I came across this video of a concept phone, the Mozilla Seabird, recently and it’s the first time I’ve thought the future really could be fully handheld.
It’s common knowledge that smartphones are outselling desktops 2 to 1 and many business-folk are leaving their laptops at home in favour of taking out their iPhone or Android powered device. However in both these cases the reasons can be easily explained. Smartphones are outselling desktops because many households would use just one desktop whereas a mobile (smartphone) each family member wants one. Also the majority of houses are also equipped with desktops, wherease smartphones are a relatively new technology.
Business-folk on their travels can also do many of the tasks on their smartphone that they can on their laptop such as email and catch up on documents/presentations. But at the end of the day they will probably return home to be productive on their home computer.
But what’s interesting here is the incorporation of the pico projectors in the mobile device and the projected keyboards either side of the device. That’s what makes me sit back and think – this is a development that would make mobiles productive.
I know this is a concept device – but look at what this could open up if it became a reality.
Possibly, with a small separate flip-out screen, you could set up office anywhere just by projecting from your device onto the screen and away you go.
Ok, so battery life on this would probably be in the region of 10mins, but that’s with technology as it stands. Also if you’re being productive with your device, the likelihood is you’ll be in one place long enough to warrant docking the device.
I also love the Haptic clicking device – now that’s a controller!
Google can acquire any web service they like, create amazing new widgets/gadgets/API’s in its google labs and launch new fantastic online tools such as GMail, Google Maps and Google Docs until it’s lovely logo turns bluer than a royal navy jacket – but If there is anything that divides opinion amongst web professionals more than anything else, it’s Google making changes to its search.
Since 1998 when Google first hit our screens – search has been the most important Google tool. Not just to us the consumer, but due to Google’s seamless neat integration of AdWords, search is the most important tool to Google as well. AdWords netted over $23 Billion in 2009 for Google and is their number one revenue stream.
It’s therefore easy to see why, when Google make a change to their search, it’s no small thing!
With nearly 80 million active websites on the internet, search is vital. In the main, as a user you want results that give you answers to your query, but sometimes you may also want to research around a topic or maybe even stumble across a website you’re interested in by accident.
However – this may all change with the release of Google Instant.
Google instant displays your search results as you type. So enter “F” and up pops Facebook… “A” is for Amazon etc…
It’s actually quite easy to predict what’s going to be top for every letter of the alphabet.
But let’s consider how this is going to change users search habits.
I predict users will now type, delete, re-type, delete, re-type, delete etc… in the search box until a seemingly relevant result appears above the fold (on the screen without scrolling down) in their browser.
This means websites that are not optimised enough for any keyword phrase to appear in the first few results will never be seen.
I can’t help thinking that’s a shame.
OK, the title of this blog may suggest only 26 sites will ever be viewed – which may be a slight exaggeration. But really how far off is this number? Considering there are 80 million sites on the internet I’ll bet my bottom dollar it’s not much more than 1% that will be viewed via organic search.
Website owners have a few options…
1) Ensure top listings by bidding high amounts in Google AdWords (not bad news for Google).
2) Look for alternatives such as Social Networking, Viral Campaigns and offline marketing to promote their website (bad news for Google).
It boils down to what works for the website owner. But it will be interesting if the majority choose option 2. Search could become less influential and that will be down to Google instant.
If that happens and Google switch instant off – it may be too late.
I also suspect websites such as Stumble Upon, which is fantastic for discovering new websites and Digg, which promotes hot websites of the moment will also be waiting with baited breath to see what impact this has on them. I believe it will be positive.
Not every user wants the answer in an instant. When you next go shopping, would you want the first acceptable outfit to be presented to you in the very first shop you enter? Or would you want to walk around for a bit, go in several shops and then make a choice?
We’re all living fast paced lives and have less and less time to spend on the activities we enjoy the most. At some point we’re surly going to think enough is enough and start making the time to do whatever we enjoy… no matter how long it takes.
On a recent trip to Vegas I had a connection at Houston airport and after feasting on a fantastic Wendy’s burger (why don’t we have Wendy’s in the UK? Or do we?) I was strolling towards my departure gate when a larger than normal vending machine catches my eye.
At work I visit a vending machine a few times a week when I get a chocolate craving and feel like a double decker; or maybe a sandwich at lunchtime just isn’t enough and the need of a packet of cheese and onion is the only way to go.
The vending machine at Houston airport though had neither of these snacks on offer, if it had I wouldn’t have been bothered, not only had I just had my Wendy’s burger but vending machines that sell crisps and chocolate are two-a-penny; I certainly wouldn’t be blogging about it!
This vending machine was very different. This vending machine sold SkullCandy headphones, mp3 docking stations, Belkin earphone splitters and Apple iPod touch’s, Nano’s and Shuffles. Yep, that’s right. Your reading ability is not failing you – In the vending machine was 3 of Apples best selling products – the iPod Touch, Nano and Shuffle.
In some ways I thought this was impressive.
Easy access to products, no shop worker hassling you and even a few quid off. But thinking about it further – I just couldn’t help wondering what Apple was playing at.
Just like when I saw Thorntons chocolates for the first time in a petrol station shop, I thought – here’s a premium brand devaluing their most important asset.
Apple prides itself in having knowledgeable staff, a quality in-store experience and the most ‘designer’ brand in the IT world. So to throw it’s products in a ‘best-buy’ vending machine just doesn’t sit right for me.
I could maybe forgive Apple slightly if the vending machine was chrome or black, placed thoughtfully in a designer shopping centre with a stylish Apple logo displayed proudly on all four sides.
But this wasn’t even close – it was blue and yellow, stuffed with several other branded products and sitting in a busy airport.
