Pebble Time vs. Apple Watch

One week, 15.8 million dollars, and more than 63,000 backers – that is the success of Pebble Time’s fundraising efforts for their newest Kickstarter campaign that is causing internet havoc. With the new Apple Watch set to launch the week of March 9th everyone’s curious who the top-dog is and where their money should go.

Exactly a year ago, San Fran Tech in Motion pegged wearable tech as hot topic in the year to come. Read more...

So which one should you choose?

Tech in Motion Orange County members weighed in on the Pebble Time vs. Apple Watch debate and here’s what they have to say:

Albert-Qian-ConvertImageAlbert QianHistory will repeat itself

“Apple knows that it has the device market cornered. After all, competitors shudder in fear upon product announcements, and none was more clear during the holiday season for another competitor, FitBit, upon the announcement of the Apple Watch. While I and manyothers received FitBits for Christmas, I also predicted that this would probably be their last profitable holiday with the wearable from Cupertino waiting from the wings the following Spring.

The choice is pretty clear: Apple Watch. While Pebble presents formidable competition, popularity, and a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign to boot, Apple has proven time and time again that it owns an ecosystem that integrates technology, user experience, and quantified self all in one place. They did it with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad — and they’ll do it again with Apple Watch simply because they know that people want convenience, no hassle, and they are willing to shell out the extra dollars to do it.”

Photo by Nate PhotographyChris WaleryTried and true over new and shiny

“My take on the smart watch is simple, I need something that fulfills its first/main task as priority number one…being a watch. If a smartwatch requires a shake of the wrist to turn on then it’s no use to me as a watch guy. That reason alone gives the Pebble Time my nod, since it’s e-ink it is always on and its battery lasts up to 7 days which is also crucial to me. Tried and true (Pebble) over new and shiny (Apple) will always be my moto.”

 

 

Michael-duong-ConvertImageMichal DuongTrading the Beast for the Beauty

“I’d like to preface that I currently own one of the original Pebble watches. Although I followed Pebble when it was first starting out on Kickstarter in April of 2012, I was not intrigued enough to buy in at the time. Fast forward to August 2014, I’ve decided to take a plunge and get a smartwatch to help me manage all the notifications from my iPhone allowing me to work productively without distractions. For months, I loved everything about the Pebble I have. Then came the day I set my eyes on the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch – an elegant, exotic, technologically advanced timepiece. Let’s be honest, even though the Pebble can do a lot of great things, it doesn’t look all that attractive on a wrist. The Apple Watch on the other hand is a beauty and is capable of doing all the things the Pebble is known for as well. Even with the looming release of the Pebble Time, a color version of the one I have, it’s still not enough to sway me from the Apple ecosystem; and I am far from an Apple fan(boy).”

Corey Greth – Ferrari over PriusCorey-ConvertImage

“I believe the Pebble Time is being hyped up from an underdog storyline.  Yes the Pebble is much cheaper and the battery life is much longer; however, the additional features, higher quality material and exquisite design of the Apple Watch must also be accounted for. It’s like comparing a Prius to a Ferrari and bragging about how great the gas mileage is on the Prius. There are many differentiating factors between the two watches; which make a direct comparison difficult. The classy design, retna display and intuitive features made my decision on purchasing the Apple Watch rather simple!”

Join the conversation! Comment below on which you’re considering as your top choice or tweet us @Tech_in_Motion.

Join us for our next Tech in Motion Event in a city near you by clicking here.

Product Design Trends: The Future

Within the tech industry, it is becoming increasingly important to broaden our skills and embrace new ones that are paving the way of our future. Product design is described as a whole process with many different factors that go into the design. From concept to completion, an idea evolves through a life cycle of UX/UI designers, graphic/visual designers, user researchers, data analysts, and prototypers to name a few. As we see day to day, current trends of messaging, virtual reality, all things “smart”, and data storage are consistently changing.

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Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley recently held a Product Design Demo at The California Art Institute in Sunnyvale. With roughly 200 tech enthusiasts in attendance for the night, the event showcased companies such as:

  • Zackees– the World’s first turn signal glove
  • FlameStower– designs/manufactures energy products and services for global markets
  • PocketLab– a wireless multi-sensor and software platform that enables anyone to engage in open ended science experiments
  • VivaLnk– developing integrated solutions with its ultra-thin and flexible eSkin™ wearable technology platform
  • Nixie– the first wearable camera that is also flyable
  • The Wearhaus Arc– Bluetooth headphones that let you wirelessly sync music with multiple people around you
  • Orion– creates communication accessories and services that connect people
  • Ministry of Supply– research-based design used to create purposeful products for a life spent in motion
  • Flashtag Photo– an interactive photo booth that automatically prints photos taken at your event when they’re tagged on Instagram or Twitter.

