I keep forgetting to post about this idea I had for an iPhone feature. Well, here it is. Essentially I want any audio to be piped into the phone’s earpiece if the phone detects that you’re holding it up to your face. For example, if you’re listening to a podcast or some streaming music via the speaker (if you have headphones plugged in, this feature wouldn’t kick in) and you put the phone up to your face, the audio should stop playing out of the speaker and start playing in the earpiece. Once you take the phone away from your face, it could continue playing out the speaker. Or you could configure it to pause the audio when you take the phone away from your face (if possible) and ask you where you’d like the audio to output to. I don’t have fine details all worked out.
The main impetus for wanting this feature is that sometimes I listen to podcasts during my commute and want to continue listening while walking to my desk, but I don’t necessarily want to put on my earbuds. Another time, I went on a short walk around the campus at work but forgot my earbuds. The speaker was too weak for me to hear outside. At least if I had had the option to pipe the audio through the phone earpiece I could’ve listened to the podcast a little bit that way.
This feature could also be useful if you’re in a public place like a store and you want to listen to a track sample from the iTunes store, or listen to some music or podcasts while you’re walking around, but you want to remain aware of your surroundings. You could also use it when you’re faking being on a phone call to avoid talking to someone. At least then you’d be listening to something.
Of course you wouldn’t want to use this method of listening to audio for too long, since your arm would get tired. But for short stints I think it could be a useful feature. Preferably it would work beyond the iPod app, so that you could have this functionality with apps that stream music, or as I mentioned before, the iTunes store. Of course this functionality could be obviated by being able to stream audio to a Bluetooth headset, but I personally don’t use a BT headset so I’d still want this feature. The phone part of the iPhone is actually the least used feature for me. I mainly use it as an always-on Internet tablet, and/or my media player, so while I lust a little bit over some BT headsets or BT headphones, I really don’t need them, hence my idea to “repurpose” the phone earpiece.
So what do you think? Completely silly, or possibly a feature you’d use?
I love the Sony Rolly. It’s such a cute little, “Aibo meets mp3 player” kind of robot toy. When I first heard about it and saw videos demoing its functionality, it reminded me of the old Sony — the Sony that made really awesome gadgety stuff, whether or not it made sense as a mainstream product. They made tons of different electronic devices in strange form factors, and dominated the consumer electronics world. Unfortunately, that Sony has been replaced with “is it good for the shareholders?” Sony — a Sony that still makes some really lovely hardware, but has enough financial issues that they can no longer afford to make devices like the Clié (the absolute best line of Palm OS PDAs, closely followed by the Tapwave Zodiac) or the cute line of Aibos. When I saw the Rolly, I saw the old Sony taking a peek out from behind the stodgy, “bottom line is king”, new Sony. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of innovative (and expensive) products coming out of Sony, like that super-thin, OLED TV that they are selling now, their interesting take on digital SLRs, the Sony Reader, and their fun line of phones, several of which I’m enamored with. I just miss all the fun, “What am I going to do with this?” products they used to have.
Anyway, this rambling is just an introduction to a video I put together recently. I was surprised to see the Sony Rolly displayed at the Sony Style store in Woodfield, so I busted out my phone to take a video of it in action. Too bad I didn’t have the N95-3 with me; I could’ve Qik’ed it… Oh well! The original song it was bopping to was “Love Song” by Sara Bareille (IIRC), but I forgot that I turned off the audio recording. The audio probably wouldn’t have turned out so well anyway, since there was some other music blaring in another part of the store. Luckily I was able to find a good replacement song that still fits with the Rolly’s dance moves. Strangely it’s quite a different song from the original tune that played — “Discipline” by Nine Inch Nails. Thanks, Trent Reznor, for Creative Commons licensed songs! I converted the video from the original 3GP format and added the song as the backing track in iMovie, quite a painless process. I was all smiles while I was watching the Rolly dance in the Sony Style, and I was still all smiles when I watched it dance to NiN. Pretty funny contradiction between a cutesy, mp3-playing robot toy and an angsty (but dancey) NiN song. See it for yourself!
Decided to finish off the last 4 frames sitting in my SLR 680 SE. This is what I got.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that everytime you visit your Flickr homepage, they show you a different way of saying hello in a foreign language (reminds me of old school Wired magazine covers…IIRC they did the same thing. Either “hello” or “Wired” in different languages. Now I can’t remember. ). I just happened to see the following just a few minutes ago:
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Noticed something strange about the logo when I was having a late afternoon snack… If you need a hint, click on the picture for the Flickr note.
Sorry, it’s a lame blog post title… I’m under the weather. *smirk*
Just saw this amusing post on UNEASYsilence about someone reusing an empty CD spindle to transport a bagel sandwich. Looks funny, but actually makes sense! To improve on this idea, the guy should put plastic wrap over the bottom of the spindle in order to keep the bottom clean, and help keep the container a bit more airtight (cut a piece big enough to fit over the bottom and make a hole in the center for the spindle). Of course, you should also make sure you wash it out really well!
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Well, I don’t know if I would have the patience to do this, but the results are really stunning:
See the rest of the pictures of the artist’s work here.
(link found on Twitter )
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Ha! We bought some of these Easy Buttons with the intent of giving them away as funny stocking stuffers last Christmas, but never got around to distributing them. Might have to do some tweaking before giving them as presents this year!
Okay, probably not, but I sure like this particular idea. I heard something at work that reminded me of the tones that David recorded to thwart the lock on that clinic they temporarily held him in. Then I thought that those simple tones would be an awesome, geeky ringtone. I don’t have a touch-tone landline that could simulate the tones, but I can just bust out my Wargames DVD and record the sound. But don’t tell anyone, else the MPAA come knocking on my door… *rolling eyes*
Darn, the run of 400 units of this Pong clock is already sold out. The last I had read about this was that the maker was under fire for some copyright issues (???) and that it might not be able to be sold, but I guess that somehow got worked out.
Here’s hoping another run will be made (maybe with a bigger screen? It seems like these units are around the size of a UMPC…see it compared to an iMac display at the link below). It’d be a nice companion for my Galaga machine.
P.S. I’m testing out posting from the Flock browser, so if you see any weirdness in this post, please let me know.
Make: Blog always has links to interesting DIY techie projects. This latest one is no exception: a USB flash drive integrated with a Lego brick! What a cool idea. I think I'm going to have to try this project out.
What Do You Do With Your Tablet PC That's Creative or Offbeat?
I hear a lot about productivity, software, and hardware tips for TPCs that relate to business or student use. But I rarely read or hear about the more creative side of tablet use.
Hugh Sung blogs about how he uses his tablet for his classical music endeavors. Warner Crocker uses his tablet in his theatrical work. A week or so ago, JKOnTheRun had an article about how someone uses his tablet to help him field baseballs hit out of the park. I've seen a lot of great art created on tablets. And of course, we ink bloggers think that posting in ink is pretty creative.
Personally, I have created some drawings in ArtRage (love that program!), and I ink blog. I think all of the other ways I use my tablet are pretty standard — notetaking at work, surfing, photo editing, etc.
So, dear Readers, what are some of the ways you creatively use your tablet?