Is the rise of smartwatches bringing back the wristwatch?

I won’t bore you with the long saga of why I wear a watch. I started many years ago because my grandfather gave me a watch. He always wore one, and well I wanted to be like him, so I started wearing one. I moved into the smartwatch world with a variety of GPS watches from Sunnto and Casio. I was looking for information and moved further towards smartwatches with the original Spot Watches. Spot watches connected to an FM signal that broadcast information globally to the watch.

The rise of Pebble, I was one of the very first backers of the very first Pebble was the original market shift in Smartwatches. The goal of Pebble was to create a connection between you the user and your smartphone. Making, the initial smartwatch. Samsung released its Gear Watch before the first Pebble shipped, but because of delays in Pebble’s delivery not because Samsung was the first smartwatch discussed. Pebble was the original smartwatch. I still have my original Kickstarter branded Pebble. It has a huge scratch on it, which is why I didn’t sell it. I fell while wearing the watch and scraped the surface of it, but I kept it anyway because it has Kickstarter printed on it.

I’ve moved to the Apple Watch family since right before the fall of Pebble (they are now part of Fitbit, but Pebble watches are no more). Frankly, with the newest Apple Watch, there are so many points of integration and value I am amazed at what I can do. It is cool to be like Dick Tracey and talk to my wrist. I am looking forward to the soon shipping CMRA that allows your watch to be a camera and a video/video chat device. Now, will smartwatches bring back the wristwatch? The wristwatch has been declining in overall numbers since the cellular phone explosion. Will smartwatches bring back the wristwatch?


watch lover

Cool Tech wander in 360 degrees

There are some things I have loved doing for many years. I used to be the add-on king of the pocket pc world. I loved my PPC and had sleeves that added value and abilities to the device making it more fun, effective and producing more information for me.

Since moving to the phone, I think I have gotten worse. Recently I backed a company Giroptic via Crowdfunding, and they delivered a 360-degree camera. It is not the best camera overall, but you do crowdfunding to back concepts and ideas. The second camera that they have delivered, now available on their store is beyond amazing.

It plugs into the USB C or the lightning port of your phone (USB C or USB if you have an Android Phone, Lightening if you have an iPhone) and gives you a 360-degree image of the world around you. I am going to post more 360 videos on Facebook – lots of cool options for sharing! I am uploading a view from my office to YouTube as well.

The first step towards AR/VR content is getting more and more 360-degree video into the wild. AR/VR producers need content to consume for the production of the AR/VR content.

Now, it is also quite cool. I’ve included a link to my initial playing (in my messy office) with the new Giroptic add-on. I suspect like the FLIR infrared add-on that the stand-alone cameras will provide better imaging (Bubl does already) but regarding the sheer usefulness, this is something I have with me (iPhone) and just need to remember to stick the camera in my pocket.

The future of things 360 is one I find incredibly interesting right now. As I said, earlier the reality of AR/VR is that they need content and 360 cameras and generate content quickly. The other side of having an attachment like that is the ability to see all around you with both images and video. The era of more than the eye can see now upon us!


cool tech wanderer

In search of a new headset…

Over the last ten years, I have had some headsets. Initially, the headsets I had were noise canceling first, and quality was also important. I had Bose noise-canceling headsets for travel that were well worn. The evolution of headsets is amazing. Now there are headsets that include video screens. There are still noise canceling of course, but the new ones integrate noise canceling and the ability to make VOIP calls.

In that world, I prefer the Jabra headsets. For VOIP I’ve gone with the USB connected Jabra Evolve 80. I have a wireless headset for my cellular phone, but frankly, I use it once a month or less. While it is small and easy to use, it just doesn’t help. The noise canceling Jabra headsets are nice. I have looked at their wireless headsets as well as a potential addition to my cell phone. There are days when I wander around the nearby pond while on calls just to be moving while listening, so the new Evolve wireless headsets are interesting.

That said I am curious as to what other people think about headsets. The small Bluetooth connected headsets don’t work for me. I prefer the type that covers both ears. In part because you get better noise management with those than with one ear uncovered. What do other people think?

I am going to get a new headset for my iPhone. I promise to read all comments, and I will do a review of whatever headset I end up buying.

Author’s Note: One of the things that drives me nuts is extra noise during conference calls. I use my car phone when in the car, when walking, outside or talking in the office I don’t want to hear all the people around me. I ended up choosing the Jabra Evolve 75 as my headset for my cell phone.



Indiegogo is dying, it makes me sad…

I wanted to continue my sad saga of Indiegogo project failures. We are still sitting at 21% of all technology projects backed fail and disappeared. The support team from Indiegogo says “you understand crowdfunding is a risk, right?” My initial answer to that is no. I started throwing and burning money when I was eight years old and just thought as an adult I would continue to throw money and burn it whenever possible. As the platform, I expect that Indiegogo will do a better job of making sure the right projects are presented.

A friend of mine recently reminded me that I back cutting-edge projects. I do in fact back cutting-edge technologies on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I don’t back anything on Indiegogo anymore. At all, ever, I keep my money on the much safer Kickstarter. Yes, Kickstarter projects also fail, but not in an epic way and not in the epic numbers of the Indiegogo failures. Plus you don’t get someone asking you if you understand crowdfunding. They ask you for the project, and they reach out ccing you to that project. I do understand that because I back cutting-edge projects my failure rate is going to be higher than the average crowd-funder. I find 9% at this point to be my Maginot line. Above 9% failed projects is bad. Below 9% failed projects are good. A project that I thought was dead on Kickstarter recently came to life with a post noting that they were planning on shipping soon, two years later than expected but still there That almost drops KS to 6% failure rate.

