Today in the US is called giving Tuesday. I set up the donations to the places I give money to, for my annual donations on this day. I have rules for charities, in particular, I do not give to any charity that talks about 20% or more of the money going to runt he charity not going to the actual helping. I do watch the organizations after I give, there are charities that were on my list five, six or more years ago that are no longer because they broke my one rule. Don’t spend lots of money running the charity.
Funny, I apply the same rule to crowdfunding campaigns.
If it looks like they are spending too much money getting to the starting gate, I stay away from the campaign.
That one simple rule, by the way, came from my Grandfather. He always said pay attention to what people are trying to sell, but more importantly, pay attention to how they are trying to sell it. You will learn more about the people in the company by how they approach the sale.
Technology is my passion. I love the inner workings of all the things you can do now, that were manual before. Based on that I have come to realize that I look at things and consider technologies long before the average person does. It is why I stopped featuring crowdfunding campaigns on my blog. For the most part, I am looking at things most people are not ready for. I now review the devices after they arrive (with a few exceptions).
One of the things I do is post every day. There aren’t always topics that are biting, cutting or sometimes even interesting. Lately, however, I have posted more than 6000 blogs on more than seven different blogging sites. That isn’t the point of this morning, more than in that period I have had some themes that lasted more than one or two blogs. The concept to me in technology that resonates and keeps popping back up is the digital projector.
First off there is two distinct type of digital projectors. The first is the static projector. I have had several stationary projectors in my home over the years. I have two different screens (one was my father’s) mounted in my house. One is mounted in my home theater. The other is mounted in my office. For mounted or static projectors you need a screen. I have a portable screen I got a few years ago as well, that one is in our utility closet. The portable screen is nice because we can take it out on the back patio and enjoy a movie outdoors (outdoor speakers are another topic I will someday cover).
The what and how of digital projectors is a point of interest for me. As the early rise of 360-degree cameras gave you a glimpse into what was possible, probable and ultimately what could be delivered, the reality of digital projects is that they continue to improve. The most important things with digital projects are:
- What can I plug into it (input types)
- What can it do on its own (having an OS on the projector)
For iPhones and Android phones, you want to be able to leverage either a connector (Prijector is a great one for this) or directly an application on the device that allows screen sharing. Portability is a question you also need to ask. The smaller the projector, the smaller the output of light. Therefore it isn’t as strong, and you need to be aware of it. HDMI only connections are fine for most newer laptops, but if your computer doesn’t have HDMI, you need a VGA connection or an HDMI to VGA adapter. That by the way, is a risk because the adapters often lose resolution based on distance and the connector type.
There are some products in this space. Over my last few posts, I have mentioned quite a few. If you are interested my other posts are also posted here on my blog.
The concept of digital projectors is something I’ve spent a lot of time on. A couple of days ago I dived into the upcoming and current market for digital projects. I mentioned the wonderful ODIN2 product. I didn’t mention the wonderful projector from Touchpond that allows you to turn any surface into an interactive whiteboard. As in using their non-ink pens you can shine your meeting on eh wall and draw on the meeting whiteboard, or pause and put a whiteboard on the wall without actually writing on the wall!
There are some other services coming that continue to be interesting. The concept of screen sharing is pretty straightforward, and again, I discussed that in my previous article. But what remains intriguing is the upcoming homePods, what is a HomePod you ask? First off HomePod lives in your house or your place of business. It is a device that can move. It has speakers, an interest connection, and an operating system. This means you can use the HomePod to play movies and TV from various services (Dish Anywhere, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and others) without having a phone or tablet doing the broadcasting.
A HomePod also has speakers.
