Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality are coming!
Mar 2016
21

Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality Are Coming

I admit it. I’m crazy excited about virtual reality and mixed reality. It’s the evolution of the day dreams I’ve had since I was a kid reading Tom Swift books. To see that we are on the path to all this becoming actual reality in my lifetime is like all my sci fi books coming to life all at once.

Terms to Remember:
360-Degree Video, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality


360-degree video: In the most basic terms, this is live video that is shot with cameras that have lenses pointing in all directions. To get the idea, imagine that you are watching a movie but you can look all around the scene: right, left, above, below, and even behind you. Most often you are a viewer, not a participant. Google Cardboard is an inexpensive tool that let’s you view 360-degree videos with a smart phone.

Virtual reality: Abbreviated to VR, this is most often a fully simulated experience controlling 100% of the viewer’s sight and hearing. The simplest comparison is to imagine you are dropped into a video game and can participate as one of the characters, actively interacting with the things you see and hear. Usually this experience takes some sort of head mounted screen (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung GearVR) and other gadgets like cameras or gloves to make you feel immersed in the experience.

Mixed reality: Also called augmented reality, MR combines aspects of your real word with additional graphics or information. If you’ve seen movies where the character sees the real world through a screen that provides additional data (Iron Man, Terminator), that’s what we’re talking about. The big difference here is that MR has an awareness of where you are, either through a camera, GPS, or other sensor technology. Mixed reality can happen with a smart phone, a more advanced system like Microsoft Hololens, or not-quite-real technology that recognizes you when you walk in the room. Continue reading…

Looking To The Future With Ford
Dec 2015
09

Looking To The Future With Ford Trends

Jimmy_Kimmel_LiveI feel lucky to have a long-standing relationship with Ford. Sometimes we do super fun things together, like hanging out at the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and then checking out the 2017 (yes, 2017) Ford Escape during the Los Angeles Auto Show. But every time I attend a Ford Trends Event, I learn new things too, and not just about cars.

I also have been lucky to attend the “Further With Ford” conference several times, and listen to Sheryl Connelly speak about trends. Again, not just trends in the automotive industry. Of course Ford is interested in how all these affects them as a company, but the variety of topics always show me they are thinking about what people are doing both in and out of their cars.

Today Sheryl and Ford has released the fourth-annual Looking Further with Ford Trend Report which takes you through the 10 trends that are expected to shape the global consumer climate across all industries for 2016. Continue reading…

Rdio To Spotify
Nov 2015
19

Export Rdio Playlists, Import Them To Spotify

If you are reading this, you probably heard the news this week about Rdio shutting down. It’s been everywhere. I just wish all these tech journalists had talked more about this great music streaming service before they filed for bankruptcy.

I, as a rabid Rdio user, have been at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here. Pandora bought the tech of Rdio and plans to incorporate it, but that’s at least an year away. I do like Pandora, but I am a person who cultivates my own music (no matter what Jimmy Iovine thinks.) There is Apple Music, but my iTunes application crashes every other time I open it. So, until things get sorted out, I have turned to Spotify.

I have to say, the user interface is much better than in years past – although I am already missing the music discovery based on what your friends listened to – that thing Rdio provided so well.

Either way, my first response when I heard the news was, “WHAT ABOUT ALL MY PLAYLISTS???” I have so many of them with hundreds and hundreds of songs in each. Continue reading…

Giveaway from AT&T Denver
Oct 2015
13

Goodies Giveaway from AT&T Denver!

I was able to catch up with my friends at AT&T in Denver right before I went away on vacation and they were kind enough to give me a nearly-wallet size charger to take with me to Costa Rica. This thing is so small and self-contained, in that the plug to the phone and the wall charger tuck up into itself. It charges up super fast and gives an iPhone about 1 fill-up. Perfect for stuffing in my backpack (or back pocket) on the road!

iPhone Charger Continue reading…

Tech Tips for Families
Sep 2015
10

Family Tech Tips With AT&T’s Smart Limits

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by AT&T but all words and opinions are mine.

Our son Dex is about to turn 13, so we continue to slowly expand his freedoms on the phone. In the beginning, we had really strict policies about who he could text, but as he goes through middle school – he is gaining more casual friends that he wants to – and should be able to – communicate with on the regular.

But how do we allow him more wiggle room while still being protective? AT&T introduced me to their Smart Limits service and app… it’s been the perfect compromise for us.

Before that, how about a refresher on tech tips for families?

Family Tech Tips Continue reading…