When I first purchased the Amazon Echo, I had just come off of a very bad relationship with an Ivee Sleek. A connected "Smart" clock that didn't really live up to its billing. It didn't really do much of anything actually. Frustrations with that appliance, Google Now, and Siri had almost completely put me off the voice activated virtual assistant thing. So it was with much hesitation and admittedly a lot of curiosity that I signed up for the wait list, and eventually bought an Amazon Echo.
About a year and a half maybe two years ago, I came across a kick starter campaign for a voice activated alarm clock/home assistant named Ivee Sleek. It promised Siri like assistant functionality with Google Now like voice activation features. It also promised to connect to connected home appliances and systems like the Philips Hue lights, SmartThings and the Staples connect hubs. It was a pretty big deal for me at the time. I had both Philips Hue and WeMo systems, I was and still am looking for the best connected home solution. It was a pretty tall order. The company behind the Ivee Sleek promised me and all kick starter backers the world. Remember the saying "under promise, over deliver?" this team did the exact opposite. They over promised big time, and sadly, also under delivered big time.
When Amazon first introduced the Kindle Touch a few years ago, I mused that if Apple created an e-reader, that would be it. It's a statement that becomes more true with every iteration now. The paperwhite added the best backlight on an e-reader bar none, and the voyage automates that backlight based on the ambient light in your surroundings. All in the slimmest sleekest package I've seen in an e-reader that was this good, ever.
I've had a pretty good history with Roku. I had a first generation Roku, the ugly boxy one, with the remote control that looked like you cut a regular remote control in half. That streaming box was pretty great for a while. I was happy with my little Roku. That is until Apple released the second generation Apple TV.
Apple Pay seems to be the new hot thing ever since it came out in October. Mobile payments are said to be up in the time since its debut, banks are chomping at the bit to sing its praises, and somewhere Steve Jobs is looking down approvingly at Tim Cook. It's a fun novelty that I admit, I jumped on the bandwagon early for, but is it really all its cracked up to be? After using it for a few months in my day to day routine, here are my thoughts.
The Ridge Wallet was originally a kickstarter project that raised $266,622 on the original Kickstarter campaign, and then an additional $126,873 on a second kickstarter campaign for the 2.0 revision. I recently got my hands on The Ridge 2.0 and used it to replace an old leather bifold. I haven't looked back since.