Saturday, July 2, 2011
....BUT WITH YOUR VOICE!
Yes I'm dubbing it Voiceting... as in texting but with your voice... what do you think? Ive put a form below so you can give me some feedback... It's really important to me so please make the effort.
Here is how it works. You go to the Voicy messaging app like you would the standard text messaging app on your phone and you choose a recipient from your phone book but instead of typing a message you hold a little record button and speak your message. Then SEND.
The recipient gets a message notification saying XXX has sent you a message and you can choose to play or cancel and play later.
They see who sent the message then here your message and then can reply by... voice. How cool.
When you get their response back you can hear the last few seconds of the message you first sent and then their response is played back to you, and the conversation goes on as needed... back and forth. In the example above I am planning to add the ability to send photos as part of the app and maybe normal text if you want to reply without sending voice but the idea is to COMBINE THE CONVENIENCE OF TEXTING WITH VOICE without having to use a phone answering or message system... the audio gets uploaded and downloaded automatically and is instantly ready for you to hear and listen to.
This is a stripped down version of a technology I am developing for my parents involving a physical phone with the ability to send and receive VOICETING messages and also keep them in conversations like you do on an email system but I couldn't resist seeing what everyone thought of this idea as I am seriously considering getting it coded and onto the AppStore if there is enough interest.
Please give me your feedback below and help me make the decision to go ahead with this project....
Thursday, June 9, 2011
on the Senior Australian of the year who is a blind gentleman. I have
seen the audio support for windows that uses text-to-speech to help
blind people know what is on the screen but it struck me as odd that
the blind person has to sit in front of a screen that they obviously
can't see... So I came up with...
... what if?
What if each pixel on the screen was a pin head and the pins raised by
a millimeter or two to separate black text from white background...
the whole screen could become a braille space... amazingly the
gentleman I saw was an amazingly fast touch typist so the input is not
the issue... its the output and the feedback... it will be interesting
to see where this project goes.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Traditional patent licensing is a pretty complicated and long winded affair. Some big hearted souls even go through the cost, expense and work of a patent only to end up making it public domain… good for them but not really the point of getting patent protection.
So what can be done to make money from your invention that fills the space between full commercial licenses and giving away licences. Here is my idea:
Include a licence with the cost of purchasing a book.
Wha? Yes, include the cost of a patent licence when you sell a book about your invention.
Still confused? Think about this. Besides the few dozen companies that may ultimately pay a decent royalty for your invention there may be literally thousands of people who may want to use your idea for their own project. How do you give them a relatively cheap way to licence your patent AND give them all the info they need to understand and implement your patent?
The answer is obvious when you think about it. An eBook.
A vehicle that covers your basic costs, shows the value of your invention AND gives the buyer what they need to get value from what you invented… a reasonably priced limited license.
How about this for an example. I invented a simple system for detecting when a tire is flat. It is so simple anyone can make the invention with a kids noise maker and a band of aluminium. But how do I share this idea without it costing me money and without losing any real opportunity to make a decent royalty fr4om it later?
If I publish a book including a limited license I can reach all those home users and small business users who would love to try out and use my idea. Even the big targets like the Goodyear Tyre Company or Repco could buy the book and get a limited licence to try out and evaluate the idea. The book could even have guidelines of licensing terms as well as well thought out conditions of use to allow small business users and individuals to freely use the invention.
I have quite a few projects that could benefit from this approach:
- The Reputation Based Social Network – a concept that has so many applications, it makes more sense to explain all the possibilities and let people run with it than try to lock it down to a single model.
- The flat tire detector – because its simple and a lot of people may find it really helpful, but I also need a vehicle to explain it to big licensee prospects.
- Kalvin Ernst’s Cloud computing scripts – Kalvin’s ideas are truly elegant in their simplicity and a real temptation to people to just use them and not pay Kalvin a dime. But this model enables all the little guys to fully understand his concepts and implementations and pay appropriately for their use of his idea.
