Technology trends


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Technology Trends for librarians - presented to Flathead County Libraries staff - Nov. 2011

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  • iPhone and Samsung Galaxy representing iOS and Android, the two dominant smart phone platforms.
  • You probably won’t be able to read a lot of these. Most are really positive – others not so much.
  • Voice has been around for some time but has received a lot of attention lately due to iPhone 4s and Siri. There is some concern that Siri will be used instead of more traditional search tools like Google. It does use Wolfram Alpha. I wonder if or how it works with library systems and databases.
  • Facetime and Skype are two of the video calling platforms. I think this is a growing trend, perhaps not so much on smart phones as on computers. Has anyone thought about video reference?
  • This is something that’s more common in Europe and Asia than in North America. But there are new Android phones coming out with this capability. The distance has to be close around 1.5” so there’s not a lot of danger of accidental activations. I’ve heard about testing by Mastercard and Visa for payment. This might eventually take the place of RFID checkouts.
  • All cloud really means in computer terms is that the software and data reside on a remote computer and are accessed via the Internet. So, we’ve been using cloud services such as MSC for some time. But it’s really come to the forefront in the last six months with Amazon increasing their use of cloud services for music and reading. Their new Kindle Fire is really dependent on Amazon cloud servers for its content. Apple recently released iCloud to allow users to sync their data and music across Apple devices. I use Dropbox to move files and presentations between computers and to ensure that I have access to information when I’m traveling.
  • Right now the tablet wars seem to be playing out between Android tablets by various hardware manufacturers with various flavors of Android and the Apple iPad. The Android tablet pictured to the left is a Sony running Android 3.1 Honeycomb – the first version of Android designed for tablets. You’ll also find Android tablets from Samsung, HTC, Toshiba, Motorola – different sizes and different specs. Most of the cheaper Android tablets run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is a cell phone operating system. I believe Apple currently controls about 80% of the tablet market with its iPad 1 and 2. Prices for the top end tablets such as the ones shown start at around $500. As you go up the line, what you’re paying extra for is more storage and 3G/4G wireless access instead of just wifi. Wireless access is provided by cellular carriers for an additional monthly fee.
  • Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the new Nook Tablet both just came out this week. These are tablets but with generally less capability than their more full featured cousins. So, they’ll do less but also cost considerably less. The Kindle Fire costs $199 while the Nook Tablet costs $249. Both will allow you to read, watch videos, surf the internet, read and write email and play some games. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble attempt to control the apps available for these devices. So they’re a lot more limited than those available for iPad or full Android tablets. They’re both running customized versions of Android 2.3.
  • E-ink is still the best for those primarily interested in reading.
  • These are generally content consumption devices. Deciding on whether to go with an e-reader or tablet generally depends on what kind of content you want to use and where you want to get it from. Apple is a hardware producer but it’s also distributing content through its own iTunes and iBooks stores as well as others. Android is fairly open but tends to favor Google products and services. Amazon sells content to support its devices so expect any Kindle to work much better with Amazon services – books, music, movies - than with any others. Barnes & Noble is pretty much just in book business so they’ll make it easier to buy books from them but turn to third parties for music and movies.
  • Facebook and Twitter are two of the dominant social networking platforms but there are also networks available for people to share a wide variety of interests – GetGlue to share movies, tv, books, etc. Game Center and Xbox Live to share game scores and play videogames online with friends. Yelp shares reviews of restaurants, hotels, etc. as does Foodspotting. Copia shares books and reading. Instagram shares photos and Linkedin is for professional contacts.
  • Google introduced its own answer to Facebook a couple of months ago. It enables you to share with circles that you’ve set up yourself. It’s become one of my primary professional information resources. Other interesting features are hangouts which enable free video conferencing.
  • Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo all have social features for their users. You can highlight passages and share comments with others using those platforms. Findings will import and share highlights and clips from Amazon and other websites. I can’t help but wish that libraries were involved in this across various platforms.
  • Amazon recently unveiled their e-book lending service for Amazon Prime subscribers ($79/year). Many librarians have responded to this with disdain but I think it has an appeal to non-library people who don’t understand why we’re continuing to apply print checkout and return parameters to e-books. As far as they’re concerned, they get a free book from Amazon a month. When they return it, they can get another free book.
  • Amazon is encouraging self-publishing on its platform of both print and electronic. Smashwords will help authors publish and distribute electronically to multiple platforms. It’s becoming easier and easier for anyone to publish.
  • Foursquare is a location-based platform that’s been around for a while now. You check in at a location to let your friends know where you are. You can also choose to share with Facebook and/or Twitter. You gain points and badges. If you’ve checked in more often than anyone else, you can become the mayor of that location. Sometimes, this provides perqs. Most libraries aren’t really participating at the moment.
  • Oink has twist on the location-based check in or review. With Yelp, you review the overall experience, Oink wants information on goods and services. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how library users rate our good and services?
  • You really need to get some hands on experience with mobile devices and e-readers and tablets. The best way is to borrow a friend’s. Next best is to go and play around with some in a store. Best Buy is a good store to go to because they have a lot of devices out so you can get a feel for how sizes and operating systems feel.
  • Technology trends

    1. 1. Technology Trends Suzanne Reymer Montana State Library Fall 2011
    2. 2. Smart Phones
    3. 3. Smart Phones <ul><li>35% of Americans now own a smart phone according to a Pew Internet study from May 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Expect those numbers to continue to grow </li></ul><ul><li>Apple iPhone </li></ul><ul><li>Google Android – multiple models & manufacturers </li></ul><ul><li>Windows Phone 7 – multiple models & manufacturers </li></ul><ul><li>Blackberry </li></ul>
    4. 4. How smart phone owners describe their phones Pew Internet Study – May 2011
    5. 5. Voice Control
    6. 6. Video Calling
    7. 7. Near Field Communication <ul><li>Contactless Payment </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Health Care </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of Use </li></ul><ul><li>Smart Objects </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul>
    8. 8. Cloud Services
    9. 9. Tablets
    10. 10. E-Reader Tablets NookColor Kindle Fire
    11. 11. E-Ink Readers <ul><li>Smaller & lighter </li></ul><ul><li>Prices dropping dramatically - $79 Kindle </li></ul><ul><li>Touch interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Sony Reader wifi and Kindle wifi models allow OverDrive download w/o Adobe Digital Editions </li></ul>
    12. 12. It’s All About Content!
    13. 13. Everything is Social!
    14. 14. New Social Networks
    15. 15. Sharing Highlights
    16. 16. E-Book Subscription Services
    17. 17. Self-Publishing and Distribution
    18. 18. Location-Based Services
    19. 19. Users Rate Content & Services
    20. 20. Homework <ul><li>Search for some common information via a smart phone – library hours, how to get a library card, etc.? How easy or difficult was it? </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a friend with an iPhone 4S, try the same searches using Siri. Try to find a book in your library using Siri. </li></ul><ul><li>Go to Best Buy and take a look at their current E-Readers/tablets. Play with a few. </li></ul>