In general, brands such as Apple are fantastic at protecting their image, with extremely stringent guidelines for anyone using their logo’s in print, on the web or on any merchandise. I dare say they have departments dedicated to branding that oversee all uses of the corporate image. Then they allow their products to be sold wherever without a care.
For me that stinks of maximising the selling opportunities and not protecting the brand. The environment where the product is found should compliment the brand, if it doesn’t it cheapens it, simple as that.
Maybe saying Facebook’s dead is a little premature, but while everyone has been waiting for Google to release Google Me, Apple have sneaked up on the quiet and revealed what could be a killer blow in terms of social networking.
Apple’s Sept 1st 2010 Keynote was in my opinion even better than their June 7th presentation when they announced the iPhone 4. It may be a case of expectations being so high for the new “king of the smartphones” announcement that Steve Jobs was really in a no-win situation back in June. But I think with the grand reveal of their new iPod range, Apple TV (let’s please stop calling it iTV now!) and the sneaky dip into social networking with the announcement of Ping, this was one hell of a keynote.
As a side – I think the new nano looks fantastic and integrating a camera into the iPod touch to enable Facetime is a master stroke, but that’s another blog.
I want to talk about Ping. By integrating Ping into iTunes, Apple have opened up Ping to a mere 160m users in one foul swoop, that’s impressive. It’s what Google will do if they base their new social media offering on YouTube, so they must be watching with bated breath to see what happens.
By integrating social media into iTunes, Apple are saying this is “A Social Network for Music”. But I have to wonder how much this is just to keep Facebook happy, as in reality this is a social network for Music, Books, Films and Apps – many of which are Games.
Lets look at that list again…
Now if we look at what people talk about on Facebook and Twitter, we can see a large portion of that activity is based around those 4 topics.
Therefore we have the platform for wide discussion. Now all we need is to open this up to a wide audience.
Lets consider Apples hardware with iTunes installed ready and waiting, – First we have Macs (1.6m – 1.7m sold per quarter!)
- iPhones (8.7m sold per quarter)
- iPod Touch (3.2m sold per quarter)
So that’s a lot of platforms running iTunes. But wait. Did we miss something? Something that might open up Ping to an even wider audience. Something I’ve probably even already mentioned in this blog… that’s it… Apple TV.
This is where the killer blow could be made. If Apple market their TV offering with all guns blazing they could revolutionise the social networking arena.
Just imagine people networking over their TV. Talking about what Film they are watching. One word. Awesome. Listen to music your friends are into, after all they’re your friends because you probably have similar taste. Read books they like and watch films they are in to.
We could even go a step further and imagine what could happen if we stick a webcam on top of the TV and open up Facetime for Apple TV users. The possibilities are endless.
Apple has seriously lined its ducks up. They could dominate in so many areas – Music consumption, Mobile communications, social networking, TV. Will there really be any hours in the day you don’t find yourself interacting with Apple?
I love TV adverts, I know many people hate them and feel they interrupt a good program – but I love’em!
There’s simply too many quality adverts to include them all in a list, it would go on forever and anyone stumbling across this blog at work would surely get the sack should they watch them all. I don’t want to be responsible for making a load of people jobless – so instead I’ve decided to focus my attention on adverts solely within an area close to my main interest and that’s technology.
To give my collection of videos some sense of order, I’ve cast my mind back to my technological journey through life. Looking at all the adverts for every computer and console I’ve had the pleasure to own.
Now some of these adverts actually contributed to me parting with my hard earned monies. Others I never knew existed. But one thing’s for sure – there are some classics here.
I’m going to attack this in chronological order, starting off with a tech-defining product from that bloke who is famous for also inventing one of the worst products of all time, Mr Clive Sinclair. Yes – it’s the… ZX spectrum 48k and spectrum+
My next tech purchase was to be the last before I ventured into the console world. One thing I could remember about this advert was the tune – quality!
Commodore Amiga 500
For any child of the 80s/90s there is one very important decision to make. Sega or Nintendo. There was never a case in these times of Sonic and Mario meeting in the same game. Never should the two meet as they were sole representatives for two of the biggest rival organisations in the world.
My choice was Sega, step forward the…
Sega Master System
I had already made my choice. The next console was a given, bring on 16Bit gaming and probably the most awesome control pad ever invented.
The Sega Mega Drive
I felt again it would be a natural progression, but how wrong I was.
This was the first ad to really sell a console to me.
“The ultimate games console… that changed everything”
“500MB of power – used only for gameplay!”
…who could resist!
Sega Mega CD
Dissapointed by the lack of games for the Mega-CD, I felt let down by Sega and decided to revert back to my old faithful Commodore. So I brought…
The Amiga CD-32
Once again I was let down by the fact there was about 3 games ever released!
Then came along what had to be the first serious step-up in gaming since the Mega Drive. Although, how it was ever a success with this initial launch advert I’ll never know!
The Sony Playstation
It was a case of history repeating itself. Just like the progression from Master System to Mega Drive, I had to progress from the PS1 to the PS2. Unfortunately Sony also repeated history with another terrible advert.
You would think form there I would go on to the PS3. But no. I grew up and bought the far less serious…
OK, I hear you. “Neil – you told us it was 10 Awesome adverts!”.
Well I’m afraid I only brought 9 computers/consoles (minus PCs, Laptops, IPads that kind of thing, but those ads are just dull).
I want to still give you 10 of the best and through my searches for the above ads I’ve been side-tracked onto some absolute gems.
From these gems I’ve picked a diamond to finish this post off and here it is.
This isn’t an ad for a console or computer but rather a game.
A game I enjoyed as a young’un and until now a game that I didn’t realise had such a fantastic ad.
Just check out how the game footage is interspersed with real life footage. It really is a wonder they didn’t have to display a caption of “Not actual game footage”.