Category Archives: cell phones

iPhone Odyssey

Apple's new iPhone 3G

Apple's new iPhone 3G

iPhone Odyssey
One New Yorker’s quest for Apple’s new iPhone 3G

Monday, July 7, 2008 – WASHINGTON

12:45 – Visit local AT&T store to check phone upgrade status. Everything is cool, but the sales guy warns that I should get there early on Friday if I want the iPhone. Last time they sold out before lunchtime. I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 – NEW YORK

10:00 – Download and read gizmodo.com’s “iPhone Survival Guide.” It says to go bring energy bars and bottled water and be prepared to camp out. Also, the AT&T account holder must be present. Since I’m on a family plan, that means I have to go back to DC and persuade my mother to wake up early on Friday and camp out at AT&T with me. I decide to make a weekend vacation out of it.

17:30 – Book bus ticket to DC, check AT&T’s website for iPhone checklist.

Thursday, July 10, 2008 – NEW YORK

16:30 – Leave work early and go to Penn Station. The bus is jam packed. After being stuck in traffic for an hour, the bus finally exits out of NYC.

22:35 – Finally arrive home.

00:45 – Set alarm for 6:30. Go to bed early in preparation for the long day ahead.

Friday, July 11, 2008 – WASHINGTON

7:45 – Arrive at local shopping mall. The parking garage seems rather full for 8 in the morning. I get a little nervous.

7:50 – Enter mall and run to AT&T store in time to see a long line snaking around the corner. We queue up behind a skinhead with major tattoos. He says he’s not worried. He’s gone through all this a year before for the first generation iPhone. He’s an iPhone veteran.

8:00 – The doors open exactly at 8, and the line finally moves. An AT&T salesperson walks by, explaining that they only let a few people in at once, and you must register your phone in the store, which takes about 15 minutes. I do the math; it’s going to be a long morning. I survey the barely moving line. Judging by appearances only, it looks to be mostly comprised of young/middle-aged professionals. I idly wonder if they are all skipping work this morning.

8AM queue at AT&T

8AM queue at AT&T

Getting closer!

Getting closer!

10:00 – Two hours later, we are ushered into AT&T. The sales rep asks what can he do for us today. I reply that I’m here to buy an iPhone. Like, duh, as if he didn’t know that already. He hands me my new iPhone 3G, but tells me that I can’t use it yet since it’s not activated. Apparently, the computer systems are down so everyone has to activate their phones at home through iTunes. Okay, that’s cool, as long as I can still get my phone.

10:20 – I walk out of AT&T feeling accomplished. The line is even longer than when we arrived over two hours ago. I proudly hold my yet-to-function iPhone. I’m dying to try it out to see if it lives up to all the hype.

11:00 – I try to set up my phone as per the instructions. I hook it up to my MacBook Pro and watch it connecting to iTunes. Ten minutes later, a memo box pops up. The network connection has timed out. I guess it can’t handle a million people trying to activate their phones all at once. Looks like I’ll have to wait to try out my new phone.

17:30 – I attempt to activate my phone again. This time I am lucky as it hooks right up to iTunes. Fifteen minutes later, my phone is finally activated! I set it up so that all my emails, contacts, and calendars are seamlessly synced to my phone. Then I upload music, photos, and videos.

Syncing iPhone to laptop

Syncing iPhone to laptop

18:20 – Eight hours after leaving AT&T, my new iPhone is fully loaded and ready to go. Now I can enjoy spending the rest of my weekend customizing my phone.

Monday, July 14, 2008 – NEW YORK

10:00 – Back in New York and back at work. Everyone is talking about the new iPhone. The New York Times reports that Apple sold over one million in the first weekend. My co-worker complains that he waited for three hours on Friday at AT&T, only to find that it was sold out. Another co-worker says that on Saturday, the line at the 14th St Apple Store went all the way down past Jeffrey’s. Yeah, sounds like it was one hell of a weekend for all parties involved. But every time I pick up my new iPhone 3G, I remember that it was all worth it.  WU

The End

The End

Sent from my iPhone

Advertisements

Digital Downtown

Digital Downtown

New York held its new annual Digital Downtown, a consumer technology showcase at the World Financial Center Winter Garden this past weekend.  It featured the latest innovative trends on consumer electronics, from high definition televisions, mobile devices, audio, to energy saving and gaming devices.

Flat screen HDTV’s dominated the majority of the atrium with the new ultra thin 1.5 inch Hitachi standing out. The images were so clear, consumers stood for minutes admiring the image quality.  But, Roland, the world’s leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments had the most amazing demonstrations of what the future brings.  One demonstration that stood out is known as “the parent’s dream” the silent drum set made of rubber, is attached to headphones that allow each hit, tap, snare to be translated to the original instrumental sound.  Another demonstration that stood out was the double keyboard with a microphone attachment that allowed you to sing into the microphone out of tune as it translates your tone perfectly into pitch. The instrument allowed the demonstrator to sing orchestral back up to Mariah Carey’s a cappella. With this new product soon to be in consumer hands, can anyone be the next Mariah Carey?

