A couple of months ago, I was feeling the age of my first generation iPad Air and decided I needed to upgrade to an iPad Pro. I was torn between the larger 12.9 inch model and the smaller 9.2 inch model. Although I was attracted to the portability of the 9.2 inch version, in the end I bought the larger model. I decided to go with the larger model for a variety of reasons: 1. When reflecting on how I used my technology, I found when I had a task to do, I'd often forgo the iPad Air and just use my iPhone 6 Plus, 2. I wanted the best support for my extensive use of the Duet App (the larger screen giving me more portable dual screen real estate), 3. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to read and annotate PDFs on the smaller screen.I purchased the iPad Pro (along with a Logitech keyboard and Apple Pencil) and have not looked back. One of my favorite unexpected uses of the iPad Pro is the ability to write with the Apple Pencil. In addition to Mindfulness and meditation, I am a true believer in the process of Morning Pages, a journaling technique that espouses the power of long-hand writing in the creative process. Up until the time I bought my iPad Pro, I was using a LiveScribe Pen to do my daily writing. No more!I have been experimenting with various writing apps including: GoodNotes, Penultimate, and Notability. Despite the more feature-rich environment of GoodNotes and the versatility of Notability, I find myself favoring Penultimate, primarily for its ease-of-use and automatic Evernote synchronization. I'd love to hear what your favorite handwriting app might be, and how you're using the handwriting capabilities of the new iPads.If you are not yet writing your own Morning Pages, I hope you'll give it a serious try.
I have mentioned in the past how much writing I do for work. When I write I prefer having two monitors. Unfortunately, I only have second monitors at home and work. I prefer writing grants, white-papers, and manuscripts in local coffee shops or, my favorite spot, the public library. Previously, when writing in these alternate locations I had to make due with the 13" screen of my Macbook Air. I had tried two-screen solutions that used my iPad Air as a second monitor--but they had too much lag to be functional. Recently, I discovered a product called Duet Display. Instead of using a wireless connection, Duet uses a Thunderbolt cable to connect my computer and iPad. Duet was easy to set up and there is absolutely no lag. I can now, thanks to Duet, take my dual screen set-up to any location. My only complaint, the app's cost ($15.99). Still, for the problem Duet solves, I've found it well worth the money.
It’s been almost a week since I picked up my Glass. I’ve been experimenting with its built-in functions.
One of my colleagues in the Duke University Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, Noa Segall, is working on research related to prospective memory errors–fascinating stuff.
I personally believe if we're able to capture our clinical to-dos quickly, we could mitigate many of these errors. One possible solution might be using the Getting Things Done (GTD) method clinically. Using voice to capture is key–especially for those of us procedurally based physicians and nurses that use our hands. Along these lines, I tried Siri, but it didn’t work well (since I had to pull my phone out of my pocket and activate the device each time I wanted to capture).
Glass changes everything! I can now capture my clinical to-dos using only my voice. Here’s how I set it up.
I added my personalized Omni Sync Server email address as one of my Glass Contacts (I named the contact OmniFocus). When I want to capture on the move, I activate Glass by tilting my head back, then saying “OK Glass, send a message to…Omnifocus.” An icon with a mic shows up in Glass indicating it’s recording. When I finish speaking, Glass automatically sends my message to the Omni Server.
When I get to my computer or iphone–my to-do is waiting for me, dutifully synced by Omni Server. I am careful NOT to include any identfiable patient information. Instead, I use operating room numbers or post-anesthesia care unit bed numbers to indicate the location of the action. Very handy and hands-free.
The Tweet and the Trip-
Last week I received my Tweet telling me my GoogleGlass was ready. I wanted to fly to San Francisco to pick them up, but there were no appointments until mid-July. There were, however, appointments in New York City. I purchased an airline ticket, flying in to LaGuardia. Getting to Chelsea Market was relatively easy by cab.
I told the taxi driver the address, 75 Ninth Ave., and off we went. The cabbie was a little confused about the address first taking me to 7th Ave., but eventually, we found the right place.
It had been years since I'd been to New York. During the cab ride, I shot some photos of Manhattan. Apparently Citibank now sponsors bicycles in the city. Looked tempting.
We finally arrived at our final destination, Chelsea Market. Here is a view of the building from across the street.
Chelsea Market is right across the street from the Google Offices in Manhattan.
I arrived early, so I toured the Market. Chelsea Market is retro-very cool. Because I was early, I set up my computer at a table and got some work done. At 10:30a I set off for the Glass Studio.
The first floor of the Chelsea Market has old looking art--mostly in stone. It was hard to differentiate art from old building.
I walked back to the front of the building and took the elevator to the 8th Floor.
Down the Hallway
When I exited the elevator and looked to my right, this was my view. I headed to the reception area.
I was greeted by two Glass Customer Experience Representatives--extremely friendly. They looked at my invitation and checked my photo ID, then chatted with me while I waited for my "guide."
My guide introduced himself and escorted me back to the studio. I was first asked to confirm the color of my device. I chose Slate. We then walked over to a workbench where we spent the next 30-40 minutes.
Pop the Top
Google did a nice job on the Glass packaging. Here is the top layer of the box.
Second Layer of the Box
The second layer had the Glass Satchel, along with instructions. The bottom of the satchel is a hard case, manufactured to protect the Glass lens and camera.
The Bottom Layer
The Bottom Layer had the USB charging cord / plug as well as some extra nose pieces. My guide also went through how to fit the clear and shaded lenses onto the Glass Frame.
Here is a picture of the studio. Very open. Over the next 30 minutes, my guide fitted the device, showed me how to turn it on and off, how to connect to wireless networks, and tethered the device to my phone. He explained how to shoot pictures and video and introduced me to the few available apps.