Now, what this means honestly is that anywhere in your house can become a theater. Anywhere in your home can be a conference room. Keecker, like the robot products, knows to go back to its base to recharge. It knows when you need it, by simply activating the application your phone, tablet or computer. The easy button for conference calls. You can take a call in your car, get out of your car and transfer the call to your phone, then push the call to your HomePod. By simply muting the HomePod and phone’s microphone you can move around the house making dinner while listening to the call! If someone launches a web meeting, the HomePod can display that on the kitchen wall. The homePods will be arriving in January. You can find out how to buy one at Keecker.
My predictions for Technologies that will be game changers in 2018
It is that time of the year again when Analysts peek past the year listed on their calendars and project what is coming in the next year. 2018 projections have begun to appear. Predictions are an interesting process because so many more predictions and predictors are involved now. Not just the number of possible solutions but the number of analysts projecting what could continue to increase. Every year I sit down and read all of the predictions. I agree with some, and I disagree with some. Then I sit down and write my predictions of what I think is going to happen next year. What comes next is my compiled list of what I think is going to impact the market in 2018.
- Blockchain was the big buzzword at the beginning of 2015 and has continued to gain hype. But not the Blockchain of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is an interesting Cryptocurrency, it is not the largest area where Blockchain will impact the market in 2018. The reality of secure smart contracts is the huge impact area. From financial institutions and real estate transactions smart contracts are going to explode in 2018. The impact of Blockchain will be significant in 2018.
- Modular drones, the concept is just entering the market. By the end of 2018, I project the market for drones will have shifted to 25% modular drones from the less than 1% now. A modular drone (I wrote about them here on Cloudtweaks nearly a year ago) represents a drone that allows the user/owner the ability to replace the functioning capability of the drone. A laser mapping drone could return to its starting point and resume its scanning with a 3d camera instead of a laser measurement device. I have mentioned here on CloudTweaks the value that infrared cameras attached to a drone could provide to search and rescue missions. When searching for people at night, the infrared camera option allows the drone to see people when traditional camera drones would be blind or nearly blind.
- Crowdfunding will move into the mainstream. The concept is simple; you have an idea. You don’t want to lose control of your idea. Instead of working on that idea while working for someone else, instead, you just want to work on that idea. You list your idea on a crowdfunding site. If other people agree with you, they fund the project. The success rate for crowdfunding projects isn’t perfect. There are many failures. What I am projecting, however, is the that the concept that to date remains on the sidelines will become mainstream. Crowdfunding is today a way to launch your dream. In 2018 more and more people will become backers!
- Personal Digital Assistants will continue to expand. Today there are a number of the devices available. As we head into 2018, they will begin to move from home-based solutions to enterprise and government applications. International travelers will appreciate being able to ask Siri, Cortana or Google where the nearest embassy or consulate is. 2018 will continue the integration trend we’ve seen in 2017. I project that the technology of personal digital assistants will begin moving into the workplace or enterprise solution space. It is inevitable as there are so many applications in the enterprise space. Imagine a kiosk you can ask using natural language search questions when you enter the lobby of a building. The world of embedded help using a personal assistant is another area that is intriguing and will become viable in 2018.
- Cloud Computing will continue its march. What has become a nearly weekly release by the large players in the space of new features and capabilities will continue throughout all of 2018. It is why Cloud makes my list for the tenth or so a year I’ve done this. The change from right now to this time next year in Cloud solutions will be incredible. It is incremental in that it is a small thing every week. But by the end of 2018, the changes will be incredible. In the best sense of fairness, I did post an article on Cloudtweaks about what I saw coming in Cloud Computing earlier this year.
- The Internet of Things will continue its 2017 rise in 2018. The projections are that by 2020 we will see between 35-40 billion deployed IoT devices or more. The analysts projected that there were less than 15 billion deployed devices in 2016. The simple math means that we will see between 8-10 billion new IoT devices in 2018. The number is empowering and scary. There are already more devices connected today then there are people in the world; we will soon be deploying more devices per year than there are people on the planet now.
- Something we don’t know about now. Yes, something is looming in 2018 that we don’t see now. I thought it was best to include it this year!
