Archive by Author | julianderond

First Phonebloks, now BLOCKS!

It has been a while since we saw the first glimpses of a modular smartphone idea called Phonebloks. The video below made by Dave Hakkens got quite a bit of attention and was shared a lot. As he pointed out that a lot of electronics get thrown away although most of its parts are still fine. With a modular smartphone you would be able to easily replace a broken part or upgrade an old part. As of this moment this video has been watched 21.462.844 times already.

After all the media attention they partnered with Motorola because they were already working on a modular smartphone for over a year at that time. In October 2014 Motorola got acquired by Lenovo, but the modular phone project stayed at Google and goes under the name of Project Ara. When the official release for the final product will be is unclear.

The reason for mentioning Phonebloks and Project Ara is that with the same idea behind a modular product Blocks wearables just started a Kickstarter campaign which reached their target of $250.000 within the hour and are currently above $500.000,-. What do they sell? A modular smartwatch, which can be customized for everyone’s needs.

Their main selling point is that not everyone is the same and we all use different things in our phones and soon watches. Not everyone who buys a smartwatch will use it in the same way. With the different blocks in the band or strap you can choose what options you would like to have in your watch. As an open platform everyone will be able to participate and build modules for the watch. Some of the options are: GPS, NFC, Extra Battery, Heart rate module, fingerprint reader, temperature sensor or a Simcard slot. By letting people select the modules they want there will be no unneccessary waste.

Check it out! What do you think? Are modular devices the future?

Sources:

https://phonebloks.com/

http://www.chooseblocks.com/

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2106691934/blocks-the-worlds-first-modular-smartwatch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7vW7H0c

 

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WAITBUTWHY, the blog that you should not miss.

Once we were told in the lecture that we had to write a blog post there was one thing that immediately came to my mind that I needed to share: WAITBUTWHY. This is the website of Tim Urban,  where he does a “new post every sometimes”. I ended up on his blogging-website beginning of this year via a tweet of Elon Musk who posted the following:

The above post is part one of an incredible two-part post about the revolution of Artificial Intelligence, which of course is crazy interesting as well as a good fit with our current choice of education.

Tim Urban has an amazing style of writing and real talent for telling a story though his posts. He also makes his own drawings which makes his posts even better. The main reason for the success of his blog is, in my opinion, that he is able to take incredibly huge and sometimes difficult subjects and manages to tell everything about it in a very interesting way that everyone will understand.

This is probably the reason that he got the opportunity to make the following post, which starts as follows:

Last month, I got a surprising phone call.

Well, to see how this continues and to what amazing posts this will lead you’ll have to check it yourself:

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/05/elon-musk-the-worlds-raddest-man.html

(WARNING, IF YOU HAVE OTHER THINGS TO DO, DO NOT START)

On http://www.waitbutwhy.com there are many other interesting and entertaining posts which will take a lot of your time to read, especially when you actually need to study or do other stuff. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Besides some of the very high quality posts about the course related subject Artificial Intelligence there is another reason for sharing this blog. In today’s world, information is abundant and available 24/7.  The majority of news articles, social media updates, headlines and other information that comes your way are short pieces of information. This is useful and keeps you up-to-date with what is happening around the world. But for a lot of these news flashes the main focus is to let you know something as soon as possible before you actually lose attention and switch over to the next article, Youtube-video, Facebook-chat or Whatsapp message. We are distracted continuously with these unlimited amounts of data pushed on the world wide web and to our devices. Even without the internet, it is the innate bias of the human brain to be distracted. Reading long sequences of pages from longer articles and/or books lets us develop a mental discipline (Carr, 2010). This mental discipline helps us to focus better, be more creative and be more productive.

That brings me to the other reason for sharing this blog. My guess is that most of us (including myself) don’t really get a lot of opportunity for those long reads in our daily lives and that seems to be a huge miss. This is actually not so strange if you think about it. A really long and indepth analys of something is quite rare in between all those quick and all-the-time updates. So with all the information that we encounter in our everyday lives, reading a somewhat bigger blog, article or book now and then seems to be a good strategy to keep our focus.

Sources:

https://www.twitter.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704025304575284981644790098

http://waitbutwhy.com/