The Use Case for Smartwatches

I recently gave a presentation on wearables at a private event in NYC, and it was a good time to reflect on where we’re at. Android Wear On the Google side of things, the Android Wear smartwatches have been out for a bit over a year, and we’ve seen most of the larger Google Android phone makers launch watches on this platform. Most of the watches are functionally very similar, and differentiate based on form-factor, or how they look andRead more

Apple and the Future

If you’ve kept up on the latest Apple rumors, you have a good idea of what to expect today at the latest Apple iPhone event. We’ll have new phones: the iPhone 6s + 6s Plus, which are iteratively better than last years model with improved cameras and force touch. The Apple Watch will get a nice software upgrade: watchOS 2, which will support native third-party apps, allowing these to be as fast as the native Apple apps. For new products,Read more

Autonomous Cars: Second Order Effects

Autonomous (self-driving) vehicles are all over the news lately. Google is very open about their efforts, and while Apple has not announced it officially, there is too much smoke for this to just be a rumor at this point – especially given the source (the WSJ has traditionally been the formal “leak” source for Apple news). Uber is working on redefining transportation, and self driving cars are a huge part of that future – and they’ve publicly stated this. Meanwhile, theRead more

Invisible Apps

The term “invisible app” describe a mobile app that works in the background and automatically brings important things forward to you. Our phones have new sensors, faster connections, and with smarter things happening in the cloud, we’ll see more of this in the future. One of the big challenges has been creating the software to do these smart things for us. Some of the simplest, and most useful things require analyzing a lot of information. Weather is a good example: look atRead more

Do Computers Dream?

Okay, that title is a bit misleading, but it’s hard not to go there…  stick with this for a minute. At Google I/O this year, Google announced the new Google Photos – a new approach to storing, organizing and searching photos. It’s been dubbed “Gmail for photos”, and they are hoping to do for photos what Gmail did for email. To that point, it’s a service (website + mobile apps) that allow you to easily sync and store photos. The differentiator forRead more

Summer Games Done Quick: Masters for Charity

The yearly Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) competition and charity event is going on right now in St Paul MN. This event raises money for Doctors Without Borders – last year this same event raised over $700,000. This is twice-yearly event, and the January Awesome Games Done Quick event earlier this year raised over $1.5mm for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Games Done Quick is the parent organization of this event. Competitive gaming and eSports are on the rise. Within this category, SGDQ is a unique event thatRead more

Deep Learning: Photos to Video

Collectively, we, take a lot of photos. Managing and manipulating these photos takes a lot of work, and most people don’t do it. At this year’s Google I/O conference, Google launched their new photo service, dubbed the “Gmail of photos“, alluding to the fact that this will “fix” photos much like Gmail helped improve our ability to deal with and manage email. Using simple, natural search, you can find that photos you’re looking for and they’ll automatically organize them forRead more

Unreal Graphics

The latest round of consoles (XBOX One + PS4) have allowed developers to push graphics forward. On the PC side of things, the next generation of engines and graphical capabilities are being pushed even further. This week a developer released some footage from a realistic beach environment built in the Unreal Engine, and it’s amazing: Despite the fact that there is no shooting, exploring, or any other game elements, this is important: producing these types of graphics used to beRead more

Mobile Enhanced, Enabled, and First

The Next Big Thing We used to talk excitedly about mobile being the next big thing. Clearly, we’ve arrived, and the smartphone is the center of our computing world. Mobile Enhanced The first wave of mobile apps and tools were largely mobile versions of things we already had on the desktop web. E-commerce became m-commerce, and sites like eBay benefited from people being able to post and sell 24/7, regardless of location. Maps and directions were an amazing use of mobileRead more

Game of Thrones: Record Breaking Demand + Piracy

Games of Thrones Season 5 has wrapped and the numbers are in. It was a record-breaker in many ways. Don’t worry, I won’t reveal any spoilers: the entire internet has done that already. GoT has become HBO’s most popular show ever, last year surpassing the Sopranos. It’s clear that demand for this show is high, with 8.1 million people tuning in on June 14 for the finale. In addition to the legal HBO subscribers, the show was illegally downloaded over 1.5 millionRead more