Technology and Me- the Xbox One

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In a previous post (The Buyer in Me), I talked about my own buying criteria, and what I feel companies should focus on when looking to innovate.

“What can we bring to our customers that will positively disrupt their everyday lives?”

xboxSo when the Xbox One was finally released, I was one of the first to line up. Am I a huge gamer? Hardly. But did I purchase the Xbox for gaming? Um…sort of…but not really. Now there are obvious capabilities that it has (i.e. Blu-ray player, gaming console, music player, etc…), but none of these were what drew me in.

The main reason I have the Xbox is because it has positively disrupted and enhanced my everyday life and entertainment. I no longer need to use/hunt for any remote control(s), no longer do I need to Skype with my family/friends through a 13″ screen.

  • Walking into the house, I simply say “Xbox on” to turn on the TV, cable, and audio.
  • My family and I want to Skype? I receive a Skype notification on my TV, and with a twitch of the nose and an “Xbox answer”, I’m video chatting with my family in full 1080p.
  • Watching TV and can’t find the remote? “Xbox volume up”, “Xbox mute”, “Xbox pause”, “Xbox go to ESPN”, “Xbox go to Netflix”,  and poof!
  • Want/need to multitask? You can “snap” the screen and play Forza Motorsport 5, while your significant other can watch “The Food Network”.
  • Hate going to the gym in the winter? No excuses now!

Every day we realize more and more ways that this system enhances our entertainment experience, and it is truly becoming the gift that keeps on giving.

Ease of use? *check*. Simplicity? *check*. Powerful? *check*.

What EMC has done to to the enterprise storage market, Microsoft has done to my living room entertainment!

 

Driving in a Winter Wonderland- Smart Snowplows!?

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Since moving from San Diego to New England, I’ve endured quite a few climate changes that I had never experienced before:

  • “Wow, look at all the yellow leaves!”
  • “So this is why AWD is so popular!”
  • “I guess you can’t wear sandals in December here…”
  • “So that’s what a snow plow looks like…”

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In the movies, or in the comfort of our warm and cozy homes, snow brings a sense of holiday cheer, and sense of calm. I’ve caught myself countless times just staring out my window at the snow (San Diego, remember…?) I’ve come to realize I had never experienced a real winter until moving to the northeast.

As much as I love our winters, (we’ll see how I feel in a few years), and as much as I love my Quattro, driving still can be a bit stressful. The roads are icy, the snow is thick, the drivers are crazy, and the plows may or may not have come through yet. *insert frowny face here*

snow trafficIn a recent article published by Mashable, it looks like we may be in luck, as four states (Let’s get it together MA!) are testing the use of smart snowplows with the goal to help make our roads safer. 

Here’s a quick excerpt from the article that explains how they’ll work:

“The system integrates GPS-coded measurements from sensors on the snowplows with computer weather models and satellite and radar observations to produce updates every five to 15 minutes on the road, as well as weather conditions. These detailed, close-to-real-time snapshots are then relayed to transportation officials in the hope that they will be able to target the most dangerous stretches of highway before accidents happen.”

UM. YES PLEASE! But until these come down the pike (pun), let’s try and be safe drivers this winter!

#SmartSnowplows #BigData #WhatDataCanDoForYou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Your Data Make You Sweat?

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What can brown data do for you? In my previous post, I talked about the impact that our data creation has on our lives. Data is currently used for saving lives, preserving history, space travel, motivation, nutrition, and countless other ways that positively benefit race. According to a 2012 study/infographic, Every minute we are sending 100,000 tweets and are spending over $272,000 on web shopping. With all of this data and activity we are adding to/from our daily lives, why not use some of it for your own everyday health and wellness?

2014 may very well be the year of the “smart watches” and activity trackers, and companies like Nike, Jawbone, Fitbit, and Samsung, are all-in, with Apple rumored to be joining the fun soon.

Activity trackers such as the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up, and Fitbit Force (my personal favorite) allow you to learn, track, compare, and even set goals for your personal fitness. You can track sleeping patterns, food intake, steps taken, distance,  and even compete against your friends and family for added motivation. By simply wearing a wristband, your personalized health and wellness “data” is being constantly tracked and converted to provide you insight into your personal well-being.

