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The Nymi Nears Production

Tue, 2014-05-13 02:31

Noel (@noelportugal) chatted with the Bionym guys at SXSW earlier this year, and I know I speak for all of us here in the ‘Lab when I say I’m very stoked to get my Nymi and start playing with it.

Check out Techcrunch’s writeup and demo video.

Since I can’t embed TC’s video for some annoying reason, here is ninja cat instead.

Just pretend really hard, or watch the video over at TC.

Aside from just being an end user (please Agile Bits integrate Nymi for 1Password), I’m super excited about the cool demos we can do with the wristband and the SDK. Already noodling ideas for next year’s cool demo.Possibly Related Posts:

Miscellaneous Cool Stuff

Mon, 2014-05-12 02:46

I’m finally harvesting my open browser tabs, sharing some of the cool stuff that has been patiently waiting to be shared with you, gentle reader.

Chrome Remote Desktop for Android

Chrome Remote Desktop has been quietly awesome for a few years, and Google recently extended it to Android. So now, I can troubleshoot my parents’ computer from the road. Yay.

Project Ara Gets Closer

Squee! I’m not really sure why, but I’m so geeked for Project Ara phones, i.e. Google’s upcoming modular smartphones. Design your phone from the sensors up to the screen size, or something like that.

Everything is DIY now, so why not?

PiPhone

Speaking of everything being DIY now, some clever bloke built a Raspberry Pi smartphone.

The UX Drum

Longtime friend of the ‘Lab, Floyd Teter (@fteter) wrote a post about the importance of UX. I concur.

Linksys WRT1900AC

And finally because everyone gets excited about networking gear, especially this time of year, I give you my latest bit of nerd pr0n, the Linksys WRT1900AC. Short version, it’s a really fast wifi router, something every telecommuter should covet. Want the long version? Techcrunch did a review.

Speed comes at a price, namely $250, but I’m asking myself why pay for a big pipe when wifi has always been the choke point?

And Finally

Things Fitting Perfectly into Other Things

How about you? Care to share your open browser tab nuggets?

You know what to do.Possibly Related Posts:

Projecting Multiple Android Device Screens

Fri, 2014-05-09 02:30

On this team, we all carry Android devices, lots of them, including phones. Even Noel (@noelportugal) has finally been converted.

Everyone on the team, minus me, is an Android developer, and as they build for new devices like Google Glass and the upcoming Android Wear watches, the ability to project screen images becomes more essential.

49578622

Case in point, at a recent sales event, I was showing a Glass app and companion tablet app that Anthony (@anthonyslai) and Raymond built as a concept demo for Taleo interview evaluations.

Using Glass for the first time requires training, so I typically use the screencast option of the MyGlass app to see what the wearer sees. In this case, I was also showing an app on the tablet, so I couldn’t keep the screencast running.

Similarly, when I’m showing Glass or any Android apps to a room of people, projecting the screen images is a bit of an adventure.

Necessity being the mother of invention, Anthony decided to address our collective need for better Android projecting by modifying Android Projector, an open source Java project to support projecting from multiple Android devices.

You can find his code on GitHub.

Android Projector requires adb, part of the Android SDK. If you have adb, run:

adb devices

And copy the device ID you want to project. Then from the directory where you downloaded Anthony’s version of Android Projector, run:

./android-projector <device ID>

Want to show two devices? Open another terminal session, copy the other device ID, rinse, repeat.

And voila, you can see both device’s screens. If you’re giving a demo, you can now project your laptop’s screen to show all the screens.

dualProjections

Google Glass and Nexus 7 screencasts on the same machine.

Pretty cool, eh? Find the comments.Possibly Related Posts:

It’s Almost Maker Week

Thu, 2014-05-08 09:39

Maker Faire Bay Area (@makerfaire) is coming up quickly, May 17 and 18, and we’re excited to be participating.

mf14ba_badge_150

Here’s the backstory on why. Ultan (@ultan) and Justin (@kestelyn) spoke at Maker Faire 2012 (video), and the Java (@java) team is a major sponsor of the Maker Faire.