Sign up to attend the next drinks & demos event from Tech in Motion by finding the closest one here.

Throughout the night,Tech in Motion organizers interviewed the guests and demo companies on what some of their favorite products are, what the future holds for product design, and the hottest design trends on the market now. Here are some of their responses:

What are some of the trends in product design for 2015?

Richie Zeng, CEO/Founder of Wearhaus  

“I’m seeing a lot of connected devices and products built around connectivity with phones as the central hub.”

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Sylvia Wu, Design Lead at Orion

“Wearables that add value to people’s lives, or products that are specific for communication. Products utilizing voices are becoming popular as well because you can convey emotions through tone, for example Siri and Amazon Echo.”

Clifton Zoozeboom, CEO/Co-founder of PocketLab

“Simplicity. Everyone is following the ‘Apple Way’.”

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What makes your product stand out among competitors?

Alena Laptsinskaya, Director of Customer Relations for Zackees

“We make better quality products. We have sensors that detect ambient light so that the LED will be brighter at night. We have a feature that disconnects the light after a certain amount of time to save battery, and you can change out batteries, unlike our competitors.”

What was the story behind your product and what does the future look like for it?

Adam Kell, Founder at FlameStower

“We’re aiming to impact energy services, and we’re also currently partnering up with the Guatemalan Government as well as doing some work in Ethiopia.”

“In 3 months we will start working on emergency energy solutions. Like for earthquake kits.”

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What is your current product you are involved with and how does it play a role in consumer’s lives?

Guy Horgan, Sales consultant for Ministry of Supply

“We do ‘smart’ men’s clothing… We are looking into eyewear as well.”

“We want our customers to feel comfortable in our clothes all day. We want work life integration. Our customers can go from work, to dinner, to a movie, and then out for drinks without the need to change or any discomfort.”

Interested in participating in a Tech in Motion event? Contact your city’s team here.

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Audience favorites of the evening were Nixie, PocketLab, and VivaLnk to name a few. Be sure to keep an eye out for these companies and how they will be impacting the product world and possibly our very own lives.

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There’s an exciting lineup of events coming up for Tech in Motion in Silicon Valley this spring and summer. Join in on the next meetup by becoming a group member and see what’s on the docket for April and May.

San Francisco’s Health and Fitness Demo Event

Earlier this fall, over 250 San Francisco techies gathered at WeWork SOMA to discover the hottest wellness technologies at Tech in Motion’s Health and Fitness Demo event. They weren’t disappointed as the night kicked off with a bang; Demo company, fitmob, started up the event with a Tech in Motion group workout. It got all the attendees moving as top 40 hits bounced off the WeWork walls. The workout got the energy in the room up – everyone was laughing and high-fiving strangers by the time the music stopped.

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After completing the workout, guests were free to peruse the demo booths. There was no escaping exercise that night, because no matter what table members went to, all 12 companies were all about keeping it fit.

Two fitness companies, Vint and Tribesports took over one area with a jointly-led planking contest. The two had worked together before and definitely brought the energy, which is no surprise since they both specialize in community fitness. In addition to the plank contest, Vint and Tribesports handed out freebies to the Tech in Motion members together, all night long.

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The next table included SweatGuru and fitmob. Both companies connect people with workouts and trainers. fitmob showed members how they can make group workouts more fun than the gym while SweatGuru introduced their app and how it can connect members with trainers. The two companies wowed members with their exciting apps and brightly decorated booths.

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Next up was Lumosity and Spire. These two companies appeal to different interests, but together they pulled in a great crowd. Lumosity showed members how to use tech to improve their mind through brain testing activities. On the other end of the table, Spire, showed off a new type of fitness wearable that connects your body and your mind.

As members rounded the corner they were able to check out Fitbit and Fitt. Much like Vint and Tribesports, these two companies have collaborated in the past. Fitbit, a fitness wearable, showed how its different products gather health information like steps, weight and sleep quality. Fitt worked off Fitbit with an app that showed members how to set up challenges against their friends using wearables. The two companies drew a large crowd with their free swag – raffles and t-shirts.

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Another duo of the night was Keas and Runtastic. Keas was the social sponsor for the evening and showed members how fitness can improve the work environment significantly. They gave away free vegetable shaped stress balls while Runtastic demoed their newest wearables.

The last table was Misfit Wearables and FYTNS. Misfit showed off their very popular wearable and got members excited about a raffle of five Misfit Shines at the end of the night. FYTNS introduced members to group workouts and handed out fruit and coconut water at their end of the table.

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As members finished their rounds in the demo room they stopped for food and drinks. They enjoyed a variety of wines, beers and cheeses as they networked with other members. Lighthearted debates over favorite demos filled the air.