How close are you to 10,000 steps today? With these technologies, you’ll know at all times.

My data helps me sweat, helps me sleep, helps me eat healthier,  and motivates me to keep moving. What does your data do for you?

#3252StepsToGo

 

The Exponent and The Vatican. Who Cares?

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According to a recent article published by IDC, “From 2005 to 2020, the digital universe will grow by a factor of 300, from 130 exabytes to 40,000 exabytes, or 40 trillion gigabytes (more than 5,200 gigabytes for every man, woman, and child in 2020). From now until 2020, the digital universe will about double every two years.”

Wow. Big numbers, huh? As astonishing as this data growth is, information is meaningless without a purpose. For example, the Vatican has recently added 2.8 petabytes of storage. So…who cares?

What is the purpose of this data growth? A recent press release highlights the Vatican’s vision to digitize its entire catalog of historic manuscripts. Their goal is to digitally preserve some of the world’s most historic and delicate texts that are currently vulnerable to deterioration and decay. Thus, ensuring that the accumulated knowledge of generations is freely available for future study.

So who cares? I definitely do!

What does the data you create actually do for you? It’s definitely doing wonders for me!

To be continued…

Throwback Thursdays: The Television

Long gone are the days of radial knobs, buttons, and having to get off the couch to change the channel.

Reason number (insert large number here) why I love technology.

The Buyer in Me

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Puzzle (1)If “Innovation” had a twitter account, its following would be near infinite. Seriously. Companies and entrepreneurs all over the globe, in almost every industry, are constantly looking for new ways to bring products/services to a target audience.

“What can we bring to our customers that will positively disrupt their everyday lives?”

But who knows what we as the target audience actually wants or needs? One could argue that the greatest of innovators are those who bring disruptive technologies/products/services to the table that nobody knows they actually need. So how do companies build their target audience? How do they market their innovation? How do they know what we care about? Far too often I feel companies lose track of what we want, and try and force-feed us with things without digging enough into the minds of the buyer.

Well innovators, this blog is for you! Who is the buyer in me, you ask?

From laptop to cell phone, cars to gym shoes, storage arrays to activity trackers, your best bet to my wallet is to follow these simple instructions. 

Make it work…well. Make it easy. Make it last. Make it sexy.

#Macbook #iPhone #Audi #NikeFree #EMC #Fitbit

That’s the buyer in me…

Who’s the buyer in you?

Axe 3-in-1: The Shower Experience Virtualized

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Thank you Axe, for you have confirmed many things for us…

1.) A shower can now be completed in less than 5 minutes

2.) Virtualization does in fact work wonders

3.) Tech is always on my mind

For those of you in the tech industry, you’re probably more than informed on both the definition and value of “virtualization” within your company, and you may skip to “Paragraph #4”. For those who are not in the former, or are not well versed in the latter, I’ve got your back.

Wiki’s quick take on Virtualization: In computing, refers the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including but not limited to a virtual hardware platform, operating system (OS), storage device, or network resources.

Here’s the skinny for those who understand none of the above: Companies of all sizes in all industries are creating more and more data every year, and are continuously looking for more efficient ways to store and manage it. Companies deploy servers to essentially “serve” the different applications that a company uses. Think Excel, Word, Exchange, SQL, or any other app that you use regularly… Old school management and methodology for these applications is to put one application on one server (along with all of the data that is created on that one application). Unfortunately, that methodology is expensive, unreliable, inefficient. Virtualization was born (shout out to VMWare!). With it, companies are able to pack more resources into their technology environment, while at the same time consolidate and maximize their resources more efficiently, increase flexibility and availability, and gain much easier management of their precious data.

axePARAGRAPH #4 In layman’s terms, instead of bringing an entire stack of CD’s with you wherever you go, you now have an iPhone/iPod. Instead of having three separate bottles for shampoo, conditioner, and soap, Axe has brought us the 3-in-1 combo. It is indeed “Total Fresh”.

Virtualization has revolutionized the tech industry, but it’s ideology has a vastly larger reach.

…Do more with less…