Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What videos the Internet had to offer in May

Viral videos are becoming cliché. The news report that gets auto tuned. The baby that does something baby-like. The dog/cat who acts like a human. 

Over. It. 

We need a new type of viral video, people. As May comes to a close, let’s reflect on what the Internet has had to share with us the past two weeks in the unusual viral video department. 

May 8: John Krasinski challenges Jimmy Fallon to a lip-sync off. 

Jimmy Fallon is known for playing interesting games with his celeb guests – but this time, it was the guest – not the host – creating a game. John Krasinski, AKA Jim Halpert from The Office (RIP), challenged Jimmy to outdo him lip syncing. They each choose three songs, and competed to wow the audience with their lip sync skills. 

Now, Jimmy is also known for his musical talent. But Krasinski came out guns blazing – all you need to know is Krasinski made love to a teenage dream, and it was awe inspiring. 

May 14: Grizzly eats a GoPro. He ate it. 

Well, he tried to eat it at least. Brad Josephs was filming up close and personal footage of a grizzly bear for the BBC with his GoPro – and he got some footage he wasn’t exactly anticipating. 

Ever seen the inside of a hungry grizzly’s mouth? Me neither, until I saw this clip. 

May 17: Patton Oswalt “Parks and Recreation” Filibuster Is REAL.

Back in April the Internet exploded when a clip of comedian Patton Oswalt guest starring on Parks and Rec went viral. He was told to just improvise and talk about something he knew about for a couple minutes. Holy improvisation, Batman. 

Oswalt legit spoke non-stop for nearly EIGHT MINUTES about his proposed plot for the new Star Wars movie. Never has watching a grown man talk for nearly 10 minutes about Star Wars and superheroes been so entertaining – until someone took all of his ridiculous/genius ideas and brought them to animated life. Baby Padawans anyone? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Google Glass: Which Original Apps Do We Want to See?

Google Glass is unquestionably an original product it’s a totally intuitive, sort of cool looking (okay, not really) wearable computer.

As unique as it is, there’s not a lot of originality going on in the app department. Google Glass already has the “duh” apps – Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Tumblr etc. Those are a given. With AppLaunch, a free app template tool available to developers, maybe we can get some of those “oh, what!” apps, along with the predictable ones.  

Take Winky, an unofficial app (it requires some work to get up and running ) that lets you take a picture by winking your eye—as opposed to the normal way of asking the camera or tapping your Google specs. That’s innovative, handy, and okay, maybe a tiny bit scary (especially if you’re at a bar, and someone winks at you from across the room and you don’t know why…).

Still, this is a wearable computer hooked up to Google and its endless databases. We’ll need to see at least a couple of these original apps (or something like them) before Google Glass becomes a must-have for everyone.

The idea: Keep-Me-Healthy App

Smartphones have a bazillion apps (or close to that, I haven’t counted) for fitness and health – Google Glass should have the same. It could be anything from an app that acts as a pedometer or one that syncs with Google Maps to create and track running routes.

Or, how about you take a picture of your meal and Google Glass tells you the calorie count? You could actually see the calories floating in front of you before you stuff them in your face.

Oh what.                                                                   

Yes. I want that.

The idea: Name-That-Tune App

Part Shazam, part karaoke machine – how about an app that shows you the lyrics to songs playing around you? Find yourself in an elevator and want to name that tune (probably a show tune)? In a restaurant and can’t remember the lyrics to the upcoming chorus? At a concert and want to sing along? How about an app that fills in the musical gaps?

The idea: Keep-An-Eye-Out App

So let’s say you have a baby – instead of having to stay glued to a monitor, wouldn’t it be cool if there was an app that let you check in on your new addition right from Google Glass? Yup, I think so too.

The idea: Kill-Some-Down-Time App

There are those times where you’re between meetings, running a few minutes early, or just have time to kill before meeting up with friends. Wouldn’t it be cool if Glass had an app where you could program it to know your interests, then show you places that you’d be interested in going to when you need to kill some time?

You could filter out the places you’re not interested in, so Google Glass gives you a detailed and personalized experience. You’ve got 15 minutes, there’s a park a block away if you fancy a stroll around the lake—thanks Google!
Google Glass is in the beginning stages – this isn’t a notorious Google Beta, this thing feels more like an open alpha. It’s still got bugs and kinks and setbacks and limitations. But even as the software (and nerdy hardware) is refined, the platform won’t reach its full potential without original, off-the-wall, innovative apps. Let’s hope developers never hit the Glass ceiling.