I have in the past couple of month’s post a couple of cool tech reviews that I wanted to follow up on. The first one because the more I play with the software and hardware included in the system the more interesting I am finding the system.
So the posted review of Littlebits is here. When it comes to technology I have three goals. The first is to automate and simplify things that frustrate me today manually. So automation is my first goal. My second goal is to reduce the clutter of my office. Right now, I have failed miserably in that one. I have sold and donated more than 100 gadgets in the past 60 days and still have far too many in my office. The third and final thing I look for is expansion. By expansion I mean how many tasks can the gadget take on. So far I have played with three of the kits, Cloud Connection, Home Automation and the version 2 of the Gizmo’s and Gadgets.
I really like their software (iTunes and Google Play store). I’ve played around with it quite a bit and have an idea of a couple of projects I want to try. The Littlebits kits are well designed and they put considerable thought into not only how the boxes are arranged but how the items best survive the shipping process. I am really looking forward to what I could invent with Littlebits.
The next technology is the 3d printer. I recently donated my CubeX Duo. It was hard to use and ultimately not a good fit for what I wanted to do. The software was complex and set-up of printing was always frustrating. I researched for a while and ended up with the Flashforge Dreamer. The system is smaller, still offers two colors and loading PLA or ABS plastic is easier. 3d printing in general is about small items (unless you spend a lot of money) but it is also about complexity. As in reduce the complexity of going from dream, to answer.
So far the software from Flashforge is amazing. I find it easy to use, and it also works well with the various 3d creation systems. I have three different 3d scanners so it’s nice that it actually works well with all three.
Another technology that is just changing everything right now is the iWatch/iPhone 7 combination. I know most people don’t want to answer and talk to people via their watch. That falls into the category of those of us who grew up on Dick Tracey, but it is really useful. You can put your iPhone on the dock to change and walk away. 30 feet from your iPhone doing somethi8ng else you can still answer the phone and talk to your callers. Amazing!
I really enjoy the many screens you can use. I got that from my love of the Pebble, changing watch faces to suit my mood. The Apple Watch has some pretty incredible faces you can use. The other things it has at this point are amazing. You can connect your watch to your home automation package. Again, your phone is charging and you have your watch on. You can connect to your phone and your home automation system without taking your phone off the charger. A large number of applications have Apple watch companion apps. With the memory in the iPhone 7 I was finally able to have a device with all my audible books on it (the iPhone) and a device with all my other books (the Kindle Fire). That makes the commute even better now. I can play regular books and audible books in my car easily.
The last item up for today is the connected car. The concept of connection in the car is amazing. But when you add a car that insulates you from the road it is even more amazing. When your car and car phone are nearly imperceptible to other people on the call, it is amazing. When you feel like you are riding in a concert hall, it is amazing.
When you can call someone and have directions downloaded to your GPS, without having to spend 10 minutes using the virtual keyboard, that is also amazing. I really enjoy my connected car. The craftsmanship, the driving augmentation (from lane correction, to smart cruise control and radar when driving and parking) is just amazing. I wanted a Mercedes Benz when I was 15. It only took me a few years but I am really glad (and feel really safe driving in DC) that I finally got one. The Mercedes Benz GLE 350 is the best car I have ever owned.
Enough cool tech follow-ups for today. More coming, and another cool tech blast soon.
When you drive in DC all you see of other cars is taillights. Lots of Taillights!