Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit points out these video camera sunglasses. In Grumby, the shades are a lot cooler - Oakleys, naturally - and without the dorky extra plastic. Still, all these zShades30 need are Bluetooth and self generating power and a little code and ...
An excerpt below.
3:31 p.m., April 27, Milpitas
The counter on the plasma TV reads 387,428. Software sales are tracking pretty well to Grumby sales. People are buying at least one application, many two or three. The office is hopping as usual. People are everywhere. I saw someone sitting on the torture chair using a laptop. We’ve got a lot to do.
RecordAll is a hit. Meeta set the price at $20 if you store all your conversations on your own PC. Or for $1 a month, we can store them for you, on Amazon’s servers. We figure that even if someone leaves it on 24 hours a day and records everything, our cost from Amazon for storage and bandwidth won’t come to much more than 10 cents. Not bad.
Meeta walks up to my desk. I have to do a double take. I’ve never seen Oakley sunglasses quite like the ones Meeta is wearing.
“Cool shades, where’d you get them?” I ask.
“This guy,” Meeta says, pointing to a guy in a Hawaiian shirt at his desk.
“Does he work for us?”
“I can see.” I say, focusing on my screen.
“He’s from Oakley.”
“Ohhh,” I turn around. “Any more of those?”
“Sure, I’ve got a whole bag. The name’s David.”
I shake his hand, and then eye his bag as he reaches in and pulls out similar sunglasses and hands them to me. They have that classic Oakley tear drop shape and wire rims, but something is different. An expanded frame maybe. More of a tube than a wire. It looks spectacular.
“Awesome. You selling these?” Oakley’s are expensive, I figure these were probably $150 or $200. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on sunglasses. I lose them too often.
“No, not yet. That’s why I’m here,” David says.
“Well you can’t have these back.” I put my face in front of my Grumby and then look at the image of myself on my screen. arMirror, Meeta calls it. I’m definitely stylin’.
“We bombed with our Thumper,” David says.
“Our MP3 sunglasses. Right idea, wrong execution. And way too early,” David admits.
He’s talking about those huge Oakley sunglasses with an MP3 player built in and clunky ear pieces.
“I remember seeing those. Too bulky, right? And the earphones were awkward.”
“Guilty.” David pauses. “So we’ve been playing around with carbon fiber and Bluetooth and…”
“Oh, I get it,” I interrupt. “You’re not here to sell us sunglasses are you?”
David looks at Meeta, who just shrugs and then looks back at me.
“No. Well yes, sort of. I’m here to sell you ON sunglasses.”
“Uh-huh?” I’m confused but curious.
“Here, give those back to me for second,” David says as he reached for my face.
I backed up. “No way. Take Meeta’s.”
“OK, sorry, my bad.”
David digs through his bag and pulls out another pair.
“Here, check this out,” he says.
He pops off a small translucent cover on the front of the glasses, which I hadn’t noticed before. It seems part of the design. Inside is a small imager.
“Wow, is that what I think it is?” I ask.
“We pried that out of a Grumby. I was reluctant to do an autopsy, er, maybe biopsy on a Grumby, but Meeta had sent down about a dozen of them and we designed these sunglasses to precisely fit the same imagers you use in your Grumby.”
I looked over and Meeta smiles. I just shake my head.
“And those tiny holes there are for the microphones?” I ask.
“Nope, we weren’t going to make that mistake again. It’s all Bluetooth. We figure someone will have a phone in their pocket and a Bluetooth headset…”
“in-yer-ear,” I mumble.
“We tried those. They’ll work. We want to do sunglasses and even designer prescription glasses and what you guys have is the perfect front end.”
“So what about power? We can shove tons of lithium ion batteries in our Grumby, you don’t seem to have any room.”
“Great question. We use tiny hearing aid batteries,” David answers.
“Won’t the imagers and Bluetooth kill those in a few minutes?” I ask.
“We think we can get a couple of hours in standby mode and maybe 15 minutes active.”
“Oh, that’s all.”
I must sound disappointed.
“Hold on. We’re experimenting with a motion charger into the tube of the frame.”
“Try holding your head still for more than a few seconds. It’s always in motion. We put in these tiny magneto-motion sensitive chargers, every time your head moves, it recharges the hearing aid batteries. If you need a good charge, you just shake your head around for a few seconds and you get another couple of minutes of juice.”
“Too cool. I love it. We’re in. We can work out a deal pretty quickly so that…”
David reaches into his back pocket.
“Meeta warned me.”
He hands me a check, made out to Grumby Mogul Limited Company Inc., for $20 million.
“And I understand that’s against $5 per unit and your cut of application software that we sell?” David asks.
“Perfect. Meanwhile, can you send a hundred of these new ones?”
“Three hundred thirty seven,” Meeta corrects.
“Is that how many people we have?” I ask.
Meeta just nods.
“Well, thanks,” I say to David, fingering the shades on my head.
“No. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he almost seems to bow as he walks backwards away from my desk. “This is going to be our biggest runner.”
After the Oakley dude left, I say “Meeta?”
“Yes, your lordship.”
I just laugh. “Cable?”
“Tolkien,” Meeta smiles.
“Well, at least he wrote his own stuff. Do we really need all these people?”
“More.” Meeta answers.
“The ring.” Meeta quickly states.
“At this point, we’re going for it, are we not?”
“I guess so,” I mumble.
“It is very much too late to guess,” Meeta tells me.
“OK, the ring.”
“Or else what?” I mumble.
“No else. Just the ring.”
I hear a chorus of, “One ring to rule them all…” from every Grumby in the building.http://www.amazon.com/Grumby-ebook/dp/098271632X/ref=andykessler-20