Archives For Tech

Nothing is worse than running out of battery on the go. It seems like new tech innovations are released every day to combat this all-too-common issue. Starbucks even announced recently that it has begun to introduce mobile device charging mats to some San Francisco-area locations to give patrons a phone fix while fueling up with caffeine. But every once and awhile we hear about a mobile-related invention that sounds special. This is the case for the Mini Power, a tiny, one-time-use, recyclable phone charger. Created by designer Tsung Chih-Hsien, this award-winning device is expected to revolutionize the mobile charging industry, bringing more sustainable single-use chargers to the market. We hope so!

Source: Fast Company

It’s no secret that we love Apple products and clean design.

The YOHANN—a minimalist, functional, iPad® stand—is the best of both worlds. It comes in a variety of beautiful colors and it even works on soft surfaces. We want it.

No wonder it’s already fully backed on Kickstarter.

Source: Design Milk

For years now, rumors of an Apple-made watch have been floating around the internet. Ever since 2008 when Steve Wozniak “let slip” that company’s future could lie in an iWatch, technology and design enthusiasts have continued to speculate about how such a product might look and function.

Last week, front-end developer and UI designer Todd Hamilton threw his own version into the mix; The design, which largely resembles a marriage between a Nike Fuelband and an iPhone, is based on a mock-up by Thomas Bogner.

“It was an impressive concept that got a lot of people excited including myself,” Hamilton says on his personal blog. “However, it had a major flaw: the orientation of the interface made it impossible to use…I decided to take a stab at the problem and create a more user friendly concept. I wanted to retain a slim form factor like the Fuelband and incorporate familiar UI components from iOS 7. It needed to feel natural on the wrist and look like something Apple would actually produce.”

Hamilton’s version is a simple band with a curved touchscreen display, a single home button on the left, and volume control on the right. The lock screen is a black and white interface displaying the time, date, and button to activate Siri. Possible actions largely mimic that of the iPhone––tap to use Siri, swipe up to unlock, or pull down to view notifications.

“While I was designing this I found myself pretending what it would be like to use swiping gestures on my wrist,” he writes, encouraging readers to do the same to get a feel for how the product would feel to use.

The homescreen (or springboard) has four app icons vertically stacked with a page controller on the right. Users would swipe up or down to move between pages and press the home button to return to the lockscreen.

Hamilton’s comprehensive mock-up also includes his ideas for a health and fitness app (think Jawbone, Fitbit, and Nike Fuel), along with his thoughts on how the iWatch will get its data (“tethered to the iPhone over Bluetooth, providing a data connection through your existing plan”); however, the most interesting part of his design is probably the animated “use case” which walks you through the hypothetical Phone app and gives a real sense of how the product might actually look and feel as you were using it:

iWatch Concept from Todd Hamilton on Vimeo.

What do you think of his design? Would you make any changes or are you already sold on Hamilton’s iWatch?

For more information on Todd Hamilton or to view his original post visit ToddHam.com

Images: Todd Hamilton

You get to work in the morning, open your inbox, and there it is…. hundreds of unread emails.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In a world where communication––whether long distance or from an office down the hall––is essentially free, we have become inundated with messages with no way to stop it.

According to a recent study by technology and market research firm Radicati Group, people around the world send up to 182 billion emails everyday and 67 trillion emails a year, and this number is only growing. The number of active email accounts grew from 3.3 billion in 2012 to 3.9 billion last year, and is expected to grow by 6% in each of the next four years.

What was invented as a convenience has gradually become an impediment or distraction. In fact, Clive Thompson, author of “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better,” believes that email has actually become a barrier to productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

“You make it easy for people to do something, they will do more of it,” Thompson said. “People feel the need to include 10 other people on an email just to let them know they are being productive at work. But as a result, it ends up making those other 10 people unproductive because they have to manage that email.”

While many startups including Mailbox, Xobni, and Sparrow, have invented various smart-mailboxes in an attempt to solve this issue, many are considering a more extreme option to resolve their over-emailed existence––declare email bankruptcy. Simply select all and hit delete.

Is email still your primary form of communication at work? How do you deal when your inbox begins to pile up?