The raffle kicked off around 8:15PM and huge prizes were given away. A large handful of lucky Tech in Motion members walked away with Fitbit scales, Fitbit wearables, fashionable Misfit Shines, numerous free workout plans with personal trainers and 3-year-long subscriptions to Lumosity!

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Everyone was a winner that night! Whether it was sniping the raffle or just having a great time, members walked away with smiles on their faces and new apps loaded on their phones. Be one of them by signing up for Tech in Motion SF today!

The Future of Virtual Reality

1097723620Written by Arthur van Hoff, CTO at Jaunt

Virtual reality is something many people have heard of, but few have experienced. Yet trying to put it into words is, as one blogger stated, “like trying to take a picture of your favorite song.” Poised to disrupt the way we see, live and engage with the world, the fully immersing experience of VR has the potential to change the face not just of gaming or entertainment, but has implications for education, travel, healthcare, real estate, and more.

Today, you can put on VR goggles and have an immersive experience beyond your imagination – with high-definition 360-degree, 3D video and binaural audio, you can feel as though you’re in the world’s most spectacular places, on stage next to your favorite musician, or on the field cheering on your home team, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

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The truly exciting part about virtual reality is that this is just the beginning. The potential applications for this technology is something that excites us tremendously and we are continuously exploring.

Much of the content that is currently being developed for virtual reality goggles is simulated or digitally produced, along the lines of video games. At Jaunt, we’re building the full-stack technology to create cinematic VR. This includes the camera, software editing, and content production. Instead of exploring a simulated world, you can be transported to other places in the real world.

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This also means exploring new means of storytelling beyond the current capabilities of traditional film-making. We’re discovering new ways to use the technology, and it’s opening up huge new doors for writers, directors, actors, artists, and other content creators.

We shared some of what we’ve discovered and created at the Tech In Motion event this week. We enjoyed sharing the experience of cinematic VR with you and you’ll see some action photos in an event recap posted later in the month.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley is also proud to announce their September event, Security & Technology: BYOD, Home, & Mobile {Sponsored By Microsoft & Appvance}. You can RSVP here.

arthurAbout the author: Arthur van Hoff is serial entrepreneur and was most recently CTO at Flipboard. He started his career in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems where he was an early developer of the Java programming language. Since then he has started several successful companies. Arthur has expertise in machine learning, big data, mobile applications, 3D printing, and computational photography. He is originally from the Netherlands and has a master’s degree in Computer Science from Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

Recap: Hot Tech Trends in San Francisco for 2014

On Thursday February 20th, Tech in Motion: San Francisco rallied local techies. The gathering took place at Wish bar in the SoMa district of San Francisco. As drinks flowed, so did the conversations. San Francisco’s finest rolled into Wish Bar to discuss what tech trends they thought would hit big for 2014. For a Thursday evening, San Franciscan locals were more than happy to spend their free time learning a new name and adding a few more cards to their business card collection. Networking was in the air.

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Tech in Motion conducted a survey to pin-point the leading topic of the night. There was no big surprise what they thought would hit the mainstream tech feed. The winner was Big Data – apache Hadoop! The Apache™ Hadoop® project develops open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing. In a nutshell Apache Hadoop software is a framework that allows the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers by using programming models that are simplified. More and more businesses are in need of a more advanced system to handle the immense amount of data that is collected – and big data paving the way for 2014.

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Tech in Motion conducted a survey to pin-point the leading topic of the night. There was no big surprise what they thought would hit the mainstream tech feed. The winner was Big Data – apache Hadoop! The Apache™ Hadoop® project develops open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing. In a nutshell Apache Hadoop software is a framework that allows the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers by using programming models that are simplified. More and more businesses are in need of a more advanced system to handle the immense amount of data that is collected – and big data paving the way for 2014.

Another topic that scattered the powwows at the Tech in Motion mixer was high tech wearables. From coast to coast, techies are indulging themselves in wearable technology. Recently, New York Tech in Motion hosted an event for high tech fashion. The excitement of 3D printed shoes and LED clothing has definitely hit the west coast. Throughout the mixing and mingling, speculations on what hot new tech trends 2014 will offer permeated the room.IMG_3745

Tech in Motion members were also excited to discover Microsoft’s table, offering unlimited play time with Bing’s revived system, and a live engineer to answer any questions that arose. A buzz in the air of an exciting year to come has landed in San Francisco’s tech community.

Recapping Techtoberfest

The last week of October was shaping up to be an exciting time in Boston; the president was coming to town, Halloween was here, and the Red Sox were a game away from winning the World Series. In the middle of it all, Tech in Motion: Boston decided to celebrate Halloween a few days early with their Wearable Technology mixer, Techtoberfest, at the very appropriate Baseball Tavern, just outside of Fenway Park. Starting at 6:30, techies from across Boston came out showing off their own wearable tech and eager to get up close with our demos.

