What makes Anki Drive stands apart as a car racing game

November 18, 2013
anki drive toy car racing

I have a thing for meaningful connected objects. So, it’s only natural that I wish to share my passion for them on this blog. For my first post here on connected objects, I introduce the smart racing cars of Anki Drive. I selected Anki Drive for three reasons:

  1. Connected objects are not just to smarten up your home or to motivate you to be more active.
  2. I think that Anki Drive represents the future of car racing game.
  3. My husband, my toddler and I had a blast at the Anki Drive event at the Apple store in Montreal last week.

The old-fashioned slot car racing still hold a little bit of their magic but they feel short when it comes to user experience. Over the years, video games have accustomed us to much more. This is why I was thrilled when my husband first talked to me about Anki Drive. Bridging digital technology with physical objects would deliver the most of both world. From what I experienced so far, Anki Drive has a good head start.

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Why we gave our baby a digital identity

November 12, 2013
digital identity at birth

There are many posts and articles already written about “oversharing”, giving a digital identity to babies, creating a digital trust for your newborn and the right to privacy of kids. Before I wrote my posts, I asked why should I write another one. As I continued to research the topic, I failed to find my viewpoint in all those posts. I decided to share my side of the story.

I want to start the discussion with the fact that many things will have impact on a kid’s development and will shape who that kid will become as an adult. Our parent actions have always been one of them. I approach social media as one more component to the equation.

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You want a 2,500 Square Feet House in 20 hours. Call your printer.

November 5, 2013
contour crafting

Most stories about 3D printers highlight what customers, designers and small businesses could do with their own 3D printer. When comes the time to produce robust pieces, you will need an industrial 3D printer. The process is known as additive manufacturing in the manufacturing industries. 3D printers have been used for a while now when it comes to producing prototypes and medical implants. I read in Technology review that GE aims to print the nozzles of jet engines that are due to go into planes in late 2015 or early 2016. This means that they are confident about the quality of the printed pieces.

It does stop there! 3D printing could change the home building industry forever. In this TED Talk video, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor at the University of Southern California demonstrates that automated construction could become a reality sooner than later, if we are willing to give it a chance.

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Why I Expose my Toddler to Design and Modern Architecture

October 28, 2013

This post was first published in March 2013 on my stylish living and entertaining blog, At Home with Kim Vallee. I made a few changes to the original post before I published it here. It’s my way to share my parenting philosophy.

In six words: to prepare him for the world. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a visual person or the fact that design is in my bones. I found my design and architectural style at 6 years old. I recalled our Sunday car rides where my parents drove to see upscale houses across the province. My parents looked at traditional houses while I admired the rare modern architecture houses that we encountered. They knew about my preference and encouraged it. Each time that we passed by a modern house they made sure that I saw it.

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How a Web series made me think of how to break down silos

October 25, 2013
la grande idee :: infopresse

Watching La Grande Virée, a Web series produced by Infopresse in collaboration with Cogeco, made me think of how we could recycle the concept to explore new ways to work on projects.

To give you a little bit of background, La Grande Virée is an experiment where 14 advertising professionals — originally split into two teams — had to create and produce a new campaign for a non-profit organization. They have 2 days to do, from start to finish. The campaign will then be published on the various media platforms of Cogeco.

As I started watching the 6 currently available episodes of La Grande Virée, my initial thought was that a business could reproduce the concept of this Web series to explain what they do their clients and prospects. A business could use it to demonstrate their expertise. Seeing in action how your team members execute a mandate could educate your prospective clients and will reveal more about your culture and skills than reading your Web site.

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Innovate with your packaging and a stylish way to serve soup at a dinner party

October 21, 2013
mushroom cappuccino

What can you do to differentiate yourself when you make or sell a traditional product? You will have to innovate in another way. One solution is rethinking how you present and market your product. To illustrate my point, take an old-fashioned, comfy soup recipe. With a little bit of imagination, you can turn a simple mushroom soup into a more desirable mushroom cappuccino. Suddenly, you don’t sell the same thing than the restaurant next door.

About the recipe

Serving soup in a small quantity at a dinner soup is better because it is less filling. I pour mine in espresso cups because an espresso cup is cuter than a cappuccino cup. I account for that fact that my guests will take a second cup. A spoon of non-sugar loose whipped cream simulates the foamed milk. Last weekend, we topped it with freshly grounded pepper since we were out of mushroom powder.

If you bring it to a self-serve pot luck event, bring a large heat-resistant pitcher. I use a nice white porcelain water pitcher. This way, people can pour the soup into the cup without utensils. It doesn’t have to be complicated to serve food in style.

credits: A special thank to Suzanne Lortie for introducing me to this cute and delicious soup. Suzanne learned it from Josée Di Stasio (recipe in French).

Why bloggers should consider Ghost as their blogging platform

October 16, 2013
ghost blogging platform

The first version of the minimalist blogging platform Ghost has been launched to the public Monday. To tell you the truth, I can’t wait to try it out. I recalled how thrilled I was when I read the post by John O’Nolan that started the whole project. I said “At Last, someone who understands my problems.”

Around the same time, I often talked with my tech husband about the dated WordPress interface. Frankly, the look and feel of their administrative screens seems old. I often mentioned how it was not easy to blog on site when I’m visiting a trade show or attending a conference.

As a user, I feel that WordPress kind of makes my life more complicated by not integrating in their system the basic and standard components needed for blogging. Managing plugins for the most basic stuff is time not well spent. Although WordPress works well, WordPress has stopped adding tools for bloggers a long time ago. Bloggers are not a priority for them. I don’t foresee that it will change in the future, especially when the bread and butter of so many WordPress developers are in Web sites, not blogs.

Going back to Ghost, the great responses that John O’Nolan got from his original concept led to a Kickstarter campaign that raised $300,000 in a month, way more than he expected to raise when he launched it. It was clear by now that Ghost fills a void in the market.

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Square Cash easily lets you send money by email

October 16, 2013
square cash send receive money by email

With Square Cash and a debit card, you can send money to a friend by writing a simple email. Square has released Square Cash Tuesday” The new service is one of the most convenient way to send money to your friends and acquaintances. Imagine that you are at lunch and someone asks you to borrow money, or that you are collecting money for a group activity that requires a deposit on booking, people can pay you right away since they can do it with their smartphone. No more chances to forget to do it. The plus value of Square Cash is clearly convenience. And the service is free.

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