Looking back it feels like nearly everything I invent should have a mini book written about it even if all it means is that people get to use it and I have the impetus to fully explain how the invention works. Even if I end up not doing a full patent for an idea, most of the time I have come up with inventions to solve problems for people, and the least I could do is outline how people could solve the problem for themselves using my invention outlined in a book that others can benefit from.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Searching is so proactive… every time you want to find something you have to initiate the search… what if relevant stuff was presented to you simply based on location?
This idea is being worked on at an operating system level by one of the inventors we help but my idea is a lot simpler… what about a Wikipedia that showed you search results based on your location rather than a search term?
Here is a for instance…
- I go into Byron and look in my location wiki… I can switch between a list of the nearest notes/ wiki pages I’ve written myself or pages by others but I can do things like…
- See the latest photos from locations near where I am standing…
- see the notes of the waiters name at my favourite restaurant just up the block.
- Or that the book shop around the corner is having a special on Clive Cussler books.
What would it take to do something like this?
A simple interface to Google Maps where a pin sts the location of your note or wiki page, a second list allows you to associate the location with a specific business or address, then write the title and note and mark it private or shared.
mmmmmmmm… not that hard to do.
What do you think?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The basic idea is a two trolley system. The main trolley is like a traditional moving trolley but it has the ability to suspend the scoop tray at the bottom 2” higher. An additional single wheel trolley with the ability to swivel goes at the other end of the item being moved.
I could have used this invention last week.
Work page for this invention: http://r2labswiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Furniture_and_large_object_trolley_moving_system
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Update 31st August 2010: Research results so far into fireproof tire coverings and under chassis heat protection have been a bit depressing, but I am not giving up hope... since I wrote this a few fire-ees have approached me for help with their own inventions and I am bringing their experience to bare on the problem. I also at this stage would like to formally confirm that the results of these tests and any invention that comes out of it will be made available in the public domain to ensure that the technology is provided as cheaply and widely as possible if we are successful.
This idea has been on the cards for some time after seeing the bushfires in southern Australia last year. One of the easiest things to do to stop a bush fire spreading is to attack it before it gets into the trees.
This concept involves a protective blanket that protects the underside of a tractor and a trailing blanket of fire resistant material that is 30 feet wide and up to 100 feet long that gets dragged behind the tractor as it drives along the fire line that often occurs as a bush fire burns across an open field or across a lawn surrounding a residence.
The idea is that the blanket starves the fire of oxygen for long enough to stop it from reigniting after the blanket passes.
The next step is to run this past the local fir-eys to see if it has legs.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Cruise control kits, (even add-on kits – see bottom of article) have been around for a while but most of these were designed for the good old days where you got on the highway and sat on 110k’s (or 70mph in the states) until you got to where you were going…
… these days with traffic and speed zones that change all the time maybe more is needed…
Thus this invention– a customizable and expandable SMART vehicle cruise control.
[Click to enlarge]
Its just like any other cruise control kit, except you select buttons to set the cruise control speed…
Why? Why not use the old “adjust your speed and reset” type cruise control technique?
Because that reset requires constant tweaking of the speed up and down on the set controls to dial in your desired speed. With this invention you see a 60 sign and you hit the 60 quick select button and your vehicle settles into that speed…. the box 3even has a tap button to turn on the backlit display so you aren't driving around with buttons glaring at you during night driving…
But this is where the fun starts. Because of what I've built into the box….note the USB expansion port….
Yes. This little box is in fact a mini computer waiting for additional functions to be added to the cruise control system… for example….
A radar range finder that overrides the cruise control to match the speed of the car in front if its going slower than the speed set by the cruise control.
What about an optical character reader optimized for detecting and reading road side speed signs that automatically set the cruise control?
Or what about a limited range directional radio based speed control system where a solar powered speed transmitter is attached to every road sign and a receiver on your dash is attached to the smart cruise control and tells the car to slow down based on the limited range of the transmitter. Such a system could use wifi, laser or simple radio band.
Or even still, what about a GPS based system that is updated with all the speed zones and simply changes speed based on the cars location?
This is going to be a fun project.
Example of existing simple cruise control system below:
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Iv’e been an avid dirt bike rider since my pre teens… I love the countryside, love being in the bush, love riding but hate the noise of dirt bikes.. always have.
