Tridiv: 3D objects in CSS without all that fuss

3D objects are the illest, especially when they’re rendered in CSS. But who’s got time to stir all that code? Tridiv makes the process easy as pie stolen from some fool’s windowsill.

3d-images-playaaaa

Why I’m Curious
I like comparatively simple solutions to let’s-make-stuff problems. I’d compare it to any of the animated GIF creator apps that are popping up since Tumblr and Reddit have made them so popular. While I hesitate to call it a WYSIWYG tool, it definitely lowers the bar to entry with regard to 3D CSS sweetness.

Self Destruct Emails

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Snapchat-like app allows people to send fleeting messages that disappear upon viewing.

The problem with sharing everything on the internet, is that it can feel so darn permanent. What started with Snapchat, the app that made sending naughty and silly photos seemingly safe, has branched out into a slew of applications that make our internet presence more ephemeral. Enter the latest iteration of erasable online media, OTR (which stands for off the record), a new in-browser application that let users send messages to other computers with a 5 second time limit before they vanish into the cyber atmosphere.

Created by app company Lamplighter Games, OTR was directly inspired by SnapChat (it was originally called ChapSnat when it was presented at a TechCrunch

The app is very much in-line with the trend of temporary online media, from self-destructing tweets to disappearing photos, more and more people are searching for semi-privacy online while still sharing parts of themselves. But it is unclear whether any of the media truly vanishes; in recent news a company announced it can retrieve all the SnapChat photos on your phone for $300, while another site SnapChat Leaked has begun posting pictures of those naughty bits you thought were lost in cyberspace. Nevertheless, Minkstein says OTR is not about hiding NSFW from the guys in human resources, ‘It’s not meant for ultra-secure communications or anything crazy like that.’ Rather OTR is just a bit of fun to break up another dreary day at the office and provides people with a way of controlling what they put out on the web.

Why I’m Curious:  Wondering if this adds any efficiency to people at work when they rely so heavily on emails to document important information. I do think it’s helpful to be able to vent or add humor to the day without worrying that anything written would be published forever.

What if Your Boss Tracked Your Sleep, Diet, and Exercise?

Inside most companies, the typical health and wellness program includes regular blood pressure checks, a list of fresh foods for the office fridge, and some sort of exercise guru who shows up every so often to tell people they should work out more. If you’re lucky, you might even get some couponsdesigned to encourage healthier eating — and cut company insurance costs.

But at Citizen — a Portland, Oregon company that designs mobile technology — things are a little different. Employees at the company are now uploading data on how much they exercise, what they eat, and how much they sleep to a central server, as part of an effort to determine whether healthy employees are actually happier and more productive. The ultimate aim is to explicitly show employees how they can improve their work through better personal habits.

Kickstarted by Wired’s Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly, the quantified self movement aims to glean more insight into our general well-being through statistics. Typically, this is a personal undertaking, but the same ideas are now moving into the business world. Chris Dancy, a director in the office of the chief technology officer at BMC Software, tracks his life in an effort to prove his worth to employers, and now Citizen is taking things even further.

C3PO taps into a service calls Health Graph — which collects data from personal activity trackers such as Fitbit and RunKeeper — but it also collects data from various software tools used inside the company, including the project management system TeamWork PM, the time tracking application RescueTime, the audio system Sonos, and the employee mood tracking service Happiily. In the future, its designers hope the system can provide all sorts of insight into employee behavior, such as whether listening to particular types of music increases productivity, or whether employees who have entered a new relationship are less productive than those who are single. Simpson says they even plan to post employee health stats to Citizen’s website.

Simpson and other developers built the system through Citizen’s Google-like “15% Time” program, which encourages employees to spend a certain amount of time on pet projects. It was originally just a way of satisfying their own curiosity.

The trouble is that it’s kinda creepy.

