Hello, Siri…

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Siri on iPhone 4S

I’ve spent about a week with the iPhone 4S, and while the main difference from my previous iPhone is the overall increase in speed, the breakthrough technology so far has to be Siri.

Apple says “Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more” and I’ve found that to be pretty accurate.

If you don’t come into it thinking you’re on the bridge of the Enterprise and the computer can understand everything you say, it should amaze you. (In other words, set realistic expectations and you won’t be disappointed.)

The other day while driving I got a phone call and ended up setting up a doctor appointment. Once the call was finished it was extremely easy to have Siri add the appointment to my calendar. I also had Siri compose an email to myself so I’d remember to bring my insurance card to the appointment.

I wouldn’t have attempted to enter that information into my phone while driving, and without Siri I probably would have just waited until I got to where I was going to add it to my calendar. And as for texting while driving? Let Siri do it for you… Yeah, it’s that easy.

Some folks will point out that Apple didn’t exactly invent this stuff, and that’s true, but what Apple did is that they always do: take a technology, make it better, and make it mainstream. If you look at the iPhone 4S sales since its release, and consider that a good amount of those people gave Siri a try, you can imagine how this technology will only improve and gain popularity in the future.

(Although we’re all a bit disappointed Siri doesn’t have a good response to “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot”, you can ask Siri to open the pod bay doors and see what response you get back.)

October 31, 2011 · Posted by in design  

We’re thrilled to announce a new addition to the Z2 family—Oliver James Deval! Baby Oliver made an early entrance, arriving a few weeks ahead of schedule (yet, healthy as can be!). The little guy weighed in at 5.6 pounds and nearly 20 inches. Congratulations to our talented art director Kevin and his beautiful wife Deidrea!

October 28, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

Lytro

There’s a new camera, which is (supposedly) revolutionary, and this time, it doesn’t come from RED.

The Lytro sounds too good to be true, sort of. I mean, they do use the word “magic” in their marketing copy.

Here’s a description:

Lytro lets you take pictures like never before. Unlike a conventional camera that captures a single plane of light, the Lytro camera captures the entire light field, which is all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space.

Yeah, this sounds like magic. I know a lot about photography and I’m still not 100% sure what they mean by this. Luckily, you can read about the science they are using.

There’s some quotes on the web site from mainstream media and some tech blogs, but no photography sources. This one from the New York Times is interesting.

“For a photographer, whether amateur or professional, the Lytro technology means that the headaches of focusing a shot go away.”

I know a lot of photographers, and none of them consider focusing a shot a headache. In fact, a good photographer consciously chooses what they want in focus and what they don’t want in focus.

The Lytro method seems to assume that you can’t decide what should be in focus when you are shooting, so you should decide later, with software, or just let the viewer decide. This might be good for consumer cameras, but I just can’t see pro photographers jumping up and down with excitement over it.

Lytro

In this butterfly shot, you can have the butterfly be in focus, or you can choose to have the flowers behind it in focus. You can check out the gallery to see how it works and try it yourself.

I’m still pretty curious about this camera. The simplicity of its reminds me of an Apple product, but I still can’t see anyone with professional Nikon or Canon gear dumping it to use one of these.

October 24, 2011 · Posted by in photo  

Photo from LA Times

Now, here’s an interesting sales/marketing tactic. McDonald’s announced this week that it will be launching a TV channel for its dine-in customers that will feature exclusive original content. The programming will be customized to specific communities around the individual restaurants, and will include local news and entertainment features, such as spotlights on upcoming films, albums and TV shows, reports the LA Times. The channel will be rolled out slowly during the next few months and will soon be up and running in 800 McDonald’s restaurants in Southern and Central California.

In terms of sales and marketing, the McDonald’s Channel is a great idea. I would think the programming would help draw in diners and increase their length of stay, thus increasing their purchasing. In terms of America’s well being, however, the McDonald’s Channel is a terrible idea. Not to beat a dead horse, but we’re all aware of the obesity rates in our country. Bringing TV to fast food is a recipe for disaster.

October 21, 2011 · Posted by in marketing  

Paintings

I’m a bit of a fan of creativity challenges (and yes, I’ve done a few myself) so when I heard that The Pfister Hotel’s current Artist in Residence Shelby Keefe was planning to do 30 painting in 30 days, I was excited to see the outcome. Oh, I should mention, I’m also a big fan of Shelby’s work.

The theme of her 30 paintings is “People in Urban Landscapes” and if you know her work, you should know that’s a perfect theme for her to tackle. Check out the Pfister Blog for more info about the project.

Want to see these painting and other work by Shelby? You’re in luck! Fall Gallery Night is October 21, 2011. Stop by and check it out!

October 17, 2011 · Posted by in art, event  

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