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pebbleYour smartphone just got passé. It started with Pebble, a smartwatch, that recently started shipping the fruits of a very successful kickstarter campaign. They were able to raise over 100 times their $100,000 goal last year. Now, Apple, Google, LG, and Samsung all seem to want to cash in on the next hot trend. Apple expects to roll out their own version, the iWatch, in 2018 and Google filed a patent for their version of the smartwatch in October of 2012.

That the competition seems to be playing catch-up, and that Pebble works with both iOS and Android, it’s difficult to tell how successful the rest will be.  Read more...


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MS-Office-2013-logoMicrosoft announced the release of Office 2013 at the end of January. The new productivity suite is the first built to use on Windows 8. Also announced was the release of Office 365 for the home user. Office 365 has been around for a while, but only available to corporate clients. This new licensing level opens up Microsoft’s cloud based service to a wider audience at a monthly price that is competitive with the one time charge consumers are more familiar with. Being able to store documents in the cloud and access them anywhere pales next to one shocking feature – the ability to use Office 365 on up to 5 devices. It’s a smart move on their part, as the ability to access files over the cloud when you have to license your desktop, laptop, tablets and or smart phones individually.

Office Mobile is in development and rumored to be released in early 2013.  Read more...


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OwnCloud is an open-source software package that allows companies to setup a dropbox-like environment for employee use.   It comes with clients for windows, mac, linux, android, and very soon, iOS – as well as a server component that works on either Linux or Windows.  It sounded extremely useful to our clients, so we immediately began our evaluation process.  We began by installing OwnCloud on a Linux VPS (Virtual Private Server) in our datacenter, and evaluating the windows and android clients.

The file sharing is the best feature.  OwnCloud allows you to replicate folders from your local hard drive (or perhaps a server drive) to cloud storage hosted at SpireTech (or another hosting provider).  You can share individual files or folders with coworkers, and create groups with permissions similar to what you would do in a conventional file server type environment.   It supports LDAP, so we think we’ll be able to integrate it with local user databases on linux or windows-based file servers, although we haven’t tested that out yet.   Read more...


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A relatively new startup in the bay, Leap Motion, has been causing a stir as they have unveiled the fruits of this last year’s labor – an affordable, fast, motion detection system for the PC and Mac. It has already been hailed as the final blow to the mouse. Since the release of Minority Report there has been a fascination with motion detection user input. Developers instantly saw it’s ability to change the way we interact with and control electronics. Nintendo struck the first blow with the Wii gaming console which detects the motion of a remote. Then, Microsoft released the Kinect for XBox, their gaming console, which can detect the motion of an arm or a leg. Leap Motion is 100 times more accurate, seeing details down to the movement of a single finger. They claim it will be the most accurate sensor available on the market.

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Consumer spending heavily relies on digital currency and perhaps someday paper money will be obsolete.  It might sound fantastic but consider how often you yourself use a credit card to buy things, go online to shop, or receive gift cards preloaded with a specific amount of money.  Most likely you pay your bills via internet banking, pay-at-the-pump with a credit card, and even purchase movie tickets online.  Once you consider the frequency of which you actually use digital currency on a day-to-day basis, we aren’t really that far off from going fully digital with our currency. The Bitcoin revolution

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This year’s Tokyo Motor Show showcased some interesting, wild, and green concept cars. With efficiency in mind, companies unleashed these eco-friendly designs that are both innovative and rather unconventional. Here are just a few

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At the end of October, the PhotoPlus Expo was held in New York City.  At the expo, hundreds of people demonstrated their technological advances in photography, including new kinds of cameras, lenses, printers, clothing, gear, and many others.  The plethora of items appealed to both professionals and hobbyists alike, albeit most came with elevated prices.  Here are three amazing inventions that were seen at the PhotoPlus Expo.  Take a look at a more complete list here to see an even more detailed look.

Sony DEV-3 and DEV-5 3D Binoculars

Like something you’d see in the newest sci-fi movie, these cool binoculars from Sony provide some amazing photographic and video features. Only the DEV-3 was on display, but the DEV-5 is the more complex of the two.  What’s cool about these models is that they’re multi-functional:  use them as impressive 3D binoculars, a 7-megapixel camera, or even a 1080i video recorder.  The optical lenses zoom to 20x as well.   Read more...


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We have spoken many times before about how society has become more connected, with others and with the world as a whole. Device connectivity could make how we live much easier by preventing breaks in our work. For instance, if you are working on a document at work and want to continue on the commute home,  simply send it to your smartphone and use a voice transcription app to continue your work in the car. Connectivity presents us with an interesting future. Here is Microsoft’s take on the subject. This future is probably not far off and it makes me wonder, what kinds of devices, apps, or combination of the two are paving the way for a future like this? Below are a few.
iControl
Comcast recently unveiled its home energy management and surveillance product called iControl. This robust product permits people to regulate the temperature of their homes, turn lights off and on, and watch their homes through video.

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In Back to the Future, Marty McFly travels back in time, from 1985 to 30 years earlier, arriving in a suped-up DeLorean to 1955. While in the past, he subsequently messes-up his parent’s first meeting, and must then change history while he tries to get them together to insure his own existence.  Likewise, in the film’s first sequel, Marty travels through time to assist his children.  In the futuristic vision there are hover boards and flying cars.  Though fanciful, we can see areas where the world we live in mimics much of what’s going on in both films – but are we truly closer to the technology found in Hill Valley in 1955, or in the film’s futuristic sequel?

First, we should ask ourselves where we thought we would be by 2011. Of course we’d have flying cars and hover boards by now, wouldn’t we? Yet here we are, still driving fossil-fuel burning cars, riding scooters and bicycles, whilst wearing fairly normal clothes.

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In a world where technological advances pop up everyday in news-feeds and broadcasts, the annual T3 Gadget Awards is a microcosm of all of these advances in one place.  Like the Oscars for Technology, the T3 Gadget Awards nominate the most cutting-edge gadgets out today. With past releases like the iPad 2, Microsoft’s Kinect and huge advances in gaming, it’s worth a quick note to show some of the most important revelations which have taken place in 2011.  Over 960,000 votes, together with the final tabulations of a 6 person expert panel, determined the winners.  Here are just a few of the more interesting revelations, as well as some interesting–if not ironic–choices for winners.   

Ironic Winners

One of the most interesting aspects of the Awards are the categories themselves. They run the gamut of technology, and aren’t completely focused on gadgetry. For instance, there’s the Best Retailer award and even the Gadget Personality of the Year award. 

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