Top 75% of Online Influencer’s FastCompany.com

What an honor to be randomly chosen to be included in FastCompany.com's Online Influencer Project, and even more amazing was to be in the top 75% of all people online! Voted on by peers. I love my peers :-) Photo of my award can be seen here: http://wp.me/p3qMUi-4p … [Read more...]

How Come So Many Geeks Are Unaware of Arduino?

Figure 1.0: The Arduino Microcontroller

How Come So Many Geeks Are Unaware of Arduino? (Originally posted 11/27/2011) Welcome to a world where some of you will never return! Arduino enthusiasts are similar to the characters on “The Big Bang Theory’s ” episode entitled “Comic Book Night ”, where Sheldon makes a comment that the room is filled with geeks whose mother’s only get a chance to change their sheets when they’re out for that weekly outing. Otherwise, they’re totally immersed in the coolest technology around and can’t be coaxed out of their bedroom while in the midst of creating “the next best thing”. For those of you who do not know what the term “Arduino” means, let me explain it to you. Arduino is an awesome tool for physical computing. It’s an open source microcontroller board (costing a mere $30.00) and a free software development environment. It’s great for prototyping, inventing and experimenting. To program the functionality to an Arduino device, you use the “Arduino Programming Language”. Below you … [Read more...]

Making Sense of “PixelSense”: the Technology Behind Microsoft Surface 2.0

Making Sense of "PixelSense": the Technology Behind Microsoft Surface 2.0 (Originally posted October 20, 2011) So we were all totally “wowed” when we got our first peek at Surface 2.0 at CES 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NesSYWODmM …however, for so long, there hasn’t been much information published on how “PixelSense” works…(believe me, I tried, as I’m sure many of you have as well!) Microsoft’s innovation is breaking all barriers lately; this excites me tremendously both from a developer perspective and from a “Softie” perspective. From Surface 2.0 to Microsoft Kinect to Windows Phone 7 to one of the most amazing breakthroughs for “Microsoft” – receiving 7 Awards at the “International Design Excellence Awards”! Tthank you, Bill Buxton, among others, for emphasizing UI/UX: “We Developers/Designers/Devigners” have done it: http://blogs.technet.com/b/next/archive/2011/06/30/microsoft-scoops-7-idea-awards-for-design-excellence.aspx (link no longer active). Getting back … [Read more...]

Why Use MVVM with Silverlight?

Why Use MVVM with Silverlight? The probability of hearing or reading about the title question of this article if you are either a Silverlight or WPF developer is substantial. However, there are significant problems when searching for a proper answer to this question. To begin with, there are numerous and varied ways in implementing methodologies like MVVM, most of which are used based on personal preference. To a novice trying to educate themselves, this leads to disparity in information. Complicating this factor is that many of the articles or videos that attempt to describe the MVVM pattern also include components of other architectural patterns. This adds unnecessary complexity to understanding the MVVM pattern because of the inconsistencies in the pattern being described. In this article, I will elucidate only the MVVM pattern – nothing more, nothing less. First of all, let me answer the title question succinctly. Silverlight (XAML) and the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) … [Read more...]

A Concrete Example of How to “Really” Think “Out-of-the-Box”

A Concrete Example of How To “Really” Think “Out-of-the-Box” (Note: This is a Sample Editing by Kim Schmidt of David J. Kelley’s blog post http://hackingsilverlight.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-ok-to-think-out-of-box.html) A common axiom that both educators and employers are currently encouraging is to “think out-of-the-box”. Frankly, this axiom is also used to measure intelligence: not monkey see, monkey do, but rather challenge the norm and think differently, unconventionally, and from a new perspective. History has proven with geniuses’ of the past such as Einstein, Thomas Edison, and a copious list of other innovators of current truisms and creators of ingenious inventions or theories that most “out-of-the-box” thinkers were ridiculed in their day; yet, they are the fathers of innovation that have literally changed our world forever. Consequently, you might often be asked to do this in your job as a developer or designer. You’re often asked to “push the envelope” and create … [Read more...]