Don Schwartz, Google Glass Explorer, was with us demoing Google Glass.  Don is the founder of the Google Glass New England Meetup and has worked as Chief Tech and Web Platform Developer for CADlearning.com for almost 10 years. Our techies had a great time trying on Glass and testing out all of it’s features.

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We also had Dan Wilson, Founder and CEO of AfterDark Technologies, on site with us. As a fairly new company, Dan was excited to be at the event and show off what he and his team had been working on. AfterDark Technologies is revolutionizing team sports by enabling them to play anywhere, anytime. Through their fiber optic jerseys, LED cones and line lasers defining the playing field, games are no longer limited by daylight or finding a lighted field at night. His equipment really looks like something out of Tron, and was surprisingly and extremely lightweight.

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Lastly, there was Ben Cooper, CEO and Co-Founder at My Sensible Baby who was demoing their wearable tech, designed for infants and toddlers, called the Smart-One. This is a safe and easy to use passive monitoring solution that only sends alerts to parents’ smart devices when it senses an unsafe change in the baby’s sleeping environment. Although our techies couldn’t squeeze themselves into this bit of wearable tech, the software behind it drew a crowd all night long.

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Our Boston Techies were able to enjoy drinks, free appetizers and networking all night long, and the demos had constant crowds around them. It was a great night and we thank everyone who was able to make it out, and The Baseball Tavern for hosting!

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To see what Tech in Motion is bringing to your area please visit techinmotionevents.com.

Things CAN Be Easier – With the Help of Wireless & Wearable Tech

bencooperWhy can’t things just be easier? As soon-to-be first time parents (7 more weeks, yay!), we’ve been a bit overwhelmed with all the new categories and products we have to be savvy on. What do I actually need? What’s important? From bottles to strollers, to wipe warmers to pacifier leashes, there are a lot of decisions to be made on what is important and what is “nice to have”. As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, ultimately, our decision-making will hinge on what we absolutely need and what will keep our child safe.

Sensible Baby came from a real problem. When we first came together, Jeff Tagen, our CTO, spoke to us about his experience as a first-time father. He recalled sneaking into his infant daughter’s room to check on whether she was still breathing. Fortunately when he discovered she was, he had to figure any way possible not to wake her back up! With the state of wireless technology and the ever-growing industry of wearable technology, we knew there was a solution; we just had to find it. After some tinkering around for a weekend, we had a working prototype that connected to our iPhones and did what we wanted it to do. It was rough, very rough, but it worked and gave us confidence that it was possible.

The bottom line is, things can be easier! At Sensible Baby, we developed a wearable baby monitor that syncs with your smart device in a matter of two clicks. The future is here. We’re connecting parents with their babies, but we’re not the only ones streamlining experiences with things around us. the Internet of things is growing at a rapid rate. In the 90’s and early 2000’s we experienced the webbing effect of the virtual Internet. During this decade, we’re ushering in the connection of physical things.

I love to brew beer. When I have a free weekend in the fall or winter, I’m typically in the kitchen experimenting with a new brew recipe. Last weekend was my kick-off for the season. After spending the typical 3-4 hours measuring ingredients, precisely monitoring the mixture’s temperature and managing the timing of everything, I said to myself “There has to be an easier way”. My next instinct was to search for a system that would automate the tedious processes and allow me to focus on the fun parts: concocting new recipes and sampling the goods. so I typed in a couple keywords into Google to see if anyone else was doing it. Wouldn’t you know, this company Brewbot just closed a successful Kickstarter campaign with a product that does exactly what I was looking for! Anything you’d need to know about your brew is sent directly to your smart phone. At any moment you could find out the alcohol content at a particular stage of the fermentation, the brew temperature, yeast activity, and the list goes on. The best part is you get a text message when the brew is ready for consumption. Perfecto!

Even simple home appliances are making the transition to the smart device world. Nest, the creators of the Nest Thermostat, have made managing your home temperature a smart and money-saving activity. Their thermostat learns what your ideal room temperature should be, based on your activities, preferences, environmental conditions and daily habits. You can even control it from your smart device while you’re not home. They just recently came out with the Nest Protect. This system brings smoke and carbon monoxide detection into the 21st century. Not only do you have the luxury of monitoring from your smart device, but if you have the Nest Thermostat, they’ll communicate with each other in the event of an unsafe change in your home (i.e. fire, excessive carbon monoxide levels, etc).

Ultimately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our world will experience connectivity beyond our current imaginations. The day has come when you can easily brew your favorite microbrew with no prior experience. There will also be a day very soon when the temperature adjusts automatically in your child’s room based on the immediate temperature surrounding them. All this information will be at our fingertips the instant it happens. The potentials are endless.