Sce Pike, Simon Vansintjan and Quinn Simpson are guinea pigs in Citizen’s ambitious — and creepy — plan to track how its employees live and work. Photo: Klint Finley

Hardcore self-trackers like Chris Dancy are already tracking dozens, perhaps hundreds, of variables related to their bodies and environment, such as skin temperature, heart rate, and diet. Dancy also keeps a detailed record of his work, and he can correlate his activities with what music he’s been listening to or what he had for dinner the night before. But he collects and analyzes the data for his own use. His employer has no access to any of his health data. Citizen’s approach is more ambitious — and potentially more useful — but it raises privacy questions.

“Health data can be used for many different purposes, and in an age of ‘big data’ can reveal things about you that you may not even know about,” Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation, another privacy advocate. “And the laws that protect health information often only protect that information within the health care system — [meaning] doctors and those involved in medical treatment and health insurers.”

C3PO’s particular brand of health tracking may be too much of a legal headache to really catch on, but its designers also aim to track productivity independently of health data. Simon Vansintjan, a user experience designer and one of the employees working on C3PO, says that stats such as the number of tasks completed and the number of repeat clients may provide an accurate measure how much work is getting done — and how good that work is — but the company is still exploring which metrics work and which don’t.

This sort of thing is happening inside many companies. Some outfits track hundreds of variables in the quest to measure worker productivity, says Nathan West, director of analytics products at Evolv. Evolv offers a service for companies that want to track employee productivity and minimize employee turnover. It even tries to determine how employees perform under different supervisors.

Why I’m curious: I think it will be interesting if they can use the system to change the way the company operates, to better estimate how long projects will take or find new ways of reducing employee turnover.

“Making Cities More Usable” – Dennis Crowley on Foursquare at SXSW

A lot of people might think of Foursquare as that checkin app with badges and leader boards and finding out where your friends are. But it’s a lot more than that now, thanks to all the map data and information that they know about places people are going to.

In a conversation onstage at SXSW with Anil Dash, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley discussed the company’s evolution from an app that was primarily focused around helping people to find their friends, to finding out more about the world that they live in.

Crowley said that one of the underreported stories is the number of companies that rely on Foursquare’s map data and what developers can potentially do with that. The place database has more than 50 million places of interest in it, and it changes frequently. Users enter new places as soon as they open up, and signal places that have closed down.

When talking about the map data that it has, Crowley compared Foursquare’s check-ins to Google’s web crawlers scanning the Internet for new websites. “People tell us about the places that are interesting, the places that are no longer interesting,” he said.

More importantly, the company isn’t entirely dependent on just its users anymore for a lot of its data. Thanks to the Foursquare API, the company gets location data from lots of different apps. For instance, every Instagram picture that has a location attached to it sends a data signal to Foursquare about that place of interest.

At the end of the day, the data that Foursquare has is the ability to provide more personalized maps than what is available today. Crowley said that maps haven’t really changed that much since people started making them, but now that we have certain amounts of trending data or interest data, Foursquare could help make the places that people see more meaningful to them.

Crowley likened that to Harry Potter’s “Marauders Map” and how it provides Harry with details about the people and places around them. “There is enough data that we should be able to make that Harry Potter map and give it to everyone in the room,” Crowley said.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/11/dennis-crowley-on-using-foursquare-to-build-the-marauders-map/

Why I’m Curious: The relationship between Foursquare and its API partners is kind of symbiotic: Foursquare has one of the best map data sets out there and makes it available. In exchange, it finds out more about the places that its partners’ users go to. It’s interesting to see how powerful data can be when combined with contextually relevant partnerships. It’s obvious most of these apps are created with the user in mind, the user experience as the priority, and they are becoming more and more valuable as complementary apps emerge.

Smartphone Voice-tracking Charts Emotional State

Sentiment analysis is one of those buzzwords that seems to have so much to offer. Over the last couple years, we’ve begun to see serious applications of mood detection technology. This can range from body sensors to speech processing tools like EI Technologies’ Xpression, a UK-based company that develops speech recognition software founded by Matt Dobson and Duncan Barclay.

