FacebookTwitter

New Car Technologies That Could Save Your Life

By on Oct 16, 2012 in Gadgets |

Automotive technology has made incredible leaps and bounds in the short time since the car’s introduction to our society. In this era cars have progressed from moving at the pace of a horse’s trot, to routinely exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour. Where we had dashboard-mounted fans not long ago, we now have fully customizable air conditioning systems. And, whereas certain road hazards once meant injury or possibly death, we can now feel safe and secure behind the wheel. New car technologies are emerging every day that could save your life in an unexpected turn of events. Smart Airbags Upon their introduction, airbags were one of the most brilliant inventions ever brought into the world of automobiles. This added protection from injury during collisions has saved innumerable lives and spared even more from serious injury. However, airbags are not perfect by any means. Anyone who’s been in a car accident knows how painful it is to be hit in the face by an airbag upon impact, and this can even have fatal consequences for small children. Smart airbags can deploy differently depending on the severity of the collision, and in car computers consider the weight of passengers when releasing the airbags, helping to keep everyone safe and comfortable. Active Cornering Headlights How many times have you been out driving on dark, winding roads, unable to see around the next corner, not sure if you’ll be met by a wandering deer or another sharp turn in the other directions. Driving in these conditions is not only stressful, it is extremely unsafe. Active cornering headlights use data from your car’s speed and steering angles to determine where the car is headed and where the light needs to shine. The headlights themselves can then swivel to face into your turns, improving visibility and making your ride much safer. Blind Spot Detection No matter how you try, it’s not always possible to see everything that’s going on around your car. On busy freeways and multiple lane roads, you never know when a driver is in your blind spot, and numerous accidents happen as a result of this. A new emerging car technology offers blind spot detection, emitting a beep any time your car veers to close to a lane divider or another vehicle. Thanks to this new technology, you can finally have eyes in the back of your head. Personal Assistance Service We all run into emergencies on the road, and all too often the response time is horrendous for anything from a dead battery to a more serious matter such as a near collision. Rather than waiting for hours on the road, you can now have your own emergency assistance agent available at the push of a button from inside or outside of your car. Suppose you’re broken down on the way to catch a plane and can’t risk missing an important flight; these services can have your car towed and provide car service to Bradley Airport, saving your day and...

Amazon May Open Physical Stores to Sell Kindles

By on Sep 29, 2012 in Gadgets |

New technology releases always impact other industries, though often it can take a few years for that impact to truly be felt. While Apple’s iPad continues to take over more and more of the tablet market, Amazon still does quite a bit of business with its e-readers. The Amazon Kindle and Kindle Fire are both smaller than other tablets, and while they are still very much focused on digital books they now have almost as many functions as their larger, more expensive competitors. But not everyone is a fan of Amazon’s best-selling tablets. Target no longer sells them in their brick and mortar stores, and Wal-Mart announced late last week that they would be joining their competitor in pulling Amazon’s tablets from their shelves. Some experts have suggested that Wal-Mart is severing their ties with Amazon because tablet devices like the Kindle and Kindle Fire have a very slim profit margin, and it simply hasn’t been worth the time and energy to a retailer that is already the largest in America. But others believe the real reason is even deeper than that. All of Amazon’s tablet devices are immediately connected to Amazon.com, the company’s online portal for purchasing a vast range of goods. Customers who buy Amazon’s tablets naturally do more of their purchasing on Amazon.com. That leads to a decrease in sales for the big box stores that Target and Wal-Mart are simply not willing to accept. If you take a look at the additional evidence that suggestion certainly holds water. Wal-Mart may have dropped Amazon, but they continue to sell the Nook, Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad, as well as several other brands of tablet devices. So it very well could be that Amazon’s online shop is simply too stiff a competitor. At the same time, other brands that lean heavily on in-store purchases such as Radio Shack, Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot continue to sell Amazon’s tablets. So will this affect Amazon in any significant way? It probably will, and speculation is already running rampant about how Amazon will respond. Target and Wal-Mart are huge players in the United States, and that’s a vast amount of customers who won’t have the opportunity to physically explore the Kindles. After all, touch and usability are keys to which tablet a customer chooses to purchase, and you just can’t get a feel for that by looking at something online. Apple knows that all too well, and the physical stores they’ve designed are incredibly popular. Microsoft is also following suit, and will be setting up over thirty pop-up shops in support of their pending tablet release, the Surface. And journalists at Reuters expect that Amazon won’t be far behind its competitors. Pop-up stores are easy to design and very quickly set up, especially when you have the resources of Amazon. They could potentially launch their physical locations with enough time to take advantage of the holiday shopping push. Just put up a couple of window signs featuring the newest Kindle, and the people will come. But is it worth it to Amazon, given that most of their Kindle sales come through their website? Given the steep competition in the tablet market they’ll need every advantage, especially after losing...

