Some interesting things.

My son wanted to visit Macworld so we went along yesterday and found it surprisingly interesting. I write ‘surprisingly’ because we both expected the usual masses of iDevice cases/covers/holders/schikza, being fondled by guys with beer and pizza bellies and sporting unkempt beards that the iDevice/computer genre spawns like flies, but once you looked elsewhere there were some fine things.

First I picked up a new Glif for my iPhone 5, the previous iPhone 4/4S model no longer being the right fit. Thanks again, Apple, for making a toy phone replacement for one which was a classic of design. The show price of $15 was right, however.

There was one brilliant iPhone application which displayed the sort of innovation and originality which used to be the province of Apple:

You record a bird’s song and the application recognizes the song and returns a picture and lots of data on the bird in question. Genius, and a sure hit with children. The large booth was very popular.

Another similarly brilliant idea was for an iPad application which would turn the music score to the next page when it saw that you were playing the last notes displayed on the current page. A ‘Why didn’t I think of that’ inspiration. Congratulations to Musicnotes.

One of the most compelling demos was of a waterproof iPhone case. The iPhone, thus encased, was displayed in a fish tank and would play back your image in real-time. Here Winston gazes at the device while I snap behind him:

There are many to be found on the web but this demonstration from Seidio was inspired in its simplicity. They claim the phone’s functionality is unaffected and the asking price of $80 actually strikes me as reasonable for what it offers, which includes claimed impact resistance.

There were those of the computer persuasion aplenty, but I’m not about to call them nerds or geeks. As Bill Gates once said, “Watch out whom you call a nerd. You might end up working for one.”

Ethnic color was not wanting:

I would suggest these chaps add a bit of color to their headwear for marketing punch! They were marketing useful file format conversion utilities.

This bow used an iPhone to view the image and for aiming. Kind of neat – a solution looking for a problem – but I imagine it would get old very fast. Here Winston does the deed, shortly before giving it a ‘meh’ rating:

At $230 for a device somewhat lamely claiming to be an exercise machine I would pass on the Bowblade.

Digital artist Corliss Blakely was demonstrating one of the many stylii and painting apps on display, this one named ArtStudio, with the results also displayed on a large screen LCD. Lovely work:

One superficially attractive device was a fuel cell battery which uses fuel cell technology to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water, using the former to provide electrical power. Named the Powertrekk its appeal quickly fades when you look at the high price asked, $229, and the fact that a part has to be replaced at $2 a pop after just two recharges of your iPhone. Sort of blows the whole eco-friendly claim in my mind.

HyperDrive’s CameraMator is a device which attaches to your DSLR and makes it possible to wirelessly transfer images to an iDevice. This intriguing hot shoe mounted accessory transforms your iPhone or iPad into a live screen previewer, like a remote digital back, and also permits the camera to be controlled remotely. I hope it supports RAW+JPG shooting as only the latter is what is needed on the iDevice, as a RAW file is simply too large to transmit and store. The maker claims 1MB/second transfer rates, which would be fine for small JPGs. Further, small files are dictated if using a cellular wi-fi connection, to keep use within monthly data caps imposed by our ethically challenged phone companies. B&H carries it at $300, which seems like an awful lot, but it may be a viable alternative to slow EyeFi cards and the like, which only come in SD-sizes. No CF which is what many Nikon and Canon DSLRs use. Availability is early March, 2013. B&H state the transfer speed is 20MB/s which conflicts with the maker’s 1MB/s claim. Believe the lower number. There’s a video on the maker’s site which is so poor that you have to think they do not want to sell the device. Not only is the moron on that tape incapable of pronouncing the device’s name properly, he prattles on for 65 second (any video which starts with “Hi there guys” is generally not worth viewing – last I checked half the world’s population was female) after which you know as little as when you started. Don’t waste your time watching it. Not the sort of thing to fill you with confidence. I’ll wait for the reviews.

All in all, a fun time.

Taken on the Nikon D2x using a pre-Ai 24mm f/2.8 multicoated Nikkor at full aperture. This combination yields a nice 36mm FFE focal length on the D2x’s APS-C sensor. All at ISO800.