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This app functions as a mood diary for patients struggling with mental illnesses and depression

Xpression is for patients visiting psychologists for a mental illness. Oftentimes, they are asked to record their emotions throughout the day and report back to their doctor. This task is often forgotten or not done properly, so Xpression is a new app that uses voice tracking to pinpoint a mood. The app reads a user’s emotion by sending short recordings of her or his voice to a remote server; this server then assesses the mood based on factors like loudness, intensity, pitch, and speech rhythm, ultimately it can sense changes in emotion through voice, record these changes, and forward them to the doctor.

Clinical psychologist Adrian Skinner told The New Scientist that:

with conditions like depression, people tend to stop doing things like filling in mood diaries. If this app gives us more complete diaries it could help us better find the day-to-day triggers that raise or lower a patient’s mood.

This brings up the point that in order for such innovations to work, the user experience is kept fairly passive. That’s why after being installed on the user’s phone, the app samples fragments of audio during a user’s calls. It provides output based on 5 key emotional states including calmness, happiness, sadness, anger, or anxiety.

Articulating the long-term vision for the app, a scientific advisor to EI Technologies told Digital Trends, the system “extract[s] acoustic features and let[s] the machine-learning system work it out. Eventually, such analysis will be able to be done within the app itself, removing any need for transmission of snippets of audio.

According to Mobile Marketing, while Xpression was initially targeted at patients needing to reflect on their struggle with depression, the app’s developers have further developed the app to address other illnesses such as Alzheimers, ADHD, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Why I’m Curious: I think this is an interesting link between what we are trying to uncover when doing sentiment analysis in the digital space. The ability to couple written word with emotional triggers could help brands understand consumers’ reactions and opinions of brand messaging.

Source: http://www.psfk.com/2013/03/smartphone-emotion-tracking.html

STADIUM APP LETS FANS ORDER FOOD AND GET ON-COURT CLOSE UPS

There’s nothing like the atmosphere at a live sporting event. The crowds, the players being within shouting distance, and the nachos are truly an ‘experience.’ (Making nachos at home doesn’t even come close).

Earlier this week, the home of the Brooklyn Nets released the Barclays Center app in an attempt to merge the best of the stadium experience with the technological benefits of watching the game from home.

Barclays-Center-App-Options

The Barclays Center app, which is iOS and Android compatible, is a new event app that allows spectators to interact with live in-game footage and other arena features. The app, which connects through the arena’s public Wi-Fi and is powered by Cisco’s StadiumVision Mobile technology, provides fans the ability to access live, in-game video, the official television feed, a 30-second rewind feature for replays, and up to four different cameras – mixing TV angles and GoPros mounted around the arena.

Incredibly, the app also lets users order food from their seat, send messages for display on the scoreboard, check-in, and interact with other users. The StadiumVision Mobile technology provides a nearly seamless stream of action to your phone at only a two second delay. It does this by using a ‘multicast’ connection, which keeps the stream from being overloaded and slowing down by splitting the feed and then delivering it individual to each fan. This is great if you want to watch a replay, and is certainly no worse than if you were listening to the broadcast on a handheld radio – as some fans still do.

Now, even if you are waiting in line for beer, food, to use the restroom, or are otherwise distracted, fans can get a front-row view of the action. For fans in the nosebleeds, they can get a little taste of what the high-rollers experience in the floor seats. And for fans that enjoy stats, replays, and different camera angles, they can enjoy the best of both worlds right from their hard, plastic stadium seating.

Why I’m Curious: This type of experience could go well beyond the basketball stadium – concerts, plays, baseball games, etc., and I think it’s a great opportunity for brands to get got involved in enhancing that “in the moment” experience.

 

Source: http://www.psfk.com/2013/02/barclays-center-stadium-app.html

NBA Gives Basketball Nerds the Gift of Big Data

Christmas just came six weeks late for basketball nerds.

The NBA will launch a new tool at midnight EST on Friday that gives hardcore and casual hoops fans alike access to an overwhelming amount of historical stats and data. Found atNBA.com/Stats, it includes box scores for every game dating back to the NBA’s first season in 1946, as well as deep historical dives on player performance and effective team combinations.