Google’s ‘Project Glass’ to Revolutionise Eyewear Technology – Augmented Reality With Your Next Prescription?

By on May 10, 2012 in Gadgets |

Augmented reality is an advanced technology only avid Sci-Fi movie fans are likely to be aware of up until now, although Google’s announcement earlier this month of plans to introduce such technology to the public via high-tech eyeglasses could soon make the idea a marketable reality. AR is a computer based technology not to be confused with virtual reality, as AR eyeglasses would look to enhance or modify a real world view rather than replace it entirely with a simulated perception as in a VR scenario, combining a sophisticated arrangement of computerised sensory inputs such as sound, video, and graphics to enable object recognition for heightened user interaction with their immediate environment. Google’s AR SpecsGoogle’s AR specs would aim to provide an all encompassing HUD display, in theory not obscuring your view of the ‘real’ world, but only alerting the user when necessary to helpful pointers such as adverse weather conditions or a subway closure for example, impressively re-routing to an intended destination in real-time. Current smartphone apps such as map features used when we are lost are often not as entirely user friendly as they seem, often requiring looking away from what we are doing in a particular moment, roaming around in our bags or pockets for a handheld device, and then looking down for an extended period of time, moving back and forth from our real world environment to the display when gauging a sense of direction. Imagine viewing a surrounding location simultaneously with real time on-screen feeds mimicking those found on existing smartphones, intuitively responding to visual cues for display through enhanced lenses as minute as any conventional eyewear, directly in front of your eyes, and you get something close to the vision that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are looking to introduce in the near future. The Google+ feed dedicated to news on the ‘Google goggles’ showcases a visually impressive promotional video, alongside a post outlining details of prototypes of the device already showing a built-in photo taking capability already in development, highlighting the fact that this may no longer be  some tech enthusiasts pipe dream. Prescription-friendlyEarly signs suggest that any potential AR  glasses would provide flexibility for people utilising existing prescription glasses, seeing the device attached to pre-existing frames, unlocking the combined essence of a tablet, smartphone and music player, transforming seemingly ordinary looking everyday eyewear glasses into a multimedia technological marvel. There are certainly some pitfalls to navigate before the potential product sees the light of day commercially, with the most glaring obstacle being whether such high powered technology can fit into such small casing usually seen in standard eyewear, without spiralling retail costs for consumers or compromising on the discreet visual appearance conventional eyeglasses wearers’ currently desire. It is also likely that talking to your AR glasses through the required voice prompts and bumping into passersby while you are distracted by incoming messages will not endear the idea to busy commuters seeking practicality, but the mere thought that such technology is imminently possible, potentially altering traditional habits of how we interact with the world around us forever, is undoubtedly fascinating. Jamie loves technology and writes for DirectSight.co.uk, an industry leader in glasses online. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Five Tips For Great Networking Including Promotional USB Memory Sticks

