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Archive
Gadgets

Think of an skinny R2D2 with arms. The arms become legs for getting up and down stairs and over obstacles.

Fetchr has a primary mission of finding and fetching things for you. He can also:

  • hand you tools while you are fixing the car
  • vacuum using an attachment that he attaches himself
  • fetch canned or bottled drinks from his own special fridge
  • bring in the mail or newspaper
  • tidy up (for example any clothes found on the floor go to the laundry basket)

In other words an un-fancy robot that everybody has a use for.

But here’s the innovation – Fetchr learns from you via your AR glasses. When you are at home, while wearing the glasses you explain what you are doing and identify items. Just like speech recognition software, it will take a while initially to train it. Beyond that, just wearing the glasses at home means that Fetchr sees what you see. He knows when you last mowed the lawns. He knows what a hammer is and the last time you used it, and where it was last seen.

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I envision four types of tablets in the future:

  • Apple iPad – one button, not much in terms of accessories, personal use only, primarily used for gaming, watching and reading. Fun
  • Android for Business – same as the iPad but with more accessories and pen input, like the Galaxy Note. Work
  • Android for Fun – smaller devices like the Google Nexus. Expect to see them have more buttons, like a Sony PSP or Vita – so serious gaming can be had. Fun
  • Android Fully Loaded – pen input, plus a keyboard (like ASUS Transformer) and docking station. Work

Apple iPad will still have a place in stores to purely display info, but sales people taking orders will switch to pen input Androids.

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By all accounts Windows 8 is a mess. They have tried to have a touchscreen app system, and a regular Windows system, bound together – and it just isn’t working well.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Mac OS has managed to combined the two. Apple has always been superior to Windows, but it had some negatives that have all been erased. It now:

  • Runs Windows (dual-boot), but with Cloud taking off, compatibility is becoming less necessary
  • Has Intel hardware and uses regular peripherals
  • Is getting cheaper all the time
  • Syncs with all those iPads and iPhones out there

Meanwhile, old hardware brands like HP and Dell are looking and acting really old. Apple Macs are still cool, and ready for a sudden surge in sales. They don’t even need a new model. When new PCs are released with Windows 8 installed, consumers and especially businesses will move to Apple. I expect that I will be one of them.

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OK, it won’t be mine. Although I have one, the latest one, my wife is the early adopter when it comes to phones. Her iPhone 4 is way older than my 4S, so she’ll be the one who gets to upgrade – and it looks like Sep/Oct.

Given that Android phones have made substantial ground, I’m wondering if it is OK to just presume Apple will maintain superiority, or should I be looking forward to reading some iPhone 5 reviews soon?

But then again, we don’t know a single person with a non-Apple smart phone. And we wonder where they are all hiding!

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I’m itching to get me some gadgets, but technology to come, plus Telstra’s announcement mean I will wait until the end of the year.

1. Telstra will be launching 4G / LTE towards the end of the year. This will substantially improve speeds, making virtually anything you do via cell towers work without any lags – for example movies and games. Right now I cannot buy a 4G gadget.

2. NFC – Near Field Technology. I want this, I want to use my phone to pay for little things. iPhone 5 is expected to have it, so I’ll wait. If I don’t go the iPhone route, all their competitors will have NFC by year’s end.

These two factors will mean that the phone I do get should be able to last me for years. The form factor won’t get any smaller (although lighter/thinner is possible). The display can’t really improve. Cameras don’t need to improve. Batteries could improve.

And I want LTE in my iPad or other “pad”. I’ll use a lot away from home, so I really want that speed.

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