100 Watches Book

It began with a simple premise; paint 100 watches in 100 days. A simple call for submissions and the project was under way.

The 100 Watches Project began as an exploration of watches through painting and quickly grew into an anthropological exploration of people and their relationships to time-pieces.

Submissions began to elaborate on the relationships between the time-piece and owner. Stories of heirloom pieces from Grandparents and new collections beginning with gifts between newlyweds stood out.

The 100 Watches Book takes the paintings from the 100 Watches Project and collects them into an artistic expression of horology.

Beautiful. More here.

The Timex Metropolitan+

While other smartwatches and fitness trackers have heart-rate sensors, GPS and other more advanced sensors for quantifying your activity, the Metropolitan+ only tracks steps and distance. (The Timex Connected smartphone app also calculates calories burned based on this data, and sleep metrics are coming in a future software update in Spring 2016.)

To check how much you’ve walked and how far you’ve walked, just press and hold down the pusher button (that’s the one at the two o’clock mark). Doing this will cycle between the four modes: “S” for steps, “D” for distance (miles), Bluetooth (for syncing data to a phone) and Off.

I like the look of the Metropolitan+ and the way the smart features give way to the traditional watch design, but if there is one thing I do not like about Timex watches it is the loud ticking. Sadly it would seem that this model suffers from this which is a real shame. More at Mashable.

What was your favourite tech of the year?

In a year in which the iPhone 6s was released, it feels strange for me that the Nespresso has easily been my favourite tech product of the year. It has removed me from my Costa Coffee addiction, saved me a ton of money and opened my eyes to the fact that tech is much more than mobile phones and tablets. I reviewed it here and my thoughts have not changed at all since the first flush of enjoyment, and if anything I appreciate it more today than when I first bought it.

The iPhone has of course proved to be a fantastic phone. The camera is better than ever, it never misses a beat and I am carrying on using it just as I did the 6, the 5s and most of the iPhones before, to the point that I rarely, if ever, use 3D Touch. I appreciate the technology, but still haven’t found a need for it.

The Moto G has also proved enlightening, especially for the price, and I use it for many freelance articles. Like the iPhone, it just works without the need for gimmicks and has opened my eyes to the way the Android industry is moving- to much cheaper phones that do 95% of what the high-end devices do.

And then there was the Dyson Animal (reviewed here) which has made life a little easier for my family. With a new dog in the house, there are many more occasions where such a device is required and we find ourselves using it every day for spillages and any bit of mess we see. Like I said in the review, it takes away the friction when needing to clean up and has proved to be worth every penny so far.

In a year in which I have used the Apple Watch, Moto G, Sony Smart Watch 3 and the Pebble Time for extended periods, not one has stayed with me. It feels like a case of ‘want’ rather then ‘need’ when it comes to smart watches for me and I await the time when a manufacturer makes one that is truly compelling and which grows over time. This could change, but until then we remain in the slow-growth period which feels similar to the phone market pre-iPhone. The difference here, however, is that Apple is already in the game and has failed to ignite the market.

I have tried many other phones over the past 12 months, including the Note 5, latest LG and a variety of others, but they all exhibit the same traits of gradually improving on devices that already do most things very well. The gradual improvements are inevitable and are of course good for us as consumers. Maybe it is time to accept that there will not be another ‘iPhone moment’ in the world of phone and to just enjoy that they are still improving all of the time. That may not be exciting for marketing people, but we reap the rewards every time we pick them up and use them.

That’s it. A year in which a vacuum cleaner and coffee maker were my favourite tech products- I never thought I would say that. There was one final purchase we made which has changed everything in our house and he is below. 5 month’s old and growing every day, but Murray has to be my favourite purchase of the year, even if he could not be classed as tech.

So, what was your tech product of the year and why?

‘Text neck’ syndrome

I recently had an MRI to work out why I have been getting pain at the top of my neck. It transpired that there is nothing specifically wrong with my back or neck, but the consultant suggested that posture has a lot to do with it and so some physiotherapy appointments were booked. 

Interestingly, I was also asked how often I use a phone and when I explained my usage, it was suggested that this could also be a major factor and this was the part that truly struck home for me. 

You can read more about ‘Text neck’ syndrome in the latest issue of How It Works and for some of you, it could prove to be a very beneficial read-

Whether you’re trying to get to the next level of Angry Birds, or having an emoji-filled text conversation with your friends, looking at your smartphone for long periods of time could be doing serious damage to your neck.

As we tend to hold our phones at chest or waist height, we tilt our heads forward to be able to see the screen. This isn’t so bad if you’re just checking the occasional message or weather update, but with smartphone users spending an estimated two to four hours a day looking down at their phones – equivalent to one or two months a year – the problem gets much worse.

Serial is back

This story — it spins out in so many unexpected directions. Because, yes, it’s about Bowe Bergdahl and about one strange decision he made, to leave his post. (And Bergdahl, by the way, is such an interesting and unusual guy, not like anyone I’ve encountered before.) But it’s also about all of the people affected by that decision, and the choices they made. Unlike our story in Season One, this one extends far out into the world. It reaches into swaths of the military, the peace talks to end the war, attempts to rescue other hostages, our Guantanamo policy. What Bergdahl did made me wrestle with things I’d thought I more or less understood, but really didn’t: what it means to be loyal, to be resilient, to be used, to be punished.

The first episode suggests that this season of Serial will be even better than the first one.

The iPad Pro: big, light and with lots of gaps

Finally got a chance to play with the iPad Pro and I must say that it is an impressive piece of hardware. It is much lighter than I expected and despite looking huge, it actually feels OK in the hand(s).

I wasn’t particularly impressed with the screen or the fact that the number of icons on the screen remains the same in iOS 9, looks really silly with such huge gaps, but I can see lots of potential here for those who would benefit from such a device.

Personally, it is too expensive for me because I have no specific requirement for it, but for some it may be the perfect computer.