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Gadget Design Trends are a’ Changin’!

March 19, 2015 by  

Intel Free Press began to notice that square designs are becoming too square and the world is moving to rounded shapes for its wearables and other gizmos… (Why can’t we have triangular?) Take a casual survey of personal technology and electronics on the market today and you will notice the majority of them are rectangular in shape. But there is a rising trend, or perhaps a return, to more rounded design. The smartwatch is the latest area of debate of round versus square. The circular screen of the Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear watch makes it stand out among competitors with more traditional, rectangular screens, such as the Samsung Gear, Pebble and even the upcoming Apple Watch. Just revealed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC), the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch smartwatches both also have perfectly round displays. Why Round? Motorola design chief Jim Wicks cites “time” as the biggest inspiration behind the round design of the Moto 360, which recently won the award for best wearable at MWC. “Eighty-five percent of the watches sold in the world are round, and there’s a reason for that – its comfort and people are used to it,” Wicks adds. “When you go back in civilization,

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Wisdom, Compassion & Connection, Core Themes at TEDxBerkeley 2015

February 27, 2015 by  

The sixth annual TEDxBerkeley, which will fill Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley CA tomorrow, February 28, will focus on Wisdom, Compassion and Connection. On stage in front of over 2,000 attendees, 57 speakers and performers will share riveting insights on these important and pivotal themes. Tedxberkeley dance troupe From Indian & Japanese Performers to Renowned Leaders, Professors & Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, don’t miss the Live Stream at www.tedxberkeley.org.  This year’s inspiring line-up aims to transform the way we think about ideas that can re-shape the world’s priorities in education, science, the environment, healthcare and beyond, all of which is center to the core of TED. Apple co-founder and philanthropist Steve Wozniak will close this year’s sold out event. Those interested in hearing the 2015 speakers and performers can tune into the live stream at http://www.tedxberkeley.org starting at 10:00 am PST. The social media hashtag for the event is #TEDxBerkeley. The complete line-up this year includes the following performers, thought leaders and visionaries, listed under the “theme” they will present. Wisdom: UC Men’s Octet: UC Berkeley A Capella Group Prasad Kaipa: CEO of Kaipa Group, Business and Leadership Coach Adora Svitak: Activist for Feminism & Youth Causes Marc Gopin: Director,…

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How Robots Becoming More Integrated In Our Lives

January 27, 2015 by  

In 2007, David Levy an artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, speculated that we would be marrying robots by 2050, and that Massachusetts would be the first state to allow it.
While you may smirk in disbelief at this prediction, society’s infatuation with the digital lifestyle suggests that a man-machine relationship is not all that far-fetched. Here’s growing evidence that robot love, or hate, is gathering momentum:
  • Concert conductor – On May 13, 2008, Honda’s stair-stepping Asimo robot lead the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, performing “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  • Domestic robots – Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper gave a hilarious but prescient look at the future of domestic robotics. The domestic robot invasion began with the vacuum cleaner, launched by the iRobot Roomba with much success in 2002.

Samsung POWERbot VR9000At the January 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung introduced its latest generation of vacuum-cleaning robots. The Samsung POWERbot VR9000 robot vacuum (£815), pictured above, offers “CycloneForce” suction power.
  • Employment trend – The New York Times reports that the American work force has been growing polarized for decades. Highly skilled jobs,

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The Sony Experia Z Ultra & Phablet Trend

January 19, 2015 by  

You’re the front runner of the mobile market. You re-invented both the first disruption, the iPhone, and the second one, the tablet. But something happened after the iPad. Consumers couldn’t live without a big-screen device. Yet the iPhone had a small screen.
The shoot-from-the-hip Android market saw an opening and ran with it. Samsung pioneered the “phablet” trend, a contraction of phone and tablet, with the introduction of the Galaxy Note in October 2011. So what happened? Apple was too successful. It got users addicted to hi-res touch screens. The iPad further spoiled consumers but when faced with a choice between a small-screen phone and a large-screen tablet, consumers opted for convergence. Which lead Samsung to the phablet, or as one pundit put it — “big-ass phone.” And why not? Who wants to carry two devices when one can do? Manufacturers like Sony stretched the limits even further with the 6.4-inch Sony Experia Z Ultra, pictured above. Apple faced a typical innovator’s dilemma. In a classic case of innovation recoil, Apple couldn’t put its iPad sales under pressure, which at the time was the fastest growing consumer device in history. And that’s what a larger iPhone…

