Monday, January 15, 2007

iPhone and New world Order

Apple oh! My Apple, known for some of the groundbreaking incidents of the twentieth century has come up with its second offering at the dawn of the 21st century. I am talking about iPhone which was recently announced. A search on YouTube gives you an idea of the buzz this yet to released has created.

I would not discuss the features of iPhone here as is the case. What I will talk of is some of the technologies that Apple is using and why they will create a new order. A beautiful series on iPhone is available at RDM (Roughly Drafted Magazine). Go through it for an indepth analysis of various aspects of iPhone. (I would say slightly biased towards iPhone).

Coming to some of the features that I mentioned earlier, let us have look at each of them and why they will effect the way we do things today.

The touch screen display is the most disruptive of the features. Not that touch screen displays don't exist, but the way one interacts with iPhone using fingers will go a long way in spawning more innovative devices based on this technology. I just am waiting to land my hands. Though I still cannot imagine how easy or difficult it will be to use the key board for smsing, I am still game for this.

The next is the its support for wi-fi and bluetooth. Though many have cannibalized it for its lack of support to 3G, in my opinion that does not matter as at least in the foreseeable future 3G does not come anywhere near wi-fi. But what excites me is that I can happily network my phone, laptop, desktop, and possibly the wii. It's crazy but I can see more and more portables with wi-fi support.

Apple has redefined the user interface for handhelds with iPhone, just as what Mac and iPod have done to the PC and music industry. I am sure it's time for all the mobile phone guys to pull up their socks. Folks better acknowledge the fact that Apple did a great job and see what you can do. Don't get into the denial mode and get relegated.

Known for the aesthetics, elegant and simple design Apple has done a phenomenal job with iPhone. I am sure they seriously believe in the tag line "Think Different", unlike many companies where a tag line is just their because all companies have one. Now how is this changing the world order you might ask. If Apple comes up with one more disruptive product in the future and not rest on its laurels from iPod and potential laurels from iPhone, I am sure they will be a go a long way as a company that understands the customers what they need.

Lot of other features like the motion sensors, video voice mail, a great web browsing facility all sound obvious in retrospect. Only see how many of the existing folks provide you with these facilities in spite of being so obvious.

Finally, I have great respect for Jobs, for the maverick showman he is, he's got the users in mind(from the days he hacked the AT&T's telephones). I am sure he's got some more tricks up his sleeve for iPhone which in itself will create a new order all over again.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Model it on Your Desktop

My first post after a long time here, and first post for 2007. Hope this year sees more and more technological innovations like last year.
Coming back to the topic on hand, No, I am not talking of your computer desktop, I am referring to the good old desk top. How many times did you abandon a great idea because you could not do the model at your convenience and your pace? How many times did you abandon that pet project of yours because of the the prohibitive costs? If you fall into any of this or more on similar lines, what I am writing here should alleviate your spirits.

A few folks at Cornell have addressed just this problem. They have come up with a desktop fabricator which will set you back by about 2500$. Yes, you heard it right. No more heart breaks over the price. Coming to the capabilities it sounds pretty good to me. It can build 3-D models of from plastic like materials. One can use it for building 3-D prototypes.

"Malone and Lipson the people behind Fab@Home hope that this will grow into a community of enthusiasts who share designs for 3D objects and even modify the machines for themselves. This will prompt the emergence of widespread personal fabrication, Lipson hopes.", says a report on New Scientist. I got hold of this article from DocintheMachine. Check out a video on how this Fab@Home constructs a silicone bulb.

What fascinates me is if the machine is half as good as what they say, it might churn a revolution in the way things are manufactured. I might as well setup a small scale unit in my house making a few hundred models for the markets around me or I might even scale it up for making a few thousand models. I am excited to have a look at it and see it's capabilities. It's the time for back to home workshops aka the pre-industrial era.

"History repeats it self", How true.