INTERVIEW: vNext_OC Cross-Platform User Group I Founded

Under the lead of (at the time) global vNext.org User Group started by David J Kelley and Dale Goff, as an Executive Director of that Group I spun off the first sole vNext_OC ("OC" for Orange County, CA) group - the second platform-agnostic & language-agnostic Developer User Group. The video above is an interview done by Crescent Solutions, our very generous host, about the reason for creating this new type of user group. … [Read more...]

Intel Now Has a Chip Designed For Wearables

Intel's Processor Designed for Wearable Tech

The power & performance of the computing parts that go into wearables are the limiting factor currently. As you may have read in my last post about a company making flexible batteries for wearables, I'm now going to talk about Intel' new "Quark" chip that's designed for wearable tech. The Quark chip is about 1/5 the size of Intel's smallest chip to date, the Intel Atom processor. They use 1/10th the power, each has a single core, single thread, a 32-bit processor & is the size of a thumbnail! This enables usage beyond wearables but into the IoT (Internet of Things), such as being used to connect household devices like coffee pots & microwaves to the internet so they can be accessed via Bluetooth.   … [Read more...]

There’s Finally Hope: Flexible Batteries for Wearables

Imprint Energy's Flexible Battery

If any of you have Google Glass, you know that the one thing you wished it had that it does not is more battery power. Wearable technology has many underlying technologies that aren't quite ready for wearables. Typical situation - the main hardware exists long before other necessary parts, including software. The only time I can remember the opposite being true was with Microsoft Kinect. That hardware was so ahead of its day I remember Microsoft asking all their developers at a conference soon after Kinect was launched "to break it, hack it, and make it do stuff" (or something like that!) Wearables use a lot of energy. They also have to have flexible batteries or else wearables like clothing would defeat the entire point. In comes a company in CA called Imprint Energy. They announced a zinc-polymer battery that's very easy to manufacture. So far, the name of the battery is ZincPoly batteries LOL. On top of being very flexible, they're non-toxic! Awesome! Imprint Energy has … [Read more...]

Company “iRobot”‘s Robots

Remember the 1. Roomba? The Roomba was iRobot's best-known invention: a circular vacuum that navigates a room on it's own. It gained a big following of YouTube fans when people captured videos of their cats interacting with them! Below is an image of the Roomba: Here's a YouTube video of the latest Roomba in action at CES 2014: So these might not be Google's robots - big, bad, and awesome, but they're part of the robot revolution nonetheless. The robots get cooler as the post progresses, however. I remember a colleague at a Microsoft DigiGirlz event where Lindsay Lindstrom taught how Roombas worked (they're drawn just like the characters of Blizzard or any other video game, and just as complex in their nature); it was amazing. Roomba has grown up. Below you'll find the 5 major Roomba vacuum models to date & their major differences: iRobot makes robots for the following "verticals", if you will: For the Home For Defense & Security For … [Read more...]

Top 10 Augmented Reality Trends for 2014

Me inside the DAQRI Virtual Flight Attendant AR 4D Experience

Augmented Reality to me means uber-cool, helping industries in amazing ways, and although it's not expected to really be mass adopted until 2020, whoever isn't following this mind-blowing technology isn't looking toward the future. The image above is of me at the Augmented World Expo 2014 #awe2014 in DAQRI's large exhibition hall booth. In one section they had this Virtual Human (to quote DAQRI) "takes 4D to the next level, bringing full-sized photorealistic people to life and providing the ultimate storytelling experience. Virtual Humans pairs intelligent 360-degree image capture technology with 4D, opening the door for truly engaging storytelling and life-size gaming opportunities where virtual characters are as real as the audience." So on to the topic of the Top 10 AR Trends for 2014. First of all, let me start by saying that the AR market in 2014 is predicted to grow rapidly. Revenues are expected to hit $5.2 billion by 2017. Trends: Wearable Technology: Wonder why I … [Read more...]