Technology is redefining our future and the way we communicate. New York, now being apart of the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) can now spread the innovative developments through its global entertainment and media.  HANNA

Digital Downtown

Step it Up

The Renegade Craft Fair was held in Brooklyn this past weekend, showcasing the talents of various arts-and-crafts vendors, and promoting the increasingly popular form of “do-it-yourself” design. Fashion companies, such as Threadless (http://threadless.com) and Urban Tailor (http://urbantailor.com) are jumping on the DIY bandwagon by allowing customers to design their own garments or create their own graphic tees online. User-friendly web pages allow customers to click and create customized clothing based on provided styles and textiles. With the help of Internet technology, customers can instantly create and preview their own customized clothing.
Sneaker goliath, Nike, takes this trend one step further with their latest creation: Nike PhotoID. Combining mobile technology with the DIY trend, Nike PhotoID allows fans to create sneakers based on snapshots taken by their cell phones. The new program analyzes dominant colors in the photograph and then transfers those colors into a sneaker template. An image of the shoe is sent back to the mobile phone, and users have the option to save it as a wallpaper or order the actual footwear. The customized color-ways are available on Nike’s classic 1985 Dunk high-top basketball sneakers. Currently, Nike PhotoID is only available in Europe. WU

Dior and Everybody

Dior and Everybody

Dior’s new line of luxury will be put to the test when they follow along with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Prada, in fusing the ubiquitous cell phone with an exclusive luxury brand.

Does a newly diamond-studded alligator casing capture the idea of luxury? Cell phones are a mainstream item that everyone owns. Whether or not it is encased in diamonds or uses alligator skin, they all have the same functionality.

Dior will maintain exclusivity by selling the cell phones at a higher price than its competitors. The company expects the phones to sell best in brand hungry Russia and China. The starting price is $5,100, priced to rival Nokia’s Vertu phone.

Dior is expecting to sell between 30,000 to 60,000 units within the next year; however, competing designer luxury brands sold around 500,000 units. We found that many thought the Dior design resembles floor tiles.

There is a new market being created, one very similar to the high-end industry of sunglasses and handbags. Which ubiquitous item will be next in-line for a brand upgrade. HANNA

Phones of the Future

design-futurist-android2-natalia-allen-032608.jpg

We were eagerly awaiting the G-Phone. Instead Google surprised us with Android, an operating system for mobile devices (http://code.google.com/android/).

More than 30 technology and mobile companies including T-Mobile and Motorola have come together with Google to create an innovative mobile platform that is more user-friendly. The new platform allows for seamless access and movement of data.

Android is an open-source software and runs on Linux version 2.6 and Java. It includes typical applications such as: contacts, maps and a web browser, but with more of the Internet’s efficiency and usefulness.

Android software stack
1, Optimizes multiple virtual machines to run at once with Dalvik
2, Accelerates graphics by combining both 2D and 3D graphics based on OpenGLS
3, Faster Internet with 3G networking and WiFi technology
4, Streets views, pan around, and zoom in with GPS
5, Open source WebKit, enables you to view a screen as it would appear on a desktop

Researchers are expected to improve and add to the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), leaving the possibility for endless innovation. Phones containing the Android platform will be available later this year.

Google does not want to sell us a phone, they want to revolutionize the way phones operate. They won’t sell us an operating system, they want to provide it to every phone for free. So how will Google make its investment back? Ad revenue of course. Now that’s clever. NATALIA ALLEN

Remote Wink

Remote Wink

In this age of computers and technology people often try and find the shortest and easiest way to accomplish tasks. Recently, a group of Japanese researchers led by Kazuhiro Taniguchi (http://www.osaka-u.ac.jp/eng/) have taken this idea to a whole new level. They developed a wink-based system for controlling devices suchs as MP3 players. The system being used will allow people to play their iPod with just the blink of an eye. The wink remote is a single chip computer system that uses infrared sensors to monitor movement in your temples. The temple switch is small enough to be built into a pair of glasses. Imagine being able to fast-forward, skip or backtrack to a song through eye movement. The system is advanced enough to distinguish between a one-second wink and a natural blink. The temple switch is also able to control many other household appliances. The device is underway and will be made available within the next two to three years. Researchers have also begun developing a sister to the wink-based technology, the teeth-clench method. NATALIA ALLEN

Electric Fashion

02272008-designfuturist-blogentry-clothespowerjpg.jpg

As a design consultant to Dupont Soft Textiles and Interiors (previous to their sale to Koch Industries) my role was to help develop new uses for conductive fibers (a smart textile as light as thread). When sewn into a garment, the conductive fibers transport electricity around the body. Why would anyone want electricity in clothing? Simple, conductive fibers made the Burton AMP jacket, Nike IPOD and Adidas POLAR collaboration possible. Conductive materials have advanced quickly. They are extremely light, flexible and waterproof, an effective way to integrate electronics, lights and displays into fashion.

Then why is electric fashion not more popular? The power-source creates limitations. Batteries are expensive, short lived and require extra maintenance.

I am now focusing my research on the development of organic power sources.

“Scientists have developed a way to generate electricity by jostling fabric with unbelievably tiny wires woven inside, raising the prospect of textiles that produce power simply by being stretched, rustled or ruffled by a breeze,” says Brian Bergstein of the Associated Press.

This innovation uses nano-technology and the piezoelectric effect, in which electricity is generated when pressure is applied to certain materials.

The prospect of using pressure created through normal interaction to power electronics integrated into a garment is exciting. Not available at retail just yet, the Georgia Tech innovation is sure to change the future of fashion. NATALIA ALLEN