Morning Surf Report: Two techs in the wind and some juice

I thought that it might be a good thing to share a few of the things that I find around the Internet while I’m being distracted from running and writing in the morning – things that I like, things that I feel like I should share with my readers and that I don’t really know if I could do justice for in just one post. Hence we have the Surf Report: a roundup of things I have to share with all of my wonderful readers.

I found this article yesterday on a new technology that’s being developed by a DARPA-funded team at UC Berkeley that they are calling “e-skin”. It’s presented mainly as something you can wrap onto a robot and when you touch it, it . . . lights up? I don’t know. That sounded pretty weak to me, and I was like, I guess. Then they go on to say this:

“the engineers believe the new e-skin technology could also be used to create things like wallpapers that double as touchscreen displays and dashboard laminates that allow drivers to adjust electronic controls with the wave of a hand.”

Oh, okay. And here I thought you were just bragging about roboskin. This stuff charges me up. Wouldn’t it be cool to have touchscreen wallpaper? Imagine you decide to rearrange the living room and you don’t really need to worry about where to put the television, because you don’t have one. No, you just go to your wallpaper’s settings app and touch the wall where you want the video screen to activate; then you set the size, and you drag a box to fine-tune the location. Bang, a user-configurable vidscreen and it’s built right in. And cheap, too – they say it’s easy and inexpensive to make, mostly because they can use already existing semiconductor manufacturing technology and processes to make it.

I found this article two days ago about Apple’s plan to make an iWatch (but maybe they’ll call it that, I think – we’ll see.) They’re talking late 2014 when we see these hit the market, and it will be joining a cadre of wearable computing devices that are beginning to emerge. Now, we’re practically wearing them all the time already, so why a watch, especially when a lot of people have stopped wearing them? For one, they look more natural and they’re less intrusive and disruptive. If you look at the concept design, the iWatch doesn’t just look like a watch, but it looks like a very dignified watch that you have to look at more than once to realize, this thing is a digital touchscreen device. You see the speakers nestled on the lower bezel and you realize, this thing has sound, too. Nice. And chances are, they’ll come in fun colors, as well. I’m personally considering a red one. They’ll probably have more of a built-in role as an activity/fitness/sports sensor than other products because they’ll be placed in the right spot for it. And this, my friends, is definitely a cool thing. As long as it’s not staggeringly expensive, like the iPhone, the adoption of such devices may trend us toward a more fit future simply because the functionality is there – after all, we tend to be a species that does things simply because we can.

Finally, I will leave you with an infographic that I found on fellow blog Fit For A Year. Even though the infographic isn’t theirs, I have to give them credit for posting it first, but I’m a fitness and diet enthusiast and so I share these things with you, my lovely readers. It’s about juicing.

I grew up watching that scary old guy Jack LaLanne sell his juicers on TV, with that glowy light in his eyes, talking about how he does nothing but drink juice all day – that could never be me. I couldn’t be a juicer because I’m sure my wife would have me committed if I tried. But the infographic puts forward some good points on why cold-press juice is superior to centrifugally- and blade-extracted juice, and the infographic comes from the product website of the Nutripro Juicer. Big surprise, you say? Well, you gotta sell it if you want it to sell, but they’re right about all that stuff – it’s why homemade juice is a big deal in dietary circles. What’s really nice to see is that the Nutripro Juicer costs only $250 – although you might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.

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  1. See…..I think the Apple watch is not innovative. I haven’t worn a watch in 15 years. I was hoping their next unveiling would be something new and exciting…….but a watch?………..when watch sales are way down?

    • That’s what I thought too. They’re going to have to bring something extraordinary to the table in order to be competition for products that already exist, likes of Pebble, Jawbone, and the Nike Fuel+ band. And if they want to do a watch they have to give us a reason to want a watch. But I have to admit it can be pretty hard to foretell what could possibly be more exciting than the current generation of products when it’s already kind of mind-blowing in terms of the overall picture.

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