more fun, you never know what you are getting. In fact to prevent future malware I’ve taken the precaution of removing the label from all containers in the house. Please note if you are coming to the house for dinner Windex and Spray butter are in the same place and sadly the same bottle, so spray your hand first just in case.

The only problem is that the malware is smart. I can’t open the refrig door now it is sealed with a chain and padlock. I suspect based on that the malware has taken over my 3d printer and created the resulting chain. That means I should be really careful walking in the house as the printer may be spewing out Lego’s for me to step on.

Hopefully my Internet connected front door and garage doors will continue to remain un-hacked. Otherwise I will be stuck inside my house for the foreseeable future and I haven’t been shopping yet or so the flashing light on my refrigerator is saying. Why I put a second refrig on my list I will never know. And why is it important that the new fridge be female. I didn’t know they even were sexual beings. Hopefully my door doesn’t ask for another door, I can’t afford the cost of installing one – luckily I think the garage doors are already married (they are side by side after all).

(oh my – please ignore this post. I’ve just realized my fridge issues are because I am on a diet, not malware gone bad. Additionally the Lego’s around the floor are because children live in my house not that my 3d printer has gone mad).


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow