wearable electronics, smart fabrics, smart accessories

January 15, 2008

A while ago, I heard about a new version of my bookbag (an Ipack). I decided when I needed a new book/computer bag, I would look to some of the new smart fabric products.

This fabric is not hypercolor. Remember hypercolor? The fabric was heat sensitive and when touched, changed colors. I had a pair of purple socks that finally turned completely orange. The thermochromatic dye used was really not too stable. Anyhow, that technology is old news. It’s now available in toys and even in beer bottle wrappers.

Now, there is clothing and accessories with built in ipod functionality. How cool is that? I’m willing to test any of this stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Send me a nice ski/snowboard jacket and I’ll definitely put it to use.

..and for those of you interested, the newer controls are even dry cleanable!

Read more here from the company’s website

Lots of news about smart fabrics @ crunchwear

new things for ’08… crystal ball gazing with opensource, social networking, digital identity, and more.

December 31, 2007

I was poking around trying to find a better video editor, when I stumbled across an opensource project called, Jahshaka. Jahshaka is positioning itself as being a fullbodied product that can compete with such software as finalcut pro (wow!). Not sure about that, because I could never (ever, ever) get the windows installer to work properly. Maybe if I had already switched to ubuntu ALREADY…

Anyhow, I started thinking about all of the new things out there that I probably don’t know about (and some that I do) and somehow I ended up crystal ball gazing (a very dangerous occupation).

It is really amazing how fullbodied some of the opensource products are (openoffice, wordpress, drupal, anyone?)  and perhaps, even more amazing, all of the online tools now available (thinkfree, etc.)

As for my thoughts on the near future on the ‘net: niche social networking, user centered aggregated content (perhaps, even some consolidation?), and digital identity.  Web3.0 and semantic web? Maybe.

I think niche social networking will become even more popular (social networking sites tailored to the needs of visual artists have popped up recently). Considering how easy it is to get lost in the crowd at facebook or myspace, I can see how appealing a specialized site is. Plus, the one size fits all just does not really… well, fit. Visual artists have been advocating/begging/petitioning myspace for years to create a visual arts portal, as myspace has for musicians. Why bother with that, when there are several sites specifically for visual artists?

However, having a specialized site means another profile and spot on the web to maintain. Social networking and content aggregators are surely to be even stronger in ’08. How else to manage all of the personal content bits floating out on the web? All of the stuff you want to read? Google reader can help, Pageflakes might be even be more useful (a variety of content, not just feeds or clipped websites), but then there is the other stuff: all of the various profiles, with logins and passwords. Social networking aggregators such as spokeo, profilactic and others, can be handy. Digital identity tools are certainly helpful, for logging in OpenID (one login for multiple sites) and in distinguishing what is yours and perhaps, more importantly, what is NOT yours (and is in no way affiliated.) Consolidation is bound to happen and a little is a good thing — unless google ends up owning EVERYTHING….

Among sites being touted as ‘hot’ for ’08: PowerSearch (a semantic search engine) , Pownce (social networking & more), etsy (an online store similar to ebay focused on handmade and originally produced products… most of the art community that I know, do not seem overly enamored with etsy, thus far), Dopplr.com (a travel & meetup site), twitter (really? I thought we were all tired of twitter by now), children’s social networking such as moshimonsters and webkinz (if you know a tween or preteen, just ask them about webkinz), seesmic (video diaries)…

..and of course, Google opensocial, if it ever makes headway. I also like some of the projects which allow users to make a positive contribution to a body of knowledge in some way, like the steve museum project, where users assign keywords/tag artwork,  identifying artists’ work, and more) and also recaptcha, which uses scanned images from books as captchas (a phrase or word typed in some sort of form, that the user must enter in a text box, which prevent spambots from automatically using the form).

..and then there is always wikipedia, citizendium, the new Google Knol, and those sorts of sites.

Other trends & technologies that have popped up in the onslaught of 2008 predictions posts/articles include:

Location based services (niche marketing of a sort), Mobile Social Networking (I don’t really see so much as a trend, just a means of access whether a pda,  iphone laptop, or psp or whatever… but freely available WIFI at most public buildings, that could definitely continue to change things), lots of chatter about Google taking on the cellphone/mobile industry with Android, Gaming, SecondLife/Virtual Worlds (OpenSL?), internet habits changing as the mobile industry & high demand downloads continue to increase, increase in usage of Linux and other opensource projects (evergreen, the opensource ILS?), and an increase in distrust in google (I love google products, but they are a corporation after all.)

