Tag Archives: Technology

Clubhouse App - what is it and first experiences


Lately the app clubhouse is getting a lot of attention and traction. Yesterday I download the Clubhouse app on my iPhone and started to explore. I joined a room with my old uni buddy Tjalling Dijkstra and his friend Steven Broghouts called "Welcome Steven". All three of us were new on the platform and started chatting freely. This chat took more than 2 hours.

First experiences

Suddenly my buddy Bas Smit, whom actually approved my request to join Clubhouse, jumped into the room. As he is rather known in the Netherlands, he had a rather big following join him as well. Suddenly the group grew to 50+. We started chatting away and gradually the room grew to 150+ people and the group discussion group to over 10 speakers. We discussed a big array of topics, but the red thread was that we had great fun, joking around and sharing quite some knowledge. Topics like social media, content creating, fashion, entrepreneurship, gaming and many more were discussed. The beauty was though, that everyone was very much giving back and trying to help one another.

Clubhouse App
Credit: Jonatan de Boer

So, what is Clubhouse?

The official description is: "Clubhouse is a new type of social network based on voice—where people around the world come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real-time."

My definition is: an app with chat rooms, where do you not type but talk. And, you can compare it to a conference call where everyone can eavesdrop.  But, it's more, you can compare it to a conference. You can have one person on stage and a huge crowd listening. It can be a panel discussion with multiple people on stage and taking questions from the crowd. It can also be a group discussion of peers with equal rights and speaking time.

Will it kill podcasting?

I do not think Clubhouse will kill podcasting, I do not even see it as a subtitute, but complementary to it.  So, why does it get so much traction I hear your asking? Firstly, because I think people during these weird COVID-19 times and lockdowns cravey human interaction. Obviously voice is better than text and voice only is less confronting than video calls. It is like podcasting a create medium to share knowledge, but where podcasts lack interaction, Clubhouse is all about interaction with the crowd. I would really call it a summit/conference/get-together on your phone.

How does the Clubhouse app work?

For now it is only available for iPhone and by invitation only. The founders want the platform to grow gradually and in a qualitative manner. You have to register with your mobile phone number. You can link your Twitter and Instagram handle. You can choose your own handle, but always have to enter your real first and last name. The bio can be as long or short as you want. Tip: be creative, use enters & emoticons. You can't chat in the app. You can follow others. You can create rooms and discuss any topic you want. You can stream real-time and plan one ahead. While you listen you can navigate within the app, but also on your phone using other apps. It works also very good on your carkit.

Next steps

After a very cool experience last night I logged in the Clubhouse app this morning to see how much traffic there was in the morning and engagement. The funny thing was I joined a Dutch group with a fellow Clubhouser from last night, had a quick chat and left as I was about to get into my first meeting of the day. Later on the day I logged on again and found some new groups, hosted by other Clubhouser that were part of our group last night and got inspired to share knowledge about the app and their journey to become an entrepreneur.

I am planning to experiment with setting up a few rooms on the Clubhouse app soon. I was thinking of setting up the following rooms evolving around these topics:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Talking Wristwatches
  • Designing Jewelry
  • Diamond Industry
  • Giving back to the community

I would love to hear your experiences with the Clubhouse app and/or what rooms you would like me to set up. And, if there is someone that wishes to team up and create a room together, please send me a message.

Have an awesome day!


P.S. My handle on Clubhouse is @alonbj 🙂

#Clubhouse #ClubhouseApp #Podcast #SocialMedia #SocialNetwork

Pimp my ELECTRIC car...

This company takes cars people already love and electrifies them.

smart fortwo (© Sean Frego) Click to see more pictures

At a cost of $35,000, the all-electric smart car will be more than twice the price of the recently Americanized gasoline version.

Walk into a Wal-Mart in the not-too-distant future and among the thousands of products for sale will be an electric car. It will not be a remote control car, a golf cart or a little scooter to help granny cruise the aisles. The battery-powered automobile will look every bit like a MINI Cooper. This is because it will be a MINI Cooper, just with a powerful electric motor under the hood and a stack of lithium batteries where the gas tank used to be.

The company responsible for transforming the already-efficient MINI into a zero-emissions electric vehicle (EV) is Hybrid Technologies. At its factory in Mooresville, North Carolina, engineers pull the internal combustion guts from cars such as the Chrysler Crossfire, PT Cruiser, smart fortwo, and the MINI, endowing them with advanced electric powerplants. While several other well-funded startups are racing to build electric cars from scratch, Hybrid Technologies has taken a different line of attack, converting already popular models to battery power.