Five technologies and one platform that will grow rapidly in 2018. Plus that last item. The one thing we don’t see today. I wonder what that truly will be?
The concept of screen sharing is interesting. In part the setup and use. Samsung TV’s have a mirroring function. It works well with Samsung Tablets and Samsung phones. iPhones and iPads struggle with the initial setup. You can use the wonderful Chromecast or the Microsoft external monitor connection, both of those do a great job. But the newest upcoming releases of projects include a native mirroring application that makes the process even easier.
The screen as a service or SCRaaS is something I’ve talked about for years. The mirroring applications in several upcoming digital projectors will be game-changing. In particular, ODIN2 is a product I am extremely interested in. ODIN1, an android based portable projector is a good implementation. ODIN2 will add several features, including the screen above mirroring to the overall capabilities of the projector.
There are some other products coming with this capability. I won’t list them all.
The features you need in a projector to carry with you.
- Screen mirror native application
- SD or MicroSD slot so the projector can display your content without a computer or tablet/phone
- Battery so you can operate it anywhere not requiring a plug
- OS on board the projector so you can consume content without a computer or tablet/phone (Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix or Google YouTube Red).
By the by, small size is also critical!
The number of projectors in this space is growing rapidly. Funny, once upon a time the smaller projectors were a compromise (good enough) now, they may replace traditional projectors because they are better and offer more functionality!
I mentioned a device yesterday that I have been using and I thought what the heck, time for another Shameless Review. First of all the makers of Serafin also make a laser mouse. They started out in the Crowdfunding world.
- Laser Keyboard
- Connects via Bluetooth
- Using their application, you have a laser piano keyboard as well
- You can use the device as a stand for your phone – although it isn’t recommended for larger phones
- It also includes a power bank for those times you just need an hour or more talk and your phone is at 1%
I was using the keyboard yesterday with my phone. I needed to respond to a larger email, and frankly, the keyboard on my iPhone is too small to type fast. So, popped Serafim out of my bag and turned it on. We were connected and rolled right away.
The image shared on the blog is the device with the piano keyboard. I played piano using both my iPhone, seraphim and the wonderful JPL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker. Overall this is a good device to throw in your bag. You never know when you might need an extended keyboard. Plus, you never know when the urge to play music you wrote, will take over. I know, from time to time, it happens to me!
Overall this is the best laser keyboard I’ve found on the market.
Plus, as mentioned they also make a mouse! (question for the universe – what if Dr Evil had said I want sharks with freaking laser keyboards on their heads?)
loving the laser keyboard
There are some things I consider important to me, as far as technology. In that process, I find that I often seek things that, fill what I perceive to be a need. Now, I do understand that what I believe to be critical and what is critical aren’t the same. I see things differently than other people. Not better by any consideration or measure, just differently. In seeing things differently, I consider, evaluate and build on what I think is important.
For example, one of the interesting tools I carry with me is a laser keyboard. I have had three of them (laser keyboards) over the years. The one I carry now is from the startup company Serafim. It allows you to have a keyboard so you can type longer emails on a cellular device or tablet. At the same time, if you launch their applications, you get a piano keyboard you can use as well. I like having a piano keyboard in the office without having to lug a much larger keyboard into my office.
I do understand that most people don’t consider laser keyboards critical. I didn’t for a long time myself. I do now, more because they are small portable keyboards. The Serafim product adding the ability to interact with the device as if it were a piano keyboard is also noteworthy.
Another technology I enjoy is Dragon Naturally Speaking. In particular, I use it frequently with my Jabra headset. The reason for Dragon is that sometimes I can talk faster than I type. I am a fast typist (I took typing in high school). But I am a much faster speaker. Dragon does well managing to capture a higher percentage of my speaking than I can typing without errors. (I can do 100 words a minute with errors, about 70 words per minute without errors). It is a software package I use heavily.
As I said, what is critical for me isn’t always critical for you. I share what I find important in technology.