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A lot of ideas go to Kickstarter in hopes of getting needed funding. Many die but a lot of good ideas are successful and become products. If you’ve missed the initial wave of a Kickstarter project, you can still be an early adopter by grabbing a product off of Outgrow.me. Outgrow.me is a marketplace for many of the Kickstarter projects that were successful. So instead of waiting six months to see if a product idea will get funding and then another few months for fulfillment, you can jump on the bandwagon once it’s all smoothed out. Some of my favorites include:
Keylet: A metal wallet that holds a key like a Swiss Army Knife
Cap Buckle: A means of ensuring you don’t lose your camera’s lens cap
Weerol: An adjustable wooden toy
Creatures: The craziest looking card game I’ve ever seen
Stick-N-find: A way to use your smartphone to find lost stuff (except lost smartphones)
This is the week where Apple makes its big product and software announcements. As usual, I’m sure there will be a mix of surprises, disappointments, and big changes that will generate a buzz on the internet. One interesting thing I saw leaked this morning was that Apple will stop giving away printers with new computer purchases. Instead, it is rumored they will give away content in the form of iTunes gift cards.
I realize that this seems like a very subtle change on the surface, but it may be remembered as one of the first things that signaled the death of home printing. Many things have gone either ticketless (airlines) or paperless/scanable (events). Our mobile devices keep our correspondence, directions, coupons, etc. when we’re away from home so we don’t need to print those things out anymore. Documents are largely shared via e-mail or other cloud sources. Reading/notes are quickly moving to screens.
Beyond the scanning capabilities, is the home printer moving from necessity to relic?
For the past few years we’ve been hit with stories that the watch is fading away, that younger generations have given up wearing a watch thanks to their smart phones. Well, two recent products are showing signs that the watch might be making a comeback. These watches aren’t so much fashion plates but more akin to Dick Tracy’s Two-Way Wrist Radio.
The Sony SmartWatch is out and links to Sony Android phones (and some others) while on Kickstarter, an E-Paper Watch called the Pebble didn’t just raise the $100,000 it was seeking, it raised over $10 million.
While we’re being inundated with the idea that Smart devices will be everywhere shortly, the idea of adding functionality to the watch (and a new notification screen to the phone) seems like an actual innovation we should have seen long ago. It will be interesting to see how many other seemingly mundane devices will follow.
It might not be the flying cars we’ve been promised since forever, but Google is working on augmented reality. What’s that you ask? Watch the video below and you’ll see. It’s takes the functionality of your mobile phone and puts it into a seamless heads up display you use while walking around town. Philip K Dick might recognize this future…
One thing twitter has given us this week is a wealth of complaints about the gifts people received. I didn’t realize that so many people were so upset they didn’t get an iPhone or a car for Christmas. I wonder how their expletive-laden tweets would have sounded if they got the original iPhone prototype found here.
Yes, that looks like a Princess phone and an early computer had a baby.
Happy New Year!
For those of you who haven’t started yet (I know one or two) time is running out. But for those who have been doing their Christmas shopping this year, it turns out that online shopping continues to grow (15% over last year according to the New York Times). What is interesting is that more people are using mobile phones in the shopping process, though appears they largely browse via these devices and make the actual purchases on a tablet or traditional PC/laptop.
It will be interesting to see how mobile phone shopping and purchasing evolves. In the early days on online banking (just about 15 years ago), consumers were willing to review information on their laptops but felt the desktop was much more suitable to make actual transactions. Back then they indicated they felt that desktop computers were more secure and they’d be less error-prone when entering numbers or commands. It may be that as consumers get more and more used to employing smaller mobile screens in the shopping process, increased transaction numbers will follow.
Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll see an easy return the Christmas presents you don’t want app.