Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.
In this installment of our regular session of inquiry, B&O Play's Corporate Vice President Henrik Taudof Lorensen discusses the focused Path and face-to-face connectivity. Meet us on the other side of the break to peruse the full lot of answers.
What gadget do you depend on most?
Our brand-new in-ear headphones, BeoPlay H3, are perfect for me. Solid for telephone calls, perfect fit, nice materials and design. And then the sound is just amazing.
Which do you look back upon most fondly?
My Hewlett-Packard 32S RPN calculator. I got it back at university when I studied physics. It is an amazing workhorse. I still have it and carry it around with me every day. The button design and tactile feedback is so refined -- which is a killer feature for a calculator. You can tell that they put a lot of effort into even the smallest details.
Which company does the most to push the industry?
For audio, we do. We are dead-serious about music and design and believe that it is time to bring real quality back into music listening.
What is your operating system of choice?
Mac OS X. I like the novel ideas behind some of the new operating systems that have entered over the last couple of years, but I really appreciate how most apps under Mac OS X operate in a consistent and smooth way.
What are your favorite gadget names?
The Dyson Airblade hand dryer. Sort of says what it does in a cool ninja way. PalmPilot is another favorite name with the same trait.
What are your least favorite?
When they start with a seemingly random sequence of letters and numbers, try to squeeze the full spec sheet into the name - screen size, processor speed, color variant, etc. I always get the sense that the ambition to make a difference for people is not very high with those products.
Which app do you depend on most?
Path has been on my phone for two years now. It allows you to form a narrow group of selected friends and share moments together like you would on Instagram, Facebook or similar. I have a good group of friends and family that are always traveling and on the move. We stay connected through Path in a way that would not happen on the open networks.
What traits do you most deplore in a smartphone?
"You want me to be a word processor for your next novel? Sure, I can do that. I am also great at editing spreadsheets, and I can replace Photoshop if needed..." Trying to be everything to everyone, rather than being good at something.
Which do you most admire?
Intuitive interface, data connection and geolocation at the same time -- so many useful ways to combine and apply this.
What is your idea of the perfect device?
Great devices are always a result of a solid design process. Great design is about solving a real problem or need for the user, and once you really understand this need, all aspects of the design should reflect this.
"The keyboard was made of small rubber buttons... and you would program it by various button combinations to get the functions out."
This is how we design our products in B&O Play -- we are all about enabling people to really enjoy music. Our products not only sound amazing, but are designed to be joyful day in and day out - the form, the interface, the natural materials... you are much more likely to embrace the devices into your life.
What is your earliest gadget memory?
I got my first computer from my grandmother when I was about 7 years old. It was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The keyboard was made of small rubber buttons where each of them represented something like five or more functions, and you would program it by various button combinations to get the functions out. It was a crazy interface, but it got me hooked on programming.
What technological advancement do you most admire?
The telephone -- allowing real-time communication over distance. That was a conceptual breakthrough.
Which do you most despise?
Can't think of any despicable technological advancements in themselves. What comes to mind are despicable "applications," not the advancement in itself.
What fault are you most tolerant of in a gadget?
Battery life is an issue on most of my gadgets. It seems like this has suffered in recent generations of laptops and smartphones to make them more portable. I guess I have just learned to live with it.
Which are you most intolerant of?
Software instability or inconsistent behavior.
When has your smartphone been of the most help?
I was in London the other week, and couldn't find my destination. Google Maps was a great help.
What device do you covet most?
A custom Fender Telecaster. I love the Telecaster sound, shape and playability. It could fit well into my guitar collection.
If you could change one thing about your phone what would it be?
Battery life. My iPhone hardly makes it through my day without a recharge.
What does being connected mean to you?
Being present with the people you are with - then you are "connected."
When are you least likely to reply to an email?
When I am asleep.
When did you last disconnect?
Three years ago. We went on a vacation to France, and I didn't bring my phone. I was completely offline for two weeks. I couldn't even remember my password when I came back.