The Esoteric Techie

Amazon Echo, The Connected Hub

Posted by in Technology

Amazon Echo is an Internet connected appliance that has the potential to change your life. I’ve written before about my disappointment in voice recognition technology. It’s been over three years and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” still fails to impress me. Echo, however, immediately made me a believer in the power of voice interface. Alexa is the name that Amazon has given to the friendly voice companion that inhabits its Echo device. Simply speaking the word Alexa allows you to wake up the device and give it commands. Using far-field…read more

Amazon Dash Button

Posted by in Technology

The Internet of Things (IoT) is still in its infancy. While most people have at least one or two connected devices already populating the house, it currently remains unclear exactly how they all interact with each other. This month Amazon announced a new service that attempts to bring the IoT one step closer to practical application. The Amazon Dash Button is a free device that you can stick to your pantry/washing machine/medicine cabinet that provides one simple function. When you notice you are running low on your supply of mac &…read more

Pencil by 53 – iPad Stylus

Posted by in Technology

Pencil is at it’s core a stylus for your iOS device. But the team at 53 knew that for a stylus to be useful, it would have to do more than than simply replace your finger. Pencil can do this by allowing the stylus to connect to your device via BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy. This new standard in Bluetooth technology allows devices to communicate with one another without the drain to battery life that has traditionally come with pairing a bluetooth device. What this means for Pencil is an…read more

Navdy Feels Like Driving In The Future

Posted by in Technology

The HUD or heads up display in your automobile has been a promise of technology for a long time. We’ve seen them in sci-fi movies and coveted them for a long time. A few auto manufactures like BMW and Cadillac have even given it a shot, but these implementations have been fairly limited. Doug Simpson and Karl Guttag are trying to deliver the HUD as a practical application that can easily be installed in any car. Navdy connects to your smartphone, so it doesn’t need a lot of computing power….read more

Tech Can Turn Your Black Thumb Green

Posted by in Technology

I love plants, but I’m terrible at caring for them how I should. I’m not positive how many Japanese Peace Lilies I’ve killed, but I’m pretty sure that it would classify me as a serial killer by most definitions. Fortunately, technology may be able to put to an end my murderous rampage. The guys over at French company Parrot have created a little gizmo that could turn even that blackest thumb a stunning shade of emerald. The Parrot Power Flower retails at $59.99 and is availabe online through Apple, Amazon and several…read more

IFTTT Automates Your Digital Life

Posted by in Technology

Wouldn’t you like to web to work the way you want it to? Have you ever posted an image to Instagram and then had to go through the same process of posting it to your Twitter account? I bet you wish there was some way to automate that process. If This Then That (IFTTT) is a service that connects all the other services and products in your digital life. The way it works can seem a little complicated at first, but it’s actually remakably simple once you’ve gotten the hang…read more

Timeful Makes The Most Of Your Time

Posted by in Technology

Time is one of our most valuable resources. It’s finite and fleeting. For many of us, filling our free time with meaningful activities is a challenge. Human beings are easily distracted. It’s in our nature. The founders of Timeful have tackled this problem head on with a new iOS app that brings a bit of artificial intelligence to your daily schedule. By combining a to-do list with your calendar, Timeful can learn how you spend your time and allocate tasks in between your appointments. Need to finish that client presentation,…read more

Stitcher – Smart Radio

Posted by in Technology

For a while now I’ve been using a podcast aggregation app called Stitcher. Many of you may already be familiar with this little slice of app heaven, but for those of you that are not…get ready. Stitcher does for podcasting what Spotify did for streaming music. It makes the medium itself much more useful. Sticher works directly with podcasters and collects feeds from all manner of topics. Everything from news and commentary to sports talk to educational podcasts. The app is available as a web-based service, but the most useful platform…read more

Jibo: Your New Robot Butler

Posted by in Technology

The tech world is abuzz right now talking about the “Internet of Things” or as it’s also known, the connected home. The idea is that more and more of the items that we interact with on a daily basis are now enabled with wifi, bluetooth or some other means of connection to the internet. With that connectivity comes a vast sea of possibilities. I recently wrote about Google’s recent acquisition of Nest and how their home thermostat is vying to be the platform that ties everything together. There is, however,…read more

Open Nest – Unlocking the Internet of Things

Posted by in Technology

Google has positioned Nest to be the central platform in the Internet of Things. Google announced recently that it will open it’s ever popular smart thermostat up to third-party developers. To try to put this in perspective, remember the iphone before Apple created the App store? No? That’s probably because the app store is what launched Apple’s iconic handheld into the stratosphere. Before the app store and the accompanying SDK (Software Development Kit), the iphone was cool, but not nearly the tool that has since revolutionized wireless technology. You may…read more

Aereo Has Its Day In Court

Posted by in Technology

Aereo pled its case on Tuesday to the Supreme Court. And the judgment could have far reaching impact on the millions of cord cutters looking to free themselves from the monthly cable bill. If you have never heard of Aereo, It’s not surprising. They are a small company and the service they offer is currently only available in 11 cities around the U.S. For $8 – $12 a month, Aereo provides you with a your own remote TV antenna and DVR. What makes this service special is that you can…read more

Welcome to the Post-Mobile World

Posted by in Blog, Technology

Information has undergone massive shifts with each sea change in technology. Humans started with the spoken word. Then the written word transformed our view of the world; information no longer had to be memorized. Next came printing, electronic media, digital media and mobile. And now we’re on the verge of something profoundly exciting – the post-mobile world. Wearable computing is on the brink of exploding. The market for these devices is expected to increase from $750 million USD in 2012 to $5.8 billion in 2018. But this isn’t a world…read more

Yahoo! Announces Reimagined flickr

Posted by in Technology

flickr has been allowing users to upload and share their photos since 2004. That was the year that Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake decided to help blaze the trail for what would become one of the most recognizable properties of the early Web 2.o. That may not sound like a long time, but in internet years, it’s a lifetime. In March 2005 Yahoo! purchased flickr for $35 Million and proceeded to let it wither on the vine. For 8 years flickr has remained relatively unchanged while the visual web caught…read more

Waze – Social Mapping

Posted by in Technology

Smartphone mapping applications had been pretty well dominated by Google Maps until Apple cut ties with the Mountain View based web giant. But Apple stumbled mightily with the introduction of it’s own Maps application. The term debacle comes to mind when describing the failure that was Apple Maps. To open the door even further Google took it’s sweet time releasing a custom built application for iOS. The quibbling of the two tech behemoths created a virtual land grab for users. A myriad of mapping applications made their case for home…read more

2012 Tech News in Review

Posted by in Technology

2012 was a busy year in the world of technology. New gadgets, legal battles and corporate shake ups kept geek’s attention occupied all year long. Just how influential was 2012? It may be years before we can know for sure, but I think it’s safe to say that there was more than a few truly disruptive events that will shape the landscape of technology for the coming years. 2012 introduced the world to the ongoing problems of technology patent wars, we discovered how truly dependent we are on Google for our…read more

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