Failure means:

  • No project communication for more than 12 months

The sad thing is that Indiegogo has deep pockets in its corporate backer (IBM) and still epically fails. I have to say I have talked to a number of other frustrated IG backers and we’ve actually talked about a class action lawsuit. Originally we were just going to sue, but recently it was pointed out that there are a huge number of platform failures and a class-action suit might end up being a better thing. I really loved the concept, idea, and platform so it makes me sad that it comes to this.


considering a class action lawsuit

troubleshooting is sometimes remembering you just need to reboot.

One of the things that often confuses me about technology is the reality of troubleshooting. I still struggle at times with the reality of the way things work. On Friday of last week, in the early evening, one of the boys and I decided to head over to the grocery store to pick up things for a quick snack dinner. As we got into my car, it didn’t start. Look the reality of cars is you expect them to start. Right? You get in, turn the key and expect something to happen.

Nothing did happen though, I don’t have a key to turn just a button to push, but nothing happened. We sat there for a moment pondering what to do. I ended up calling for support. At the end of the call, the person suggested something to me that I have suggested 100 times to people when helping them. Shut the system down, walk away, give it a couple of minutes and then try it again. Frankly, it is the same as saying reboot your system.

Rebooting often works in the computer world because it forces everything to reset. It worked with my car as well. The car started after sitting for a couple of minutes. So, I felt stupid the truth be told. The person on the phone was very nice. My son was very nice. I felt stupid overall. Here was advice I had given 100 times or more to the people, and I didn’t even consider it in troubleshooting a problem. It reminded me that no matter how smart or good we may or may not be, there are always things we forget. My rule for troubleshooting system has always been getting to vanilla. Vanilla is plain, simple and frankly just makes it easier to troubleshoot going forward.

Lesson learned, relearned and this time hopefully remembered!


now if I could just remember where i left my keys.

Technology blog reboot

I have a friend that reads my blog. She has acted as my “monitor” for the past five or so years. By monitor, she reminds me when I have grabbed a topic, and shaken it to the point of it no longer being something I need to be shaking. She mentioned that in her email to me yesterday. Um, she said, as she usually does start a critique, you’ve beaten the who owns my image, and we are being watched thing to death let’s let it rest for a bit ok? The easy answer is, of course, I am ranting against a perceived injustice and shouldn’t stop. Did Dr. King stop? Did Gandhi Stop? No, they continued the fight until it was won. But my issue isn’t quite the size of the issues Gandhi and Dr. King were facing. My monitor is right, I have spent a lot of time on the topic so for a few days time to move on. I won’t drop right into another drone post, I have done a lot of those recently as well. My longtime monitor also mentioned that I had published a lot of digital camera pieces lately. She asked if I could perhaps explore another avenue of technology for a few days. What should I talk about? That, of course, left me struggling for a technology column. I decided to slip in a short piece I have been thinking about, in the area of cloud consumption. Most customer’s when considering cloud don’t think about consumption.

For example, if I have a data center, and I am running my solutions, I run that 24 hours a day. When I have the same set of solutions in the cloud, I do not have to run them 24 hours a day. When the solution isn’t needed, I can shut down my cloud assets. There are a number of tools in the space that automate the hours of operation. But why pay for more than you use? If you only need the solution from 1o is to 1 pm, then by all means turn it off the other 21 hours a day. What that also does however, is change the cost comparison for on-premise versus cloud solutions. If I don’t need the solution on all the time, I can reduce the cost of the solution in the cloud by a percentage. Consumption models are hard to build, but built correctly can easily generate the 20% savings that cloud service providers are always telling you about.



The concept of image privacy

Yesterday I connected to the security camera DVR and deleted all the images that were older than 30 days. It took me about 20 minutes mostly because I forgot the password and had to wait for the reset to occur, but once that was done, we were good to go in about 55 seconds. I did that of course because that is the rule I think should be in place. You do need to be able to review things that happen over the last 30 days. Criminals often case the place for longer than a week. In fact, they often case entire neighborhoods looking for the weak link in the herd. Having 30 days helps because you can look and watch the road.

If you see a car that shouldn’t be there, you can mention it to the neighborhood watch. Thirty days feels like the right amount to keep. I got quite a bit of email over the weekend from longtime readers saying that my ask was hard. Not wrong mind you, but hard. The right thing to do isn’t often easy. In fact doing the right thing is often harder than doing the easier wrong thing. We have laws today that are focused on the difference between public and private.

The reality of those laws is that they don’t reference what public truly is. You have the right to go to a park, and if you don’t wish to be photographed, you should be able to do so. Photographers are pretty good about not taking pictures of your family if you ask. Unless you are a celebrity, then you are screwed. That is, however, part of the problem. The other issue is that of all the cameras that watch us now. The justification that the law allows you to do something isn’t always the right answer. In this case, I worry that we are increasing the risk for everyone without taking into account what people will need in the future.

Sometimes the best thing isn’t the easy thing.


image privacy advocate