Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category


Predicting the future is hard, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. We’re Wired, after all.

Ten years ago, we boldly declared that we’d be living with phones on our wrists, data-driven goggles on our eyes and gadgets that would safety-test our food for us. Turns out, a lot of the things Sonia Zjawinski conceptualized in our “Living in 2013” feature way back in 2003 were remarkably close to what we’ve seen. We even got the iPhone right (sort of).

And so, as we look back on life in 2013 circa 2003, we’re going to spin it forward once again to tell you what life will be like in 2023.


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Predicted for 2003 (above):

Apple redefined the desktop, laptop, and MP3 player. The next insanely great thing: an LCD arm cuff that includes a PDA, wireless Internet, a mini iPod, and, of course, a phone. The iPhone bracelet’s motion sensor allows you to scroll through apps and files with the flick of a wrist, its clasp holds a digicam for use during video calls, and its wireless ear clip lets you listen and speak to callers. And everything can be done via voice recognition or touchscreen. Talk about the right call. Illustration: Kenn Brown.

Delivered in 2013:

Hey, it turns out, Apple gave us an iPhone after all! We got the name right, and even seemed to know about FaceTime. But the form factor details? Not so much. While you can wear an iPod nano as a watch, or make a call with your iPhone, if you want the watch-plus-phone combination that we teased you with 10 years ago, for now you’ll need to pick up a secondary gadget that can transmit to your phone, like this Pebble. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired.

Looking ahead to 2023:

Here’s the thing, the screen on a watch is simply too small to display lots of data. And as an input device? Forget it. Yet keeping your phone out of sight means you often can’t interact with your data on the go. The obvious answer is a variable size display. Samsung has already demonstrated a pretty convincing foldable OLED display prototype. Given 10 more years, we can easily see one screen serving multiple purposes by taking on multiple form factors, depending on whether you wanted to simply glance at it to read a message, or unfold it to write your reply. Illustration: Simon Lutrin/Wired


by Owen N. Wild

Next time your layover becomes a long night, work your way through it.  Am I the only one who thinks airports, like islands, are not the most productive place to conduct business? For one thing, layovers usually aren’t long enough to get work done.

But let’s assume for a moment you are stuck at an airport and you’ve just got to do your work. Consider this: More and more of the airlines are now offering one-day passes to their business lounges. Different airlines have different clubs and policies, but several do offer access for a nominal fee. Do your research, because a club means access to a business center equipped with desks, dataports, computers, wireless hot spots, faxes: all of the business travel goodies lacking in the common area in the main terminal.

If you’re a club member, you can often bring a guest. One caveat: Check on club hours; some begin shutting their doors at 8 PM, depending on the airport. (And don’t forget to score whatever snacks, etc., you need out in the terminal before those shops close.)

If you don’t get into an airline club, there are other options, although none nearly so attractive, convenient, or comfortable. The Internet kiosk is one such alternative. But these tend to be few and far between, and not inexpensive besides.

After the club and the kiosk, there is a yawning gap in service for dedicated laptoppers.

What it boils down to is a competition for plugs. Yes, we’re talking electrical outlets. The closer to your gate, the less likely you’ll be to find one unfilled by someone’s power cord. Consider bringing a compact surge suppressor, power strip, or extension cord to share that electric moment. If you don’t need to camp at your gate, explore relocating to one of the less busy restaurants in the terminal, where you’ll often find an open outlet.

In fact, when peace and calm are at a premium, check out another gate or terminal.

An extra laptop battery is an invaluable accessory for those times when you can’t locate a convenient outlet. By the same token, a USB flash drive comes in handy when you find a business center and just want print a document without having to restart your laptop.

Some road warriors find they can get by with only a cell phone or a Blackberry and a flash drive. The tradeoff is weight and bulk for online access and the security of having your office in your shoulder bag. Of course, when you venture into public with your laptop you have to concern yourself with the security of the device itself as well as what’s on the device’s screen. Roving eyes can gaze on important company data, which is all the more reason to invest in a top-flight privacy filter.

Just remember — if you’re going to take a nap, your feet belong atop the laptop bag.

When you arise from your snooze in a place where you’ve been working for a while, make very sure to survey your temporary work zone before moving on, because, inside the terminal’s warm friendly confines it is surprisingly easy to forget a coat or hat.

But let’s say you’re traveling the non-laptop route. Road warriors have downtime. Lots of it. Airports are perfect for those cram sessions to do the administrative stuff you’ve been putting off — whether it’s your expense reports or budgets, updating an address book, or catching up on business reading. It’s stuff that just requires time and a chair.

You’ll need a bit more than that for a good phone call. You’ll need quiet. Places to get away from the ambient noise can include the airport lounge or even a spot near the ATM. Just a word of caution about scheduling cell phone conference calls in an airport: You may find yourself interrupted by loudspeaker gate announcements at the most inconvenient time.

That cell phone is invaluable when that announcement is about your flight cancellation. Prompt action to ring the airline or your travel agent and schedule a new flight actually can prevent you from getting stuck at the airport in the first place. But if stuck you find yourself, be nice to your gate agent. You never know when an upgrade will come up.

Getting cancelled also offers an unequalled opportunity for conversation with those on your flight. After all, many are road warriors, too, and many a business relationship has been struck up while marooned. You just never know who you’ll meet there. So share business cards and contacts. Don’t underestimate the power of networking on your island.

by Christina DesMarais

There’s a better way to manage your inbox–let SaneBox do most of the work for you.

Email is a pain. There are simply too many messages to handle—and I’m not even talking about spam from marketers (I use a separate address to collect those emails). The headache is the increasing number of legitimate business messages—it’s a humongous time-suck that only seems to be getting worse.

Two years ago I answered nearly every message. A year ago I downgraded to at least trying to read them all. Last winter I started scanning the sender subject fields concentrating on the ones coming from people I knew or looked like they might contain information I needed. And lately, I’ve been considering closing my account and starting over with a private address reserved for only work colleagues and select sources.

Until, that is, I tried SaneBox.

It’s like Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature in that it looks at your messages and prior history engaging with those senders and decides which emails you’re likely to deem most important.

When you turn on the Priority Inbox feature in Gmail, Google separates your email into three categories: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything Else; all the mail is still in your inbox, but the important messages are up top.

SaneBox is a bit different in that it removes less important messages from your inbox completely, moving them to an @SaneLater folder that you can peruse whenever you want. If SaneBox puts an important message into that folder you can move it to your inbox and it remembers the action so the next time you receive a message from that person, it will go to your inbox.

Priority Inbox is trainable in this way, as well; the more you move stuff around, the better it gets at categorization. But I prefer SaneBox.

SaneBox vs. Gmail’s Priority Inbox

SaneBox gives you a custom dashboard including a timeline that graphs how many important and less important emails you get every day. My current average, according to SaneBox, is 81 a day. If I took a minute to read, digest, and respond to each one of them, that’s nearly an hour and a half a day going through email. If you figure there’s at least 250 work days in a year, I’m spending 375 hours annually on email. That’s not acceptable.

In addition to the @SaneLater folder that stores non-essential messages, you can also enable folders such as @SaneNews for newsletters and @SaneBlackHole for those messages you want to send straight to your Trash. (Ha! Finally I’m getting revenge on a certain five-letter-titled fitness magazine that has not let me unsubscribe to its newsletters for two full years!)

Automated nagging!

And it also has a nifty feature that lets you CC or BCC a message to to remind you if someone doesn’t respond.

So let’s say you need an answer from your boss about a project and you need it no later than two days from now. In the CC field just include the address and in two days SaneBox will put the message back in the top of your inbox if she never replied to it. This way you remember to bug her again.

SaneBox also creates an @SaneRemindMe folder that lets you keep track of all the messages to which you still need replies. Use, or; it doesn’t matter, SaneBox will figure out the time frame you need.

The service is $5 a month and works with email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, iPhone, and Android and as well most email services like Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, AOL, and Gmail.  The only service it doesn’t currently support is Hotmail.

Christina DesMarais is an contributor who writes about the tech start-up community, covering innovative ideas, news, and trends. Follow her tweets @salubriousdish or add her to one of your circles on Google+. Have a tip? Email her at christinadesmarais (at) live (dot) com. @salubriousdish

Stay productive on the go with mobile office suites, remote access clients, file sync programs, and other useful business applications designed with the iPad in mind.

Jeff Wilson By Jeffrey L. Wilson

Best iPad Business Apps Source:,2817,2372150,00.asp

Picture this: You’re dashing through the airport in a mad rush to catch a cross-country flight to meet clients. Now, what would you rather have in your bag, as you’re bobbing and weaving between travelers: a business laptop (which typically weighs between 3 and 6 pounds) or a 1.3-pound iPad 2? If you don’t mind working on a touch screen (or are using a Bluetooth keyboard), the choice is simple.

The App Store has an incredible software catalog that transforms Apple’s slate into a highly capable productivity device. In fact, there are apps available to meet nearly every business need, from word processing to remote access, so you can continue doing the job at hand—but on a tablet that weighs less than two pounds.

The iTunes Apps Store contains many apps that duplicate the functionality of traditional desktop applications—and the breadth of functionality continues to increase. For example, the Editors’ Choice award-winning iWork for iPad (a mobile version of Apple’s office suite), LogMeIn Ignition for iPad (a mobile version of the popular remote access software), Dragon Dictation (Nuance’s mobile application that brings much of the speech recognition functionality of Dragon NaturallySpeaking to the iPad), Filemaker Go for iPad (database software), and Power.ME (which excels at task and workflow management) give business users the ability to edit documents, access a Mac or PC remotely, transcribe voice notes, keep inventory, and keep track of important data.

The marketplace also has many apps that may not represent traditional workplace applications, but may prove useful to nonetheless. The Editors’ Choice award-winning Twitter for iPad (social networking), and Dropbox for iPad (cloud-based file synchronization) lets you build your brand and make files accessible from multiple computers.

Of course, these are just a handful of the numerous iPad business apps available in the iTunes Apps Store, but these are some of our favorites that you’ll find in our Best Business Apps roundup. Check out our slideshow to see which is best suited for the job at hand.

Click the links in the slideshow below to read more about our recommended apps for business iPad users.

View Slideshow
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Dragon Dictation
Dropbox for iPadFileMaker Go (for iPad)iWork for iPad


American students have developed a bra, which can hold everything you need – cell phone, debit card, and even your house keys. Have you ever tried to put money or debit cards in your bra with little success? Do you hate to carry a handbag because all the most important stuff gets lost in the bottom? Have you always dreamed of being a kangaroo?  No problem, U.S. university students Mariah Gentry and Kyle Bartlow has been developed a new kind of bra in cooperation with “The JoeyBra”, which can hold nearly everything you need, like your cell phone, debit card, ID and house keys.

No pockets in your pants? Can’t stand to carry a handbag? You can carry it all in a JoeyBra!

The idea arose during interviews done with female students – women apparently felt that they needed a new dimension to bra, or simply some extra pockets. Perhaps the house keys won’t be as easily forgotten!

Image: The JoeyBra Copyright: Splash

You can even fit a cell phone into the generous pocket.  These leopard print bras were named after baby kangaroo’s, also known as Joeys.

Image: The JoeyBra Copyright: Splash

The handy pocket is great for credit cards or money especially when traveling abroad.  See more about the JoeyBra from

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