NBAstatssite

Users will be able to access an incredible total of 4.5 quadrillion statistical combinations, according to Ken De Gennaro, the NBA’s vice president of information technology.

Powered by the enterprise and analytics software company SAP, NBA.com/Stats appears to be an unprecedented step by a sports league into officially opening the gates of big data for fans.

An editorial component rounds out all the number crunching. It highlights certain stats and box scores from famous games, as well as contains a glossary section that explains some of the more advanced stats.

Each page also includes buttons to quickly share whatever you’re looking at via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter — so all that trash talking on social media may finally have some substance.

As for what all this means for SAP‘s potential in sports beyond basketball?

“Our partnership with the NBA enables fans to enjoy a deeper level of insight and feeling of connection to their favorite players and teams,” SAP’s senior vice president of sports and entertainment, Steve Peck, tells Mashable via email. “In this way, SAP helps the NBA to reach fans like never before. This is just a precursor of what SAP is capable of in the world of sports.”

Why I’m Curious: Since most of the obvious brands that have big data are still trying to figure out a way to make it relevant, I thought it was interesting to see an entertainment brand use data for exactly what it is. Plus hitting on an insight that most sports fan are heavily interested (obsessed) with statistics of players and games. They even tied in social to make most of the facts and numbers shareable so when people turn to Twitter to talk smack, they have the numbers to back it up.

Transparent Fingers

It’s the classic conflict presented by touchscreens — they display beautiful content that reacts instantly to your every move, but you can’t operate them without obscuring part of your view. A team at the National Taiwan University in Taipei is taking an neat approach to solving the problem, however, with tiny screens that you can wear on your fingertips. The team envisages the technology being used with flexible displays that fit over your nails like polish, but sadly notes that such a screen is not yet commercially available.

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Instead, the current NailDisplay prototype is a thimble-sized 96 x 64 OLED screen which syncs to the phone and displays relevant information. Touch a virtual keyboard with your thumb, for example, and the display will show you which “key” is being pressed — effectively letting you see “through” the digit. Another use case imagined is as a screen for a device that otherwise wouldn’t have one, such as an iPod shuffle. The team says it wants to investigate the possibilities for multiple devices at once, as well as the potential for eye-tracking software to improve the sensation of a “transparent finger.”

source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/30/3931624/naildisplay-gives-you-transparent-fingers

Why I’m curious: Not for the screen on your finger when it’s blocking the screen, but the concept of adding a screen via your finger to an object that doesn’t have a screen is interesting. Behaviorally we are learning to by pass the surface and just focus on the experience.  As we continue to find ways for technology to fit seamlessly into a users day to day, I wonder where this will net out.

British Airways: You Sure Look Familiar

British Airways recently began a new database program called “Know Me,” which utilizes the power of modern technology to provide customers with a tailored flight experience. Flying entails a wealth of customer data: from food preferences to delays experienced to the number of times flying the airline, each customer has its own set of particulars. BA aims to transfer this data into personalizing the flight experience for customers by providing flight attendants access to a database on iPads.

From ETN: “The program is able to send messages with information about specific customers to the iPads of customer service agents and senior cabin crew, or update check-in staff via the airline’s computer system. For example, they may be informed that a Silver Executive Club member is flying in business class for the first time thereby enabling the crew member to welcome that customer and explain the benefits of the cabin. Equally, if a regular traveler has experienced any issues on previous flights, such as a delay due to weather, the crew will be informed of that and will be able to go the extra mile, recognize the previous issue and thank the customer for their continued patronage.”

A controversial part of the program also enables BA service attendants to attempt to identify passengers via Google Image search, based on the notion that physically recognizing passengers strengthens the connection between the airline and passenger.

Why I’m Curious

Oh, the power of human recognition. Your coffee shop has your order ready just as you walk through the door, and associates at your favorite store put new products on the side so you can get them before anyone else. It’s an empowering feeling. Now keep this feeling in mind when you consider the anonymity of modern-day flight travel. Lines everywhere, just another faceless passenger on a plane, navigating the wonders of the TSA.

