2010: The Year of the Tablet, How Publishers Shape It

The following Sports Illustrated concept piece by The Wonderfactory for Time Inc shows some of the key themes that will shape tablet-based consumption of information:

  • customize the layout to suit your tastes or keep the editor’s view;
  • verticalize the content to suit your interest areas;
  • easily curate ‘finds’ to your networks
  • inclusion of social gaming, but absent were meta game mechanics.

Sports Illustrated – Tablet Demo 1.5 from The Wonderfactory on Vimeo.

How to download and build the latest mobile phone and other gadgets


Further to my post about Makers and 3d-printing machines…I can see a day coming where we believe it to be pure arrogance that a company could design a product, have it manufactured and distributed to retail stores in the belief that consumers will buy their latest gadget.

In this next now, imagine getting a news alert (ok, a tweet) late one evening from an influential source (anachronistically, a friend) telling you about the latest 3d design released by company X. You love this new gadget so you pay for and immediately download the specs straight into your 3-d printer. You click print and then go to bed.

The next morning you eagerly head down to your studio and sitting in your printer’s out tray is your new shiny phone.  It’s been printed out for you and what’s more, it contains your personalized brand, the same as all your gadgets.

No major punt by Company X, they’ve simply uploaded a design spec. No supply chain. No negative impact on the environment by shipping goods all over the place. And for you – no hassle, instant gratification and a device for far cheaper than any gadget delivered to your store or doorstep today…

A final assumption: your 3-d printer has a port for recycling any device it has made as well.

Grassroots, open source, replicable 3-d printing: RepRap

I’ve been enjoying reading Cory Doctorow’s latest novel, Makers, which tracks the growth of a grassroots 3-d printing revolution in a post-GFC-like world. You can follow the novel in parts here.

A real life example is the RepRap movement. A group of people have come together to develop an open source 3-d printer that can replicate itself. Check out the video below:

RepRap from Adrian Bowyer on Vimeo.

TechCrunch Gets Down To Hard Business

Just as you were thinking the world had righted itself from a tech company like Apple delving into the phone business (and achieving 38% year on year revenue growth), along comes TechCrunch with a bombshell.

This leading tech blogging business has decided to build its own web tablet hardware device. The aim is to create a device that spans the gap between the iPhone and the Macbook Air – the ideal device would be a lightweight small tablet running nothing more than Firefox on a decent screen and with a WiFi connection.

It’s really tough going from being a purely content and connections play into the hardware arena, but here’s why I like it: – the connections side of TechCrunch will be heavily leveraged to create an open source development community and also to bring in the right corporate partners to make sure this succeeds.

Get to it guys and log my order!

Australian iPhone Set To Fire On All Cylinders

Great news for Australians, many of whom have patiently waited and salivated over the iPhone phenomenon.

Their version will deliver a blistering 42 mbs via 3G. And it will be in stock from early June.

What’s more it will be available on three different networks and not be locked into a carrier walled garden. This has caused a bit of scurrying amongst the telcos who are quickly realizing that their lock and load approach has become redundant.

[via ChannelNews]

iPhone Gets Kicked Into Orb(it)

Orb Networks has enabled TV on the iPhone. By installing the OrbLive app users can stream any video format to their iPhone.

There are a few hoops to go through before you can stream your favorite basketbal game though:

  • You need a PC or Parallels
  • You need a TV tuner card
  • Your iPhone must be jailbroken.

We understand that iPhone 2.0 will support video – will it go so far as supporting live TV streaming?

Putting A Universal Translator In Your Pocket

Hands up: ever been to a foreign country and been totally inept at communicating with your taxi driver.

I, for one, have had that fun experience – picture the scene: Tsukuba, Japan – a wintry morning trying to get to a conference I’m hosting. My taxi driver got out of bed on the wrong side that morning (probably had been doing so for many years), and we were just not able to decipher one another’s intentions. Sound familiar?

It would have been great in that situation to call someone who could both translate and interpret the social nuances.

This is where chinaONEcall steps in. Set up in time for the Beijing Olympics, they provide an over-the-phone interpretation service. I haven’t tried it yet, but they say they differentiate from normal translation services in that they interpret the context of your call from both a social and business etiquette point of view.

Given that 2.7 million US citizens visited China last year this may well be a busy number to call.

[Picture courtesy of Stuck in Customs]

Bored: Customize Your Keys

Introducing the customizable keyboard from Ergodex.


Is it just another cool gadget or the ultimate resolution to the repetitive strain injuries that plague programmers, gamers, writers and other keyboard tappers?

It works with any program and has 25 buttons that stick to the Tray in any configuration. Label buttons, slide in artwork or customize a key on the fly in-game.

[via Gagdgettastic]