To Richard Griffiths, the founder and prolific spokesman for Hybrid Technologies, the goal is not to try and sell people on the idea of an electric vehicle, but rather to show them how much fun they can have in electric versions of their favorite cars. Griffiths wants people to start thinking of battery power as a kind of high-end option, like a convertible top or a navigation system.

"You'll find that whatever great looking vehicle is launched next year, more than likely we'll begin production on that vehicle," Griffiths explains. At $65,000 for the MINI, electric power makes for one hefty option. But the appeal is undeniable, as actor George Clooney and singer James Blunt are enthusiastic drivers of Hybrid Technologies conversions.

Power to the People — Who Can Afford It
Hybrid Technologies plans to make 2008 the year that its cars become available to consumers first through Wal-Mart and then directly. When the all-electric smart car hits the market it will cost $35,000, more than twice the price of the recently Americanized gasoline version. For the time being there is no shortage of customers. NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Military all buy alternative-fueled vehicles for their fleets (part of a Congressional mandate from the Clinton years) and have purchased EVs from Hybrid Technologies.

Working with the military is also a natural fit. Hybrid Technologies started out five years ago helping the military with watercraft and submarine power systems and now provides electric PT Cruisers for base transportation. Griffiths won't hint at what other sort of projects Hybrid Technologies is building for the military, except to say that since EVs are almost silent they lend themselves to clandestine applications.

The Factory in Reverse
The Hybrid Technologies plant in Mooresville, North Carolina, looks much the way any auto factory should look. Except here, almost as many motors are being pulled out of cars as are being put in. Hybrid Technologies and smart share a core relationship, so for its electric version of the fortwo, Hybrid Technologies obtains what are called "gliders" intact cars without engines or gas tanks.

For cars such as the Crossfire and PT Cruiser, the motor and other systems are stripped out and sold back to the automaker or others. By building off existing models, Hybrid Technologies gets to focus on the critical part of any electric car the battery system.

Letting carmakers foot the bill for crash testing is another welcome advantage. The smart fortwo, with its steel safety cell, has been approved by the USDOT. Nevertheless, Hybrid Technologies is working with the Canadian government to crash test fully electric Smart cars for further validation. "At the end of the day," says Griffiths, "you can keep a fairly large portion of the vehicle consistent with the original OEM, which does allow us a lot more freedom to put our money into the technology as opposed to into the design."

Paving the Way
Not since General Motors leased out the now-legendary EV1 ten years ago has a large automaker put an all-electric car on the road. With electric cars predominantly in the territory of government contracts and industrious do-it-yourselfers, Hybrid Technologies exists in the gap between the big guns and the hobbyists.

According to Griffiths, automakers are biding their time and waiting for the dust to settle before making big moves toward alternative energies. Companies like his may be paving the way, with Toyota and General Motors poised to swoop in when the public decides its alternative car of choice. In the meantime, Hybrid Technologies is busy developing a product it hopes is "bulletproof." Noting that reliability is paramount in building confidence in these new electric vehicles, Griffiths adds, "You get one shot at it."

Jacob Gordon is a freelance writer, a blogger for TreeHugger.com, and producer of TreeHugger Radio. He can be reached at jacob@treehugger.com.


World's smallest, lightest phone?

Did the start-up Modu create the World's smallest, lightest phone?


An Israeli developed modular mobile phone has been introduced today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with manufacturer modu claiming to have the world's smallest and lightest mobile phone, weighing in at a featherweight 1.5 ounces.

modu's unique selling point is that the phone can be upgraded in a modular fashion, with users being able to add on 'jackets' such as a camera, GPS or a larger screen.

Plug in to car stereos and other devices The 2.5G GSM phone can also be plugged into other devices such as Blaupunkt car stereos or Dect internet and home phones.

modu was set up in 2007 by leading technology innovator and entrepreneur Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB Flash Drive.

"It's a unique concept not seen in the market or in major brands today," said Modu's Itay Sherman.

Mr Sherman added: "When you want to change your phone it can be expensive, because a phone is a complex device. But if you just want to change the look, the design or a feature like a camera then Modu is much simpler."

A disruptive concept SanDisk CEO, Eli Harari, said: "modu is a disruptive concept in the well established mobile market. The modu proposition is unique and compelling to consumers, mobile network operators and consumer electronics companies alike."

(Article written by Adam Hartley)

Click here for more info about Modu.