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Project Glass : Smart Watch : Fitbit : Plugging into Wireless Mobile Technology

Mr. Brin, Founder of Google, Shows of Project Glass
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Wearable Devices : You can now wear high performance technology that interact with your portable "smartphone supercomputer", which connects to computer cloud networks via wireless technologies like wifi and LTE. Keeping you plugged into information while you are unplugged wirelessly ^^ 

My Personal Fitbit One 

Fitbit, Handset, The App, The Cloud, The Data

My Fitbit connects to my smartphone via a low power wireless protocol (bluetooth), to transfer the fitness tracking data to the Fitbit mobil app. This application connects to Fitbit's server and uploads my fitness data onto a cloud account associated with it. This can be done at home (over wifi) or on the go (LTE). Fitbit also came with a USB dongle that I can plug into a computer to sync the data. I got the Fitbit before my first smartphone so I used the dongle at first, but now the App and my phone do everything for me automatically. I only have to think about keeping the Fitbit charged.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 : Gear : Smart-Watch
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Alerts, messages, snapshot photography, phone calls, from your wrist: Smart watches are the next big thing happening in the mobile technology sector at the moment. The galaxy gear watch from samsung for example works with the latest Note 3 from samsung. A user with a smart-watch can access phone, messaging, and even shoot pictures that autosync to the phone. The phone becomes the powerful computer, and the smart watch becomes the end user interface thin client UI :)

My iPod Touch "Watch" with a LunaTik Mount 
My personal history with smart-watches goes back a few years when I learned about the LunaTik iPod Nano wrist mount. This one is really basic, it has a decently high rest touch screen LCD that is a bit more than an inch in screen size. Three buttons (on/off/sleep/wake, vol up, vol down), and a 30pin dock port (with silicon plug cover) and of course a headphone jack. It has a radio too, using the speaker wires as the antenna. With no wireless data technologies though, it is just a small touch screen iPod, with some watch screens, that make a cool wrist watch. I knew after thinking about this one for a while that it was only a matter of time before the big mobil technologies companies took a hint from this simple iPod watch setup.

My 2005 Samsung YT-MP6 with an Eneloop AA NiMH
Speaking of small low powered portable computers, I got this little portable computer gem back in 2005. A YT-MP6 MP3 player that runs for 40+ hours on a single AA size battery. With 512mb of onboard storage, it carries a good selection of music, and also sports a built in radio tuner, and voice recorder with microphone.

Explorer Edition Project Glass by Google
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Project Glass

Down the road we will see HUD like devices from companies like Google, where project Glass is undergoing commercialization refinement for launch in the near future. As these HUD like devices are refined, a new paradigm in mobile computing use will emerge.

Obliterating Point and Shoot Cameras

Smartphones with good BSI camera sensors have taken a serious hit out of the casual end user camera markets, and the erosion of the low end camera market can be felt by all camera makers. The saying "the best camera is the one you always have with you" probably explains why smartphones work so well as cameras, and given that you edit photos on the fly with mobil photography apps, and you can upload your photos directly to facebook or twitter or picasa through the phone. Using a camera to share and save memories with friends and family has never been easier, faster or more seamless than it is with a smartphone.

Improvements Forthcoming

Smartwatches of today are early in development, and in terms of their potential, are at a place where smartphones were before the iPhone original launched way back when. As time goes on, better technology will migrate into smart watches, smart HUD devices like project Glass, and other compact mobile sensors like the Fitbits of today, only much cooler.

Computer Horsepower Reconsidered

For many people a modern laptop computer is totally overpowered. A simple tablet computer like a Google Nexus 7 can accomplish light gaming, email, note making, calendar editing, blog posting, facebook, recipe lookups and other casual computer use functions. Tablet computers simply need a wireless keyboard accessory to become a "light" laptop replacement. A larger (screen) two hand tablet like the full sized iPad pairs nicely with wireless keyboards, and makes a more laptop like end user experience, but with loads of battery life :) I wrote more about this recently in my article about high performance personal computers.

Smartphones are Supercomputers

The desktop can be even more overkill for casual (normal) computer users. In many instances normal people do not even make full computational use of their ultra-low power smartphone computers. Yes, smartphones are handheld computers. A modern samsung phone like the Note 3 is actually more powerful than 200+ watt desktop computers from the early 2000's. In many ways we are already holding very powerful computers in our pockets, and people wonder why the battery cannot hold up for more than a day or so. Well the truth is, if you need good battery life out of a smartphone, stick to a phone-tablet like the Galaxy Note 3. With around 3000mah of battery, these larger [phablets] give their users more acceptable battery life. That said, if you have the screen on a lot of play with them for a long time, you are going to drain the battery quickly.

Read the spec sheets of some of these latest smartphones: quad core cpu at 1.5ghz, 12 core GPU, 3GB of ram, 16GB of solid state storage, LTE quad band modem, 13MP camera that shoots 1080P, gyroscopes, accelerometers, multiple microphones, light sensors, near field communication, bluetooth, wifi, GPS, barometer, temperature sensors, application selections that rivals desktop platforms, etc. If you are using a modern smartphone, you are using a very compact high performance mobil power computing device, with a whole suite of high precision sensors: something that would have seemed like science fiction in the 1990's.

"Computer Do This or That"

Things are going to keeping getting more interesting ^^ Augmented reality and singularity :) Computer assisted super-intelligence. Today we have voice command and digital assistants, tomorrow we will have fusion HUD's with IBM Watson skills.

"Set my alarm clock for 7am tomorrow morning"
"Remind me to buy granola when I get to whole foods later today"
"Set my alarm clock for 6am for the rest of this week"

You can already talk to android handsets and ask the computer for things. In the apple land you can talk to Siri. Voice control and virtual digital assistants have already arrived. You can edit your calendar and setup reminders with ease. The camera you always have with you is also a phone, a text message machine, a thin client to a powerful cloud of computer servers that stream youtube and email over LTE networks at broadband speeds wirelessly. Wow

Consider the Resent Past

Think about how far we've come in just the last ten years with mobile computer technology. The smartphone technology of today will make robots like Asimo of tomorrow even more cleaver. Someday personal robot assistants will become a commercial reality. Imagine having an emotionless helper that will work to help you the way the calendar on your smartphone currently helps you. A robot that you can speak to with natural language, the understands you, and always follows your instructions to help you. They will not be cheap, probably as much as a very nice car ones they go mainstream in the next few decades. I hope to have an Asimo like robot in my home when I am an old man :)

Streaming Content 
Traditional business models of selling content have been completely flipped upside down by the digital revolution.

Netflix Movies, Pandora Music, Kindle Store Books, Itunes Buying Content, Online Banking/ Bill Pay , Tracking Utilities Online, Facebook/ Twitter / Sharing Content, Links, Ideas and Personal Communication. Look at what Youtube has done for video sharing. You can now look up how to videos about all sorts of topics for the ultimate DIY guides. Learn, Share, Explore, you can do more now than ever, but can you balance all of this being plugged in with moving enough to stay healthy and fit ? Challenge yourself, you can do it!

Smartphones and other wearable digital devices are going to further extend the way that digital content distribution and integration affects everyone. With life recorders, in vehicle high resolution black box recorders, fitness trackers, smart watches, smartphones, our lives are becoming digitally integrated on so many levels it is hard to unplug and function efficiently. We can rise and overcome the challenges of the digital revolution with all of the benefits it gives those who use it responsibly.


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