individualism and consumerism – differentiate that!

I know it’s Christmas and we’re all swimming in a sea of presents, happily munching Christmas cookies and having a great-ole-time! But:

I realized, with shock, that for most of the way to express our individuality is extremely tied, if not solely reliant on the choices we make as consumers. “I’m vegan!”, “I don’t buy at H&M!”, “I buy only organic groceries!”, “Android is just the better OS!”.

  • What about freedom of expression?
  • What about dancing on the subway when you feel like it?
  • What about crying in public, especially when you’re male?
  • What about saying: “I just don’t know any further, I want to stop for as long as it takes?”
  • What about sighing when you feel short of breath?

Maybe you do all those things, all those little, every-day humanizers, the small dances, the little prances. I sure could use so much more of that. And become much more of an individual in the process, and much less dependent on consumerism to define me.

But Android really is the better OS! 😉

 

Philips Fidelio X1/00 – Review

So I went out and bought the Philips X1 headphone. It’s expensive. It comes in a HUGE box, the unboxing experience is nice, although it’s kind of hard to get the cable out. I plugged the cable into my tube headphone preamp, put in the SACD remastered version of “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis and hit Play.

kind_of_blue

Wow!

Wow!

This isn’t the fastest headphone, it doesn’t have the “air” or agility of AKG 702s or Sennheiser HD 700 let alone HD 800, but: This headphone is FUN! I started listening when I was tired, it was 11pm and I was ready to go to bed. But an hour and a half later I was still popping in disc after disc and listening, dancing, playing air guitar, and smiling, smiling. This headphone made listening to music so enjoyable. I didn’t even realise that my girlfriend woke up and went to the toilet while I was playing monster riffs on my air guitar… Slightly embarassing that one, ha!

One word about comfort: Superb! The earpieces are from a material that feels very comfortable, they don’t press your head, the headband is also very comfy. I stopped noticing that I was wearing them after 15 minutes.

So for those purists, technophiles and spec-sheet lovers: Go and shell out 900€ for the Sennheiser HD800. For those that want to have fun: buy the Philips. It’s that good, you’ll love it!

in search of the ultimate headphone – update

My search for the perfect headphone continued with me buying Shure SRH 840s.

These are great everyday headphones, workhorses. Easy to wear, not fatiguing, comfortable, come with a nice carrying pouch, and are really affordable (100€). But, they’re not great. So I kept searching, listening to stuff like Chambers by RZA, HD 700 by Sennheiser, and just 3 days ago stumbled upon Philips X1/00 Fidelio.

Wow! Like AKG 702 with bass. I never would have expected this from Philips! On second thought: I have 15€ earbuds from Philips that I really love to listen to, so it seems like the folks there know what they’re doing.

I ordered them a couple of days ago and will let you know how they do.

My vision for mobile computing – 2015

I’ve been carrying around a vision of where mobile computing could go in the next couple of years.

3 trends shape that vision:

  • mobile devices are increasingly location aware – geospatial big data.
  • more and more of our activities are organized, shared and conducted online.
  • economic development suggests fewer full jobs – the rise of the enrepreneur.

Let me explain:

  • Nearly every smartphone and tablet has GPS built in and location enabled, knowing where exactly it is on the planet. Even devices that have location turned of can be triangulated with devices WiFi MACs. (see here).
  • Selling, buying, creating, sharing our activities. Instagram, oDesk, Facebook, twitter… More and more of our activities are either conducted online or shared online. With sufficient analytic power incredibly detailed profiles of your skills, interests, and desires can and are formed.
  • The current demise of the US as the world’s number one economic power, alongside Eurozone depression and growing economic uncertainty will lead to massive cut-backs in state spending, in my opinion. Even if, out of political convenience or percieved necessity, nations continue spending, that would lead to huge debt write-offs later on. What that means to me is: fewer full jobs, as companies become increasingly reluctant to pay the high overhead associated with traditional staffing, combined with the relative ease of online hire-and-fire on sites like oDesk and others. This will greatly entice the population to become more and more self-sufficient, start small businesses and become entrepreneurial in the truest sense of the word.

And here is where my vision comes in:

What if you had a tool that would give you superpowers?

What if you had a tool that would help you to see the world around you in new ways meaningful for your business?

Would you use that?

 

Okay, here is how it works:

For a second put all privacy concerns aside. These matters can be addressed with amazing inventions like homomorphic encryption  and privacy-by-design.

Imagine an app that analyzes all your browsing, facebooking, online shopping, and online working, blogging, submitting-for-review and so on.

Let’s say as Phase one, the app would see you’re looking for chairs on ebay and craigslist.

As you walk home, your smart device beeps, and you’re informed, that in the house to your left, somebody sells a chair that’s compatible with your taste, is within your price range, and that person is at home.

With the touch of a button you’re on the phone and within 3 minutes have seen the chair, liked it and brought it home.

Or: you’re a programmer, and do some java and website work. You have some capacity and indicated so in various emails. While standing in the subway on your way home, the person next to you hears her device beep, she’s currently looking for somebody to do her website for the little bake-shop she started. She looks at your profile, likes it, and decides to talk to you. 2 stops later you have a job, and 3 days later she has a great website.

 

Phase two: The application gets smarter. Cognitive computing and context accumulation enable it to find out what you do, what you like to do and what you’re good at. Relevant jobs and people find you as the application suggests connections that you would have never dreamed about.

 

For me, that’s were mobile computing should be headed. It should make it easier and more attractive for us to start communicating, to start doing business together. In person, right here, physically. That’s the promise telecommunication technology has made and so far never delivered. Instead it has isolated us, mediated our communication, made us more indirect and less approachable than ever. This can change.

Let me know what you think…

Oh and if you’re a programmed or a VC and want to start developing this, I’m all in.