Anyone who has an Apple mobile device, be it iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad has one of these, the white USB to 30 pin docking cable that attaches your device to your computer or power plug. And if you are like me you might have several of them. Now if someone asked me to innovate on this product, the first thing I'd do is come up with color variations. It's not rocket science but what I do find quite amazing is that someone right here in Hawaii was the first to come up with this idea. Laurens Laudowicz calls his product Juicies and they come in an assortment of colors; pink, yellow, green, blue, purple, orange and gray. If you're an entrepreneur looking to start a business you might ask yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" But what looks obvious now wasn't so 6 months ago. I spoke to Laudowicz by phone and he told me he wanted to get into business but it took him a lot of research to find the right niche. He was looking for a product what wasn't already "modified." Obviously cases and covers for the iPhone and iPad are already crowded and you can already get earbuds in all manner of color. But these 30 pin docking cables were only available in white (and sometimes black). So once you have the idea, it's all about timing and execution. In a matter of months, Laudowicz tested options to create his own color cables and settled on having an existing cable manufacturer produce them. He then set up a deal on Kickstarter to help fund his project. The nice part about the Kickstarter deal is that anyone helping to fund the project will get a Juicie in return. He also got the word out on Twitter and Facebook to let the world know that the Juicies are available. This all done before anyone else could get the jump on him. Today (April 22nd) is the debut of Juicies and one day does not make for a successful business. But as of this first day, Juicies has already gained 113 backers and achieved over 50% of the $5000 funding goal. As a small business owner and startup entrepreneur, this immediate feedback must be extremely gratifying. The Kickstarter deal will last for 30 days, until May 23rd so there is still plenty of time to back this project and get your Juicie. I will continue to follow the progression of this novel idea and report back on its development. You can also hear more about Juicies from Laurens Laudowicz on this week's (4/27) Bytemarks Cafe.
Now you can stream your favorite Public Radio station where ever you go with your iPhone or iPod Touch. Of course with the iPod Touch you have to be within wifi access to use the Public Radio Tuner. This application just became available on iTunes as a free download. You can scroll through quite an extensive list of public radio stations across the country but of course my fingers stopped on KIPO 89.3FM home of Bytemarks Cafe. Several people have recently told me that in spite of the power increase at KIPO they still cannot catch the station in certain pockets on the Windward side of the island of O`ahu. Well here is the perfect solution. I am listening right now and it sounds so fine! Here's how you can get the Public Radio Tuner app.
|From your iPhone or iPod Touch: 1. From your iPhone or iPod Touch, click the App Store icon. 2. From the App Store, click the Search feature. 3. Type "public radio" and click Search. Public Radio Tuner will appear in the search results. 4. Click Public Radio Tuner. A description of the Public Radio Tuner application displays. 5. Click the Free button. It changes to an Install button. 6. Click the Install button. 7. Wait for the Public Radio Tuner application to be installed. 8. Click the Public Radio Tuner icon from the iPhone or iPod Touch Home screen and listen!||From the iTunes Store: 1. Go to the App Store section of the iTunes Store. 2. Search for "public radio" and the Public Radio Tuner will appear in the search results. 3. Click the Get App button on the Public Radio Tuner application page. 4. After the application is finished downloading to your computer, sync your iPhone or iPod touch with your iTunes account to add the Public Radio Tuner application to your iPhone. 5. Click the Public Radio Tuner icon from the iPhone or iPod Touch Home screen and listen!|
I finally treated myself to a new gadget. It was a toss up between getting an EeePC or the iPod Touch. Although I think the EeePC is a pretty cool device and affordably priced, I decided to go for the iPod Touch. I've been looking for something that added mobility to my online life, but I wasn't up to paying at&t $80 a month for the iPhone. Granted the iPod Touch is limited to only available wifi hotspots so I am constantly looking for places I can get access. In the area I work there are a bunch of access points that show up on the grid but have not been of much use. The Roadrunner Speed Zone shows the entire section between Walmart, Sam's and Starbucks but those turn out to be not accessible by the iPod Touch. The Speed Zone tech support told me that the access points are located on Ala Moana Hotel and are pointed down to that area on Keeaumoku so it's probably due to the signal strength and/or the receiver capability of the iPod Touch. I also tried the McDonald's wifi hotspot, which is nicely touted on their website but found it a pay-only service. I can tell the Keeaumoku McD store doesn't get many users. The store manager there couldn't find any information on it and thought it was a free service. The only place that I've found to work, so far is the Apple Store at Ala Moana shopping center. No problem getting connected there but a bit out of the way for me to be hanging out during the day. So what mobility benefit am I getting out of this iPod Touch, you might ask. Well definitely I am reacquainting myself with the podcasting world. I am enjoying stuff like Buzz Out Loud, This Week in Tech, the Transmission and cool music podcasts like KEXP's Music That Matters. I've been enjoying it so much that a cop called to me while I was walking and told me to pay attention to the cars. I think he was over reacting but what the heck, it must have been a good song.