We have already had a taste of mouse-free computing. Touchscreens on our smartphones and tablets let us search the Internet, compose e-mail messages, send texts, and stream movies, all without using a mouse. So what do you think this will lead us to down the road? How will we interact with our computers in the coming decades? After we ditch the mouse, what comes next?

Gesture sensing

Consumers who own Wii or PlayStation video game systems have already got a sense of this. These two game systems offer users the chance to play games and explore the web through wireless remotes that synch with body movements. Wii players can smack a tennis ball by swinging their hands while they hold a wireless remote. They are able to jog in place, climb a virtual mountain, or shoot menacing robots in the same way. This is known as gesture sensing. The tech isn’t quite ready for standard computing yet. However, it is not difficult to imagine a future where gesture sensing becomes one of the primary modes of interacting with our computers.

Multi-touch technology

Multi-touch technology is the one other interactive innovation. This is what is being applied whenever you tap your smartphone screen to gain access to programs, or swipe your finger across the surface of your tablet to change screens. In the past couple of years we have seen lots of growth in this technology. Do you think this will end up being the primary way we navigate around our computers?

Voice recognition

Another possibility for controlling computers is vocal recognition. This technology already exists and is quickly gaining in popularity as developers figure out the kinks. One of the popular common vendors is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Vocal recognition technology has a ways to go before it’s perfect, but technologies improve so rapidly now a days that I don’t see it being too long before voice-command functionality becomes standard in every devices.

No matter what new technologies arise or how refined the ones we spoke about get, the odds are that the mouse is not going to disappear all together. It has served us well, and we know we can count on it.

 

An Analysis of Smartphone Charge Pads

On February 24, 2012, in Uncategorized, by RENEMosley23

We use our smartphones daily, to download entertainment, make reservations, or locate the closest store. But smartphones don’t hold charge forever and making sure you have your charger and an open outlet can be troublesome. Then you have to leave it connected for a long time to make sure it gets thoroughly charged.

Now using a smartphone charge pad, charging your phone is much simpler.

Charge your phone wirelessly

These flat pads, which look like little mats, enable smartphone users to charge their phones wirelessly. This means no searching for an available outlet and no fumbling with twisted cords. Better still, you can place several devices on your charge pads at the same time and charge them all simultaneously. Charge pads work with everything from smartphones and electronic readers to iPods, iPads, and digital cameras.

But how do these devices work? Basically, a charge pad relies on electro-magnetic induction charging. They produce a magnetic field atop the mat that provides power to the batteries of your devices.

Charge pads a technology in progress

You would imagine that these would be more popular then they are. But, there are a couple of reasons why they aren’t. Firstly, they are a bit pricey, often costing as much as the devices you intend to charge.

Second of all, charge pads are big and bulky. They take up a lot of desk or shelf space. This limits their use; after all, many consumers depend on charge pads to get rid of the mess that comes with multiple cords. If charge pads are too large, eliminating these cords doesn’t reduce clutter.

An improving wireless world

As technology improves we are sure to see smaller, more efficient, and cheaper charging pads on the market. Sooner or later, my guess is that these will be must-have items.

 

We always read about the most popular gadgets on the market. But for every technology that changes our lives there’s something that flops. It’s difficult to judge what the general public will take a fancy too, so companies take a risk every time they release something. Here we explore a handful of technologies that fall outside of the “took flight” category.

Famous tech failures

  • Apple TV: Apple TV lets customers buy their entertainment straight from iTunes and stream it on their computers, handheld devices, or TVs. The regrettable thing about this, which may be the reason for its less then popular ranking, is that it is somewhat limited to iTunes.
  • Sony Mylo: Mylo came in under the radar that’s the reason you may not remember it. It was a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device from Sony that allowed people to connect to the Internet, send e-mail and it included Skype! It didn’t get much attention as the iPhone and its app store overwhelmed it.

The Segway peters out

  • Segway PT: It was believed that the Segway PT would replace cars in cities. It made it easy for people to just zip to the market or make the short commute downtown. But it never quite caught on. Unfortunately for the manufacturers, people thought balancing on two wheels made them look a little silly.

The CueCat doesn’t purr

  • CueCat: The CueCat was a handheld barcode reader shaped like a cat. Consumers could use it to scan any barcode and it would navigate them to the company’s website. This didn’t catch on but did it pave the way for QR codes?
 

Improve Your Company Culture: Part 2

On February 3, 2012, in Uncategorized, by RENEMosley23

Our previous blog centered around company culture as well as the effect it can have on your brand. Your company’s culture, good or bad, shows up in your brands reputation. We talked about methods to gauge the cultural health of your company, but how do you give your company a cultural makeover?

If you have determined that the culture of your company needs some adjusting or refreshing, there are a few questions you should consider first:

  • What attributes do you value that you want to show up in your company’s culture? Respect, acceptance, ingenuity, fun, etc.?
  • What are your company’s values and how can the culture mirror them?
  • How is information shared with employees? Are they left in the dark often?
  • How are employees currently rewarded? 
  • Does everyone feel heard in the company? Do people feel free to state their ideas and give their opinions?

These may bring about more questions. To find answers try brainstorming with your peers. Here are some suggestions to get the process started:

Suggestion/Thought box – Giving people a means to share their thoughts, anonymously or not, makes the culture of a company feel more open. You could learn some important things that need tweaking and may want to bring them up in companywide meetings.

Empower employees – Treat employees like peers; let them have ownership over their jobs. Don’t micromanage! Transparency can help with empowerment as well. Don’t just tell your employees when there are successes, tell them when things aren’t going so well too. Their support may help you overcome the hard times.

Flexible hours – You hired your staff because you have confidence in them to do their job. Permitting them to have fairly flexible hours shows you trust them to get their work done well and on time. The respect you give them will be reflected in the respect they give you.

Dress code – Have a more laid back dress code. It’s amazing what allowing people to express themselves can do for a company’s culture. Think about themed days: silly hat day, Hawaiian shirt day, or anything that gets people thinking imaginatively and brings smiles to the day.

Celebrate – A business is made up of the people in it, so celebrate together. A monthly movie day, a catered lunch, or lunchtime board game days are only a few ways you can get your employees together to celebrate.

Here are a few things companies do to give their culture a fun edge:

  • Spontaneous Nerf gun wars
  • Painting inspirational quotes on the walls
  • Hitting a loud gong when there is a success to let the whole company know
  • Foosball tournaments
  • Lunchtime Yoga
  • Lunchtime Crafting Club
  • Monday Mad Libs, whoever wishes to contribute, does, and then the completed Mad Lib is emailed to the company