I have a hard time shooting these concepts down because I actually do think this where the future of interface is going.
When the soft keyboard debuted with the iPhone in 2007, it was met with extreme skepticism. But over time we all got used to it. There’s an entire generation now that looks at a phone with a physical keyboard much like my generation would look at a 14.4k modem.
How long before our kids’ kids look at a any physical interface at all and laugh?
I’m just about to leap into my 40’s and I imagine the days of buttons are going to be replaced by our fingers dancing through the air long before I head to a nursing home.
Still, while I love the portability and the idea of concepts like AirType, I do wonder how long it would take for my keystroke accuracy to catch up to how fast I can type on a physical keyboard.
We shall see! Probably sooner than we think too! I look forward to finding out.
I’ve been using this for a little over a week now and while it does have some issues with the LE Bluetooth connection to my phone (iPhone5), periodically causing me to quit and relaunch both apps (on the Mac and iPhone)… I gotta admit, it’s pretty awesome when it works.
There is about a 10 second lag from when I open up my rMBP in sleep mode to when I am able to knock on my phone (yes, I timed it), but it actually seems much shorter than that. I imagine this would be quite handy for folks out there with iMacs that are always on, locked, with a screen saver. When my computer is sitting there, locked and at the ready? It works like a charm with no wait whatsoever.
Other things I noticed:
People out there flipping out about knocking on an iPhone clearly don’t own one. You’d think they were hitting it with a damn baseball bat instead of the knuckles on your hand! Please calm down. You don’t have to knock that hard at all for it to work.
The initial setup is a breeze once your computer recognizes and pairs with your phone.
True to their site description, your phone’s battery life doesn’t take a hit at all. It is one of the first interesting (and awesome) uses of Bluetooth LE that I’ve seen to date.
I stumbled upon this Kickstarter this morning and had to share it with you. For years I’ve been looking for a versatile stand for my iPhone that wasn’t a pain to carry around in my pocket.
To date, I’d only found stands that would work if I was wearing shorts or pants with cargo pockets. I always wanted a solution that was less obtrusive and more portable. I know, I know, it’s probably stupid but – I just hate the feeling of extra crap in my pockets. Hell, I even hate carrying my keys.
This invention by Geometrical Inc. & Rambod Radmard appears to remedy all those issues. About the only thing that I am concerned with, would be the structural integrity of the stand once it’s assembled. After watching the video though, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think! Did you back it? If not, why?
Just plug the Automatic Link into your car’s data port. Your car and smart phone
will automatically connect whenever you drive, wirelessly.”
This one has been making the rounds today and for good reason: there are so many awesome ideas at play here! Basically, “Automatic” is a hardware and iOS/Android software solution that connects to your smart phone to your car in a really ingenious way. Once connected, it gives you quite a bit of functionality! The complete list can be found here (just scroll down).
The top ones for me though are easily:
The way it connects to your car. It “…plugs into the same port your mechanic uses when you take your car in for service.” and it’s use of the low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 connection to conserve your phone’s battery life is really well thought out.
The geolocation of your car is always recorded in real-time. So no need to take a picture of the spot you parked in. The location can also be shared.
Accident/crash support. Contacting 911 with your location all the while texting loved ones once help has responded and is on the way, is pretty great.
Real-time reporting on engine lights (listing their cause) AND the ability to reset them. To me, this alone is totally worth the price of the service/hardware! $69.95 (!?!)
Check out the video below! It covers everything above and more.
As you can probably tell, I am smitten with this. Just a very, very interesting idea for a service. And it’s the implementation of it, that makes it so intriguing to me.
Now here is a pretty interesting alternative to my writing setup. I’m definitely curious to see the implementation of it and how it works with the iPhone (or Android device). Does the touchpad create some kind of custom mouse pointer on the screen (that’d be kind of cool!)? Or do you still have to touch the iPhone screen in the dock to navigate, rendering the built in touch pad completely useless (that would be kind of lame.)?