By on Apr 7, 2012 in Gadgets |

Establishing relationships with your customers, potential customers and other businesses is called networking. Networking is an essential part of modern business, as individual companies and people become more dependent upon the services of others. Networking is important for all different types of groups conducting business today, including those looking to make profit, as well as voluntary and governmental organisations. There are hundreds upon thousands of ways to effectively network with people your business holds dear, including holding memorable meetings and even giving tokens of appreciation such as promotional USB memory sticks. Because of the sheer amount of ways that different businesses can interact, it’s important that when networking your company chooses the solution that it finds works best. Effective methods of networking or marketing vary from company to company, but here are a few ideal ways that can either help you get starting to network or refine your existing networking skills: A Good Secret To Great Networking Is Proper Research And HomeworkIf you’re looking to establish a working relationship with a business that could really help boost your revenue and income, take a little time to investigate the background and purpose of that company. By doing so you’re less likely to ask questions that could waste a business’ time, and your company looks savvy and knowledgeable in its field: potentially winning a deal. Simple research can involve looking at big achievements that the organisation you’re interested has made, or even more specific information such as who is in charge of which department. These kinds of things can be easily slipped into conversation, impressing those you’re looking to impress. The Best Networking Takes Place SubtlyDon’t be aggressive when forming a relationship with another organisation or company. Being aggressive could be demanding information, or trying to push your company onto a representative of another business. This will make your company look desperate or hostile, which are attributes that lead people away from doing business with you again. The trick is to seem polite and amicable, but keep the other company wanting more information. An ideal way to provide that company with more information is to give them a business card and/or website address. Remember Where The Line Is And Don’t Cross It!Networking is to be sparse with the word ‘networking’. By reminding a company again and again that you’re looking to ‘network’ with them, your business seems self-seeking and as though it only has its interests at heart. Even if this is the case, don’t make it obvious and try and act interested in all aspects of the other company; rather than just the ones that suit you. Networking Is A 2 Way StreetNetworking is also a two way street, and the best networkers listen as well as talk. By listening to a company or business that you’re looking to network with, you seem receptive as well as forward-thinking and business-like. The other company’s time is precious, as is yours, so it’s important that they don’t think that they’re getting the raw end of the deal by soaking up all of the information you have to offer them. Leaving A Long Lasting First Impression Keeps Your Networking SuccessfulOur final tips is that leaving a professional, well presented andlong lasting first impression is very important when you want a prospect to remember along with one that will help your company to network and succeed. Again, a list of ways to provide a long lasting first impression would stretch to the moon and back, but simple things such giving a custom USB memory drive would last a long time and be professional. To engage as professional and well presented as possible can leave other companies thinking of your business as a leader rather than a follower, and somebody they’d want to work with. USB Design is a manufacturer of promotional items delivering quality products to businesses across the UK and beyond. Promotional USB memory sticks have been used to seal the deal for many networking strategies and leave a long lasting impression for their client base time and time again. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Your Message from the Sky

By on Apr 3, 2012 in Gadgets |

TV for most of us sits neatly in the corner of the room and that’s it – we turn it on, we laugh, we cry, we turn it off…simple, or is it? Now, I’m sure most of us remember the days of dodgy terrestrial TV, where all you had was the choice of five channels and there was always the risk that a weary bird might decide to rest on the aerial in which case you could say good bye to any sort of watchable picture.  However, in the past fifteen years or so all of this has changed as satellite and cable TV has taken off.  Today with companies such as Sky, Virgin and BT all offering various satellite TV packages, it is easy to see how satellite and cable has shaped how we watch TV. A quick heads upAs the name suggests cable TV is where information is transported to your TV through a cable, all of which is done via radio waves. Satellite TV on the other hand is where the relevant information is beamed to your TV via a satellite which in turn bounces the information on to the dish which is attached to your house. The Age of the Couch PotatoWith literally hundreds of channels available, twenty four seven, it’s hard to believe we ever survived a lazy Sunday afternoon without them.  Without moving from our seats we can be transported in milliseconds from the rolling hills of the British countryside to the lavish undergrowth of the Amazon rainforest and from there to the deepest depths of the Atlantic Ocean.  However, is satellite and cable TV all that it is cracked up to be? Granted that on the face of things satellite and cable TV would appear to be a great medium with which to expand our intellectual horizons; but the same can’t be said for the effect on our health.  Every week someone is telling us that we are an obese nation who prefers to sit in and watch TV rather than occupy our time in a healthier way.  With obesity statistics constantly circling the newsrooms, it’s hard to believe that TV isn’t a contributing factor. Three, Two, One Blast offIn the past three years we have seen TV companies take satellite TV to a whole new level. This can be seen through the introduction of Sky Plus enabling viewers to rewind, fast forward and pause live TV. Revelations such as these have well and truly catapulted satellite TV into the twenty first century.   Houston we have a problemCould this age of austerity spell the end for TV as we know it? With the cost of a TV licence reaching a staggering £145.50 per year many people have resorted to watching programmes through on demand services such as ‘BBC iPlayer’, ‘4OD’ and ‘Demand Five’. Personally I would hate to see the progress made by companies such as Sky halted due to the current economic climate. Who knows maybe smell-O-vision will be the big TV revelation in 2013. One final thing…Despite its downsides satellite and cable TV, like an old friend, has stood by us when we really needed it, whether that was during that bad break up or even when it was just one of those days; TV has always been there for us and has always made us feel like one of the gang from Friends.  So we, the TV loving nation that we are, should make sure that satellite and cable TV becomes the best that it can be. Image by Watchsmart Laura Bentley is a clued up scribe on all subjects around new technologies. She writes articles for Softel Group who  provide subtitling and captioning software, and audio description, for a fully interactive television experience. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Using Surveillance Cameras to Secure the Business

