With HomeKit on iOS 8, Apple has made its move into the smart home space. But as we still wait for them to announce HomeKit accessories of their own, others at the ongoing CES 2015 consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow are already ready to demo such products.

Switch from iDevices, is the world’s first HomeKit enabled connected plug that allows any electronic device to be plugged into it and then be controlled from a custom app or Siri while being at home or away.

To be the first to buy Switch, visit www.idevicesinc.com/switch.

Shop and pay with your fingerprint

Put your finger on the Home button, and your iPhone unlocks itself. This was made possible last year when Apple introduced the TouchID, a new fingerprint identity sensor built into the iPhone 5S (this year to be launched across other iDevices).

Since then the TouchID has also been used to allow users to approve purchases from the iTunes Store, the App Store, and the iBooks Store. Now Samsung and PayPal have teamed up to allow Galaxy S5 users to purchase items in retail outlets with a simple scan of their fingerprint…

Slide to Unlock

AlmapBBDO Brazil has developed a very unique and innovative iAd for the new Brazilian Audi magazine app. The ad seen in the video below appeared in various publications on the iPad and used a nice play on Apple’s “Slide to Unlock” feature to engage the users.

Users who saw the ad instantly recognized the swipe gesture used to unlock Apple devices. So after racing their finger around the track, they were rewarded with a free download of the first Audi Magazine copy from the app store.

Before I could publish this post I came across another “Slide to Unlock” iAd! It seems this iOS feature is becoming a popular creative feature for iAds. In the below example, Amnesty International has created an iAd in Sweden’s largest newspaper, DN, where readers were presented with an image of a prison cell and prisoner inside. “Slide to Unlock” was used to open the prison cell and reveal a strong call to action to join Amnesty International as an activist.

Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011

On 06/10/2011 my day started at 5:30am. Blurry eyed I pressed the home button on my iPhone and the first thing that I saw on that day was a push notification from NDTV India…”Steve Jobs, Apple’s visionary, dies at 56“. The next few seconds felt like some invisible force had knocked the air out of me. The Newton equivalent from the modern world was just gone in a blink of an eye! The world would not be the same without him!

While all the social channels were flooded with people sharing the news, all I could do was post a few tribute pictures on Facebook. I wanted to write a few lines about it on Ramble, but I sat speechless through out the day. In fact the days that followed were similar and I could not find the words to pen down anything, that is until now.

Of the dozens of memorial photos and videos that have been created to honor Steve Jobs, I found the following to be the most appropriate for the occasion…

1) A musician who calls himself AzR has created the below video with sounds from Apple products and Steve’s 2005 Stanford commencement speech. Every instrument, including drums, has been sampled from a Mac product, tuned by ear, and replayed in the context of the song…

2) The fans in Germany found a wonderful way to express their respect for Steve. They created a portrait of him out of 4001 Post-it Notes! The portrait now adorns the front-facing glass walls of an Apple Store in Munich, Germany…

3) I have also gathered some of his memorable videos on YouTube.

To sum up, I am just glad to have lived in a period of world history that witnessed Steve Jobs change the world!

Now available online…”A celebration of Steve’s life“…a special memorial event filmed live at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California.

The future of Augmented Reality

The Augmented Reality technology has come a long way over the last couple of years. Brands from around the world have been actively using it in their campaigns to engage their target audience. Still we are yet to see it play an everyday role in our life’s.

A recent video released by Hidden Creative shows how cellphones or a digital devices can be used to scan ones surrounding and get live information on the spot. The video also demonstrates how augmented reality can overlay objects in a real-life space to help users with renovations by virtually rearranging furniture or configuring the colors virtually…

But before we even get to a future like this, companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft/Nokia, along with their developers, will need to standardize the Augmented Reality experience on their respective platforms. One master app that runs across all the platforms could be the start as right now the app stores are cluttered with a large number of Augmented Reality apps.

Disney Appmates “the next toy revolution”

Disney recently announced a new line of toys called Disney Appmates. These new toys and the iPad work in tandem to create a very new age play experience. Featuring the likenesses of characters from Cars 2, the Appmates are miniature figures with special sensors mounted on the bottom. The sensors work with the Cars 2 Appmates app to identify each figure when put against the iPad screen…

The Apple and Disney Stores will start selling Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holley Shiftwell in October. Francesco Bernoulli and Shu Todoroki will be launched in November and will made available exclusively through the Apple Store.

The iPhone 5 will be cool, but probably not this cool

People are getting antsy for the iPhone 5, some even agitated. All the anticipation is building the mythical gadget into something greater than it may eventually end up being. Videos like the one below don’t help either, but of course they are totally irresistible.

In the below video, Aatma Studio presents a computer generated concept of the iPhone 5 which is an exponential leap with features like an ultra-thin design, a laser keyboard, and a holographic display! 😎

Additionally, here is the rumor roundup video of iPhone 5 from NowhereElse. It also fits well with the craze on hand. 😉

Beyonce’s “Mac Run the World!”

It is amazing how Apple inspires both serious and humorous content. 🙂

This recent spoof on Apple’s retail stores has been created by Electric Spoofaloo. The video inspiration comes from Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)”.

Augmented Reality Cinema

The Augmented Reality Cinema app for the iPhone allows you to walk around London and discover all the places where movies have been shot. Just point your iPhone in the direction of a sweetspot and get a replay of the movie scene that was shot there.

The app is currently a work in progress prototype. But if and when it does see the light of day, I am sure it will make a great gizmo for all the movie buffs out there.

Interactive iPad ad for VGT

VGT (an association combating animal factories) in collaboration with Austrian ad agency Demner Merlicek & Bergmann, created an iAd for the iPad version of DATUM magazine.

In the iAd you could see a young lady wearing a fur coat. When the iPad user would want to continue browsing by making the finger-wipe movement he would find that every finger-wipe would leave behind blood stains on the fur. The more he tried, the more blood would appear.