March 24, 2013

Weekend Fun - Al's French Frys & Wii Just Dance

Happy Sunday! I have copious amounts of homework to attend to, but first an update about my fun weekend.

On Saturday I worked on some things due for various clubs and watched TV with my roommate. Then, at about 9:00 pm my friends and I played Rock Band. It was super fun and I rocked it when I sang a Vampire Weekend song.

Al's French Frys

After Rock Band we went to Al's French Frys, which is an old-school diner about 5 minutes from campus. It was delicious and I got a huge chocolate shake. When we got back to Saint Mike's we played Just Dance which was hilarious! Below is a video of my friends Jesse and Cait dancing. It was a hilarious night.

So funny!

Today I've just been working on homework and getting ready for a busy week. We have a long weekend coming up because it's Easter next Sunday, so my professors are trying to fit a lot of work into a short week.  As always, if you're curious about anything, ask me a question on VYou!

March 19, 2013

Upcoming Knight Chat & the End of Spring Break

Happy Tuesday!

This is our first week back after spring break and, sadly, it's been snowing all day! I am definitely ready for some warmer weather, but apparently I'm not going to get my wish for several weeks. Last week during spring break I went home and got to see some friends and relax. I didn't do anything exciting (no trips to Florida to go tanning) but I did get a lot of work done and it was nice to sleep in all week.

A few updates:

1) We have a Knight Chat this Thursday from 7:30 - 9:00 pm. Knight Chats are essentially IM chat rooms where bloggers and admissions staff log on to answer any questions. You should definitely consider joining us, especially if you want to hear more about the student experience at Saint Mike's. Click on this link Thursday night to join!

2) Formspring is shutting down, so I created a VYou account where you can ask me questions (anonymously) about Saint Mike's, about the college application process, or about whatever else piques your interest.

3) I have a bit of a busy week (I have some major homework assignments, preparation for exams, finishing my study abroad application, and beginning a paper due for my management class in two weeks) so if you don't hear from me, don't fret! I'll blog this weekend for sure.

If you have any questions, use my new VYou account!

March 11, 2013

Winning the First Annual SUNY Plattsburgh Free Enterprise Olympics

Hi everyone! This week is our spring break at SMC. I'm just chilling at home for the week, catching up on some work, applying to more internships, and seeing my friends and family.

So a couple weeks ago I mentioned that I had won a speech contest at Saint Mike's on the subject "Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship: The Formula for a Stronger Economy." The speech contest was part of a larger competition put on by SUNY Plattsburgh. As the speech contest winner, I got to join the SMC team, comprised of three senior business students, to go to SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, March 1st. At SUNY Plattsburgh I participated in the speech contest finals as well as a a team creativity and innovation competition between eight schools.

The team! Tom Fergus, Michelle McGuinness, myself, & Patrick McFetridge

On Friday I had to skip two of my classes, but my professors were understanding and were excited for me. The day started fairly early, with the business department head, Robert Letovsky, picking us up at 8:00 AM. We then drove to Plattsburgh and I got to take the Plattsburgh ferry for the first time. We arrived at SUNY Plattsburgh around 9:30 AM to check in and grab some breakfast. At 10:00 AM we heard some introductions from two of the deans and from the director of the competition, then the speech finals started at about 10:30 AM.
For the speech contest I went 6 out of 8 which gave me a bit of time before my speech to sit around and get nervous. Over all, however, I did a good job with my speech. After the speeches we were assigned the case, which was to create a new product for a company called Muller's Smart Carts. The company specializes in these very heavy duty, easy to use wheelbarrows. Every team was assigned a a conference room to work in and we got about an hour in the morning to work on the case.

Presenting our new product to the judges

At 12:30 PM we got lunch then went back to work on the case from 1:30 PM until 4:00 PM. At that time we presented our new product to a group of judges, including the CEO of Muller's Smart Carts. We went 2 out of 8 so we got to watch most of the presentations. After presentations we had an hour break while the judges deliberated, then had dinner before finding out the winners.

