Companies keep trying to affix touchscreens to our refrigerators and develop more infomercial-friendly variations of the blender, but the kitchen still remains a relatively low-tech sanctuary. Even as we hurtle toward a Wall-E-era existence of complete automation and leisure, the simple joys of preparing a meal in one’s own kitchen can be invigorating.
My latest Backed or Whacked column for TechCrunch examines three Kickstarter funding campaigns for kitchen gadgets.
Apparently, the sticky widget was whether to include a qualifier to distinguish between 4L and 8K, which was dropped. Of course, today there are a few pricey 4K TVs on the market. As with the early days of HD, content is mostly confined to upscaled discs (Blu-ray these days) and photos.
It would be odd to see Apple go back to the same well from which it drank up Lala, but Color hit on some emerging phenomena such as introductions and (live) video sharing that will undeniably become more important.
Twice the fun at 45 mph on the water from the folks who brought you the Aquada. “It’s about freedom.”
Like Apple, Amazon’s standing as a successful retailer has allowed it to drive the Kindle business beyond those of any other Android-based tablet maker. Both companies have succeeded in part because of their focus on the end-user or customer. The introduction of Whispercast, however, throws a wrinkle into that. This is the first “Whisper”-branded technology that caters to the needs of institutions, priming the pump for large-volume purchases.
It may also signal a continued move away from ads that are not enterprise-friendly; Amazon greatly reduced the price to remove ads in its latest round of Kindles. The move is timed well to take advantage of the larger, higher-end Kindle Fires on the way that can do a better job of displaying documents and other rich media as wel as the lower-end Kindle Paperwhites that are lean, mean text-reading machines. It also helps to shore up Amazon’s defenses now that its main competitor is partnering with enterprise software giant Microsoft, but also to further differentiate it from the signage-class e-readers that may soon start to aggregate in that unforgiving pool known as “the bottom.”
It includes a Cry Notification feature and will compete directly with the startup Evoz. This may be another case of telepresence overkill.
One of the details about Surface that has been revealed is the price of the device which, at $499, is competitive with the current iPad. But that includes a significant asterisk, which is the $100 for the well-highlighted touch cover and even more for the thicker version with tactile keys. The closest counterpart to this on the iPad is the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard which, unlike the Surface add-on keyboards, require a battery and Bluetooth and lacks a touchpad. But without such a relatively pricey peripheral, Surface users will have to rely on the device’s integrated kickstand for that satisfying clicking sound. At least that kickstand will allow users to have device propped up unattended in landscape orientation, something that requires an accessory for the iPad.