Monthly Archives: November 2012

The 2012 PhotoPlus Expo: For the Wealthy Shutterbug

During the 3-day PhotoPlus Expo in New York, several exhibitors displayed their latest advances in photography technology. There were a massive assortment of cameras, lenses, printers, clothing, gear, gizmos and gadgets on display. The Expo was heavily bent for the professional photographer and the casual weekend or hobbyist cameraman might have felt left out. However, most of the latest introductions in technology were appropriate for both sections, even though some may be too highly priced.  Here are 3 outstanding innovations showcased at the PhotoPlus Expo.  A more detailed list of products displayed can be found here.

Sony DEV-3 and DEV-5 3D Binoculars

The Sony DEV-3 and DEV-5 3D Binoculars are like a gizmo straight out of the last blockbuster sci-fi movie! The videos and photographs shot from these binoculars products are astounding. Only the more complex model, the DEV-5, was on display.  This multimedia camera boasts several amazing features including 3D binoculars, a 7-megapixel camera, and a 1080i video recorder. Ranging between $1400 – $2000, the DEV-3 and DEV-5 cost a pretty penny. However, if you are shopping for a superior quality, multifunctional digital camera, these binoculars may be a great choice.

Gorillapod Micro 250 and 350

Joby is a brand known best for its bendy camera tripods.  But one of the coolest gadgets at their booth was a tripod that we’re not used to.  Called the Gorillapod Micro, these mini-tripods are stiff, almost like small sticks, which can fold up nicely beneath you camera without adding much weight or bulk at all.  Best of all, they are available in different sizes.  You’ll always be able to catch that perfect sunset self-portrait because you’ll never be without your tripod again.

Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen Display

The Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen Display has a unique 24-inch display. The display is ideal for making sharp edits for those in 3D design, animation, game development, and industrial design. The price of $2600 doesn’t seem to be a detractor as they are in sought after and incredibly tough to acquire.

Although the PhotoPlus Expo was intended for professionals in the photography and design industry, many amateurs and enthusiasts still prefer keeping up with state-of-the-art technology. The expo showcased countless other items, such as high-tech lighting, camera accessories, and jackets. Have a look at other articles about the Expo, and see some amazing innovations in photography.

Devices and Apps: Working Together to Make Our Lives Easier

The world is becoming more connected. When we say this, we don’t just mean as individuals. Our devices are becoming more connected to each other as well. This makes our everyday life easier by adding seamlessness to our day that wasn’t present before. Now you can work on a document at work, send it to your smartphone and use a voice transcription app to continue working in your vehicle. This is just one example; this video is Microsoft’s vision of what connectivity will make our future look like. What types of devices, apps, or combination of the two will help produce a future like this? Here are a couple I have found, let us know of any you can think of.

iControl

iControl

iControl is a home security and energy management product that Comcast recently unveiled. With this product, people can control the thermostat in their homes, turn lights on and off, and monitor their homes with live streaming video. Various components work together to give individuals full control over their homes when away.

Air Sharing

This app for the iPad permits you to use your iPad or iPhone as an external hard drive for your computer. Being able to effortlessly access and transfer your documents allows for more mobility in your workday.

AirPlay

Wirelessly stream music, videos, and photos to Apple TV using Apple’s AirPlay. This enables you to flow easily from your walk, where you were listening to a podcast or audio book, to your home without interrupting your entertainment.

Will the future be filled with gadgets, apps, and software that synchronize all facets of your life? In this age of connectivity, we are deeply connected to our devices. Hopefully they will one day be so interconnected that they will even be a few steps ahead of us. If this requires less effort on my part, I’m for it…how about you?

Future-Tech: Is 2012 More like Back to the Future Part 1 or 2?

It’s been 25 years since Back to the Future played in movie theaters.  In the original film, Marty McFly travels back in time to 1955 Hill Valley. While there, he inadvertently disrupts the space-time continuum and his mother ends up falling for him instead of his dad.  Freudian theories aside, Marty is able to salvage his parent’s relationship and his ultimate existence.  After he’s able to return to 1985, he immediately learns that he must travel into the future to save his kids. Through his travels, we see Hill Valley as it was in 1955, 1985 and the future. If you were to step back and look at where we are in 2011, does our existence today look more like the film’s past or the second film’s vision of the future?

Certainly there would be flying cars and hover boards by 2011, wouldn’t there?  But we still have our feet firmly on the ground, riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters and driving gas-powered cars.  As we look around us, the computer is the obvious distinction between the present and the past. Yet, if we take a step back, so much of the technology we employ everyday has existed for years.  The television was invented in the 1930s, cars had air conditioning and radios by 1940, and movies were in color.  If you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz recently, the special effects are still pretty good — and they’re 80 years old.

We do, however, have technology prophesied in movies made decades ago. In Total Recall, the protagonist walks through a full-body x-ray machine to board a plane. As seen in most major airports 3D monitors and holograms are either implemented already or on the very near horizon. Virgin Atlantic has taken a page out of 2001: A Space Odyssey to make space travel practical for the common man — or at least the common man who can spend $200,000 for 5 minutes of weightlessness.

Today we can communicate with Jetson-like videophones, talk to the other side of the world on your personal computer for hours – for free. We have such science-fiction movie staples as cloning, genetic engineering, laser surgery and more. Yet are we closer to 1950’s tech or the science fiction dreams of the 2050s? In the mental picture so many of us had about the 21st century, we’re no closer to flying our car to work as Dorothy was to finding her way back to Kansas when she first landed in Oz.

Where does that put us?  The future is truly happening everywhere. Its seen in video billboards, the Internet tracking our every website click or online purchase, and 3D TVs and binoculars.  We can still go to the movies – only now it might break the bank if you have a household of four.  Still, the old axiom is true:  the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Chevrolet is still producing gas-powered convertibles, Universal is still making bad sequels, and you can still watch Back to the Future.  Only now you can watch it on your phone.

 

The Web of Perfectionism: How Not to Get Stuck

Do you find yourself agonizing over every little detail? Does it take you 3 times as long to finish a task because you are trying to get it “just right?” If so, you might be a perfectionist? It’s not an uncommon personality trait to see in the business world and it can be an aid to push people to attempt to do their best. In extreme cases, though, it leads to wasted time and resources.  The outcome usually doesn’t justify the immense effort that went into it. If you find yourself in the web of extreme perfectionism, here are a few tips that can lead you out.

Make a Decision and Stick to it
When you choose on a direction to take and announce it to your employees, stick to it. One of the pitfalls of perfectionism is wasted time second-guessing yourself. If you are constantly changing gears after your team has started the project, then you have wasted those recourses. You might never know if your third, fourth, or fifth decision would be any better.  As the saying goes, go with your gut!

Trus t your Employees
When you tell your staff your plan and what resources you’ll need from them, listen to their input. They will let you know if it’s possible and if they think it’s a good idea. Paying attention to their insight will help keep you from sliding into another guessing game. Another piece to this is, trusting your employees to do their part well. You hired them because they are skilled, right? Lastly, before you start implementing your plan, just in case…

Have a Plan B
You never know what’s going to happen! An obstacle may arise that can’t be overcome, so make sure you have a plan B. A backup plan can help you from getting entrenched to deeply in your first plan and devastated if things go wrong. The more flexible and ready for change you are, the easier it is to adapt to things life throws at you.

Perfectionism could have a beneficial effect as it can make you endeavor to be your best, but that pressure can lead to stress and wasted time. Try to stay flexible and strive for your personal best. If you find yourself caught up in perfectionism, the steps I’ve outlined above should help. You can also read this article to learn how to avoid perfectionism pitfalls all together.