Garmin HUD Prototype

Hands-on with Garmin’s windshield HUD prototype Source: Engadget

A few years ago (Edit: Apparently 6 years ago; thanks Google!)  I had an opportunity to leverage a small mini-projector from Mitsubishi that was about 5″ x 3″ x 2″ H, throwing an 4:3 image from as little as 14″ away from the surface.  In requesting solutions and info from my vendor, I was told that the tech had first been pioneered for use in autos, as a HUD or Heads Up Display.  I was also told that while the tech was engineered to make drivers safer while driving, instead the display ended up causing more distraction than intended.

The accompanying video here shows that Garmin believes the problem all along has been UI, but I think really they just need some way to make info presented a bit more innocuous.  I’ll dig up a link eventually, but I feel like some car manufacturers are using HUD’s to display infrared camera input at night, so you don’t hit that deer for 50 points.

Back to the interaction bit: I don’t want these devices to have me force some input to them. I want them to intelligently interpret what I might need to know around me.  I find this is an incredibly simple concept, but hard to do the right way.

CES 2014: GM, Audi, Hyundai, Honda, nVidia officially join Google’s Android automotive push

CES 2014: GM, Audi, Hyundai, Honda, nVidia officially join Google’s Android automotive push (Source: AppleInsider).

And so, the Open Automotive Alliance was born.  I can’t help but feel bummed that Apple isn’t the one leading the pack.  While there have been some nifty integrations over the years (BMW’s iDrive comes to mind), there’s been this strange lag between this consumer hardware being used by everyone, and being utilized properly in the automobile.  As anyone who’s ever purchased or installed an “after market” deck will probably agree, this tech (and it’s lower price point) can’t gain popularity soon enough.

Incidentally, the deck was $900 USD Pioneer model, and never came with a single firmware update ever again.  Somewhere along the way Apple changed their spec for pushing out album art, and I’ve been staring at a silly color-filled screen, with no art ever since.  🙁

Pre-CES 2014 Thoughts

Pre-CES 2014 Thoughts

Coming this week the majority of tech-focused news outlets will begin their coverage of CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show held each year in Las Vegas, NV.  There was a time in my life when I’d likely be on a plane today or yesterday, assisting a client and ensuring they had a smooth running 60 minutes of keynote time.  While I rarely do corporate events anymore, I do occasionally miss being in the thick of the show floor seeing what new things are (or not) coming out this year. (more…)

Day Before CES

The last place I should be is in front my MBP right now considering I need to be up at 4:30 and on-site at 5:45. However, I saw a lot of cool shit today and wanted to note some of it down before I experience complete sensory overload tomorrow and Friday with the masses at this show.

First off, everyone and their grandmother is afraid of the iPad. Any company that has a foothold in computing devices has some sort of new tablet device here, I kid you not. Vizio, a TV manufacturer is coming out with a Phone. Google announces yet another fork of the Android platform, called Honeycomb specifically designed for tablets. Sony demos a 4k resolution 3D LCD TV.

There’s just way too much shit to see here. In between some meetings that I’ve got set up, I have roughly 8 hours across two days to see what I’d like and given how large this show is, its just not possible. I’m hoping to binge a bit and then digest and spit out some useful data on the way home.

Kinda crazy to think that last year I was writing about what Intel was bringing to CES by consuming data on the web. This year I’m actually on the show floor and I can get some hands on time with the new Sandy Bridge family of processors.

Rambling. Should probably get some sleep now.

New Year

In the last month that I’ve generally ignored that itch in my head suggesting that I go make some posts up here on GeekApproach. I did fullfull my internal process of trying to learn something new each day. In early December I started work on an iPad app for doing a gallery slideshow. That process (and its still going) led me to picking up an OpenGL book to attempt some of that API’s craziness.

In the meantime, I received an iPad as a gift from my parents for Christmas. I’m completely thrilled with it and have loaded up some of my previous iOS projects on it as samples. I feel completely energized in solving some of these issues because…

…I’m participating in an RFP that might involve me doing some hardcore development and other awesomeness. I’m trying not to get too excited about it, but I’m heading down to present with the team in two weeks. If we nab it, its probably 8-10 months of solid work for me which would be great.

Lastly, the project I’ve been working on for the last 6 weeks comes to a head next week– I’m headed to CES, the Consumer Electronics Show to help TD a keynote for a client. Should be stressful, challenging and fun all at the same time. I’ve arranged to stay an extra day to actually see some of the show as well as set up some conversations with potential employers for myself. I’m hoping some really good things come out of these meet-ups.

So: We’ll see what happens next, but I’m keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed. Look for some posts of my wanderings from the CES floor. Should be pretty crazy.