Posts Tagged ‘Customization’
One of the biggest concerns surrounding the “New Motorola” after the Google acquisition is a simple one: if it’s owned by Google, why isn’t really it shipping stock Android software on its new RAZR M and RAZR HD phones? We presumed the answer was a simple one: Verizon’s demands, and Motorola has actually essentially verified that assessment.
Talking to a group of reporters last evening, Motorola Senior citizen Vice President, Item Rick Osterloh pointed out the company’s primary concentrates going forward, and one of them was undoubtedly Android. Especially, he attended to the question of shipping unaltered, stock Android software on phones.
Going ahead, we & rsquo; re going to try to be as close to the base as we can be, due to the fact that we think that & rsquo; s the right thing for …
Incoming search terms:
- powered by SMF global home improvement
- powered by SMF watch mtv video music awards
- powered by vBulletin 2008 mtv video music awards
- powered by myBB home improvement grants loan credit
- powered by SMF making a bow arrow
The first screenshots of a pre-beta build of Windows 8 leaked this week.
The screenshots appear to show the customization features of what will become Windows 8 beta. Users will be able to activate a color slider, allowing them to pick a custom background color for the Start Screen. The Windows 8 Developer Preview does not allow this and it’s a highly requested feature for Windows 8. The colour slider (see below) is a simple and quick picker that appears to provide a number of darker colors for the Start Screen. Winunleaked, who published the screenshots, notes that the Start Screen personlization will let users change the color scheme but not the background picture.
A similar picture shows off the summary view that allows users to search for applications. In the screenshot (see below) a purple color is enabled on the Start Screen of Windows 8. The summary view allows Windows 8 users to group applications and live tiles into groups. Microsoft demonstrated the feature at its BUILD developer conference in September but the Semantic View and Semantic Zoom features were not made available in the Windows 8 developer preview.
Microsoft recently detailed its Windows 8 Live Notifications service. The service will power the Live Tiles in Windows 8′s Start Screen and works off the foundations of the company’s Windows Live Messenger service. Windows 8′s notifications and live tiles form the replacement of the typical gadgets built into Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft has been working hard to ensure that it can allow hundreds of live tiles and not impact of system performance. The tiles reach beyond badges and text and provide real time information and images. Microsoft has built its Windows Push Notification Service (WNS) on top of the Windows Live Messenger service architecture.
Microsoft is expected to deliver a beta copy of Windows 8 at CES 2012 with a Release Candidate at the unannounced MIX 2012 conference. The big OEMs, including HP, Dell and ASUS are all reportedly preparing Windows 8 tablets for Q3 2012. Microsoft is expected to unveil the final version of Windows 8 during the Summer months of 2012 in preparation for a holiday push of new tablets and form factors.
Latest Windows 8 news:
- Microsoft details its Windows 8 live tiles service
- Stephen Elop hints at Nokia Windows 8 tablets
- Businesses already preparing Windows 8 upgrade plans
- Acer predicts that Microsoft will “re-rise” against iPad with Windows 8
- ASUS also preparing Windows 8 tablet for Q3 2012
- HP planning to stick with Microsoft for Windows 8 tablets
- Windows Media Center returns to Windows 8 in build 8141
- New Windows 8 activation protection causing headaches for PC makers
- Microsoft details its Windows 8 portrait support for tablets
Windows 8 pre-beta Start Screen color customization screenshots leak originally appeared at WinRumors.com.
Incoming search terms:
- nokia drive xap
- nokia drive xap download
- wpxap nokia drive xap
- windows 8 build 8141 download
- powered by SMF fish
- Powered by Article Dashboard mixing aquarium fish
- windows 8 8141 download
- Powered by Article Dashboard common aquarium fish
- powered by SMF custom aquariums
- powered by SMF color schemes
We had mixed feelings when it came to Kobo’s Touch Edition eReader. Specifically, we felt that the device was “not really a better reading experience than other devices (though not a worse).” However, that sentiment might change since the Kobo eReader Touch Edition is getting an update, which should bring with it some cool new customization features.
