Trender Research™

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February 2009 Blog Posts (30)

Trender Awards Winners Announced



Trender Research is pleased to announce the winners of our first annual Trender Awards. At final count, almost 100 tech products and services were submitted for consideration by Trenders or the vendors themselves. From these candidates, we compiled a short-list of finalists that were announced last week.



The Trender Awards were created to honor… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 27, 2009 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Sprint: the worst or just more of the same?

So Sprint/Nextel has been my carrier from the beginning. I would say that my loyalty, given everything that has happened, has been astounding. Yet, my five years with Sprint have not been without complaints. In fact, I would complain about them everyday if I didn't think I was wasting my breath.



From terrible service to even worse customer service, and shotty phones at best, I don't really see how Sprint manages to keep any customers. I've never been late with a bill, never… Continue

Added by Ganga on February 27, 2009 at 1:17pm — 1 Comment

Podcast: Silicon Mountain’s Allio Combo HDTV/PC

In our continuing podcast series, I had a chance to chat with Tré Cates, Silicon Mountain President and CEO. I love it when someone gets a good idea, wonders why it has not already been done, and then makes it happen. For Silicon Mountain, a manufacturer of high-performance computing systems, gaming systems, and servers, the “aha moment” came a little over a year ago— why not bake the guts of a computer into… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 27, 2009 at 2:00am — No Comments

Boxee Update: Hulu Pulls the Plug



I guess Hulu doesn't Boxee after all. In our story last month we talked about Boxee's strategy of aggregating Internet TV content, and pointed out a couple of potential flaws:



"The second problem I see is with their business model. Boxee’s goal is to build up enough loyal eyeballs that they will be able to go back to the Hulus of the world and… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 26, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Why Many Tech Products Fail and How Trender Research Can Help

Article Summary

• Tech products and services fail without advanced feedback from prospective customers

• Engineering-driven product definition does not match customer needs

• Companies often don’t have the time or money to do proper research

• Focus groups and surveys can help test assumptions

• Virtual focus groups can be faster, more accurate, and cost-effective



Every now and then I will pick me head up from my research and coverage of tech… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 26, 2009 at 12:00am — No Comments

How Your Kids Can Become Techy Crafters (and You Look Cool)

Crafty doesn't lurk in these parts. Though I'm an at-home mom to two daughters, the craftiest I get is crayoned drawings on wrinkled computer paper, stickers, and glue sticks. In a desperate attempt to stretch her creative wings, my daughter recently drew an artistic desert scene, glued tiny pebbles to the paper, and then embellished it with toothpaste. Craft-o-meter result? Mom: Zero. Kid: Three.



So, I have relied on the technology at hand to provide me with crafty training wheels.… Continue

Added by Leigh Steele on February 24, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Keep Them Safe With Nu.M8

“Brian, where’s Caroline?” my wife asked on a bright summer’s day at the beach, searching for our two-year old in my wake as I returned from building sand castles with the small children in our extended family.



“I thought she came up here, she said she was too sandy,” I replied, now realizing I had been too caught up in the fun at the water’s edge to see her safely return to the shade under our umbrella. “Oh my God, that was ten minutes… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 23, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Trender Awards Finalists Announced



Below are the finalists for the Trender Awards. The Trender Awards were created to honor gadgets and services that are not only cool, novel, and improve people's lives in some way, but also have appeal to everyday folks.



Process



At final count we had almost 100 products or services for consideration. More than half of these products Trender Research has already covered or are from companies with which we have… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 19, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Tech Hi-Lo: Sophisticated or Simple? iTouchless Trashcan Vs. Meade's ETX-LS Telescope



Today we begin a new series comparing some of the most sophisticated gadgets out there with some of the simplest. The goal is to find out what folks really want in their homes. Is it the most whiz-bang technology loaded up with features, or something commonsensical that we can use every day? Price is no limit. Sure, in the real world it is, but for the sake of this discussion we just want to know what you desire and what you would use if money… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 18, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

Zagg, OtterBox, Earbud Yo-Yo, Logitech— Good Gadget Accessories (Part 3)

We have a few more products to close out our chat about gadget accessories…



The Good



Zagg Z.buds



While there were a multitude of headsets, ear phones, and mobile holders at this year’s CES, a few stood out above the others. Zagg’s new Z.buds ($79.99) are great for listening to music or making calls with your… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 17, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

