Fiber Art Is Catching On

A number of years ago, someone made a public statement at a seminar that Miami wasn’t a serious art town. I was really upset when I heard that. I was never more aware of all different types of art until we established a second home in Miami over 20 years ago. 

Yes, we frequented galleries and museums in NYC all of our long lives, but living outside of the Big Apple gave us the opportunity get closer to the artist themselves, the curators for museums and galleries, and big name collectors from Europe and South America.

Yesterday, we experienced a fiber art exhibit at the Miami International Airport. The photos don’t do it justice. It was created by Evelyn Politzer, http://www.evelynpolitzer.com, who was born in Uruguay (where the number of sheep exceeded the number of inhabitants) and attended law school. After becoming a lawyer, she decided to satisfy her creative side and then went on to get a degree from Parsons School Of Design. 

Lucky me. She now lives and works in Miami. I will definitely make it my business to meet her

Williams-Sonoma Jumps Into 3D Imaging Tech Biz 

The above video is an Recode interview with Williams-Sonoma’s CEO, Laura Alber

Online furniture  shopping is going to get a lot more interesting in the near future. Williams -Sonoma and all of its retail brands, including Pottery Barn and West Elm, will be using 3D imaging to help customers make more intelligent selections. With a touch of a button, customers will be able to see what their furniture choices look like in different colors and pattern selections. This is a very nice feature to have before customers have to make final choices. 

In order to accomplish this, WSI, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., acquired an augmented reality startup called Outward for $112 million. Outward, founded in 2012, gives consumers the ability to see furniture pieces in different angles and in different fabrics. Outward will continue to expand its services over time.

The aquistion by WSI underscores what’s going on in the furniture industry. Retailers want to delve further into augmented reality because they want shoppers to have for a better online shopping experience. Retailers like Wayfair, Ikea and Amazon have all introduced AR shopping experiences over the past 18 months. 

Medical Marijuana In Florida 

In 1966, I was involved in the beginning of the high tech industry. Today, I can say I am at the beginning of a whole new industry in Florida, medical marijuana. Eliot and I attended a medical cannabis seminar today, hosted by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the event was to inform members about the status of medical marijuana in Florida


Fact: 

1-This past June, Governor Rick Scott approved a bill that effectively puts into action a state constitutional amendment approving medical marijuana.

2-The amendment increases the number of approved marijuana dispensaries in Florida from seven to 17. Each dispensary can open 25 centers.

3-Florida residents who are eligible to be prescribed marijuana are those with cancer. epilepsy, glaucoma, ALS, Crohns Disease, PSTD, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and terminally ill patients.

4-The drug, either low-THC (non-euphoric) marijuana or full-strength marijuana,—must be consumed in oil or edible forms.

There were plenty of other facts but these are the ones I am sure of. The reason why I am so interested in this subject is because I am pretty sure that marijuana will relieve some of the pain that so many folks are enduring. 

It’s interesting to note that the majority of the 75 people who attended today’s conference, all had one thing in common: “They all wanted to help those who can’t help themselves.”

More on this subject in a couple of weeks.

Meet A Famous Tech Product Reviewer 

Lance, his wife Selma, and me, at the CTA Hall of Fame, last week in the Rainbow Room.

I’m not sure the first time I met Lance  Braithwaite, but it had to be over 40 years ago. Most people in the consumer electronics industry hung around Lance because he was extremely knowledgeable about video technology. I always wanted to talk to Lance because he came from Trinidad. 

I never met anyone from Trinidad, but I felt it was some exotic, far away place. I wanted to know more about the island. Lance probably doesn’t remember me questioning him all the time, but I did. He was always patient and forthcoming. 

It was those traits that made Lance one of the most adored experts and technical reviewers in the video business. He was willing to share his knowledge with anyone who asked, and never displayed an elitist attitude.  Lance worked for Video Magazine, Sound & Vision, plus so many others.

The reason I am writing about Lance today is because Wired Magazine just did a profile about his brilliant career. It was written by another industry great guy, Michael Antonoff, a prize-winning freelance technology journalist. 

Being portrayed in Wired Magazine is very prestigious and I am thrilled that I can document it here. Read all about Lance here.  

I have had the pleasure of seeing Lance at several industry functions recently. The last time was a week ago in NYC at the CTA Hall of Fame in the Rainbow Room. Lance was there with his wife Selma, also a writer. The three of us chatted for a while and promised to have dinner the next time Eliot and I were in New York. Eliot took a picture of the three of us. I’m so proud to have it. 

 

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If You Don’t Like Noise, These Bose “Sleepbuds” Are For You   

I love introducing you to new and innovative products. Here is one that is a great solution to those of you who are very sensitive to noise when you sleep. 

The new Bose “Sleepbuds” promise to block out noise like snoring and traffic outside your window. They feature isolating eartips and soft sounds that mask out the noise. The “Sleepbuds” are available with a case that’s good for one full recharge and additional tips for different sizes ears.  

The price is $185.00. 

