Predicting the future of technology is often a shot in the dark. But every once in awhile, the complex evolution of tech gives us something that actually fulfills the starry-eyed dreams of years or decades before. And as we look back at the incredible achievements of Steve Jobs, you quickly see that, more than any other single innovator, he was responsible for so many of today's real-life consummations of past predictions.
Yesterday, the MTA (the transit organization that covers New York City and its immediately surrounding area) unveiled the very first On the Go Travel Station, a 47-inch touchscreen installed in certain subway stations that provides to-the-minute updates on inevitable delays, as well as a subway map and a trip planner. I went down to the Bowling Green station to try out this first installation.
The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a simple idea: take a big hard drive with you, wherever you want to go, that doesn't need any advanced setup, that doesn't need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, and can beam your music, videos, photos, and documents to whatever device you happen to have with you--iPad, smartphone, laptop, whatever. And it does exactly that. Congratulations, iPad/smartphone/etc owner: You now have 500GB of extra storage, no matter which device you're using.
Wacom is well-known for their artist's tablets, smallish touch-sensitive squares that graphic designers use as digital sketchpads. But a different kind of tablet has recently taken hold, and Wacom doesn't want to miss the boat on the iPad or the various other tablets hitting the market these days. Hence the Bamboo Stylus and Bamboo Paper app for the iPad, which I can safely say is the best stylus and the best stylus-using tablet app I've ever used. But does that make them good?
Despite using advanced technology that lets planes practically fly themselves, airline pilots are still bogged down by a lingering 20th-century artifact: Paper. Now at least one commercial airline is adopting cockpit iPads, after the FAA approved their use earlier this year.
As we approach Memorial Day, I can think of few things sadder in the summertime than overdone meat. There are a number of tools and methods to combat such tragedies, but perhaps most novel among these lately is the iGrill--a dual-probe meat thermometer that pairs with a companion iPhone or iPad app via Bluetooth. With an accurate temperature readout in your pocket, you're free to go about your business, checking the temperature occasionally and getting a buzz when your meat reaches a set temperature of your choosing. That's the idea, anyway.
To celebrate Holy Week — the seven days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday — a group of interfaith leaders wants you to get unplugged. Stepping away from your iPad, smartphone or laptop will allow you to connect with nature, art and the world around you, they say.
In just over a week of availability, the iPad 2 is on a 4-5 week back order online, and is practically impossible to get with expedience in any shop anywhere in the country. Even for Apple, it has all the looks of a staggering sales achievement for what is, on paper, a very modest spec-bump to a machine already owned by over 15 million people. Something's going on here.
Just in time to take advantage of the latest round of iPad hysteria, optics researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol are launching a novel new iPad app. But this new application doesn't let you manipulate your bank account, your current scrabble match, or your media collection. It lets you manipulate microscopic particles.