Steven Sinofsky on CES

Steven Sinofsky has a very solid recap of his experience at CES this year. He notes key trends and observations which are all well considered, but I particularly enjoyed this bit …

Expecting a company to unveil something at the show is somewhat misplaced. On the other hand, a big part of CES, at least for me, is really being able to see any (large) company’s full product line “end to end” and to see how they are fitting pieces together to deliver on scenarios, value, or competition. Smaller companies have an opportunity to show off their products in a much more interactive fashion, often with very knowledgeable members of the team showing things off. Most importantly, CES lets you see “side by side” whole categories of products—you see the positioning, the details, and how companies present their products.

Unveiling a new product or technology that is a cross-industry effort, one involving many partners, does work particularly well at CES. Intel’s efforts around Ultrabooks, in 2012 and 2013, demonstrate this. While Intel’s booth and large scale presentations show off Windows 8 and Ultrabooks, the amplification that comes when seen on display at Sony, Samsung, LG, Toshiba, and more is where the sum of the whole is greater than the parts.

via Learning by Sharing.

Kids and Technology

My wife and I have three kids and like their dad, they enjoy using gadgets.  About two weeks ago we gave Hannah (8), our oldest daughter a semi-retired iPhone 3GS to use essentially as an iPod Touch.  There’s no SIM in it and it’s basically a phone I had previously installed a bunch of kid games on anyway.

Soon after this, I start receiving iMessages from my wife’s phone from Hannah.  We’ve all been playing Temple Run and she’s sharing her score and pretty quickly overtakes my best at the time.

Flash forward to today when I learn about a new music social discovery service called monstro via Scoble.  The gist is that you connect your twitter account and get a suggested stream of tunes based on your collective shares and discussions.  I added a few people to follow based on what I could see they were listening to and then went into my own profile where I saw this:

Imagine my surprise!

These are not guilty pleasure tracks!  I did buy this album for Hannah, but she’s the listener, not me (or my wife).  The crazy thing though is I couldn’t figure out how this was even associated with my account let alone via Twitter.  There’s a good chance Last.FM will pop from a device sync, but I did not overtly connect anything.  After confirming there was nothing in my account settings on monstro, I came back to my profile and noticed the subtle view tweet option which revealed this:

iTunes Ping!  Not something I actively use, though seeing that post I had the instant recall that my twitter account is linked for auto-posting my likes.  Hannah was actively exploring and using the phone (or perhaps my wife’s as the account is shared) and sharing all the things she likes.  She has no idea where this information goes – though I do now and I’m amazed with her self discovery.

When I got home tonight I went to look at the 3GS so I could see about turning Ping off which doesn’t seem too possible, btw.  In the process I noticed a exclamation icon and tapped into messaging where I discovered another pretty cool surprise:

Hannah had tried to send me an MMS!  I think it’s pretty cool that while she doesn’t fully understand the address bar yet, she knew she wanted to add a subject and then a name before sending.  The video is my two year old son, Sam being scared of a spider which is a funny family share captured by Hannah on the phone which is the cherry on top of everything else.



Nokia Legends

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In the beginning of August, Nokia invited me along with Alec Saunders, Jim Courtney and Jason Harris to Toronto for a behind the scenes look at a new project called Nokia Legends which launches today.

From our briefing doc:

Nokia legends are engaging stories of future innovations and technologies, which may sound far-fetched today but will be reality in the future like urban legends. The technologies are the source of tomorrow’s legends – the unprecedented stories, events and opportunities that will become true when people get the new technologies in their hands.


What I like the most about this campaign is that it highlights Nokia’s tech leadership and future forward perspective on how technology is infused with our lives. This is not about a particular device or a service, but thinking that’s starting to find it’s way into various products and will certainly be something we’ll experience near term.

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Setting up a shot

The technology innovations on which the stories are based include: Traffic Works Research, Indoor Positioning, Connected Home, NFC, Multiscanner, Personalized Widgets, Mobile Journalism, and Sense your Location. Each is told in the first person by actor and writer Ron McLarty who was really great to watch in action. Ron is a skilled pro and was able to offer many different options for each story he shared.  You’ll only be able to see the final selects, but we were there from the start and can better appreciate the process. I’m fortunate to be involved in the creative process through my day job and while this was not my first time on-set, it was still a very unique experience.

I had a great time on this trip and enjoyed the time with my fellow bloggers, Nokia and Bob Helsinki the agency behind the creative idea.

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