BA’s “Know Me” program is the perfect solution to this issue, providing customers with a travel experience tailored to their needs. A long-haul flight on British Airways is a bit of a modern luxury, and in a market driven mostly by price, a program like this can help justify the extra money spent on a BA flight. As for the Google Images piece, I’d recommend BA ask passengers to submit a photo during the purchase process, which should eliminate the weirdness.

A skip, jump and Timehop away.

Remember when Timehop was a handy little site that let you travel back in (social) time and see what you were up to on an exact day in history a year ago via an email digest? Well, they got it together to make an iPhone app that pulls together your data from nearly every social network (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, flickr and your phone’s camera roll) since you signed up for that network and pushes it back to you in a handy little shareable format.

The app is free, and enables you to share your found memories with others, too.

Why I’m Curious

While social networks may have initially been considered throw-away bits of content (perhaps due to their ease of creation?), times have changed. With social network usage becoming ubiquitous across all sorts of people, many memories are now stored within these networks, and the desire to access that information is even more important. Timehop’s provided an easy (digital) way of accessing content from the past, enabling self-reflection and a nice dose of nostalgia along the way. I do wonder why social networks themselves haven’t made this sort of time travel easier – one could argue Facebook was trying to address this with Timeline – and whether this will become a priority moving forward. Something to keep an eye on.

 

Finally, the Infinite Atlas!

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is reputed as a bit of a beast in the literary world. In over 1,000 pages and more than 300 endnotes (with footnotes to the endnotes) it’s a journey I have yet to take, but am eager to do… at some point. Just ask me how long it’s taking me to get through Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! right now and you’ll understand.

In the meantime, for those who have tackled the novel, and those of you in progress, this may come in handy: The Infinite Atlas. Powered by Google Maps, the Infinite Atlas project  “is an independent research and art project seeking to identify, place and describe every possible location in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.”  There’s a real(!) map and web guide to Boston with videos and travelogues. Stories and characters are available to search, and each location pinned to the map denotes the page numbers where the location appears, related characters and plot points. Visitors to the site are encouraged to upload photos for each location as well.

Why I’m Curious

So, this is pretty neat use of the Google Maps API. But let’s look beyond the obvious for a moment, and take this idea to another level. As technology adaptation begins at birth, newer generations are unaware of a world sans the digital advances that are commonplace in our world today. As teaching and learning adapts to this curve in technology adaptation, imagine how open APIs can enhance the learning experience: from novels (Absalom, Absalom! comes to mind) to the Revolutionary War, the resources to make learning more interactive and history come to life are increasing. We just need some people with the time, energy and resources to pull it together. Oh, the possibility!

Facebook Tool Lets You Find Out If Your Crush Likes You

From PSFK:

Huntcha is a tool that lets you generate a secret list of people you have crushes on to see if they like you too. After creating your private profile and list through Facebook, Huntcha will alert you if someone on your list adds you to their list as well. This counts as a ‘Match’ and the two of you will be informed that you like each other. A message window will then appear so you can start a conversation. You can modify your list as many times as you want, and it holds a maximum of 9 crushes at a time.

Why Am I Curious?

Well, it does seem like a very simple premise, even a little “high school” but in a highly virtual world that we currently live in, there seems to be an increasing trend towards using social and digital to once again express our humanity and find some special connections. In that regards, perhaps, simple is the way to go. I am curious to see whether this will take off or whether it will be too “simple” for most people’s tastes.

Filters filters filters….

I’m 99.9% sure I was born with a camera in my hand. And for those who weren’t, photography is now even more democratic, with cameras built-in to nearly any and every device a lens can fit. And believe me, I love the idea of photo-sharing, I really do (it’s where the fun is) and social networks have enabled photography and sharing to blossom. But one thing that really gets me going is filters. Not a thing against Instagram, but man, the filters and the sense of false nostalgia those sort of images infer just drive me bonkers. Why try to simulate the past when you can make your own history? I won’t judge you if you use ’em, but you won’t see me filtering anytime soon. I digress.

