I've been interested in bitcoin since 2010 when I found out about it on Hacker News however it's only in 2014 that I've decided to launch a series of bitcoin related projects and be more active in the community.
The first is http://www.gitcoin.co. It's built on top of the Coinbase API so currently in order to accept donations you'll need a coinbase account as well as a gitcoin account. However to donate to a project of your choice you can simply use the QR Code or address that's listed on each profile page if you don't have/want a gitcoin account.
This is extremely early beta stage and the intention is to work with a small group of people to run campaign(s) with the following demographics:
My questions to the #bitcoin community on google+ are:
1. What charity, musician, or artist(s) would you like to see us help raise bitcoin for? We intend to work closely with each campaign that we're running during the beta and we want to choose projects which the active bitcoin community want to see succeed.
2. Are you interested in being part of the beta? Of course you can create a gitcoin account or feel free to reach out to me here.
Thanks for any and all feedback!
I created this visualization with Gource (https://code.google.com/p/gource/) which works on any git repo.
I wrote up a short post with instructions if you're interested in how this was created.
Ember.js as visualized by Gource
Wearing Glass produces an experience unlike any other piece of consumer electronics out there. The context and input to the device are unlike anything we've experienced before.
Glass being a new platform I thought it worth it to take a minute to discuss what I think are the 4 tenets of Glassware.
1. Right now
The primary UI on Glass is the Timeline which consists of cards stacked one after another in reverse chronological order layed out horizontally to the right of the homescreen. The very nature of the Timeline suggest a Right Now device.
New timeline cards push old cards further down the stack and unless the user pins a card (which means it stays near the beginning of the timeline) it becomes more kludgy to access cards the older that they get. I would suggest that if you find yourself wildly swiping backward on the timeline to access a card from a week ago that you're missing the Right Now nature of Glass.
The screen on Glass isn't great for watching long periods of video or reading lots of text. There are other screens for that. The nature of Glass is that you get in and out effortlessly. It's there all the time--simply look up to the right.
The voice input and text to speech output make it the kind of device you quickly ask for stuff and then expect to disappear.
GPS on smart phones have long offered rich location data on users. The difference with Glass is that it's front and center. Glass phones home it's location every 10 minutes and most times when you opt in to a piece of Glassware you're acknowledging that the app can also access your location and that's ok because it's expected.
Glass is such a networked and geo-aware device device that any social qualms about bein 'tracked' won't hold water on this platform. By using Glass you opt into a world where your device is broadcasting your location at all times.
Of course there is a touchpad on Glass but the obvious new input mechanism is voice. It's everywhere in the system and yes it works really well. And the exciting part is that having your app recieve voice input is only an api call away.
And it's not only that voice is a prominent new input avenue it's also that it's trivially easy to have Glass read your text output as speech-to-text.
I foresee localization being extremely powerful on Glass as Google Translate is amazing.
If there is one part of Glass that I've found to be a social agitator it's the forward facing eye level camera. Let's be honest--people are uncomfortable having a camera pointed in their face. The vast majority or people haven't experienced the Glass UI and so they are justified wondering if you're recording them when you're looking in their direction.
IMO this is the biggest problem that Glass faces. Like it or not a world in which people are wearing Glass is a world in which random people are sticking cameras in your face even more than they already do with smart phones.
That being said with regards to application development sight is as big of a deal as touch. Sure we can take pictures with our smartphone and upload them to services. But the hands free and voice driven nature of Glass open up the door for new types of photos.
I'll be the first to admit that Glass photos have bad lighting and don't meet a professional photographer's muster. But that's missing the point--we're moving into a world of sousveilance.
The viewpoint on glass is the viewpoint of the observer. It's not about being pretty or perfect. It's about being eyes on the ground.
Ron Conway's 7 tech Megatrends
A couple of years ago Techcrunch leaked a document from legendary Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway which mentioned 7 tech megatrends.
Basically Ron and his team had been tracking entrepreneurs, investments, wins, and losses for many years and they had identified 7 trends that were off the charts on many levels. Those trends were:
2. Real Time
3. Location Based Services
4. The Urban Entrepreneur
6. Flash Sales
7. Behavior & Transactions
I don't think it's a stretch to say that Glass could potentially hit every one of those categories.
At the nexus
Glass is a device that that sits at the nexus of tech megatrends. It enables a whole new breed of applications which inhabit the center of a user's experience.
This is an entirely new platform which offers entirely new posibilities--and I intend to treat it that way.
I've written previously about my intuition that we're going to see a suite of sleek and posh boutique Google stores that are centered around Glass start to pop up and today I'd like to write a little more about why I think that's a brilliant idea.
There are already prototypes
If you flew to San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York to have a Glass fitting then you already saw one of these. There is a team of young hip people in all white rooms handing out iPad like packaging.
