SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Archive for September 20th, 2010

HP’s Pad UI Printer: We Need More Thinking Like This!

Posted by Bob Warfield on September 20, 2010

What a fabulous idea:  spend $399 for a pad and get a free printer!

That’s the idea behind HP’s Photosmart eStation printer, and I love it.  In fact, we need more thinking like this.

Why continue to offer difficult hardware pushbutton UI on so many devices when a pad interface lets you offer a much richer User Experience?  Can you imagine if every hard push button UI were replaced by a really slick webby UI accessed via one of these pads?  Forget the microwave, which suddenly won’t need to blink its clock, what about the really hard stuff like:

-  Programming a very complex DSLR camera.

-  Heck programming a printer.  I still remember the horror of getting our Helpstream office laser printer to scan and send a Fax.  Brutal!

-  Programming a complete home entertainment system so it really all works together well as an integrated system.

There are only two things not to like, and they point to the same conclusion.  First the two things:

1.  I don’t need a new pad with every device.  That’s a lot of pads!  Imagine how cheap that HP printer would be without a pad.

2.  I want my pads to talk to every device.  Ideally, I want to be able to drop a pad into any device’s cradle for charging too.  No more nest of wall warts!

That conclusion I mentioned is that we could use some standards.  There needs to be a “pad UI RESTful interface API” that works for any pad-loving device.  Probably a chip or two that makes it all easy and automatic.  Memo to chip guys, can we have every pad supporting device be a WiFi hotspot while we’re at it?  Can they relay to each other to extend coverage or what?

Want to control that HP printer with your iPad?  No worries.  Want to control your microwave oven with the printer’s pad?  No worries.  How about your home?  Can I get on my pad after I leave for vacation and turn down my AC, heating and water heater after the fact?  Good and green idea!

I tell you, as I tote my iPad and iPhone around, it would be so cool if they could interact more with the fabric of my existence.  Sure it gets a little creepy sometimes, but I can get over that.  Wouldn’t it be great to have maybe one pad per room, and the ability to control any appliance in the room, plus the room’s lighting from any pad in the house? 

Whoa.  That would be a very cool idea.  Who will Open Source the first version?  Google, you wanna sell ads on my washing machine?  Build this pad stuff and get it out as Open Source.  I’m all for it.  You know you want to!

Related Articles

HP just blew up Android tablet pricing (with a printer):  Competition works, consumers look on and cheer!

And why not a Pad UI for my car?  My kids are old enough those stupid baby locks are a real nuisance.

Posted in mobile, user interface, wireless | Leave a Comment »

Is Twitter Not Multitenant or What?

Posted by Bob Warfield on September 20, 2010

So here I am, 5 days after the big announcement, and still no new Twitter UI.  We just finished a weekend, which would seem to me like a logical time to roll it out to the remainder of the audience.  No joy.  WTF, over?

Is Twitter not multitenant, or what?  I sure they look with disdain at hearing that term usually reserved for business SaaS software, but I mean really, what’s up with this, guys?  Did you not get the memo about keeping all users on the same code line?  Did we forget to Tweet that somewhere along the line so you never read it?  Is your architecture so fragile that you can’t afford to let everyone have the new UI at once?  WTF is up with this?

I don’t know what’s up with me on this.  I mean, some guys who “get it” are all “Meh” about it, while others think it’s a whole friggin’ platform.  Basically, Twitter needs to be a richer medium for me to like it better, so it sounds cool to me and I want to see it. .

OK, I can see the advisability of not rolling it out to everyone in one fell swoop.  I’m trying to calm down, and sure, I’ve written about release feathering myself.  That’s kewl and all, but how long is this going to take and why isn’t there more transparency into when I as a user can expect to get the UI?  You know, like there must be an algorithm or some such.  If my handle starts with an “A” I get to go first, unless I’m a Tech Crunch reporter with the handle “Zelda” in which case I get to go first too.  Hey, at least I could figure out what to expect.  Or maybe you could even make my expected upgrade date accessible to me in the UI somewhere.

Here is the thing.  If you are going to make the biggest update ever.  If you’re going to have PR about it and all.  You’ve got to have more transparency and a shorter release feathering cycle so people know what to expect and can get access sooner.  I mean Google is much bigger and managed to get the Priority Inbox to me a lot sooner.  After all, you’re pissing off guys like Anil giving it to his wife before him and all.  Anil is right by the way in that post about it being a platform that doesn’t act like Switzerland (if you want to call that pane a platform).  But Twitter has been acting more and more walled garden-ish all the time.

Do you know what I mean?

Posted in saas, software development, Web 2.0 | 4 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 321 other followers

%d bloggers like this: