I have written several posts over the years about NUI Natural User Interface being the next great expedition in computing. When you can reach beyond the 2D limitations of your computer screen and interact with an application beyond the surface, computing will never be the same. This technology is already here but not quite ready for the commercial market. Occipital has taken a giant leap toward making NUI available to the public with Structure Sensor – a mobile hardware device that allows the capturing of objects in 3D. This alone can make shopping online for furniture, cars, boats, live animals, etc. an entirely new experience. Zillow should take note, as well, and start moving beyond still photos to showcase a home.
This story is such a wonderful mix of technology and humanity and connection that we simply have to share. It really is a simple equation. Kids learning English need to converse and the elderly just want someone to talk to. The power of online video is the solution. Grab a tissue and take a look.
Learn more about how this artist is single handedly helping to increase patient satisfaction.
This is a great Ted Talk for those tech companies disributing their technology on a global level like LitCentral, Inc. The title is a tad ambigous because Joel Selanikio's message is really about evolving software distribution and then reaping the rewards of the data produced by pervasive distribution. In summary, if the limitations of you and your staff are standing in the way of your healthcare technology reaching its full potential and helping people all around the globe, you need to figure out how to get the hell out of the way.
There are only 24 hours in a day, and it's simply not possible to physically implement technology in multiple places at the same time, if the project hinges on a few masterminds. However, the world doesn't have time to wait on your availability, especially if your technology is helping improve healthcare. Selanikio speaks about people and organizations being more technology savvy than we often give them credit. So begin designing the implementation of your products and applications around the indispubtable fact technology has finally reached the Four Corners. Hardware like tablets, smartphones, ATMs, or even a $10 cell phone – coupled with communication like text, email, and social networking – have educated the world abroad in tech, and reach crevises of the earth you never knew existed. If you design the user experience like Facebook and Hotmail for viral global deployment, chances are your impact on healthcare will be bigger and faster while requiring less handholding.
Remember so long ago receiving your worldy knowledge via newspapers, magazines and the slit-my-wrist evening news? Now we literally carry the most powerful information resource on the planet (the web) in our pocket. There are millions (yes millions) of applications to help you gain access, sort and digest the deluge of info. I am currently using the Pulse iPhone app to keep up on the latest in technology news during mobile downtime. If I find an article or news story I want to look into at a later time, I have Pulse shoot it to my Evernote account. …which brings me to the point of this article.
One of my favorite webblogs, Lifehacker has put together an on-going series called How I Work, profiling topnotch professionals and the technology and gadgets they use to get the job done. The profiles span the gamut of professional workers including: entrepreneurs, writers, scientists, journalists, detectives, etc. Through a series of questions/answers and photos, they paint a picture of their daily work environment as it relates to hardware, software and office setup. Check it out. You never know how a simple tweak to the way you go about your work can boost your productivity or simply make life easier.
Jump back to circa 2005/2006 and you will recall digital notepads had a slight impact on technology, but they never really caught on. Special (expensive) paper and special pens made the whole experience not so "special". At the same time, the tablet PC was an expensive alternative that allowed you to capture all your drawings and brain droppings in digital ink, had an endless color pallet and all with the power of a laptop. But the caveat was, it all had to be done on GLASS! If you were a pro graphic designer/artist you are likely all about Wacom and their Intuos products – which have addressed many artists' needs – but can it Google and book a flight to Paris?? Exactly.
Nearly eight years later in 2013, everyone has this thing called an iPad. And while the iPad has a million apps and is good for a million things, it simply is not the best technology for drawing and writing. Sorry fanatics, it's just not. The slippery glass surface and the fat-tip, non-scratch digitizers just aren't "cutting mustard" with the doodlers of the world.
Enter iSketchnote - no special paper and you pick your
poison pen. The surface underneath the paper captures what you're doodling. So essentially they've removed the Wacom-like-technology from the computer screen and placed it under real paper. They did away with the expensive paper, glass, and cumbersome hardware that kept digital notepads from reaching the masses. It's actually well thought out, and I feel a little optimistic about this one. The Android version is in the works. View the Kickstarter video below, and as with all Kickstarter projects, proceed with caution when dealing with the combination of technology and start-ups in infancy.
If you are a start-up, without a developer as one of the co-founders, think about teaching yourself code. Many co-founders find themselves asking, "But what language?" Well, that's a great question!
If you have a "big idea", and it can be deployed within a browser, it is best to start with Ruby on Rails. Rails makes it easier for newbies to get their feet wet without committing to 6 to 12 months of rigorous training as you would learning Ruby, PHP, Python, etc. From there you can expand your knowledge, without being too discouraged at the onset. There are schools popping up all over the place (FINALLY!), as this market segment has recently exploded amongst start-ups.
Lynda.com (7-day free trial)
Rails for Zombies
In the following video, Mattan Griffel first explains how to get started with Rails. Around the 28:50 mark he tells of an experience that offers the best argument I have seen for starting with Ruby on Rails. Essentially, the lesson he learned after a frustrating experience at a developer's conference is that coding has become similar to the digital camera vs. the 35mm. If you've never held a camera before, but you want to learn the basics of taking pictures, you can start with an old Leica IIIf, learn apeture and f-stops, and develop the film in a dark room OR…you can just flip your smartphone on camera mode and start testing your eye. Most professional photographers thoroughly entrenched in the craft would advise starting with an old camera, to help you understand the basics of photography and develop your eye from there but the digital approach is really all you need to get started just like Rails.
Rails is not as thorough as mastering Ruby or Python, nor is it as easy as taking pics with a smartphone (although my mother's tech skills might present a valid argument). In the world of start-ups it's about getting your vision out there and testing the waters with a minimal viable product.
The path of a startup entrepreneur will require at least one round of funding (unless you have an “Aunt Winfrey or Uncle Gates” in your back pocket). This quest is often stressful, and many nights will be spent in deep meditation, while you debate how much of your baby you are willing to give up for adoption. Whether you are a budding entrepreneur, or are ready to embark into IPO territory, the proverbial debate over how to “break up the pie” and how to "come out ahead” is always up for discussion.
A very cool infographic by San Francisco-based startup Funders and Founders breaks down the funding path of a successful entrepreneur. It does a great job of identifying the steps and potential expectations as Founders obtain funding and grow their business to success. In fact, check out their website! It has many insightful and informative infographics for entrepreneurs.
Image Credit: Funders and Founders