But with the conservation conscious area I live in it has become a deal breaker to not have some kind of massive noise reduction system…
I know the idea below looks daggy but hey it’s quiet…
An alternative is the zero enduro electric bike… they seem to be getting much more powerful with each new model…
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A home experiment I read a little while ago gave me the idea to try a simple home heating idea to combat the chill that creeps into the house where I live. The houses are designed for summer… open plan, elevated floors and lots of airflow, but in winter the cold is conversely effective in invading the house. Damp is also an issue as it rains year round here.
The solution? Not much is needed. Just enough to dry out the air a bit and to get the rooms warm for the first 4-6 hours of the night before hitting the sack… so here goes
What I came up with is 100 meters of matt black painted aluminium tubing with two hoses and a fan. The fan keeps the circulation and recirculation going of the air and the black tubes are laid out on the roof connected by automotive hoses in a closed loop system. Tests will show whether it is worth the effort but it is my hope that ill get 5-7 degrees Celsius or 15 degrees Fahrenheit of warmth out of the system.
The only problem I see is that most other systems
I see have the tubes enclosed in a mini greenhouse to amplify the suns effect but I don't think this is feasible for a roof mounted system. I’ll see.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This project is really starting to get some legs. I’m still in the process of exploring what to patent but its getting real exciting that something like this could really eventuate. The basic idea is to put light weight rail bogeys under a truck in such a way as to allow the trucks own drive train and brakes to move and stop the truck.
The next phase which I’m nearly through is getting the truck on and off the rails without using jacks or lifting systems… I came up with something pretty snazzy and will show you once its locked down and patented.
Next after this I have been looking at electronic support systems for such a setup. Things like radar and laser devices for rail level crossings and animals on the track, rubber bogey wheels for quietening down traffic on railway tracks… and traffic management for all the trucks, commercial vehicles and cars that may want to be travelling the rails once this thing gets going… can you imagine it…
…get on the rails in Sydney, get off at Port Macquarie for a bit of a look around, back on until Coffs Harbour… the whole time on cruise control watching a DVD and looking up now and again to check a warning from the radar or laser box that tells you an animal is near the tracks or that a level crossing is coming up. Sign me up…
Monday, May 31, 2010
Loogle is a web service that automatically builds shop sites for anyone on-the-fly. All you need is a webcam and a browser and you are set to sell anything with a bar code (maybe even without a bar code in the future).
Loogle sets up a customizable Amazon-ish type site for you automatically, registers it with search engines and its own product search engine, along with your zip code, so that people can FIND YOU EASILY.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
“Back in Dec of 2006 I was intrigued by a story about a bus that could run on rail way tracks. Ever since that day I've been chewing over how to make something that could retrofit existing trucks and vehicles… maybe there is a way?”
The other night I was driving back from a meeting past truck after truck on the Pacific Highway heading south on their night run. Many of them driving within a few dozen feet of each other to benefit from the slip stream of the truck in front… efficient but deadly.
I started toying with chaining trucks together which in turn led to a revisit of the idea I say the Japanese did 4 years ago.
It’s been pretty busy around here but despite this and a couple of 3am nights there is a strong foundation of an idea for a system of rail cradles that attach to trucks just for the trip.
There is definitely one or two patents here so please be patient with me to get them filed so I can give you more detail but maybe, just maybe this idea is goer.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Over the years I have been fascinated by the value of a countdown ticker for important goals and events. Calendars are good, but a countdown mechanism with an alarm system that escalates the event from normal to orange text to red text to red bold as the event draws closer seems a real powerful planning aid to me.
I am aslo experimenting with resorting the list based on importance. For example a maintenance payment on an important patent would take precedence over a project that is 3 months overdue simply because of its priority.
This kind of intelligence is what is being explored. Some of these ideas may be patentable but on the whole this project is about building an internal tool that may be useful to others so it will probably be published as public domain as it gets a bit more baked
TheyRule.net is an interesting experiment by Josh On in social network visualization where a database of public company board members in the US can be searched to find links between companies via a network of shared directors. This was one of my first introductions to social software back in the 90’s.
