They don’t break out smart phones from overall cell phone ownership but I expect it’s also climbed dramatically. We can also see that laptops are now more popular than desktops. And e-book reader and tablet ownership have both increased.
Glow or paperwhite e-readers are now the top of the line for e-ink e-readers. They’re selling for around $100 and feature very good contrast and great battery life.
The 7-inch form tablet has become quite popular in the last year. Apple entered the arena with the iPad Mini. Google has the Nexus 7. It’s not quite big enough IMO to serve as a laptop substitute but light and portable and offers a lot of functionality.
There are two really interesting developments in the smart phone arena. One is voice control. Most smart phones will now perform a lot of functions from search to opening apps to dictation using voice commands. The other is location awareness. Google Now offers a lot of information based on where you’re located and what it knows about your preferences and habits. For example, while I was in Butte, my Nexus 7 kept giving me information on how long it would take me to drive to Helena, assuming that that was my ultimate destination. Useful or creepy, you decide.
Google has done some work mapping interiors of museums. Here’s an example of the White House. You can move around and see different angles of the room. The small boxes show the availability of more information about various objects in the room. Links to this and some of the other sites in the presentation will be available on Montana Bibliotechies http://mtbibliotechie.blogspot.com/
The other side of the interior mapping is providing floor plans for buildings within Google Maps. You can add your library’s.
With the increasing interest in smart phone photography, there are a large number of lenses and accessories available. This is predominantly an iPhone feature. It helps to have a uniform body type for accessories.
Near Field Communication has been around for a couple of years now. Many of us thought it would be used for checking into locations like the NFC World Congress or paying for items. That hasn’t really happened yet, probably because iPhone has yet to adopt the technology. It is being used with tiles and file transfers.
There are a lot of bluetooth accessories available for use with mobile devices. They operate on a limited radio frequency. Speakers and keyboards are fairly common as are head sets. I also like the idea of using bluetooth to find things. SticknFind uses stickers on objects which can then be located with your phone.
Fitness accessories also use bluetooth. Most will keep track of activity levels and steps. Here are two examples. There is also a move toward heart rate and blood pressure monitoring that can be relayed to medical professionals.
We’ve been talking for years about the wired home and the idea of being able to control appliances remotely. The Nest allows you to monitor and control heating and cooling systems. Iris provides home security monitoring via your phone.
Google has come out with the Chromebook. It‘s about the size and weight of an ultrabook at a much lower cost. It’s an Internet appliance. It comes with the Chrome browser and that’s about it. It has limited storage but does have USB and HDMI ports. But it’s primarily designed to access web sites and use web services, e.g., Google docs. For most of what library patrons use computers for – checking email, surfing the Internet and creating and editing documents, it offers solutions.
Microsoft Surface is one where I’m really not sure whether it’s a rad or fad. This is the Surface Pro which is to be released on February 9. It’s pretty much a full Windows 8 computer in tablet form. Price starts at $899. For that price you can get a really nice laptop. There’s also the Surface RT which came about a couple of months ago. It runs a more basic version of Windows 8 and comes with Office. Reportedly, they haven’t been selling very well. Surface is a late comer to the already burgeoning iPad and Android tablet market. The question is will people be willing to pay more for a tablet with Windows and Office functionality?
Google Glass is a tiny computer mounted on eyeglass frames. With Google’s interest in location, it’s expected that they’ll be used to provide information on surroundings and perhaps alerts. They should be coming out pretty soon to those developers who have pre-ordered them at $1500 each. We’ll no doubt be seeing other examples as well.
There are amazing developments happening in car technology from Google’s self-driving car upper left to Audi’s self-parking car – link to video on Montana Bibliotechies. But audio systems are now routinely linked with cell phones and cameras and sensors allow drivers to monitor blind spots.
Raspberry Pi is a computer board running Linux that’s available starting at $25. People are using them to create their own devices. Might be an interesting for a maker space.
This is the MakerBot Replicator starting at $1749. It allows you to print out 3D objects like the chess board seen here. These are starting to show up in public libraries as part of maker spaces where people can design and build objects.
Gadgets 2013 Suzanne Reymer Montana State Library Offline 2013
Suzanne ReymerMontana State Library Offline 2013