CES is thousands of industry folks standing in front of a giant wall for a week, throwing armfuls of spaghetti and waiting to see what sticks over the next year.
Plugging in your iPhone in the dark can be a pesky problem. Look no further.
Cordlite, an illuminated charger cable for the iPhone, is currently on Kickstarter and accepting backers. By simply picking up the cable, the lights at the end of the cable illuminate, allowing the user to plug in an iPhone with no hassle.
The project has raised $6,340 to date and is looking to raise $70k with 38 days to go.
I’m not, and the answer for most people out there — probably not.
But can you name any real competition to the FitBit device? The Jawbone UP was supposed to be the disruptor, the one that caused the world to change the way we think about health and wellness devices, but it flopped miserably. Though the FitBit itself is a great device, without much competition, it will struggle to take a step forward.
Says GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham:
According to research in November from ABI Research, the sports and health mobile application market will grow to over $400 million in 2016 – up from just $120 million in 2010. Unsurprisingly many of these apps will get an added boost from tying to some of the devices already in or about the enter the market, according to ABI.
While good examples are referenced, there simply aren’t enough app-with-app or app-with-device tie-ins as of yet. The Jawbone UP was supposed to sync perfectly with the iPhone (which logically seems like a great connection), but the constant syncs got in the way of the true experience — and that’s if the user had a device that hadn’t bricked.
It may be another year or two before we start seeing mass adoption of health and wellness gadgets and dedicated apps. While improving, there simply aren’t enough solid choices for the consumer to select one that meets most needs.
It’s very possible that we are.
Underwriters Laboratories, the venerable nonprofit product testing and certification organization, issued a study last week that found about half of consumers, 48 percent, “feel high-tech manufacturers bring new products to market faster than people need them.”
Here’s the interesting analysis from Steve Lohr, who attributes this to innovation through two different lenses.
The consumers’ sense that high-tech companies bring out products faster than needed suggests two possible explanations. The first, obvious one is that the pace of innovation is too fast for consumers.
The second, less obvious explanation is that, in fact, innovation is too slow. That is, the new offerings companies are pushing out the door every six months or so are me-too products or ones with a just couple of new features or design tweaks. Marketing schedules, not product innovation, are driving the corporate train.
If gadget fatigue is attributed to too much (or too little) innovation, you have to consider leading gadget companies and their tendencies.
Apple has established fairly-quick product refresh cycles. Not every product refresh is a huge improvement over the last — the company realizes this — but the fairly quick refreshes are a key part of their business model. Competitors cannot keep up with the speed of Apple’s innovation (or perceived innovation), and they fall behind in the race for gadget market share.
As much as gadget fatigue may be a topic today, we must also realize what the long-term impact of gadget fatigue means for the consumer. Does it even matter? Will the consumer end up adapting to fast, paced product cycles? We may be tired now, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be tired five or ten years down the road.
Count me among the relieved that I didn’t pick one of these up on release day. I almost did though.
I browsed through the Jawbone forums one day prior to release. People were already disgruntled with many of the issues mentioned in the AllThingsD post. Lost caps and bricked devices were amongst the biggest complaints, and it seemed like a lot of users were experiencing one problem or another.
Despite all this, I went to two Target stores with all stock sold out. I was bummed out, but it turns out it was for the better.
The problem? It’s broken. Not ready for a public release.
There was so much hype and excitement around this device. It’s truly a shame to see it stumble out of the gate to the extent it has. And though Jawbone would never want to admit it, they’ve lost a ton of customers for life because this release was so poor.
People don’t go out to the store with $100 in hand to purchase a device that may work. The best course of action — though it may not be an option in Jawbone’s mind — is to pull the device from store shelves until these major problems are fixed.
Little Printer is exactly that: a palm-sized, cube-shaped, cloud-powered thermal printer with an adorable pair of feet and a cute face. And what does it print? A personalized mini-newspaper—with content curated from partners like The Guardian, social media like Foursquare and Facebook, as well as stuff created by BERG itself—and output on a receipt-like paper strip no longer than 10 inches.
I was skeptical about this at first, but it has quickly grown on me. I can definitely see Little Printer catching on as a new way to consume content. Two aspects that set it apart: short, concise updates and simple user customization through a mobile app.
If you have a couple hundred dollars of expendable income to blow, you may want to purchase an awesome USB Typewriter. Compatible with PC, Mac and the iPad, you’ll pound keys away in style—and the letters will actually register. Can you imagine bringing one of these to the library?
In the last three months, 55% of consumers have purchased a smartphone (compared with 45% purchasing feature phones). 38% of mobile consumers in the US now own a smartphone.
While e-reader ownership has doubled in six months (November 2010-May 2011), adoption of e-readers is still well behind other tech gadgets. Even more interesting — only 8% of the group own a tablet.
This robot, named Rec, was built entirely from junk.
Italian artist Andrea Petrachi is such a man. His method of admonishment is to go through people’s trash, pick out broken toy parts, burnt out electronics and other discarded gadgetry and piece them together into some very odd-looking robot sculptures.
"Interestingly, our April checks indicated continued strong demand for the iPhone 3GS at AT&T and iPad 1 at Verizon, as these older generation products with reduced prices often outsold new Android products," Walkley wrote in a note to investors on Monday. "We believe this highlights Apple’s significant competitive advantage, and these older products help Apple offer a tiered pricing strategy at key channels."
- Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley, on Apple’s older devices vs. newer Android devices