Creating widgets and apps to work with much of this technology is usually (but not always, of course) fairly easy to do and can easily be done by someone with minimal coding experience. I see lots of places where libraries can be, if they want to be. I guess that is the question.

Facebook is so last year http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/dec/24/facebook.socialnetworking

2008 Predictions http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/2008_web_predictions.php

2008 Technology predictions               http://latestgeeknews.blogspot.com/2007/12/2008-technology-prediction.html

The Economists Prediction for 2008                            http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10410912

Top 10 Startups Worth Watching in 2008 http://www.wired.com/techbiz/startups/news/2007/12/YE_10_startups

30 Library Technology Predictions http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/archives/2007/12/30_library_tech.html

..and of course, a generous sprinkling of my thoughts.

5000 resources to do just about anything online

September 9, 2007

5000 resources to do just about anything online

I love mashable and I can’t possibly summarize everything in this article, but if you are looking for new things to do with your blog/website, or just to have a little fun on the ‘net, do take a look. You can find things such as 30 widgets for a wordpress blog, 70+ podcasting tools, 12+ twitter tools, etc. Lots and lots of wordpress stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰


August 22, 2007

So, you may (or may not!) have noticed a new feature here. I’ve loaded the widget for snapshots. What is snapshots? Well, when you see a link in a post, if you roll your pointer over it, a little preview of the website pops up. Pretty handy, hmm? On the snapshots popup, there is a little wheel looking icon on the toolbar. You can turn off this feature (if it just drives you crazy) or you can change the settings (see RSS feeds instead of page view).

Give it a go:

Move your pointer here

pageflakes offers new customization — blizzard!

July 19, 2007

Customized home page startup Pageflakes launched a slew of new features this morning under what it is calling its โ€œBlizzardโ€ release.

Among all of the new features, the two that are important to highlight are social networking and customizable themes on pages.

Until today Pageflakes users could create pages for their own use, and/or make public pages called Pagecasts. The content was and continues to be completely up to the user. Now, however, each user also gets a profile page and can add other Pageflakes users as friends. Effectively, Pageflakes is now a social network, and users can connect based on common interests. See a screen shot of my profile page above (click for larger view). Users with common interests are shown on the bottom right.

My page flakes:

— more at Techcrunch


DIY google maps (maplets)

July 11, 2007

Okay, I don’t have a personal use for this YET, but I can see all kinds of fun applications. Got family or friends visiting for a week? Create a map of fun stuff to do. Got folks coming to a conference? Create a map of activities and places to eat.
Campus tours? Art about town walking tours? Hmm…. Next vacation, forget the highlighter and sticky notes on a map… I’m mapleting it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maplets let users customize Google Maps
‘Maplets’ enable users to combine Google Maps with services such as a real estate listing or traffic report
By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service, July 11, 2007

Google introduced a feature to its mapping service on Wednesday that allows people to create their own customized maps, by adding information such as the location of cheap gas stations or property for sale.

The information comes from what Google calls maplets, which are small applications created by Google or a third-party developer that combine Google Maps with some other service, such as a real estate listing or traffic report.

Users who set up a Google My Maps account can then create their own customized maps, adding as many maplets as they want. They can also draw directions on their maps, and attach photographs or videos of specific locations using services such as Google’s YouTube and PicasaWeb.

The resulting maps can be kept private or made public and indexed in Google’s search engine, according to Google’s My Maps page. People can also upload maps to Google Earth in the form of a KML (Keyhole Markup Language) file, a technology for describing geographic coordinates.

A Google official said last month that the company may eventually allow paid advertisements on its mapping service, where businesses would be able to create maps with some sponsored links. The ads would take the form of the pins seen on the maps today, with pop-up photos and text.

It would be a way for both Google and businesses to earn more advertising revenue, which underpins much of Google’s strength. Google has said it will give users some say in how many ads appear on its maps, so as to not be too intrusive.

— From InfoWorld,

Google Maplets/

widget world

May 17, 2007

for those of you into widgets (yeah, you know who you are), here are a few widgets sites.

yahoo widgets