For those of you who need an alarm to wake you up, don’t be concerned. The companion app knows the right sound level for rise and shine.
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A Digital Pill Tells Drs and Family If You Took Your Medication

Courtesy of The New York Times

The day I have been predicting for years has finally arrived. It’s 11:00pm on Monday night and I just received an alert that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a digital pill that will tell doctors and loved ones if you took your medication.

OMG, I can hear a few of your groans already. You don’t want Big Brother to watch over you. I agree, but for many people who forget to take their medication, this may be a godsend

Those who agree to take the digital medication, will have to sign consent forms that give permission to a doctor and four others to see when pills get ingested.

Of course, an app is required.  I like the fact that the pill taker can block recipients at a moment’s notice. All they have to do is turn off their notification. When you think about it, the whole purpose could be null and void if someone cuts you off.

I know a number of people who would benefit from someone monitoring their medication intake. I’m not sure they would ever agree to be watched. They are stubborn and proud. They want to preserve their independence. 

I do feel that the digital pill will be commonplace a few years from now. People will just have to get used to it. 

There is so much more to the announcement. 

Click here to read the story in The New York Times.

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A Review of the Apple iPhone X

Image: Courtesy Of Dealerscope

So many friends and family have asked me if I was getting the iPhone X. I never even thought about it until I read a review by Rob Stott, an editor at Dealerscope magazine. Rob is a thorough reviewer who will give you the best explanation of the most talked about smartphone in a long time. 

Since I don’t have an iPhone X, and don’t plan to get one until next year, let’s see what Rob has to say.

The Breakdown

The Good: FaceID technology impresses; screen is gorgeous; all-around incredible phone

The Bad: Price; the early learning curve adjusting to new gestures; breakability and cost to fix.

The Rating: 5 out of 5

Click here for more.

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A Pain In The Neck   

I used to suffer from terrible neck aches. All of my so-called stress would gather in the base of the right side of my neck. It felt tight and stiff. It used to drive me crazy. This went on for years.

The only way I could get rid of the tightness was to sleep it off.  I even resorted to a muscle relaxer on occasion. I still sleep with a neck pillow on top of my two regular ones. 

My uncle Ruby gave me his traction equipment to help me stretch my neck. It looked so barbaric. I would hang this heavy metal contraption on the door of my bedroom and put a collar around my neck. Then I would adjust the straps so my neck would be stretched. It felt great and I would love to crack my neck after.

Today, folks who have problems with their neck have a new, modern alternative. It’s called the Neck Hammock. It’s target audience are those with bad posture, headaches, trouble sleeping, and stiff necks.

The Neck Hammock is currently on the  crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.  The copy on the Kickstarter site says, “Neck pain is commonly treated through mechanical cervical traction, a treatment that can be achieved at a physical therapist’s office.  

“Unfortunately, regular physical therapy is not an option for most people – it’s either too expensive or too time consuming. 
“The Neck Hammock was created by a Licensed Physical Therapist who wanted to give people an alternative solution that was: affordable, convenient, and Highly Effective!”

The retail price is $79.00. Read about it on Kickstarter. I hope the results are good for you. 

Life Is Very Good 

“Life is very good and more optimistic than ever.”  Those are the words of an American author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist. 

Ray Kurzweil spoke at the CTA Hall of Fame dinner last night where he told us that consumer technology is the most advanced technology in the world, far more advanced than the military.  His book, “The Singularity Is Near” was a New York Times bestseller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of CTA, said “The Singularity Is Near,” is one of the most intelligent books ever written. Kurzweil is also involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. 

He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. 

Wikipedia said that, “Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, and gives public talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.” 

I recorded his 11 minute speech last night because it was a fascinating take on the world around us. The video is inferior because of where I was sitting, but the sound is great.

Be ready to be wowed. 

Please check out Kurzweil’s bio on Wikipedia. You will think it’s the work of 10 men. Click here

Marcia Grand Is Being Honored 

Eliot and I are in NYC because our good friend, Marcia Grand, is being inducted into the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame, November 7th, at the Rainbow Room. She was VP/Publisher of TWICE magazine, a leading trade publication, for decades.

Many distinguished members of the industry will attend the event to honor Marcia because she was so dedicated, passionate, and super successful as a newspaper publisher. She was a very serious worker and thoroughly enjoyed her career. I can’t think of many people, like Marcia, who were so satisfied and proud of their work. 

Eliot and I truly admired her career. However, none of that can compare to her love and devotion to her husband Richie, daughter Alison, granddaughter Sage, and son-in-law Gavin. She is also very close to her sister and brother. Marcia is not shy about telling you how grateful she is for having them all in her life, and never misses a chance to outwardly express her love to each and everyone of them. 

I would say Marcia is one lucky lady, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate. Marcia made her luck. She took nothing for granted and worked very hard for everything she has today, I think that’s why so many folks are turning out to honor her. Here is a chance to rejoice and smell the sweet scent of success. 

Steve Smith, a dear associate of Marcia, published a story about her the other day.