Glass navigation is a snap, although it's not truly "hands-free." You navigate using a touchpad on the right side of the frame.
After leaving the studio, I was able to initiate a GoogleHangout with my son from the back of a cab by tethering the device to my phone. Of course, doing this gobbled up a fair amount of data usage.
Backyard and Initial Experience
Since returning home, I've been exploring the Glass software ecosystem. There are currently few apps available--reminiscent of when the iPhone was released. I'm sure there are many developers working feverishly to remedy this. I'm especially enjoying the ability to quickly shoot pictures and video. Below is a picture of our backyard taken with Glass using only voice commands--pretty decent.
My guide told me the battery will last for about an hour of continuous video recording-he typically charges overnight, while he's sleeping. This seems an accurate estimate given my two days of experimentation.
Overall, I'm impressed by the potential of Glass both in personal and professional life.
From a medical standpoint I have two comments derived from my initial use. First, the voice recognition for medical terminology needs some work (as an experiment I tried to find the dosage of several common meds using only voice commands--the only word it recognized was "Furosemide"). I'm sure Glass will improve with time. Second, there is a huge need for a HIPAA compliant GLASS environment for pictures, movies and streaming content. Many of the potential medical applications revolve around patients. Patient information (or images) cannot be sent to consumer web sites (e.g. Google+). Until someone cracks the HIPAA nut, GLASS will fail to reach its full potential in healthcare.
I'm looking forward to experimenting (carefully) with my GLASS over the next few months. I'll report back here.
It’s been quite a busy (and fun) month for me. I have not had time to write new WiPPP entries-apologies. I plan to remedy that soon.
Anyway, I was busy working through a busy (but normal) Wednesday morning, when I received the following tweet:
Late last month, I applied for the GoogleGlass Explorer program. I figured my chances of winning were roughly equivalent to being hit by lightning. For those of you not familiar with the technology, check out the GoogleGlass Site including this video. I plan to explore Glass use in academic medicine including: clinical uses, the continuum of learning, and patient safety / quality. I will blog about my experience on WiPPP and SimSingularity. And yes, I plan to be extra careful during thunderstorms this spring.
More to follow……
Many professional photographers increasingly eschew their chemical-based darkrooms in favor of digital solutions. Amateurs too! The New York Times published a brief article on the use of an iPad as a digital photo-lab. The article is worth a quick read.
I've been astounded by folks who still insist the iPad isn't a great productivity tool. The early iPad was primarily for content consumption, but over the last 2 years, there has been a concerted effort by Apple and software developers to make it a phenomenal tool for creation as well. For me, a keyboard is the key to iPad productivity. With a keyboard and particular software (to be covered in future entries), my iPad 3 (err, iPad) serves as a replacement for my MacBook Pro 90% of the time.There are an expanding number of available Bluetooth keyboards out there. My personal journey started with Apple's wireless keyboard . Although this set up worked well, it was not that portable. I needed a separate bag to carry the iPad and keyboard-and found myself rarely going through the hassle of taking / pulling out my keyboard. As a busy academic physician that works both clinically and administratively, I am in need of a portable solution that would work in the operating room and the board room–thus I started looking at folios (case and keyboard contained in one).
A short time later, I settled on the Sena Leather Folio. Through reviews I summized the Sena had two disadvantages, 1. it was expensive and 2. it lacked a right-sided shift key. I decided to pony up and thought I could easily overcome the non-traditional keyboard. Boy, was I ever wrong. The lack of the shift key was my major complaint, but not the only one. I would never, ever buy one again. Besides the outrageous price, what were the problems?
Strike One-The lack of a right shift key-although I believed I could overcome this limitation, I have to admit it drove me absolutely crazy (and greatly inhibited my productivity). Having to consciously override years of (automated) typing behavior slowed my writing down considerably. I tried work-arounds such as writing while skipping the caps with the right hand-none worked. The cognitive effort needed to override my automated behavior greatly impacted the speed and quality of my work. Worse yet, when in the flow of writing, I would often fail to overide the urge to hit the right shift and would accidently type an apostrophe (the key on the Sena keyboard where the right shift SHOULD be).
Strike Two-The stand-I like to type while sitting in a chair or relaxing in my hammock (one of my favorite writing places). The Sena case has a single thin leg to help the iPad stand up in landscape mode. The design makes it impossible to type with the Sena in your lap; the iPad screen falls down.
Strike Three-the case enclosure-the iPad is bound to the Sena by a simple tab that tucks into the opposite side of the case. In less than a month, the tab became overly flexible, and the ipad constantly slipped about in the case (especially when propped up). This was not only annoying, but the case then tended to block part of the screen.
I can't emphasize enough the non-traditional layout of the Sena Keyboard will greatly inhibit your productivity! You've been warned.
When I purchased my new iPad earlier this year, I decided it was time to also upgrade my keyboard. Which brings me to the ZAGG Folio 3. I've owned the black leather folio 3 and keyboard for more than a month, and I can't say enough positive things about it. It is extremely thin, portable, easy to use and set-up. The case is designed to use the iPad primarily in the landscape mode, but the iPad can be removed from its holder and flipped to portrait mode if you so desire. The design of the case is such that it can be used in your lap, on a table, or even in a hammock. If you want to just read, the keyboard is thin enough to flip behind the screen, conveniently out of the way. A charge of the keyboard lasts several months I've charged a single time since my purchase- even with heavy daily use). Best of all, the Zagg Folio 3 has a standard keyboard (yes, with a right-shift key)-this alone has doubled my productivity in writing. The only complaint I have is the slickness of the leather case. I have not dropped it yet, but I fear it's only a matter of time.
The Zagg has become a critical piece of hardware in my productivity workflow. I suggest you order yours today.