Finally, a Wearable That Doesn’t Scream “Wearable”

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Dr. Brainlove, dubbed “The Most Burning Man Thing Ever,” is a school bus-size brain that changes color based on neurological activity. For Playa revelers, it was a source of wonder. For Misfit Wearable senior engineer Rachel Kalmar, it was research.

Misfit also partnered with women’s fashion brand Chromat—a cool kid in the fashion industry—for a high fashion accessory line, positioning itself for use over its uglier wearable counterparts. Kalmar, who helped bring these to life, is working to make wearables blossom into the popular devices they were meant to be. Full story on Fast Company

Venture Capital In Silicon Valley Isn’t Diverse, And That’s A Problem For America

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 11.42.30 AMNew questions have been raised about the diversity of the venture capital world. Freada Kapor Klein, a partner at venture capital firm Kapor Capital, says that for years she’s been mistreated and seen inappropriate things happen to women in the industry. “That’s what being a woman in business has meant in the last few decades,” she says. See my full feature on the important subject and let me know your thoughts!

GOOD + ROBOTS

My latest feature for Content Magazine includes the startup responsible for a new era in 3D printing.

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Space, Meet Your First 3D Printer

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 10.45.45 AMI talked to the guys responsible for the first 3-D printer to successfully work in space and they’re changing NASA’s “failure is not an option” culture. This was a fun one!

Scaling The Line Between Tradition And Technology

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 11.19.35 AMHigh-end fashion is one of the last holdouts against e-commerce. A virtual fitting room could change things—but the technical challenges are enormous.

Here’s my feature on the company that could be the ones to start that change.

Big Data For Good: Humanitarian Relief in Syrian Conflict

600_SYR_20120918_WFP-Abeer_Etefa_0266-2In a conflict as grisly as Syria’s civil war, getting humanitarian aid to those who need it can be a life-threatening affair. Fortunately for those hoping to help, data from sources like Twitter, YouTube, and a range of others lets researchers turn war into a giant data science project, helping understand the tension between groups, how armed they are, and where they’re headed next. Full story here.

The Way They Were

Screen shot 2014-01-05 at 9.45.14 PMWhen the Mars Rover was in production in the ’90s, NASA senior computer scientist Rich Levinson noticed a limitation in its ability to make reactive decisions. The Rover could avoid falling off a cliff, but it didn’t have the capability to backtrack or plan other routes of navigation. That’s when he learned about a little-known term and much-needed brain process called “executive function” which would become the inspiration behind a set of sensors for those suffering from cognitive impairment.

Read more about my first story for Fast Company‘s Co.Labs here!

Q&A With George Crow, Reflections On Engineering The First Macintosh

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 10.55.14 AMGeorge Crow was part of the original Macintosh team, working alongside Steve Jobs at Apple, then later went on to co-found NeXT with Jobs before returning to his Apple stomping grounds in 1998. He retired barely eight years ago and recalls Macintosh’s early days and the current state of computing hardware.

I got to sit down with George and discuss today’s 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. Here’s an excerpt––you can read the whole conversation here.

Q:  30 years ago and the time leading up to it, did you expect it to get as big as it did and transformed the computer and other industries?

A: knew we were doing something important with the Macintosh and expected it to be successful, but I never dreamed that Apple would someday be the world’s most valuable company. The Mac certainly had an immediate impact on the software industry and really was the product that spawned Windows, but as recently as 17 years ago, the Mac was on the verge of becoming irrelevant. It’s interesting that the product that saved Apple, the iMac, was really the original Mac repackaged and updated to late ’90s technology.

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The original Apple Macintosh team. (George Crow on right)

Q: Is it bittersweet for you to not have Steve (Jobs) here on the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh?

A: Oh, absolutely. I worked with Steve for so long, I always feel loyalty to Steve and just a tremendous amount of respect so it’s very sad he’s not here. In fact, I was sad because when he was ill, of course, nobody was willing to admit he was ill and I didn’t feel comfortable approaching him since we didn’t have a real relationship after I left Apple. I’m sorry looking back. But the problem was he and Apple were trying to present this positive perspective that he was doing fine and I didn’t feel it was my place to call him up and ask him if he was OK.

Q: Do you wish you had reached out to him?

A: Emotionally, I do. But, intellectually I know why I didn’t do it. I was no longer involved with Apple and not really a part of Steve’s life and as much as I cared for him, he had bigger problems than talking to me. It was very difficult for me to not do it.

Most Interesting Interviews of 2013

4-pic stories 2013From actresses to entrepreneurs, see my favorite profiles I wrote in 2013.

Here, share, everywhere.

I recently interviewed two startups using Bluetooth for two very different purposes. One for a remote control-esque bike lock, while the other for a traditional watch.

Taking a classic approach to the smart watch phenomenon, San Jose-based Doozy Inc. has created one minus the predominately digital display plus the throwback factor. It’s not your grandma’s watch— nor is it your grandson’s. You can read my interview with Doozy CEO Carl Leung here.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Mesh Motion has harnessed Bluetooth into wireless bike locking, unlocking and even sharing. Founder Mehrdad Majzoobi gave me inside look at BitLock,  its five-year battery life and his ideas on innovating the bike sharing economy. You can check out the interview here.

 

 

 

 

 


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