Avi Greengart is the Research Director for Consumer Devices at Current Analysis (Mobile Phones, Connected Devices, and Digital Home). He also regularly writes for Slashgear, sporadically blogs at Home Theater View and Tweets far too often as @greengartAvi's expertise lies in understanding consumer electronics marketing, consumer behavior, and technology adoption patterns: where new technologies meet the mass market. 



Avi's Gadget Yarmulka

Update 6/26/08: I've been wearing Gadget Yarmulka 2.0 to trade shows since earlier this year, but it finally made it out on the internets now. I had promised engadget an exclusive on my next gadget yarmulka (yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but you wouldn't believe how competitive these guys are) and even programmed "engadget" into it and looked for Ryan back at CTIA but we never hooked up. Gizmodo got the scoop last night at the Digital Experience event in NYC by literally stalking me from behind.

To answer all the obvious questions:

bulletI bought mine at a Judaica store in Manhattan after discovering it online. The web site selling these things, LEDKippah.com, is down. I have no idea if they're still in business.
bulletThe batteries run down in a matter of hours. They cost $2 - $3 each, even when bought in bulk online.
bulletIt can store six separate messages, but has just three buttons for all programming/text entry. It is a royal pain to do - imagine text messaging without T9 on a phone with just a stubby 1, 2, and 3 key, and you've got the basic idea. There is no PC connectivity, and you're limited to letters, numbers, and punctuation.
bulletI am not a Rabbi, but I assume that you can't wear one of these on the Sabbath, even if you leave the batteries in and just let them run down, because you are liable to fiddle with it, which is not allowed on the Sabbath.
bulletIt's just as comfortable as a regular leather yarmulka - the electronics are surprisingly unobtrusive.

6/1/05: This page was originally linked by countless web sites (including Engadget, BoingBoing, Gizmodo) but was lost to a massive server crash. We have since switched hosts and rebuilt the page, but some of the text may have changed.

Male Orthodox Jews wear yarmulkas (or, in Hebrew, a "kippah") to show deference to God above us. Many Jews choose the specific fabric of the yarmulka to identify with specific religious or political sub-groups; I have chosen a design to identify with an iPod, a Treo, and a PSP. God help me.

My wife Leah spent three months crocheting the gadget yarmulka based on a design I created for her. She is not pleased with the idea that I'm going to want a new one with different gadgets - maybe a WiMAX logo? Nokia 8801? Motorola PEBL? - in a few months.

The Bluetooth functionality of my yarmulka is non-functional. Some have speculated that this is because my wireless carrier crippled the Bluetooth support and will not allow the yarmulka to support OBEX or DUN profiles.

Note: This is a custom-made yarmulka. While the requests for purchase are flattering, we are not going into the custom yarmulka business, no matter how lucrative (or not) it may appear to be.