Archive for the ‘Power’ tag
The Atom is a bicycle accessory which charges USB-powered devices using energy generated by the cyclist. This little 300 gram gadget mounts on to your bike and captures your kinetic energy while you cruise around.
“The only limit to how much electricity you create is how often you ride,” said founder and CEO Dave Delcourt in an interview with VentureBeat. “We are transforming the daily ride by turning the energy, desire, and passion of riding into something with everyday use. The bicycle becomes infrastructure for distributed energy. As long as you have calories to burn and power in your legs, you have power for your phone.”
Once the motion is captured, The Atom translates it into electricity to charge your phone. The energy is also which is made available to the rider through a portable 1300 mAh battery pack (about the same as the battery in the iPhone5), which you can unclip and take with you on-the-go. When riding at 10 mph, the Atom outputs 3 watts. Any USB chargeable device can be plugged in and powered up, and the device will only provide “juice” when the device needs it. The Atom consists of three removable parts and “super intuitive” to install.
Delcourt and his cofounder Aaron Latzke first began developing the technology in 2011. Latzke is a mechanical engineer and avid biker and wanted to feel more connected to the people he was designing for. They realized that this basic principle of converting kinetic motion into electricity, which was developed in the 1940s, had not been updated into a 21st century version.
“The bike market is $6 billion a year, and $2.5 million is from parts and accessories,” Delcourt said. You have 39 million adult cyclists in the US, and 23 million that cycle on a frequent basis. And for some reason, the energy they create does not exist in a way that is palpable and out of the box.”
Now after years of research and development, they are launching a Kickstarter campaign to bring The Atom to market. The goal is $85,000 and will help with manufacturing, tooling, molding, and materials, and get the first production run down. Their goal Delcourt said, is to ship 10,000 units in the first months of operations.
Siva Cycle’s vision for The Atom extends beyond American commuters. The company will donate 1 generator for every 10 purchases to someone who needs it in the developing world. Power is often unreliable in developing countries and 1.5 billion people do not have electricity access. However, people in these regions are rapidly adopting mobile technology and Delcourt said there is a big opportunity to “put power in the spokes of people who need it most.”
The first 200 people to sign up pay $85 and after that, Kickstarter backers are charged $95. Post-Kickstarter, the price will be around $105 per unit. Siva Cycle is based in San Francisco, California.
It’s a strange thing to hear from the co-founder and CEO of a photo startup, but DMD Panorama‘s Elie-Gregoire Khoury tells me that panoramic photos will become “a commodity at the end of the day.” That doesn’t mean it’s time to get out of the photo business — instead, Khoury wants to see panoramas become a standard feature in a wide range of websites and apps, the way that regular photos are now.
And if Khoury has his way, that will all happen through DMD’s new API.
Since launching in June 2011 on the iPhone, DMD Panorama has been downloaded 4.5 million times, Khoury says. His aim was to build the fastest, easiest way to take panoramic photos, and he may have succeeded — this Wall Street Journal article, for example, describes the app as “the easiest-to-use panoramic picture app on the iPhone.”
I was definitely impressed when I tried the app out for myself. To take a panoramic picture, you just activate the camera and move the phone sideways, bringing together the yin and yang signs on your screen. The process is only slightly more complicated and time-consuming than taking a normal photo.
DMD Panorama was built by a five-person team in Lebanon. Khoury says the country’s infrastructure presented a few challenges — like only six hours of electricity per day and a 2 gigabyte monthly download cap on the office Internet connection — but the company succeeded in making hit app, and itrased raised angel funding from investors including early Googler Georges Harik and the Berytech Fund.
Now Khoury is hoping to enlist app developers to use DMD’s free API. Ultimately, Khoury wants DMD to power the photo-taking experience in any app where panoramic photos might be useful — for example, Khoury suggests that DMD could bring panoramic photos into a postcard app, or it could help people take panoramic pictures to show off their homes in rental apps like Airbnb.
Users will need to have DMD Panorama installed in order to take advantage of the integration, but once they do, the goal is to create a seamless experience between DMD and integrated apps. So when using another app, users could hit a “panorama” button (or whatever) at the appropriate moment, which would either open DMD Panorama or prompt them to install it. They take the photo in DMD, then they’re returned to the original app.