Basically the update will give users the ability to add their own fonts, and create new fonts on their laptop which can then be synced over to the Kobo eReader. The Kobo eReader Touch Edition is a pretty simplistic device, so chances are a lot of Kobo owners aren’t necessarily what we’d call tech savvy. If you happen to be one of them and the idea of side-loading fonts seems scary, no worries. You’ll still be able to customize your Kobo’s font by choosing from the five fonts that will be included in the update: Amasis, Delima, Felbridge, Gil Sans, and Rockwell. That brings Kobo’s on-board font offerings to a total of seven fonts, across 25 different sizes.
The update will also bring line-spacing, margin, and justification control to the Kobo eReader Touch Edition, along with the ability to turn off Kobo styling altogether. It’s worth noting that Kobo’s greatest competitors, the Kindle and the Nook, don’t offer the ability to add fonts. The whole point of an eReader is to find a convenient, space-saving way to enjoy books, and customizable fonts sounds like a great way to improve the experience. Maybe the Kobo could be a “better” reading experience after all.
Incoming search terms:
If you’re not satisfied with your Xbox 360 controller, and don’t think the new one will satisfy you either, give this Avenger thing a shot, since nothing less than ultimate luxury is enough for you. And hey, it looks cool, too.
The Avenger appears to be a 360 controller designed for customization. The buttons appear to be up on stalks, and the triggers are… also on stalks. And presumably you can adjust the force required to activate them. It doesn’t seem to have the d-pad/disc adjustment thing, but you probably know if that’s something you actually want.
Mainly I’d just want one of these things so that could be “my” controller if I had friends over. Oh no, guys, you get the baby controllers.
Visit MobilityDigest.com for more Windows Phone 7 news. HTC’s Customization For Windows Phone 7 revealed
Like the video says, this is just an intro to motivate me to get started on posting my HD2 how-to videos on installing: HardSPL (the app that “unlocks” your HD2 so you can install custom ROMS). Taskbars Clocks Sliders Cookies Tab Editor (A significantly better than HTC Sense user shell/interface) Optimization apps (Task Manager, CleanRAM, etc.) Tweaks and Settings (to bring out all of the HD2, WinMo 6.5 and HTC Sense secrets). And my other favorite applications and programs. I will also show you how to install a lanyard/strap, discuss leather cases and after-market battery covers. So stay tuned and come back. I will attend to all this in about a week. Note: The custom ROM installed is the “Core Cell EVO V1.” It’s a most excellent ROM and IMHO the best one out there. Best of all, it’s free. However, you should donate to the developer if you like the ROM.
For a long time, CafePress was the major player in customized product creation on the Internet. Slowly other sites sprang up, like Zazzle, Skreened, StickerGiant, Lulu, and many more. Many of these options are novelty one-offs, though, and you’re paying for the customization, not the craftsmanship, of the product. But the success of these somewhat kitschy sites have revealed a real hunger in consumers for customized, personalized products, and a new wave of entrepreneur is capitalizing on this trend to bring customization to chocolate, men’s dress shirts, and a whole lot more.
I’ve been exchanging emails with a number of these entrepreneurs about their products, asking them all the same questions: how and why? All of them are building something that someone wants: not a one of these folks is trying to create a market where no demand exists. Many of them are also trying hard to democratize the entire purchasing process, and working to undo the homogenization of mass-produced products.
Think for a moment how subtle customization is a part of your every day life. Movies on demand at Netflix allow you to watch what you want to watch, not what the programming director at some cable channel feels like airing. You can put together specific playlists of only songs you actually want to hear, instead of what the radio broadcasts. You can order that Big Mac without onions, and get a shake instead of a soda with your value meal. Your computer is customized, your iPod is the color you want it and connected to the headphones you like the best, and on and on. How many of your decisions every day are the result of your specific decision to customize the things around you? And yet, you buy your clothes off a rack…
No better example of the problem of homogenization exists than clothing. Factories churn out millions of garments every day, all in the “standard” sizes in order to maximize profit while minimizing cost and effort. But really, how well do the standard sizes fit you? I’m a tall, lean fellow, so XL is just a shade too small and XXL is too baggy. We’ve all grown up accustomed to poorly fitting garments. Not everyone has the means to connect with a tailor to get really good fitting clothing, and others see it as an expense that can’t be justified: we’ll just live with the standard sizes and make peace with the fact that our sleeves are a little too short and the collar a little too tight.
So it’s little surprise that three of the entrepreneurs with whom I’ve communicated are working to make custom-fitted clothing easier to design and purchase. Danny Wong of Blank Label tells me that Blank Label started as a pretty traditional custom tailor shop: they’d come to your office, measure you up, show you a book of swatches, and worked up a dress shirt or suit for you. Eager to try something new, but still leveraging their existing supply chain, they embarked on the design-it-yourself path. Wong observes that demand for customization permeates our everyday lives:
One big factor is a shift in consumer demand. With products and services like iTunes and Pandora where you pick and choose your own music, BK’s “have it your way” motto, Build-a-Bear’s create-your-own teddy bears, consumers are hungry to get product personally made for them and designed by them.
Peter Crawfurd and Michael Yang from ShirtsMyWay quickly came to the obvious conclusion that they “could bring it up to another level with the internet”:
There is the whole aspect of being able to design your own shirts and preview which wouldn’t be possible in the offline world. It is also convenient for customers to get their shirts delivered to their door and then when they need new shirts they’ll just go in and order more and get the same great fit.
I asked Seph Skerritt of Proper Cloth if dress shirts were an intentional decision for him, or if it came as the result of an iterative process:
Yes, we specifically set out to do shirts. It did not evolve that way.
I like the dress shirt category because I believe finding a good fitting dress shirt off-the-rack is difficult for a lot of people. Technically, it’s easy to understand why. Dress shirts have several fit-points that are all critical (collar size, sleeve length, chest/waist size, length). If the sleeves are an inch too long or too short, it will be noticeable and if the collar is too tight, you’ll be very uncomfortable. Furthermore, dress shirts are made from woven cotton with little stretch, leaving little room for error. The result is that standardized sizes (small, medium, large, etc) frequently do not meet customer’s demands. With more tailored/fitted looks in fashion, this becomes even more of an issue. With the growth of e-commerce and improvements in manufacturing/supply chain capabilities, I think there’s a huge opportunity to disrupt the established industry with a made-to-order business model.
An interesting twist on customized clothing comes from Nicholas Marx of Bespokeable, currently in closed beta: a marketplace for customized products backed by a recommendation engine. Bespokeable is currently focusing on clothing, but they have plans to expand to other customized goods.
I did specifically set out to build the recommendation engine that powers the personal outfitting service. However, the idea to turn over the production to actual tailors and build a marketplace was indeed the result of an iterative process. The original idea of Bespokeable was actually a clothing line. In a nutshell, we’re zigging, where everyone else is zagging.
The Bespokeable recommendation engine, according to Marx, will benefit both buyers and sellers:
We take certain data from the buyers such as their hair, eye, & skin color (amongst others) to be used to recommend certain fabrics that will look best with each person. We think that it’s this dedicated focus on personalization that will make the buyers want to use Bespokeable’s market. Bespokeable’s system also gets better for buyers each time they uses it. When someone buy something on Bespokeable, we use that data to recommend future items to that same person as well as to other people who are like that person. This actually acts as an incentive for the buyers to go through Bespokeable, which in turn is an incentive for the sellers to stay on our system…
Certainly there’s a price premium imposed on customized clothes. But the old adage “you get what you pay for” may never have been more appropriate. You can pay a little for mass-produced goods made from cheap materials and assembled as quickly as possible; or you can pay a bit more for a quality garment that’s made from good material by a real human being with an eye for detail. Marx opines about the future of craftsmanship and customization:
It’s also worth noting that it’s independent craftsmen who are best suited to meet the increase in demand for one-off products, not large factories that are designed for mass-production. If you think about it, the clothing industry hasn’t really changed since the Industrial Revolution. Perhaps this “customized micro-production revolution” will be the Second Industrial Revolution.
The trend toward customization extends far beyond custom clothing, though. In addition to Chocri for custom chocolates, there’s also Chocomize, founded by Eric Heinbockel, Nick LaCava, and Fabian Kaempfer. Customized chocolate was a ripe opportunity for business because, according to their research, chocolate is a relatively recession-proof luxury good and customers were becoming increasingly demanding when selecting premium chocolates. Despite America’s sweet tooth, there are still some hurdles for Chocomize and its peers to overcome.
The biggest challenge that we see in this space is simply that Americans are still unfamiliar with the concept of co-creation on this scale. Americans take for granted that their computers are customizable or their cars are customizable during the shopping process but they are unaware of the ability to customize other, smaller purchases particularly food. While we have been very successful at getting our own brand name out through national outlets like Oprah Magazine, the Costco Connection, or Reuters our companies have to both educate consumers about the co-creation process and then educate the consumer about the specific brand.
A bit more discussion with other entrepreneurs in the customization space confirms that it’s still focused largely on luxury goods, or higher-end products. For example, Brad Lindenberg is pushing customized golf clubs at his site Lind Golf. You don’t need golf clubs, in, say, the same way you do need decent clothing, so Lind Golf is targeting dedicated golfers. Visitors can get a perfectly fitted golf club for their height and swing, and now have it laser etched for more visible personalization.
We manufacture our golf shafts, grips and ferrules in 9 different colors and offer over 20 shaft and grip upgrade options to customers (allowing for over 50 million possible combinations of clubs). The internet model means we can stock all our equipment in component form and assemble our gear only when an order comes in. This means we can make a club in left hand, minus 1/2 inch with a red shaft, black grip and red club head and ship it out the very next day. A retail store cannot offer this level of customization and turn it around so quickly.
I’m not a golfer, but the golfers I know do take their activity pretty seriously. If you’re going to spend the time and money to play with any regularity, I’d assume you’d want equipment that was comfortable to use and performed well. Customization of clubs pretty obviously addresses that.
There are, of course, lots of other sites offering lots of unique customized luxury products. We’ve covered Shapeways, the customized fabrication shop, a number of times before, and they keep rolling out new products and new materials. There’s also Fluid Forms where you can create customized belt buckles, streetmap clocks, and more. All of these are things to enhance your home or to make a really unique gift, rather than address commodity needs.
Rounding out the entrepreneurs with whom I spoke is Arwa Jumkawala, creator of Gemkitty, where you can design customized jewelry for that special someone in your life.
There’s always been custom work in fine jewelry, but it tends to get very expensive, difficult, and time consuming. Having been in the gem and jewelry trade my whole life, I thought there was a huge opportunity to take that process, democratize it, and just make it easier.
Gemkitty launched last fall, and while they don’t have a lot of repeat business yet, Jumkawala tells me they’ve also not yet had any returns of their products, which I think is a real testament to the quality of their creations, and how meaningful it is to the recipient.
One of the most interesting things, to me, to learn from these discussions about customization is the level of fraternization amongst many of the people in this space. Several of the folks quoted in this piece contacted me on their own and helpfully included in their opening emails links to their peers doing customization in other areas. Certainly there’s a level of competition — Blank Label, Proper Cloth and ShirtsMyWay are all courting the same clients, basically — but they’re all cognizant of this fact, and speak highly of one another. Each feels confident that they can compete on their own and remain relevant in this burgeoning aspect of e-commerce. ShirtsMyWay is touting their seven trillion combinations, but their products are made in Asia; while Proper Cloth makes all of their shirts in the U.S., which may be an important consideration for some shoppers.
In some ways, a lot of these customization offerings are the logical progression of e-commerce, and we can likely expect a growing ecosystem of customized products available for purchase. Clothing and jewelry and golf clubs all make sense to personalize. Will we ever be able to design our own toilet paper patterns, or screwdriver handles, or silverware? Would we ever need to?
Props to CrunchGear
One thing I like about Android… home screen customization. Watch Android team members talk about their favorite features.
We all get that itch to redo part of our home, but if you’re renting, you can’t do anything too permament. Home improvement blog Apartment Therapy has some tips for customizing your bathroom without angering your landlord. More »
Props to Lifehacker