Summer Technology


Like a summer reading list, this is a summer technology list. Spend some time contemplating and learning about the future…


Here we cover devices for everything from your car to smart phones, and smart innovations.

Summer is a time for rejuvenation and taking on new challenges. We give ourselves permission to play, and permission to learn and upgrade to the latest innovations.

Here are a few we like best:

FaceCash – tired of carrying a million credit and id cards? Mobile payment systems are here. We have seen various mobile devices with biometrics. But FaceCash is different. It uses your face. The cashier in the store has to match you up to your pic on the phone. The idea is that it is hard to duplicate the face. We think that this, in combo with a PIN, makes for a secure and convenient method for cruising around. In the future, adoption of mobile payments systems will take hold, especially with the younger demographic.

Ebooks, Kindles and iPads.This is a great and not expensive technology for avid readers. The eBook Reader (from SONY) and of course, iPad, have more advanced features, are wireless, and highly graphical. If size matters, the ebook is your choice, though functionally it is a rank beginner next to the iPad.

As phones get smaller and smarter, manufacturers are figuring out ways to provide more display so that the full applications are easy to read and interact with, such as the KIN from Sharp/Verizon.

These kinds of devices will eventfully drive us all to settle on one platform for personal devices. Yet most devices today are designed around one dominant usage such as games, music or phone. Between the MP3, the phone, the camera, the reading, games, Social Networking, and light computing, why do we need to have more than one device? But the market is not quite there yet. No one device (or provider) really nails it, yet.

Here is a great convergence technology: AIDA, the Affective Intelligence Driving Technology, beyond your GPS or Garman. AIDA is contextually aware and socially perceptive – which means it knows what you want to do and also what is going on around you, so it can suggest driving routes – from MIT Sensible City. Seems like the future of driving. This device is also another smart phone vs. dashboard opportunity. In this energy conservation and urban world we are not always driving, but still want to plan routes. Why can’t these devices be our phone, and then just plug into the elegantly designed dashboard (which supports multiple vendors)?

MiFi. Have your own wireless hotspot! This is the greatest little device for travelers, especially with your team, or if you live in areas with poor internet service. Gone are the one user wireless connectors from AT&T. MiFis from both Verizon and Sprint provide secure multi-user wireless routers that can fit in your wallet or pocket. You don’t need Verizon service, but you will be on a Verizon or Sprint high speed network. The software for windows is a bit clunky (like Palm or Blackberry desktop managers). Not so, for Apple users, by the way. We love these, since all your wireless devices from iPhone, iPod Touch, eBooks, MP3 or laptops can connect, eliminating the use of other wireless services (and expensive hotel charges).

To view other articles from this issue of the brief, click here.

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