This latest project I have begun working on is designed to take this basic idea but expand it so that links between public business figures (firstly in Australia but eventually worldwide) can be explored. There is also an adaptation on this which i am exploring to enable communities of professionals such as the proposed AusInnovators site to be searched in a similar way. As such this project may end up merging with the AusInnovators project.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I may only be an Inventor with a hand full of media centric inventions at the fringe of the media business, but I am also close to all the major technologies available to the newspaper business and have had some first hand exposure to people at the top of the newspaper business. Hopefully this gives me the credibility to make some pretty strong assertions regarding the future of the Newspaper business. And these are:
- Rupert Murdoch is right “content should be paid for”.
- Google needs to be stopped.
- A media owned and operated search engine is needed.
- Collaborative ubiquitous micropayment is key. A system that crosses all media, every newspaper and magazine.
- The newspaper businesses need to stop using web pages and hypertext links (extreme?).
1. Rupert Murdoch is right “Content should be paid for.”
The modern news consumer is being trained by search engines that news is a commodity… that news is paid for by the adverts in its pages and therefore the customer should get the news free. Google’s mantra is that information on the internet wants to be free… and thus it should be.
However a fundamental concept of western law is that people who want to make a living from something they produced, be it a book, a piece of software or a newspaper article be allowed to have a say over how that work is used. This is the basis of copyright law… the right for the producer to control his own work.
The Google position sounds very generous to the Internet layman except that such a position is one sided and self serving. Google wants news provided free so it can be searched by their customers and so that Google can present advertisements alongside the search results. Their strategy also encourages 3rd parties who recycle and editorialize other news sources (ie most blogs) to run Google ads next to their content therefore leveraging even further opportunities to route control of income away from the originator of the news namely professional news gathering operations like newspapers.
So how is Google hypocritical? Because they are happy to abuse other company’s copyright but will stop at nothing to protect their own. The Google search engine algorithm and the customized operating system running Google’s search application are two of the most heavily guarded secrets (or rights not to copy) in modern history. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
2. Google needs to be stopped.
Cutting access off to Google for search results may sound dangerous, but not doing so is certain death. Google is eroding the newspaper business in two ways.
Firstly, it is making news available for free. True most people probably don’t pay 50 cents for a newspaper since they read a copy left on a train seat or in a coffee bar. But a lot of people DO pay. This, believe it or not, does offset some production costs and also it is valuable in a psychological way to establish that NEWS IS VALUABLE. There is something intrinsically important about making a decision to reach into your pocket or purse for 50 cents.
OK, it makes Mr Murdoch rich, but you have got to be kidding yourself if you think that is all it does. There are thousands of professionals delivering this news to you and 50 cents is a small way of saying “thanks for the effort”.
Secondly, Google is also relentlessly eroding away newspapers other main lifeblood… advertising. By claiming all the advertising space the user sees from the time they do a search, to when they see the news on someone's blog, to when they eventually see the original article in a newspapers web site, only a small fraction of the advertising has contributed to the production of the news you were originally searching for. The rest of it has gone to the company that copied the news and allowed people to search for it.
It’s like saying the neighbourhood delivery boy should get most of the advertising proceeds from the newspaper because he’s the guy who delivered it. Sorry, that’s just not right.
3. A media owned and controlled search engine is needed.
So how do you stop Google? Well, you can’t stop people searching. That would kill the majority of the advantage that being on the Internet gives to both newspaper businesses and readers. The only alternative?
For media to setup its own search engine.
“That’s not our business” some might say. “It’s too complex” others may say. Yet others may be tempted to partner with one or the other of the search engine companies and profit share to get control over search.
Nonsense. Google itself sells enterprise search servers. Identical search code, identical results and best of all no ads leaving plenty of room for publishers to set up their own advertising systems.
These search “appliances” as they are called can handle incredible loads so there is no problem there. Secondly and most importantly Google is being dared to play anti-trust Russian roulette if they try to play games with newspaper companies that buy their servers as legitimate customers.
