Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hammacher Schlemmer Spotlight: Golf Cart Hovercraft Hits the Fairway

Photo Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

Earlier this year, an unusual sight on golf course attracted viral video recognition online. Presenting an unconventional method of transport on a golf course, a golf cart hovercraft was introduced to the world. Developed for 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson and for his sponsor Oakley, a Neoteric Hovercraft was modified as the ultimate replacement to the traditional wheeled golf cart. On a cushion of air, the craft glided over water and sand traps with Watson riding on board.

Based on the opaque nature of the Internet, many people initially believed the golf cart hovercraft was some hoax. While online portals are full of videos exhibiting trickery, the air-lifted vehicle on the golf course was in fact a real. A real video and vehicle, the creation of the golf cart hovercraft was admittedly a publicity ploy by Oakley. Beyond the viral marketing campaign, the unique hovercraft actually began to attract real interest from customers. Providing an easy avenue for those wanting the experience what could be the new era in golf carts, Hammacher Schlemmer has recently added to unique hovercraft to their catalogue.

Built with a fiberglass and urethane foam composite hull, the 13-foot long Golf Cart Hovercraft accommodates four occupants as well as two golf bags. The Golf Cart Hovercraft is propelled by a nine-blade fan driven off a 65-horsepower Hirth engine. A roof and lighting is equipped on the vehicle placing it's basic features on equal footing to conventional carts. Designed for the golf course, the Golf Cart Hovercraft meets the water standards set by the United States Coast Guard. A trailer is also included with the hovercraft.

Hammacher Schlemmer has placed a $58,000 on the Golf Cart Hovercraft.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Microsoft Pumps Xbox Music Beats Broadly Across Mobile, Web Platforms

Photo Credit: Microsoft

Introducing their next-generation technology, it's safe to say that Microsoft has been pursuing some unpopular innovations.

First, Microsoft introduced Windows 8 with the ambitious intent to be an operating system bridging traditional computers and mobile devices. Windows 8 has failed to provide the ground-shaking thud many expected from the leading software company. Capable yet leaning towards being overpriced, the Microsoft Surface tablet family is distantly behind Apple and the many Android OS tablets in popularity. Most recently, Microsoft's new gaming and entertainment system, the Xbox One, proposed a series of changes to that alienated the marketplace. Microsoft has since backtracked from many of their new 'innovative' plans with the Xbox One following a laundry list of complaints before the console was even released. Wanting to turn their fortunes around and be an important figure for our consumption of multimedia, Microsoft is expanding their Xbox Music live streaming audio service. To elevate Xbox Music, Microsoft will be expanding the availability of their service to almost any modern device.

A service containing 30 million songs as well as a catalog of music videos, Xbox Music was launched last year for the Xbox 360 console. Today, Microsoft has opened up an all-new set of pipelines for music fans to engage with their live streaming content. Starting today (September 9th) Xbox Music will be offered on Apple iOS devices as well as products performing on the Android operating system. In addition to the portable devices, Xbox Music will also provide an on-line web player for computers through the website http://music.xbox.com. The Windows 8.1 upgrade will add Web Playlist tool granting quick access to the Xbox Music service.

An Xbox Music app has now launched on Google Play as well as the Apple App Store. The app and on-line player is a free download but access to the streaming service requires a subscription plan. The Xbox Music Pass costs $9.99 US for a month or $99.99 US for a full year plan. Xbox Music entitles users to unlimited access to music on any device. Xbox Music compares to $36 annual cost for an ad-free version of Pandora or $4.99 for an unlimited service using Spotify in the United States. A 30-day trial is provided with the Xbox Music Pass allowing users to sample the service at no cost (excluding data transfer use expenses).