They offer you mimosas or coffee/tea. And then they walk you through every aspect of the device and UI. The experience is very much like an Apple store but even more select.
Glass is a new UI
The Glass UI is really simple. It consists of moving cards to the left and right in your vision by swiping back/forth and down as well as tapping on the side of the device. You can consume the breadth and depth of it in just a few minutes.
Still it really does pay to spend the 30 minutes and have someone walk you through the UI for the first time. If someone just put Glass on your head and said 'Good luck' most people wouldn't figure it all out in 30 minutes.
That alone means that Google needs to be careful how they get these to the public. If people start getting hold of them without having a primer on the UI it could be a bad thing.
People are interested
People everywhere are extremely interested in Glass. Wear one to a local Coffeeshop and see how quickly you can get out of there without letting each person in the room try it out.
One of the things that make an Apple store so compelling is the buzz of a crowd of excited people. I can see people being even more excited about Glass because we've become conditioned to the iPhone/iPad. They're no longer a big deal. Glass on the other hand is a whole new form of computing and I'm sure the general public will react to that.
There is a big misunderstanding of Glass
I've never witnessed as big a cultural misunderstanding and fear of a product than what we're seeing with Glass. And that's just because no one has had a chance to try them on and see the UI. People are incorrectly assuming that it's like full virtual or augmented reality when it's just not in fact like that at all.
There is also the assumption that when wearing one you'll be staring off into space all the time or that as a race we'll stop remembering people's names because our Glass will be there to remind us who the person we're talking to is based on facial recognition from the camera.
Then there is the overwhelming fear that every Glass wearer is just going around recording everything and everyone.
All of these fears could be relieved or addressed appropriately if there was a place the general public could go to experience Glass.
An unscientific example
My wife is the perfect example. For the last year since I ordered the device she has been unable to see the potential or why I would want one. Without even being plugged into the tech media she echoed many of the concerns above.
When Google emailed me and told me when to pick up my Glass they told me that I could bring one person so of course I invited her. The fact that there was a super hip Google spokesman to hold our hand and walk us through the experience over champagne was like a posh boutique from the future.
After playing around with Glass that day she said "I never thought I'd see something like that in my life."
Context is everything
Glass is huge. Moving the computer up to eye level and bringing voice up the level of touch with regards to primary interaction with the device changes the context of the machine--and that changes everything.
Google has a hit on their hands but it's up to them to give each new user a primer on how to use the device--and for this I foresee a Glass Store.
Before I had the device I confidentally told everyone that Google would have a consumer ready device in a year at half the size and $200-$500 price point. After playing around with it for 2 days I'm thinking that's just not possible.
It seems to me that in order to build a device that is this high quality at scale Google will need several things—Hardware and Software IP, manufacturing, distribution channels, and a rich developer ecosystem.
It's clear that they have the hardware and software IP under wraps. The hardware and software of glass are much higher quality and much more polished than I previously expected. I'm sure there's a version 2 device in the lab that is much smaller and sharper in every aspect.
Manufacturing is probably a different story. After all this is a new device with new challenges. The fact that they are slowly handing them out one at a time tells me that they obviously aren't producing these at scale yet.
Also the same with distrubution. The fact that each glass owner is being asked to fly to San Francisco, New York, or L.A. to pick up the device so that you can be walked through the UI speaks volumes. My prediction is that we're gonna see a suite of super slick Google Stores centered around glass start popping up in major cities.
Finally is the rich developer eco-system—and that's what we're all about. We're here to help Google suss out the edge cases of all the APIs and to start building value on top of their platform.
I remember reading that Steve Jobs said you want to create a product that's 5 years out. In other words you want to have the Hardware/Software, manufacturing, distribution channels, and developer ecosystem such that it takes a competitor 5 years or so to catch up.
That's what I think is happening with Glass. Google is making a bet that within 5 years the technology driving these things will have shrunk to the point where its hardly noticable on one side of a pair of really nice glasses. If they get out front now they'll own the space with regards to intellectual property, manufacturing, the channel, and the developers.
- Cardona Designspresent
- TruliaMobile Web Engineer, 2013
- Red Droid Software
My name is Carlos Cardona and I'm a mobile web engineer at Trulia based out of San Francisco. I practice Standards Compliant HTML & CSS and believe that standards lead to better experiences across multiple platforms and foster technical innovation. I'm an acknowledged contributor to the HTML5 & Web Applications 1.0 specs.
My passion for the web is driven by my belief that technology can uplift the human condition and free us for more fitting tasks than we currently generally strive. The web in my opinion is the first application with the potential to unite humanity and give an equal voice to everyone as well as lead to ubiquity of information.
These posts are my personal opinion and not necessarily shared by my employer.
- School of Life