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Monthly Archives: September 2008

A couple of weeks has passed since the end of techcrunch50, a technology conference for startups and established tech companies looking to gain an audience for their innovative product or service. It was established by Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis, and other very important people of technology last year as TechCrunch40. This year they added ten more companies to expand the menu for the hundreds in attendance.

I am still looking through the company list and watching the video presentations, all at techcrunch50.com, but a few have caught my eye. One really interesting company is Tonchidot. They are a company who offer a product called sekai camera. The other company that has me very interested is FitBit. They offer a device that collects data on your steps, calories burn/consumed, etc, which is then wirelessly transmitted to their website.

Tonchidot/Sekai Camera

Sekai Camera is interesting because it is touted as a “air tagging device”. Sort of like a virtual interface to the real world. The software, as seen from the video demos and picture, seems to be only iPhone compatible at this point. But the software utilizes the data/gps features of the iphone. Tags are created by users and are then sent to the companies servers. GPS location data is stored with the data and can be seen as tag information on the screen as the camera is pointed at or in the area of interest. Tags can be textual, video, etc.

From the video demo, it seems that other web services such as wikipedia or yelp are not yet implemented. Think of the possibility. You point the camera at the Eiffel Tower and a wikipedia notification pops up on the screen. Clicking it opens a browser or a snippet of information. Or make a tag of your favorite restaurant and write a overjoyed review or a glaring review of the establishment. No announcement on availability or price, but check it out at tonchidot.com

Fitbit.com

Fitbit.com is a web service that shows the necessary data and information on how active you have been or how lazy you truly are. The neat feature is the fitbit device that is used to collect all of this raw data.

The device uses an accelerometer to measure steps, calories, etc., which is then wirelessly uploaded to the website. The device can also be worn during your sleep, which then collects data of your sleeping pattern. The information can be of how long you slept and how many times you have woken up during the night.

The device is $99 pre-order, with the website being absolutely free for the forceable future. I could see a subscription model or pay as you go model for expert advice, extra features, etc. that would make the fitbit service more robust.

Also, a point of importance, is that this device is being marketed as a low-end device that takes care of the basic essential. I would like to see a more runner friendly device that would be more along the lines of the nike plus product set. GPS data can be stored for routes, amount of time spent running, miles ran, etc. which would be all great incentives for runners to pluck down, say, $179 or $199 for that model of the fitbit device.

Anyway, I am really salivating at the mouth for these products to hit market. Fitbit is looking at shipping the device around the christmas time, so this would be a great stalking stuffer or birthday present for the fitness minded or out of shape loved one.

Meanwhile, tonchidot is more of a mystery. I didn’t really see a availablity date for their product on their website or in the video demos. But they seem to have software almost ready to go, so it shouldnt be long before this product hits market, I believe, in Japan first and obviously the U.S.A. afterwards.

BAPE has been one of the main players in the global fashion market for a while now. But recently their bright colored, cartoon character design aesthetics to clothing has received a fairly large backlash in the acceptance of the brand as a true, non-trend focused, apparel maker.

Nigo, owner and creative impresario, has stuck to his guns and release season after season of consistent apparel design that follows the motif of A Bathing Ape. Unfortunately, BAPE is not what it was years ago. Japan, the always moving giant, has veered away from the wildly colorful fashion design and have otherwise laid their sights on simplicity. Black, grays, navy blues, etc. over Big Bird Yellow, throw up Green and Purple.

Bape, in my view, is facing a turning point. Should they bathe in old water or should they gradually move into a more mature design viewpoint. Time will tell, but Nigo and company have taken their design chops and as seen from the following images, are ready to show the world that apes don’t always bathe in old water.

courtesy of google.com through techcrunch.com

I dont get really all teched out on the blog, but today is a good day to start. I recently found this on a couple of websites. Google Chrome is a new project that Google has decided to deploy in order to continue their world domination. Google Chrome is a open-source browser from Google (obviously.) that has very interesting features and in my opinion is a few years late. It is running the webkit framework, the same engine used by Safari, with a totally new javascript codenamed V8 that is supposedly going to flip how javascript engines work. The details are shown in a comic book by Scott McCloud who accomplishes the google way of simplicity in his artwork. As I read the comic book I felt like the ideas made sense. Sort of the “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment or how Albert Einstein felt when he figured out the formula to speed of ligh¬†of energy in relation to mass (e=mc2 is the relation to the mass and energy of, i think). Anyway, read the comic book here and see the future of computing.