So unless I have wildly underestimated the capacity of the Google hardware, it’s a good bet that this is a very real solution to the media companies dilemma.
4. Collaborative Micropayment is key.
Another key strategy is gently educating users back into paying for content. It has to be convenient and easy. It also has to be cheap and great value.
Pay per view is old news. And unfortunately getting financial types to successfully pay for a subscription to the Wall Street Journal does not constitute a likelihood that an everyday Joe will do so. Financial types already pay for stock data and myriad other data services by subscription. They have been broken into the idea.
So how do you get everyday people to start subscribing again? Well, you make it cheap. If an average reader pays 50 cents for a newspaper and views 20 pages of a 70 page newspaper, that is 50 cents times divided by 20 which is 2.5 cents per page. But internet consumption is a lot higher and also a newspaper reader may skim all 70 pages to find the 20 they want to read, so the real cost is 70 pages at the skim cost of 0.7 cents per page.
Yet another problem is that no one wants to go thru the credit card payment guff for a 50 cent newspaper. And only a small percentage want to be roped in to a subscription committing readership for the next 6 months or a year?
Solution? How about this. A News Corp wide micropayment system. Every site published by News Corp anywhere in the world thru one multi-currency micropayment system. Whether you are looking at The Australian, New York Post or the Sunday Times in the UK, each page view gets recorded against your device/ subscription. Each publication advertises it’s own page rate.
For example The Australian could charge AUD 0.5 cents per view and the NYPost USD 0.3 cents per view. To make it fair abstracts could be used to display content prior to delivering the full paid content to allow browsing.
Another thing that could be done to make it all palatable is to offer readers a free AUD$20 or similar account kick start. This would allow people to see how it works and make a value calculation before committing to an ongoing pay as you use subscription.
If I were Mr Murdoch, I would also include a bulk rate that discounts the per page rate by a percentage as the user consumes web page views at a rate higher than the average user.
For example. An average user reads the newspaper 5 days a week, that is $2.50 per week ($10 per month or so). If another user doubles this consumption in terms of pages, a 50% discount may be instituted so that heavy and loyal readers are rewarded and encouraged.
Even better, what if News Corp, Fairfax, Hearst and all the rest use the same micropayment system. Pricing fairness would be encouraged and the value proposition would be excellent.
Maybe there is room for a cooperative search and micropayment company serving all the big media companies in the same way that Visa serves the worlds big banks and has most of them as shareholders.
5. The newspaper businesses need to stop using web pages and hypertext links.
This is probably the most controversial thing this article will state but I think strongly that hyperlinks need to be limited in the viewing of news articles.
Newspaper advertising and online departments will say I’m crazy, but strangely I think the publishers and editors will side with me.
Hyperlinks make the news experience a hop-here-and-there exercise. Proactive news searching allows readers to follow a story from publication to publication all over the web. But is this what an everyday news reader wants?
Reading a newspaper supplies an edited, tuned contextual experience to reading news. A news item is given a relative heading size and position relative to other big news of the day (ie page 3 articles are less important than page 1 etc).
Answer this honestly, when was the last time you researched something on the web only to find out later that the page that helped you form an opinion was written years ago.
Information frequently has a use-by date. The advantage of a newspaper is its ability to not only give importance context (based on a trusted editors ability to prioritize news) but also date context (based on the time and events that surround the article being read).
This thinking along with the rigid constraints of web page design is a big part of why I designed zkimmer. A physical newspaper can deliver at a glance (by the use of various headline sizes and pull-outs) and tell me the relative importance of news items as I browse or skim (why I called the technology zkimmer) a photographically identical version of the newspaper.
Everything is there. The headlines, the ads, the pull outs, the nice narrow column widths and the highly legible text.
In the early days of zkimmer we looked at including hyperlinks. Everyone at the newspaper companies we spoke to said it was a deal breaker NOT to have them, EXCEPT THE PUBLISHERS and EDITORS.
