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Philips Activa MP3 player with TempoMusic matches music to workout pace
January 6, 2010, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Technology | Tags: , ,

So this is pretty awesome–Philips is debuting a new “motivational” mp3 player called Activa, which uses its prorietary TempoMusic software to analyze your music library and serve up songs of just the right tempo based on your speed at any given point in your workout as clocked by an internal accelerometer (it does a whole bunch of other motivational things too, but that’s less interesting, I think). That’s pretty amazing–and a cool, utilitarian innovation. I just wish it could go the other way too, so you could specify a pace for it to play so you could keep pace to your music and not just the other way around. (Maybe then I wouldn’t have to trial-and-error stock my 5 mph playlist for those long outdoor runs…)

Although this seems more like a fitness gadget than a music gadget, I’m curious to see where this innovation goes from here. Apple streamlined and simplified mp3 player design to a point where no one’s really been able to improve on it (freed it from its Michelangelan block of marble, if you will), but we haven’t really seen anyone make them do something really cool since. (No, videos don’t count. I don’t like watching a 3 inch screen. Do you?) Apple and Nike had Nike Plus, of course, but this responsive music playback is something really interesting and I’m excited to see where this interactive smart music analysis technology leads.

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Your phone, your Jumbotron?
December 8, 2009, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Technology | Tags: , , , ,

Wrigley Field

Sporting events are the ultimate public spectacle, but it seems that soon, that spectacle might just shrink to fit in your pocket.

PSFK reports that the Chicago Cubs, one of the only major sports teams without a Jumbotron, is considering allowing fans to instead use their smartphones as “their own personal jumbotrons” to view replays and stats during the game.

Such an exciting innovation would have the potential to deliver (and monetize) portable personalized content on demand—even adding a greater element of interactivity—but what might it do to the experience of watching as a mass, a community of fans? With eyes glued to individual screens, we are alone together—an experience unlike that which we currently seek out in sporting events as larger-than-life occasions that bring people together in celebration and camaraderie. Just something to think about.