By on Apr 2, 2012 in Gadgets |

As anyone who runs a business knows, a lot can go wrong in the course of a given day and whatever it was that went wrong will likely cost you money. Fortunately for business owners, surveillance camera systems have become more affordable and are a valuable tool in identifying many problems that would otherwise go undetected. Almost any business can benefit from a camera system, which arguable has become required equipment in a litigious society like ours. Protecting the BusinessOne of the most daunting problems a business faces is from theft. In a retail environment, this includes theft from both customers and employees. While a camera system by itself cannot physically stop someone from stealing, it can help identify who the thieves are and what areas of the business are vulnerable to theft. This gives owners valuable evidence in prosecuting crime and information needed to respond properly to the theft, like moving vulnerable goods to a less risky location.  Another way cameras help protect businesses is in the area of safety. Some job sites deal in hazardous materials. With continuous monitoring on such a site, management would be able to take quick action in the event of a chemical spill or a fire.  The last thing that any business wants to deal with are safety claims from employees or customers. Cameras allow a business to track what happened in the case of an accident. Did the customer really slip on the floor or did they make it all up? Having a video surveillance system can give you the answer.  Business OperationsSometimes the issues you are concerned with are not so much about theft or safety, but more about how smoothly the business itself is running. This is another area where a security camera system can be helpful.  In a manufacturing environment, a camera system can help with monitoring to ensure that the process is moving along. You would be able to see a problem, such as a logjam on a conveyor belt system, and fix it quickly. These cameras would also be helpful in recognizing when a line of customers became too long, if employees were not working, or worse yet, if there was any workplace violence. They also help to ensure that scheduled events like deliveries and shipments are on schedule.  TechnologyIf you ask anyone what they think of when you talk about security camera systems, one likely response might be one that paints a picture of uniformed security officers looking at monitors for hours on end. Some businesses need to staff personnel 24/7 to provide continuous monitoring, but many don’t. You can configure a recording system to record only in response to events like motion detection, a door opening or a window being broken. For many systems, recording 12 straight hours after closing of nothing happening takes up too much disk space. Even though ‘nothing happening’ is something that most companies strive for, it’s not something that some companies have the luxury of archiving for months on end. Leveraging existing hardware is another huge benefit of some camera systems. If you already have an Ethernet network, you can use that with a set of IP cameras without having to install any dedicated wiring. Likewise, you can use existing computers or servers with many systems, without having to install a dedicated DVR unit.  You can extend internet technology further for monitoring and notification. Upon any event like the breaches or motion detection mentioned earlier, a system can be configured to respond by sending an email to an admin. Monitoring remotely through an internet connection is another option.  Conclusion The business climate today has made security camera systems a must for any business owner. Protecting the business means being able not only to spot theft, but to also record incidents involving safety and insurance claims as well. Technology has made the equipment needed for many systems affordable and flexible enough that anyone could use it. Finally, the argument that it costs too much doesn’t hold up anymore. The cost of installing and operating an effective surveillance camera system is much less than the potential losses and liability a business faces without it.  Erik Johnson is a security and surveillance industry veteran looking to share his knowledge with home owners and business owners as they attempt to best secure their assets, family, and property.  Erik has worked with numerous manufacturers to assist them in designing some of the best dome camera products on the market place. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...