Ideas Matter



Entries by Anthony Blow (28)


Bluetooth Watch Phone Companion



This Buzz post by Robert Scoble reminded me of more old stuff done around the same time as the Bluetooth Companion device.  This guy would connect to your phone over bluetooth & serve as a push to talk speakerphone, or provide limited calendar/txt access through an App(didnt call them Apps back then, more like a 'Conduit' Service) running on the phone. There was concern with these phone satellite terminal-like devices of cannibalizing phone sales. My argument was that somebody else could always build support for such devices, might as well have been us.

A lot of screen area would have been lost had there actually been a Tag Huer round face watch with an LCD(the analog watch face would have been a screen saver). What I did not know back then was that most folks would stop wearing watches when phones provided the time. 


Bluetooth/Wifi Display Client


Here is a Bluetooth 2G/3G display client concept from the early '00's. This thing would have been a keyboarded, large(er) screen, short range companion to the ultra thin Razr phone in your pocket. There was a chunky version that would run an emulator when you stuffed in one of those Gameboy Advance cartridges popular at the time. 


This old pager sized guy begs the question of how you might want to build something using the phone as Wifi/Bluetooth Hotspot concept today? I might take everything out of a laptop you possibly could, which would make it pretty much just the thickness of the display & keys(or these days, just ditch the keyboard altogether, iPad style). That leaves rendering/client hardware,  touchpad sensing, and your Bluetooth(or Wifi) 'X-win' link to your phone providing the local apps processing. If you were careful with the short range wireless display compression, you could probably build a cheap tablet style terminal that blows up whatever is running in your phone. The wireless display stuff Intel had on display @CES2010 could maybe work here, in the forward direction, I think they are missing the reverse link for control info going back to the phone. 



I'll probably try and do a video on this in the near future. 



Brainstorming The Future #1 / QR-Codes 

Brainstorming The Future #1: QR-Codes

Here is the first brainstorming netcast, where we start with a Google Buzz seed post on QR-Codes from Gina Tripani of and a host of other things and This Week In Google. From there, we follow the evolution of a new concept in QR-Codes through more posts from Danny Sullivan of Third Door Media, a regular on The Gillmor Gang and Matt Cutts of Google, who often appears with Gina on This Week In Google. I threw in my two cents with Adsense For Objects. Things wrap up with feedback on the QR-Infrared emitter signage concept from Nancy Rossi of Sign Diego, a manufacturer of industrial grade signs. My question to you is after watching the video, where do we go for QR-Codes part II?

Infrared QR-code concept thread:





How Does Android + [Insert Name Here]'s Phone Become Like The iPhone?


Outrage abounds as news of Apple's latest move, perceived as yet another developer relations body blow, makes the rounds in the tech community. 

Says frustrated commentator Travis in this Buzz thread from Jeremy Chone: "After the battery in my iPod Touch goes... I'll officially be DONE with anything Apple..."

Well, where does one go if leaving Apple? Android is a threat to Apple for sure, but sort of the way a micro meteor is a threat to an astronaut on their way to Mars. The relatively open, fragmented, wild-west environment of Android means that mixed App experiences break often on a given device. In this environment, developer freedom over time should encourage one of those rare breakout successes to challenge Apple's managed experience platform. This is the micro meteor that comes out of nowhere, right through the hull of a spacecraft. I liken it to the impact of a DOOM, created by iD Software for the PC. Think DOOM would have been allowed into the Apps store had it existed back then? Me neither. 

So my question is this, if enough users want these new experiences born of freedom(and chaos) to arrive intact on their Android devices, how does Google sync manufacturers, carriers and developers with varying priorities as well as Apple syncs itself? 




When will a MacBook look like the iPad?



On the CES show floor a couple months ago, walking the outer orbit of low to mid tier manufacturer booths, I saw mini laptop running Win98 for $88 in volume. Yeah, it was underpowered, it was too small(aimed for the education market), but was a reminder of how quickly the commoditization in PC's is accelerating. I'm sure 5 years from now, you will probably be able to buy a small laptop in a Liquor store, near the register next to the cigarettes and energy pill packs.
In phones, Apple surfs commoditization by collecting its share of revenue from Apps, which have a totally different profit profile than the hardware alone. I mean really, other folks do all the work to build these Apps(though Apple creates some and commissions them from others). The curation process at work in the iPhone/iPad Apps store must ask this question of everything at the gate; How high does this App elevate the platform above the commodity experience?
I believe that perfecting this curation aspect of their business model will also shape how Apple builds PC's. In an Apple curated-experience, App-subsidized hardware model, all software purchased for an iMac/MacBook will go through the Apps store for taxation. The hardware and UI itself could begin to mix & mash between the iPhone, iPad and iMac/MacBooks. I'd love to see the CPU power of a MacBook in an iPad form factor, with the best of the iPad/iPhone UI, while retaining the ability to run processor intensive, I mean Applications, like Illustrator or Maya.