Having dinner with the CEO of Muller's Smart Carts

Now the exciting news - we won first in the team contest and I won third in the speech contest! I had a great day, and I think I learned a lot. I was so excited to have won and I was proud of our team! It was such a fun experience and I hope I get to be a part of it again.

The speech contest winners

After winning the team contest with the CEO of Muller's Smart Carts
and the SMC department head

I'll be relaxing now for the rest of the week, but if you have any questions feel free to email me!

March 2, 2013

Google Glass, Oakley Goggles, & Wearable Computers

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

We've been hearing a lot lately about Google Glass, Google's new product that merges the wear-ability of glasses and the mobile computer concept of an IPhone. The technology here is pretty incredible, and there has been a lot of buzz over this product, but I'm curious - is this product really practical?

Google Glass commercial

I did a little research and found out a bit more about Google Glass, including its functions and design. I had seen the video in marketing class but, as one student pointed out, the video doesn't actually show the glasses. This is interesting because the glasses look pretty funky. They don't contain actual eyeglasses and instead are composed only of a glasses frame, with one side containing a thicker, colored portion housing all of the technology. In front, where the glass would normally go, is one small square glass screen.

Google did a great job creating their video ad - it makes the glasses look innovative, efficient, and fun. Plus, the glasses can surf the Internet, record a video, take a picture, text, find directions, and post to Facebook, all by simply speaking to it. That sounds pretty cool! However, the glasses are also pretty expensive (prospective buyers had to enter a contest and pay $1,500) and I think that many interested customers will shy aware due to the design.

As I was researching, I found several competitors to Google Glass, including these Vuzix Smart Glasses by Andriod, set to premiere this year. These glasses perform essentially the same functions as Google Glass but are designed without the entire glasses frame. Instead they only use the piece housing the technology and the glass frame, like a take on a phone headset or Bluetooth. I think Vuzix Smart Glasses look nicer than Google Glass, but is still a little odd.

IBM commercial

I was very surprised to find that IBM had previously premiered this exact technology years ago! It looked exactly like Android's version and completed similar functions. I found the preceding video advertisement online and, after looking into this, I found that IBM's model failed for a couple reasons - 1) the voice recognition software was not great, and 2) users did not like that everyone could hear them speaking to the product.

I find this interesting because, for one, IBM's video shows the complications of their voice recognition software. To me, that means this advertisement, and the product itself, wasn't very good. Also, when I first heard of Google Glass, I thought about the fact that everyone can hear what you're doing. While this may not be a problem for some people, I certainly don't like that feature (I hate using Siri on my IPhone while in public). Then again people walk around talking to their Bluetooth all the time.

Oakley Airwave Goggles

Last but not least, the ski industry is jumping on the wearable computer bandwagon. or, Oakley is at least. The company recently introduced its Airwave Goggles, which uses the same technology as the glasses but in a ski goggle. The design is the same (except partially covered by the goggle) and comes with a thick arm band with large buttons that seem easy to use while wearing ski gloves. It seems less focused on using voice recognition and instead marketers are pushing the wearable computer functions (which is still very cool).

I think this product looks much better and its technology is very much applicable to skiers. These goggles can track the air time and speed, and can locate your friends. Plus, the price is much cheaper at about $600. I think that the video, however, is a bit lacking. It has some incredible views which will appeal to hardcore skiers & snowboarders, and it clearly explains the functions of the goggles, but I think it's a little long without adding much.

So okay, this wearable computer technology is uber exciting. But, it's obviously expensive and some of the designs aren't very aesthetically pleasing. I'm curious to see if these products will sell and, I think that successful sales will be hugely dependent on how they're marketed.

Look for a post soon about the outcome of Friday's speech and creativity competition at SUNY Plattsburgh (spoiler alert - we won!). As always, email with questions!