Khoury says he’s testing the API out with a few partners before opening it up more broadly, so interested developers should email api (at) DerManDar (dot) com.
iOS (Jailbreak): If you’re an iPhone power-user, then you know the battery isn’t exactly long lasting. BattSaver is a jailbreak app that automatically toggles radio signals, Wi-Fi, and more to save juice. More »
ToutApp Comes to Outlook, Brings Its Message Tracking and Inbox Organizing Power Along With It [Windows Downloads]
Windows: ToutApp, one of our favorite tools to keep your Gmail inbox under control unveiled an Outlook plugin today that offers many of the same features for those of you who choose to (or are forced by your employer to) use Microsoft Outlook on the desktop. The new ToutApp for Outlook lets you see when recipients have opened emails you’ve sent them, compose a message but delay sending it until a scheduled time, and makes composing messages faster thanks to built-in templates for different contacts. More »
Power2U Adds USB Charging Ports to Your Outlets and Walks You Through the Installation [Stuff We Like]
If you’ve tried taking naps in the afternoon and found yourself feeling groggy after waking—if you manage to force yourself back out of bed—you may just be going about them all wrong. Even if you don’t work in a job where napping is acceptable, there’s a very clear reason why the best naps are the ones that are usually around the half-hour mark. Here’s why. More »
What? It’s August already? That means (for better or worse) that hordes of freshly minted college students will soon be starting the next chapter of their lives and moving into dull, cramped dorm rooms in the process.
Oh, that description applies to you? Well, congratulations — you’re in for a treat!
Before you go too nuts trying to decide which of your possessions will make that trip with you though, take a gander at this short list of gadgets that should help make the time spent cooped up in your new room just a little more pleasant.
Sony MDR-NC200D Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Yeah, a fancy set of speakers will draw more “oohs” and “ahhs” than a pair of noise-cancelling headphones will, but these are arguably more useful. Those of you who end up with cool roommates may not need these as much, but let’s be honest — not everyone is going to be quite as lucky.
Thankfully, MDR-NC200D’s active noise cancelling functionality means that it’s more than capable of blocking out your roomie’s Kanye West fixation, and they sound great to boot. It’s the priciest thing on this list with a $199 MSRP, but there are some deals to be found if you’re diligent enough. Consider that online scouring a precursor to all the research you’re going to have to do when it comes time to get cracking on those term papers.
Brother HL-2270DW Laser Printer
It may seem a bit lacking compared to some of the flashier all-in-one units companies like to peddle, but here’s the kicker — you’re going to be able to use the 2770DW for quite a while before having to pick up more toner, which means no more last minute runs to the computer lab.
And it gets better. The 2270DW’s predecessor could be tricked into printing pages well after it claimed there was no toner left thanks to a strategically placed bit of tape, and the process is even easier this time — just hit the ‘go’ button seven times to override the complaint. It’s pretty quick too — up to 27 pages per minute.
Pivot Power Surge Protector
Yeah, fine, it’s not the coolest thing on the list, but it’s arguably one of the most important. You’re going to need enough power outlets to accommodate all your electronic goodies (you’re reading TechCrunch after all, so I’m sure you’ve got quite a few), but the downside is that some of those wall warts are bulky as all hell.
Enter the Pivot Power, a power strip you can contort to squeeze in even the most obstructive power adapters (I’m looking at you, digital camera chargers). The single downside here is that you can only power six items at a time — that may be enough, but some people will probably need at least one more to cover all the bases.
Three-in-one Breakfast Station
Breakfast may or may not be the important meal of the day, but ThinkGeek’s schizophrenic breakfast gizmo makes cobbling together a morning meal relatively painless all the same. If you can’t tell from the image, that’s a tiny frying pan mounted on top of a tiny toaster, all attached to a tiny coffee machine.
What’s more, the whole thing isn’t much bigger than your average toaster, so it finding a home for it shouldn’t be too difficult. Just be careful where you stick the thing — the last thing you need is for a pile of hard-won orgo notes to fall on that tiny frying pan.
WhiteyBoard Flexible Whiteboard
This one may be stretching the definition of “gadget” a bit, but the flexible, easy-to-install WhiteyBoard is worth a nod anyway. It’s downright wonderful for brainstorming sessions and plotting the trajectory of that meandering fantasy epic you plan to inflict on everyone in your Creative Writing class.
Of course, there’s an added benefit to getting a big enough WhiteyBoard — it should make for a fun way to kill some time with friends between trips to the dining hall for chicken nuggets. And on the off chance you’re allowed to paint your dorm room, feel free to step things up some WhiteyPaint instead.
