Oh wearable tech … All the hype! All my problems solved. Even the ones I didn’t know I had. Emails on my wrist. Count my calories. Take my blood pressure. Help me sleep. Wake me up sslloowwly. All the plastic. And all in landfills – eventually.
Admission – I don’t own any wearble tech. And I’ve never accepted the freebies either. Cheap plastic, I’ve always thought. Give me something real. Something that I want to wear. Whatever that may be, I don’t know.
Then last week at the Wearable Tech Show – I saw it – finally something I MAY just wear. My eyes sparkled. A ring. One that looked expensive. Felt expensive. One that made me think: “Yes! I could use that!”.
And you know what, I almost bought it – almost …
It was a ring. One by Kerv. It’s a contactless payment ring. It links to a prepaid Mastercard account. It can be used to buy coffee, a newspaper, or anything under £30.
Second admission – I wouldn’t have looked twice at this a year ago. But why my change of heart? Having a baby.
Have you ever tried pushing a pram on a bus, and then dropping an Oyster card? What about rummaging around a purse for a couple pounds to buy a much needed coffee? This is my life EVERDAY. So yes, this little ring could make my life easier.
So why didn’t I buy it? I decided the technology is too new. There are going to be kinks. They may even make it better – like link directly to my current account. Which wasn’t completely unfounded on my part. Hours after the ring launched, it shut for a system update. Not so handy then …
Lately I’ve become a bit obsessed with watching YouTube vlogs. When I can’t sleep, most of the time, I’m watching these early in the morning. I’m especially watching ones produced by Americans in Russia.
Why? It’s just so fascinating to see them walking around, speaking with people, seeing what they eat, just everything.
I’ve always been a bit obsessed with Russian culture. I wanted to either learn Russian or French in high school. But for some unknown reason got myself thrown into Japanese – didn’t you know Japan was supposed to be the next powerhouse – showing my age, possibly. Needless to say, I’ve never used any of the Japanese I learned in those four years.
Yes, sanctions do come into play – the ballerina who can’t get the right pointe shoes – restaurant owners who can’t get the right pizza cheese – but I’m astounded by how everyone just gets on with it. They whine a bit on the blog, but by the end they’ve come up with a solution. I like that!
There’s just something about social media opening up closed worlds. A story in there, perhaps, I don’t know. I can’t seem to get my head around how to pitch this to anyone in a topical way.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Last night I went to the launch party for Samsung New Wave. The typical party – tech journalists flown in from throughout Europe, given lots of alcohol, nice hotel room, etc. Though what I’m finding interesting is the amount of fashion bloggers invited to these events. It seems that ever since Apple made friends with Vogue, the entire tech industry wants to make friends with fashion. It’s quite amusing to see very pretty (usually blonde) girls with gobs of lipstick mixing with the very casual techies. Maybe that’s the answer to more women being interested in technology – mix them with fashion journalists? Ha! Maybe not.
So back to Samsung 360, it’s basically a speaker that propels music throughout the entire room. So wherever you are, you can hear the music. I’m not sure I like the design, it looks like a Fabridge egg, as one of the demonstrated said to me, but I do like how it’s completely wireless. For example, put your iPad safely in your room, speaker outside and have a barbeque.
London based garage duo, Gorgon City said: “Playing through the Wireless Audio 360 speakers was wicked. This is a great piece of kit for people who love music and are we have enjoyed being part of the launch.”
Is this revolutionary, quite possibly not, but I do like the concept of a small mobile speaker that’s able to produce near professional sound quality.
It’s a warm day in London. Hopefully that means summer is just around the corner. In the meantime, check out these bytes. Get them to your inbox every week by signing up here!
Verona is a new Tinder style app that aims to make love matches between Israelis and Palestinians. Singletons log into the app using Facebook and identify themselves as Israeli or Palestinian and are then matched with the opposite. Users then swipe right if they like someone, left if they don’t, and if the two match, they can start chatting and potentially meet.
“I very much believe that the basis of any relationship is communication,” founder Matthew Nolan told Refinery29. “So if these two cultures are forced to be separate in all this conflict, forming relationships between them could be the glue that hopefully ignites a shift in consciousness.”
Lots of bytes
Who are the modern day Yuppies, and will we ever get rid of them? Think Uberdrives make a lot of money, think again, but their bosses do. This app can help taxidrivers earn more. Kim Kardashian’s selfie book isn’t expected to sell any copies. Learn how to get a woman’s attention over the internet. Pilots want civilian dronesto have stricter flying laws. 42% of Tinder users aren’t single! Instagram found the owner of a diamond encrusted Cartier watch. You can get a gold Apple watch for a fraction of the cost. Want to film the police? What it’s really like at Tech Crunch Disrupt. Soon you could use your smartphone to scan your blood for parasites.
Tech just isn’t for techies has been away the past couple weeks. We’re back now, and here are our favourite bytes to start your week. Sign up here!
If you’ve ever tried to ‘check-in’ using Facebook and it thinks you’re in a completely different place – sometimes miles away from where you are – then you’ll understand the frustration of the Gotland’s residents in Sweden. According to Facebook the island just off the mainland of Sweden is in Norway, just north of Oslo.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Ulrica Fransson Ingelmark, editor of the Gotlands Allehanda newspaper, which first reported the bug.
“It’s been weeks since companies and private persons got a new address in Norway, and we talked about it a lot on the island, and nothing changed, and then we wrote about it, and now it’s a viral success, and Facebook still hasn’t changed it.”
The resident are concerned about tourism, saying they don’t have the fjords. Julia Bendelin who works for an advertising agency on the island said: “Give us back our island!”
Lots of bytes
How Internet mapmakers are helping Nepal. Teens who sexit could be charged as sex offenders. Your weekly shop just got easier with the internet. Los Angeles continues to become the next Silicon Valley with Snapchat signing a 10 year lease in Venice. A Chinese tech company has pulled an ad wanting to hire ‘sexy’ women to motivate their coders. You can now give someone ‘the finger’ with this emoji. Perhaps these women could use it. Check out this guide if you want more info on any emoji your heart’s desire. What to do when you have lots of Twitter followers and you aren’t famous. If you want to run for politics, make sure you buy your domain name. Periscpe is the real winner in boxing. Don’t let the government run your life. I always have a tech-free Saturday, maybe you should too. And I couldn’t ignore the Met Gala, will it save Yahoo!?
And just for kicks watch a Lego Star Destroyer be smashed at 1,000FPS.
I advise you to send this to all your friends!
And tell them to sign up!