This article can be found in its original form on The New York Times

Image: Shutterstock

Last week, Househappy participated as a Start Up Alley exhibitor at Inman News’ Real Estate Connect conference. Here are 5 takeaways from my first trip to Real Estate Connect:

1. “Partnerships” seemed to be one of the overriding themes throughout the conference. Nikki Field from Sotheby’s International Realty demonstrated this best during a panel discussion when she talked about “teams, partnerships, and alliances” and how they can ultimately help a broker or agent sell real estate. More and more, I am seeing real estate professionals embrace this concept and implement it in their daily business with great success.

2. Another trend I heard repeated was the importance of brokers/agents learning to think globally. A significant number of real estate professionals understand the power of advertising their listings to a global market––according to one broker, 73% of their sales last year came from international buyers.

3. Inman’s CEO Summit was one of my favorite experiences at Real Estate Connect. It’s unusual to find a forum in which the heads of industry can come together in such an intimate setting. Not only were there great presentations (including one from The New York Times own Andrew Sorkin), but there was also a cocktail hour immediately following which fostered even better connections within the group. (Plus, as an appreciator of design and architecture, I truly enjoyed getting to check out The New York Times building first hand––see pics below).

4. One of the recurring topics in the real estate industry is leveraging new and relevant tech advances; Start Up Alley provides an opportunity for brokers and agents to preview these options. As an exhibitor, we couldn’t have asked for a better venue in which to introduce Househappy.

5. Overall, a week at Real Estate Connect reinforced my belief that Inman News is vital to the real estate industry. Inman regularly produces forward-thinking content that attracts a high level crowd to their events. To keep the industry moving forward, we need people to continue to address the big issues; Real Estate Connect provides a venue for real estate professionals to discuss relevant topics and encourage each other to push the status quo.

Were you at Real Estate Connect NYC? I’d love to hear what you learned or what your favorite part was! Comment or tweet us @househappyinc.

Also, check out some of the photos from our trip below.

All the best,

Kevin McCloskey
Founder & CEO

Will you be attending the Property Portal Watch event on January 13th and 14th in New York City? The event––which is timed to precede the Inman Connect Conference at the same location––will be focused on operational performance and provide a detailed overview of the world’s leading property portals. The agenda includes of a mix of peer presentations from executives within the industry, networking opportunities, and panel discussions––one of which will include Househappy’s very own founder/CEO, Kevin McCloskey.

“Keeping it Clean – An Alternative approach to Portal Design” will be held from 4:20 to 5:00pm EST and will be a discussion between McCloskey and Adam Spencer of Street Advisor and Homely, led by Property Portal Watch CEO Alistair Helm.

McCloskey and Spencer will address the trend of simplicity in property portal design, and why they chose the approach of “less is more” when it came to creating their own sites.

For more information on the “Keeping it Clean” panel discussion or for additional event details, visit Property Portal Watch.

If you’ll be attending the Property Portal or Inman Connect events next week, we’d love to hear from you!

Image: Property Portal Watch 

Househappy is Hiring!

Househappy —  December 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

It’s an exciting time around the Househappy offices! Since announcing our latest funding round of $1.5 million, we have already added 5 new faces to our team and are currently looking to fill an additional 5 positions.

According to our CEO/founder, Kevin McCloskey, this new round of funding is an opportunity to maintain Househappy’s forward momentum and continue building.

“Our team has been working hard to build a product that we believe in,” he said. “We are looking for talented individuals who are equally passionate about design, aesthetics, and creating a user-friendly and, above all, useful product.”

Current open positions at Househappy include:

Senior Rails Developer

QA Developer

iOS Engineer

Senior Ruby Engineer

Javascript Engineer

Househappy’s offices are conveniently located in the heart of Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District, across the street from renowned advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, and just blocks from downtown. Househappy.org launched in March 2013 and is currently run by a team of 18 with varying areas of expertise including web development, design, marketing, social media, copywriting, business development, and product strategy. Our loft offices and open space encourage a fun, collaborative startup environment and we’re looking for smart, innovative people to join our team!

If you’re interested in any of the positions listed above, follow the links to apply online. Please include your resume and cover letter, along with GitHub and any work you have in production.

For more information about the company, mission, and site, please see the About section of Househappy.org.