I can’t be the only curmudgeon out there, because a little something called Normalize just launched. Normalize is a filter-removing app that does exactly what it says: returns filtered photos back to their mundane glory. You can read more details about how it works and how the program was written directly from creator Joe Macirowski on his blog. It’s dead fool-proof, with a sliding scale that allows users to decide the amount of “normalizing” applied to the photo. The privilege of using the app will cost you a paltry $0.99, by the way.

On a personal note, it gets close to returning an image to its original state, but like most things, not 100%. For reference:

Why I’m Curious

We all saw this one coming, didn’t we? I don’t think it’s marking a wave in realism, as some other bloggers have speculated; instead, it’s a way of applying yet another (real-life) filter to existing content… in short, another way for users to manipulate and control the world around them. Thanks, internet.

And I promise I won’t rant about filters ever again.

C’est super-facile, non?

Google Translate is nothing new: fueled by the eponymous search engine, Translate can translate over 60 different languages and allows you to speak your text and listen to translations aloud. But a sneaky little update to the smartphone app just a few days ago made it all the more useful: you can now scan pieces of text for direct translation. Via your smartphone’s camera, Google Translate can translate whatever it is that you’re looking, from either printed word or hand-written instructions. And similar to iOS, the app allows you to select particular text, which is even more helpful if you just need a phrase or two translated.

So, the next time you’re on a train platform in Moscow, attempting to decipher Cyrillic, fret not. Google’s got your back.

Why I’m Curious

Short and sweet today: technology is ever-green. I appreciate companies that don’t merely release projects, but continue to improve on them. This is just another manifestation of Google’s “always in beta” mentality, and I’m digging it.

Samsung Galaxy S3 brings hotel services to your fingertips – Literally!

Samsung’s Galaxy S III is not only the official smartphone of the 2012 Summer Olympic games, but it is also a pretty nifty gadget to have if you happen to be staying in London’s Stratford Holiday Inn.

Guests staying in one of the 40 VIP rooms will receive a Galaxy S III smartphone with a customized Holiday Inn app capable of:

  • Checking in and out
  • Locking and unlocking doors
  • Controlling lighting
  • Acting as an in-room phone extension
  • Controlling the AC
  • Ordering room service
  • Controlling the room’s TV

Additionally, the app will be updated regularly with the latest Olympic event news, schedules and information, ensuring that all VIP guests are connected to the games no matter where they are.

Why Am I Curious?

I like this because it is such an intuitive use of the technology and is a great fit for the world of hospitality. Yet it is quite novel except in the sense that except for some trials at a few hotels in Asia, it has not been leveraged. Clearly, to this point, it did not fully catch on – potentially due to security concerns and/or costs – but I am interested in the kind of feedback it will receive this time around and if it will become something that gets rolled out to the larger population.

I love you SXSW, but the tweets have gotta go.

My Twitter feed is a mix of friends, former colleagues, industry people and music/pop/tech culture. I’m not the only thing tying us together though – we’re all fiends for culture and what’s next. And with SXSW looming, this is usually the time where I step away from Twitter for a bit, because it’s freaking cluttered (cluttered!) with SXSW references.

I like to hear about what’s new and next, but I don’t want to hear about Stubb’s. Again. Or which after-parties you’re hitting. But I miss Twitter. And I’m clearly not the only one, because a developer at Lanyrd.com created a neat browser extension to help solve that very problem.

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The “Not at SXSW” browser extension allows you to hide tweets from people you follow that are attending SXSW, as well as allows you to select particular keywords you also want to hide. And if you’re feeling risky, you can always view the hidden tweets with the extension still on. And it’s available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. Note: the extension will no longer work after 3/16, after which “everyone should have returned to normal.”