Unfortunately for him, Ultan won’t be around to attend, so when the Java team came looking for ideas for this year’s Faire, he asked if we’d help. Noel (@noelportugal), a longtime maker as well as a past Maker Faire attendee, jumped at the chance to represent Java and Applications User Experience at this year’s installment.

But wait, there’s more. This year, on May 13 and 14, there will be a conference the week before the Maker Faire, aptly named, MakerCon. This two-day conference focuses on the business of making and will be hosted at the Oracle Conference Center.

Our fearless leader, Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), himself an avid maker and tinkerer, will be delivering a keynote on May 13 to kick off the event.

So, for us at least, next week is Maker Week.

Noel has been feverishly assembling a DIY activity for the Java Embedded Playground at the Maker Faire involving some Internet of Things things and a bunch of Raspis. He teased these pictures to give a taste.

IMG_7245 IMG_7260 IMG_7217

Not to spoil the fun entirely, but what he’s building is a set of triggers and results (a la IFTTT), all automated. Visitors will choose an input (e.g. a sensor), a condition (e.g. keyword, hashtag) and an output (e.g. robot arm, Sphero) and watch the magic of IoT happen.

I’m excited to try this myself, especially the Sphero, which looks like outrageous fun, h/t to Tony for that one.

If you’ll be attending the Bay Area Maker Faire next week, stop by, say hi and try out Noel’s activity. Bonus, we’ll be hanging w Hinkmond Wong (@hinkmond), he of tweeting turkey fame.

Update: Worth noting that longtime friend and honorary member of the ‘Lab, David Haimes (@dhaimes) will be joining us in the Maker Faire tent to help over the weekend. Come by and see us in all our IRL glory.Possibly Related Posts:

Kicking the Remote Presence Device Tires with Beam

Wed, 2014-04-23 19:01

Beamnoel-beam

Remote Presence Devices or RPDs are finally becoming mainstream with products such as the Beam from Suitable Technologies. Today I kicked the tires of one (virtually of course) thanks to friend of the lab Dan Kildahl. I toured the newly renovated marketing offices at Oracle HQ. My first impression was really good. Around family and friends I am known as the clumsy game player. Yeah, I’m the one that gets constantly stuck against walls during first-person video games. But with the Beam interface I was able to easily navigate around the floor. I didn’t hit any wall, and that is good news.

I asked Dan how it was received around the office. He mentioned mixed opinions, which is completely understandable. All these new technologies are for sure changing social norms (see Google Glass). But as a technologist I just can’t help but feel excited.

What are your thoughts?Possibly Related Posts:

Google Glass + iBeacons

Thu, 2014-04-17 10:43

GlassBeacon

If you haven’t talk to me IRL for the past 10 months, then I haven’t pestered you about the wonders of BLE and micro-location. My love affair with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons became clear when I heard at WWDC 2013 that Apple was implementing BLE beacon detection in their CoreLocation framework. Apple showed how a small BLE beacon sending a constant signal (UUID + Major + Minor *) at a given interval could help for what is now known as micro-location.

At the time I just happened to be experimenting with wifi and bluetooth RSSI to accomplish similar results. I was prototyping a device that sniffed MAC addresses from surrounding devices and trigger certain interactions based on our  enterprise software (CRM, HCM, etc). You can find more on this topic in the white paper “How the Internet of Things Will Change the User Experience Status Quo” (sorry but its not free) that I presented last year at the FiCloud conference.

The BLE beacon or iBeacon proved to be a better solution after all, given its user opt-in nature and low power consumption capabilities. Since then I have been prototyping different mobile apps using this technology. The latest of these is a Google Glass + iBeacon ( github link: GlassBeacon) example. I’m claiming to be the first to do this implementation since the ability to integrate BLE on Glass just became available on April 15 2014 :).

Stay tuned for more BLE beacon goodness. We will be showing more enterprise related use cases with this technology in the future.

*UUID: a unique id to distinguish your beacons. Major: used to group related sets of beacons. Minor: used to identify a beacon within a groupPossibly Related Posts: