Director of narrative, commercial, and virtual reality

Film Portfolio

Project Greenlight finalist | Short about sex, death, existence, time

Lily in the Grinder

Shabbat Dinner

Comedy short about coming out | Featured in 55+ festivals

Search is Back

Featured on TechCrunch | 7k users per day

Global event handing out nametags on first Sat in June

Nametag Day

Uber Forecast

Tracking Uber's surge pricing to guess what the weather might be

Archive for November, 2014

Type in the air, live in the future

A few years ago I was waiting for a glove keyboard. It seemed that with the rise proliferation of devices that don’t sit on a desk — cell phones, wearable devices like Google Glass or Oculus Rift, etc., we will be needing input devices. The coolest one seemed like a glove, or device that wrapped around the palm, which measured the exact position of the hand and allowed a user to touch type on any surface using a QWERTY keyboard. The iPhone had just come out and it seemed like if it could do such a good job of guessing which words a user meant to type, this glove keyboard could be a reality.

An ideal device will be lightweight, connect to any device or service (large public screens, small personal screens, etc.) and expose a standard keyboard interface as well as a full model of the hand, so that people could write their own software to allow the use of new gestures.

Having wrist issues, I’m especially excited about being able to type on varying curved surfaces, which should do a ton to alleviate repetitive strain.

About six years later, it looks like these things are on the horizon. Check ’em out!

The Kitty Project uses the opening and closing of standard electrical circuits to build data input:

Kitty

Kitty

The SenseBoard uses an inertial measuring unit to wrap around the wrist yet measure the motion of the fingers with two degrees of freedom:

SenseBoard

SenseBoard

 

The winner will be a product that can be worn at all times and allows for easy touch typing as well as gestures.

Would regulated warranty plans help save the environment?

Broken Electronics

Broken Electronics

I was talking to Nick about what I’ll call The Ikea Problem: cheaper, poorly made products appear to be more cost-effective than more expensive ones. If an expensive product will last many times longer, it’s usually cheaper over time.

Ikea furniture is a perfect example: a $250 table will often break after 2-5 years, where a nice $700 table might last for 20 years or more.

I had a thought — that if warranties were standardized and it was very easy to obtain a replacement for products, we could compare cheap vs quality products more easily. Proper warranty reform, in this case, would mean replacement through an easy web form or quick phone call, or even a centralized organization that takes care of replacement. It would probably mean a centralized database of every product and its warranty, as well as an easy way to provide and transfer proof of purchase. It would be a process of government regulation, but perhaps it can be done nimbly and flexibly, with environmental and cost savings outweighing the pains of bureaucracy.

Right now, warranties are painful to execute. They can require proof of purchase, UPC codes, detailed descriptions, long wait times, and any other hoops a manufacturer can dream up. Common modes of failure are often exempted from replacement.

Imagine a world in which manufacturers had to compete on the longevity of their products and were held to these claims. Would they use more similar parts across product lines? Would products begin to last longer?

Pairing a standardized, apples-to-apples comparison of “cost over time” with a financing solution such as Affirm could allow people without the necessary capital to buy these greater-longevity products.

What do you think? How could we make this happen? Would this work? What are the potential downsides?

Dreaming of 9-5’s

Guido Anselmi

Guido Anselmi

I move to San Francisco with big promises, and big plans, and announcements. Things are going great. I have a five year plan. Lily promotions take up lots of time. A commercial business is taking off.

And yet, when I close my eyes, I dream of nine to fives. It’s lonely pushing that boulder up a hill (not that I’m ready to compare myself to Sisyphus.) Sometimes I don’t want to drive.

It’s not that nothing is going on. A bunch of projects are: a TV show I’m casting, two features I’m cowriting. But for a few days here and there, I clear the deck and give myself time to write. Alone, sitting in my room, or my kitchen table, or my office, staring at a blank page and willing it into an exquisite opus of a film, it’s like the world has faded into empty white as well. All the elements that construct personality and career are rendered arbitrary by that empty page.

I’m trying not to think in terms of time. For a while I took the clock off my menu bar. It’s arbitrary, really, what time it is, and we’re not limited by the hours in a day. Instead, our lives stretch in front of us and we have all the time in the world! Thousands upon thousands of minutes stacked on top of each other.

I want to tell a story about a reality I experienced five years ago, which makes it difficult. I want to tell a story that fits together in a way that I can’t quite see. I’ve written 40 pages, then scrapped it and written 10, then 3, then 4, then 2. Five outlines. Maybe it will congeal, maybe it’s blocking me from writing in the present. Surely the idea that I have to write something incredible is stopping me from doing so. When I close my eyes and see it on a screen, it is beautiful.

Trusting in the process, maybe. Now is a time of intense creativity. I feel it simmering just beneath the unconscious Facebook tab opening, beneath the jittery left leg, beneath the cravings to do anything but sit and write. It’s electric. It’s coming. I think of having a boss, of structured days, of getting nothing done on somebody else’s time. I think of the iceberg of mind that sits below tinny awareness.