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Why I’m Curious

Awesome solution to a silly problem. I want to keep up with the world in real time, but I want to be selective about what I see. And yes, SXSW is darn well interesting, but I can catch recaps later. Thank you, Lanyrd. Just get me a mobile version the next time ’round.

HASHPIX

We knew this was coming…you can’t have all of these beautiful pictures and no one profiting from them. Someone had to capitalize….presenting: Hashpix the new place to buy/sell your favorite Instagram photos.

Mashable:

“To sell on the site, photographers need to apply. It’s starting out by selling selected photos from 12 of the most popular Instagram photographers, who together have more than 800,000 followers on the photo sharing platform.” Read the full article here.

Why I’m Curious

I am curious to see what this could grow into. Could brands with amazing photos start selling them at a profit on Hashpix? Could brands such as Starbucks that use great imagery start using this as a place to promote their creativity? Additionally, it continues the conversation around images and videos and how much more people are using them in social media. It challenges brands to not only have engaging copy, but to be aesthetically pleasing to the consumer as well.

Sneakers with sensors and accelerometers bring all-new opportunities in tracking

Nike just launched a new set of baseball sneakers this week that are embedded with pressure sensors and accelerometers to collect previously unmeasurable, movement-based statistics across multiple levels of speed and agility. Nike+ Basketball lets you know how high you jump, how quick you run, and how hard you play. In addition to these precise stats a universal NikeFuel score is captured—all allowing the user to compare to previous games plus general exercise with their friends.

– Judy

Why I’m Curious:

As the idea of quantifying yourself becomes more engrained in everything around health and wellness, I think we will see more and more ways to track each thing you do. Having your basketball sneakers track movements (much like Nike+ originally did in your shoe with running) seems like a logical next step in building a robust ecosystem for athletes, in compliment with the innovative Nike FuelBand and specialized Nike+ mobile apps.

Turn any screen with a browser into a smart TV

Clik lets users control any screen with a web browser using their smartphone. The new platform will let developers create apps for viewing videos, music, photos or games on different screens. They have released a free iPhone and Android app to show its potential, which can quickly push YouTube videos from your smartphone to your computer or smart TV so you can watch them on a bigger screen. The app also acts like a remote control, letting you pause, fast forward and adjust the volume.

– Judy

Why I’m curious:

I think its interesting to put control in hands of the users and I like that this is a new platform to share content. For example, Clik lets multiple people scan the QR code for a single screen to control it, allowing groups of people to share content from different smartphones.

Pinteresting!

Oh man, I’m sorry to bring this upon you guys. Pinterest has been lingering in the background, whispering throughout the trades, but all of a sudden has hit critical mass. And here I am, contributing to the media hysteria. So forgive me, as my loyalties lie with Tumblr.

But, anyways. The point is, Pinterest and TrapIt have now teamed up to create even more visibility around each other. TrapIt [launched in November] is a hyper-version of Google Reader, in the sense that a user selects a topic for TrapIt and TrapIt serves back content around that topic to you. Similar to Pandora, users can “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” the content, so the filter evolves to predict what you’ll find interesting, and the filter is always updating, so you get new news, as it happens. And you can always share or save your trapped stories for later.

Here’s where it gets Pinteresting. TrapIt has now evolved to include a “pin” feature with each story so that users can seamlessly pin TrapIt content to Pinterest. So both discovery sites lead to… more discovery.

Why I’m Curious

TrapIt added this feature because, “Pinterest easily sends them 5-6 times the traffic that Tumblr or StumbleUpon does. The company also had users asking them for the ability to easily pin content found on its site, so the feature was a no-brainer, plus the founders are already power users of the site.” Credit to them for acting on insight and integrating a new feature into their site that opens the the door for additional traffic and use. Is this the first integration of pinning on other sites?

Considering this is two discovery sites playing discovery with each other, I can’t help but think about the recent article in the NYT about the death of discovery and the cyberflaneur on the internet. Is discovery online really dying? I’d seem to think not, considering the easy ways of showing and sharing what we like.

On another note, the Rolling Stones have an official Tumblr account.