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Top Innovative Products & Designs at CES 2015

January 17, 2015 by  

Ever since Apple showed the technology industry the importance of outstanding design, there’s seen a dramatic upsurge in product design. Here are the eight best designed products shown at CES 2015. This article showcases the most stellar designs packaging innovative technologies. The list is by design incomplete, since there are surely more products that might qualify, but these ones are on our radar screen. A photo gallery follows the list: HP Pavilion Mini
The mini computer is growing in significance. HP interpreted the concept beautifully in the HP Pavilion Mini ($320 and up), packing Windows 8.1, an Intel Pentium 3558U, 4GB memory and 500GB hard drive in a 6×6-inch (15 cm) package. LaCie Mirror Drive
Portable hard drives are mass commodities, selling for as little as $50. So LaCie recruited French designer Pauline Deltour to create the stunning LaCie Mirror ($280), which is encases a 1TB hard drive in scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass placed atop a stand made of ebony wood from Makassar. Logitech UE MEGABOOM
Logitech’s UE BOOM and MINIBOOM have already achieved much acclaim but they now have competition from the new Logitech UE MEGABOOM ($300), which is 200% larger. Logitech’s battery powered Bluetooth speaker features an octagonal…

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Taking a Look at Unusual Consumer Tech Products Over 6 Years

January 16, 2015 by  

Silentium comfort shell Intel Free Press takes a look at some of the oddest tech from the past six years at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – by Intel Free Press. CES 2015: Racing into Silence At this year’s CES people could enter the “shell of silence,” Silentium’s Comfort-Shell (above). “It basically looks like a giant, white version of those spiky shells that Lakitu throws in the original Mario,” wrote Jacob Kastrenakes on The Verge. Despite its odd looks, any way to deaden the noise that is characteristic of CES is a blessing. Lambo2 CES had plenty of smartphones, the Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri phone definitely drew attention for its race car inspired design and its price tag. Revving in at $6000 and in scarce supply, its design turned a few heads but left others scratching theirs. “With a stitched leather finish that’s the real deal and gold-plated stainless steel surrounding this phone, you’re bound to stand out in the crowd if you’re crazy enough to even want to pay $6,000 for pure stupidity,” said The Verge’s Tom Warren. CES 2014: Helping the body? Some design…

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Voyeurism+, Where Selfies Take Center Stage in Our Lives

January 13, 2015 by  

Smartphone cameras unleashed a major trend around the globe — “selfie” — the act of taking photographs of one self in various states of dress or undress. Paying the ultimate tribute, The Oxford University Press named selfie 2013 word of the year.
Selfies are part of the voyeurgasm ubertrend, a societal trait that is being accelerated by the rapid improvement in tools that enable voyeurism, like the smartphone. Apple’s iPhone 4 gave self-portraits a big shot in the arm with the inclusion of a front-facing camera, although, today, many selfies are taken using a mirror. But now the smartphone has gained an ally to help celebrate instant narcissism, in the form of the selfie stick. That a telescoping wand designed to help smartphone users take better photos of themselves would be hailed by Time magazine as one of the best inventions of 2014 is indicative of the far-reaching impact Voyeurgasm is having on society. From The New York Times to The Verge to USA Today, everyone seems riveted by the selfie phenom and, pardon the pun, its selfie-stick growth curve:
  • Market growth – The New York Times ruefully suggests that “the séance with the self is only going

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CES 2015 Wrap: From UHD & Connected Objects to Digital Health & All Things 3D

January 12, 2015 by  

There was no shortage of companies jumping on the “we must be connected to everything, or else..” trend that was central to most announcements coming out of this year’s  Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, an event that I’ve been going to for a couple of decades. It was even the heart of Samsung’s keynote address this year.  At the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the main building for CES’s heftiest exhibitors, it was Samsung (not Apple) who stole the show with its ever so impressive 360 screens that circled around its booth, showing flashy and compelling videos of cars racing and more. It was all about their 4K TVs, which are bendable, flat and curved although Samsung had plenty to offer in the mobile, audio and home automation space as well. Samsung JS9500 series is a new concept in UHD (4K technology), which they tout as eco-friendly. It uses nano-crystal technology and an intelligent SUHD re-mastering picture quality engine, which gives vast improvements in contrast, brightness, color reproduction, and detail. People seemed to be raving about FLIR at my evening networking events, a new infrared…

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