Sennheiser, Amulet Devices, and Joby -- Gadget Accessories Bad and Ugly (Part 2)

Getting out all our negative vibes in our latest chat about gadget accessories…



The Bad



It could be Murphy’s Law of trade shows, but I was pretty disappointed with the new Sennheiser HD 800 headphone speakers. Sennheiser claims “more than 60 years of ingenious headphone engineering has been applied into the new HD 800” but… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 17, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

iGo Vs. Powermat: Gadget Accessories Good, Bad, and Ugly (Part 1)

As I said before, I try to be positive and open-minded when it comes to new technology. Not only are peoples’ livelihoods at stake, but we should realize that for every good tech product or service that makes it into our homes, 10 others tried and failed. But I am also cognizant of the fact that at Trender Research we focus on not just nerd-food, but tech devices and services that have a good chance of becoming mainstream— that is, they hit a sweet… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 13, 2009 at 1:00am — No Comments

A Trip Planned with an iPhone

In December, my family of four headed out on a spontaneous two week road trip from Arizona to Washington. We packed the mini-van, strapped our two young daughters in their car seats, and hit the pavement to California. We had little plans, no overnight arrangements besides the first night in L.A., and limited funds.



But what we did have was two trusty iPhones at our sides. For two weeks, we tapped buttons on our phones that helped us navigate the Pacific Coast Highway (Maps app),… Continue

Added by Leigh Steele on February 12, 2009 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Getting the parents to jump on the technological bandwagon?

I've had a cell phone for over five years now, and I feel as if I'm a minority in my age group for that. My mother's only just gotten a cell phone last year, along with a projector, her first laptop, a new desktop, a video camera, and a digital camera. She still gets excited when the pictures show up on the digital screen. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but the truth is that I feel the vast majority of the super-technology sits in my house gathering dust, or else she's yelling at my brothers for… Continue

Added by Ganga on February 11, 2009 at 5:36pm — 1 Comment

CablesToGo Podcast: Simplifying Our Digital Clutter

As a follow up to our coverage of their Wireless VGA Kit , we had a chance today to record a podcast with CablesToGo in which we broadened the conversation to get an overview of their other products for the connected home. As their name suggests, CablesToGo since its founding 24 years ago has focused on all of the… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 11, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

MoCA Podcast: When Will "MoCA Inside" Rule the Day?



Today we chatted with Rob Gelphman, Chairman of the Marketing Work Group for the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA). As we discuss various ways to distribute multimedia around our homes, MoCA stands out as one of the most comprehensive methods.



Click the right sidebar Podcast interface to listen to the podcast. (My apologies but my equipment shut off about two-thirds of the way… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 10, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Music Lovers in the House that Sonos Built: Audio Round-Up Part 2



If you really love music—its quality and variety— and you want to add simplicity and control in your home, then you really need to consider the Sonos Multi-Room Music System. In this age of personal digital music players like the iPod, many folks have forgotten about the simple, communal joy of music piping throughout their homes.



I remember growing up with music in the house. On Saturday mornings it… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 9, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Member of the GigaTribe? Digital Photography Part 2

What to do with all those digital photographs? Sure, you want to look at them now and then. Sometimes you want to print them out and put them in photo albums the old-fashioned way. Other times you want to view them as a slideshow on the computer or TV. Or you purchased new digital pictures frames from vendors like Digital Foci and you enjoy a rotating cornucopia of memories. But at some point you want to share… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 9, 2009 at 3:00am — No Comments

Ode to the iPhone

I didn't get it at first. I was resistant, a near luddite.



I ribbed him for purchasing an iPhone as soon as it came out. The phone appeared to be superglued to his palm for a month. On occasion, I'd peer over during dinner and spy a game of poker going down. I'd grimace, he'd smile, and we'd finish our spaghetti. I sat on our couches, trying not to be embarrassed as I flipped open my mangled hot pink Motorola Razr and mashed the keys to text.



I ribbed him again for… Continue

Added by Leigh Steele on February 8, 2009 at 7:39pm — 1 Comment

Active Video Networks: The Future Is Now

In our ongoing podcast series we continue to focus on Internet and interactive TV and the players that are making this revolution possible. Today we spoke with Ed Forman, EVP, Products and Services, for Active Video Networks. Like our friends at Pulse~Link, this is another company most folks have not heard of but they play a crucial role in "making your stuff… Continue

Added by Brian Mahony on February 6, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

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