They realized a visitor to a zkimmer publication, does the same thing as a real newspaper reader… they stay, they read, they browse… they don’t want to hyperlink everywhere. And funny enough, if the advertisers think about it, they don’t want people hyper linking out of the newspaper either. Yes, they want customers buying but they also want time and exposure for their product or brand.
Maybe it’s time online publishers rethink how they view the web.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
This invention was made for you.
Every time a new voice recorder technology came out, its capability and features were compared with that ultimate benchmark. The closest thing I saw was Jott, a phone service that allows you to call an 800 number and dictate a note which is then sent to a transcription service and returned to you as email...
Sounds simple enough...
But the process is still too cumbersome. Your cell phone has to be in range, you have to wait for the connection and the greeting, and then you cant start and stop the recording as ideas come to you... you have to complete the message and move on... no breaks.
Sadly, these kinds of limitations are often deal breakers for real world use. The fact that Caption Kirk could succinctly capture a days activity in 30 seconds does not mean that any of us mere mortals should be able to do so...
Enter Captains Log Recorder.
This simple invention takes any voice note taking device (be it a phone or dictation recorder) and turns it into an automated dictation powerhouse. Just record voice notes as you would normally... pausing to organize your thoughts and taking as long as you need to complete the note. When your message is complete it is saved to a customized SD card that senses when a new file has been recorded there and automatically looks for a wi-fi connection to upload the file to a predetermined service of your choice.
Services being planned are:
- A man-friday virtual assistant service that transcribes the message and optionally acts on it.
- A more simple transcription-only service that converts the audio to text and returns it to you via email.
- A simple mp3 email routing service that timestamps the mp3 file and sends it to your email address for you to manage yourself.
- A more advanced service that looks for keywords at the beginning of the audio file such as "task" that will tag the email as a task and file the email when it arrives at your email folder.
- We may even be able to partner with your favorite transcription services such as Jott.
All you need to be able to do this is a voice recorder or cell phone with voice recorder software that also has an SD card slot and the ability to save to that card as a default. The other thing you will need is a Captains Log SD card.
To get it all to work all you need is a PC to select which service you want to use and to setup which wi-fi networks you want to use with usernames and passwords. The software runs as soon as you insert the SD card in your PC and then you're set.
Every time the Captains Log card comes into range of a listed or open wi-fi network your voice messages are automatically uploaded and processed.
- Capturing a log of what happened today
- Capture ideas at their moment of inspiration.
- Updating your calendar with voice messages
- Dictating emails on the fly
- Capturing important personal notes and todos as they occur to you.
- Automating emails to other people via preset keywork recognition... "To John. Please update the status on the Widgets order for me. Ric"
Thursday, April 10, 2008
But it has some serious missing capabilities that I really need and think a lot of other people need too.
1. The message length of 30 seconds is too short.
2. Having a mail recipient go to a web site to hear the original message is a big ask and in the end limits its usability.
3. Voice messages are in-the-moment things and even being slowed down to select who you want the message to go to is a big problem for me when all I want to do is capture the idea.
These issues and problems are the see of a project I started working on called MP3VM.com. The idea behind MP3VM is simple. A very simple and fast voice message service that answers the phone with a minimal intro such as "Recording now..." that saves the message when you hang up or press 1 to an mp3 file that is sent to your email for you to forward or annotate as needed. Here are some of the features being considered:
- Super short fast greeting "Recording Now" gets to recording quick and allows you to capture your ideas with minimal interuption.
- Dial 1 to finish a message and start the next message.
- Hangup to finish a message.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
The site will be swapped over to http://zkimmer.com tomorrow afternoon PST. Come and try it out.
Thanks for visiting.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
This is an artists impression of how the sunglass monitors would work. The image (in this case showing a google map) is projected onto the outside of the lense using an inverse polarization effect where only the wearer can see the image... note also that the alpha channel is adjustable so that the image can be set at different levels of transaprency...
What do you think? I'd love to see your comments...
This image shows the initial design concept with the projector attached to an arm that sticks out a small distance from the frame. The arm retracts for storage and non use like an antenna of a cell phone.
Tell me what you think.. the optics issues and miniaturization is being sorted out as we speak...