WhiteyBoard.com, prices start at $9.99
Our research over the past twelve years has shown that brands whose values align with their customers’ values have much stronger brand equity as measured by brand preference, loyalty and emotional connection. I recently read Jim Stengel’s book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. He has come to a similar conclusion after researching 50,000 brands in conjunction with Millward Brown Optimor.
So here is what we have found. Brands that have achieved an uncommon level of success:
- Know who their advocates are and what motivates them. That is, they have deep insight into their most passionate customers.
- Stand for something important to these customers.
- Embrace values that are important to their customers. That is, they and their customers share a common set of values.
- Hire, manage and empower employees based on these values.
- Consistently live these values each and every day.
- Serve as self-expressive vehicles for their customers. That is, the brands become “badges” of customer attitudes, interests and values.
- Strive to create an outstanding customer experience.
- Care about aesthetics.
- Co-create their offerings with customers.
Consider these brands as examples of this:
- Fox News
- National Public Radio
- Seventh Generation
- Stonyfield Farm
- Southwest Airlines
- Trader Joes
Here is the irony – if your brand’s decisions are driven primarily by customer values alignment rather than financial considerations, it will achieve well above average financial results. A balanced scorecard is a must. Most purchase decisions are emotion-based and people often choose and feel best about brands whose values align with their values.
Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop
Martijn Arets, Founder Forget The Box & Brand Expedition - Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, crowdforcing: het is duidelijk dat alles rondom het thema ‘crowd’ hot is. Klanten, ambassadeurs, medewerkers, gelijkgestemden en volkomen wildvreemden worden bij organisaties en creatietrajecten betrokken en moeten hét antwoord leveren op de problemen waar we in deze barre tijden mee te maken hebben.
Lees Meer over: Power to the crowd; heilige graal of oude wijn in nieuwe zakken?.
This week, we’ve got a couple of intriguing blog posts coming up that deal with bloggers’ personal stories.
Obviously, personal stories tend to do well with blog readers. But look around, and you’ll see that personal stories have become a mainstay of the media more generally.
We have reality t.v.—real stories about real people (admittedly in some pretty outlandish situations!). We have the social media explosion, where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to “go viral” and enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. We even have a whole generation of people who are reputedly more self-assured—and self—promoting—than ever before.
Personal stories are big—and not just online, or among bloggers. So if you’re yet to experiment with the power of personal on your blog, now’s the time to commit to it across the board.
But blogging is inherently personal, right?
Blogging might have started as online journaling, but I think we’d probably all agree that it’s come a long way since then.
If you’re blogging as an employee for a company, you may not consider what you do to be very personal. If you’re running a news-style blog, you may feel that your job is to report facts objectively, not tell stories.
So, depending on the kind of blog you run, you may find it difficult to inject a personal element into what you do.
Personal isn’t always about you
What if you are writing blog posts for a corporation? Or what if you’re just shy about revealing too much of yourself?
How can you get personal without making it about you?
Simple: put the personal focus onto others:
- Your readers and commenters: by doing regular Q&A posts, highlighting their contributions to your blog and niche, and so on. Even a reader poll can produce information for a post that really resonates with readers and generates discussion.
- Industry leaders: quoting them is a good start, but why not interview them yourself, add commentary or opinion on their comments, and include publicly usable photos and videos of them? As a first step in this direction, you could simply include the photos and bios of guest posters and contributing authors to your blog. They’re industry experts too—we hope!
- Those you’re connected to: whether they’re family, friends, industry contacts, colleagues, or social media connections, relating the stories, experiences, and perspectives of those around you can give a really personal feel to a post. As an unusual example, I really love how Heather Armstrong does this with her daily photo posts of her dog Chuck.
Personality-rich post formats
Personal posts don’t just have to revolve around topics—certain post formats seem to do a lot to help us create a personal connection.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- The personality roundup: A roundup of personalities within your niche—with images and links—is a great way to give a human feel to any blog.
- The interview: I mentioned this above, but your interview could use video and audio too—and be the better for it.
- The image post: Images do speak a thousand words. The great thing about them is that a good image will elicit emotions from your readers, so often you can say less about yourself and more about your niche—and still create that personal connection.
- The irreverent post: Reporting the facts in chatty language is another good way to create a personal feel—provided it fits with the tone and thrust of your blog.
Are you using the power of personal?
Are you confidently creating a sense of personal connection through your blog, or is it something you struggle with? what techniques do you use? Share your tips and advice with us in the comments.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger