Having access to your kids and their data, in the name of ‘educational advantage’, is big business these days. As we wrote about recently, there is now a national database with the personal data of all k-12 children in some states, and children from select districts in others, and companies are being allowed to mine that data. Now meet the Amplify Tablet. The Amplify Tablet is the product of News Corp., and their educational division.
Readers of all ages and backgrounds love a trip to Barnes & Noble for the selection, the atmosphere, and the service. And that really great coffee. But lovers of e-books have ignored Barnes and Noble’s proprietary Nook e-reader in favor of the iPad from Apple and Kindle from Amazon. As a result, the foray into its own tablet has hemorrhaged loses to the point that the retailer appears to have given up on the much ballyhooed effort.
How has the world lived without a waterproof cell phone for this long? Water is the kryptonite of cell phones and for all of the money we pay for them, it seems that they should be a bit more resilient. Well, we can all rejoice and start using our phones around toilets, showers and pools with reckless abandon because technology company HzO has developed a new nanofilm waterproof coating, WaterBlock, that will protect your phone should it come into contact with water. And the first water proof cellphone is due out shortly – with Sony, Samsung and, reportedly, Apple, all planning to bring out a waterproof phone this year.
It won’t be long before we see flexible smartphones and flexible tablets on the market! The likes of Sony, Nokia, LG, Philips and Sharp are all fervently working on technology to bring foldable phones to consumers in the very near future. Prototypes of the flexible phones are already creating a buzz at trade and gadget shows, with news that the foldable phone can be bent, folded and rolled. The excitement of the flexible smartphone and flexible tablet is growing as the possibilities of rolling it up to stick it in a pocket or handbag are wildly appealing to users on the go. Not to mention that a flexible phone is quite the conversation starter.
PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. has introduced the table PC, a 27-inch table computer that allows users to play boardgames, with the screen responding to up to ten fingers at the same time. Users can stick the 27-inch screen device on top of any table, or create a touch screen table with the optional coffee table that fits the device, and features sliding glass panels to cover the device when you are through playing board games.
Today Apple announced their new iPod lineup full of upgrades and the usual array of bright bubblegum colors. The iPod Touch is revised with the same anodized aluminum that is used in the MacBook. The colors come in black, silver, turquoise, neon green and pink. This is the lightest iPod Touch to date, and comes with a detachable wrist loop as an easy way to keep your iPod Touch close, without having to actually carry it.
The new Kindle Fire HD has broken the mold by being the only tablet to finally offer parental controls over what their kids access. While parents go to great lengths to control their child’s TV and PC usage, the tablets have managed to slip by the radar, allowing children unhindered access to the very same things that parents have kept them from on other devices. And at only $199, this kid-friendly tablet has quite an attractive pricetag.
The Ad Hawk App has made a timely and welcome appearance. After all, it’s that time of year when political ads are on just about every TV and radio in America and Adhawk (there is both Ad Hawk for iPhone and Ad Hawk for Android) has answered our political prayers. Ok, ok, probably not the exact political prayers you had, but the app, a sort of Shazam for political ads, certainly helps decipher these ads that are playing everywhere. And not just your cheerful, “Vote for me, I’m great” ads, but those nasty, mud-slinging political attack ads.
Paying for your morning latte just got easier with the new Pay with Square app, which allows users to pay for purchases without swiping their credit card. Instead, users can pay for their purchases directly with their Android or iPhone. The app can be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Users must be running at least iOS 4.1 or Android 2.2 in order to use the app.
It’s no secret that I love my T-Mobile Sidekick (while the hardware manufacturer, Danger, calls it the “HipTop”, the only place to get it, T-Mobile, calls it the “Sidekick”). While legions are wondering whether their Blackberry service will go the way of the wind, or are dealing with getting their email to POP or iMap to their Treos, my Sidekick does everything I want it to do, and more.
If your Blackberry isn’t working, you’re not alone. Neither is anybody else’s. In fact, Research in Motion (RIM) is experiencing what may be their largest network outage ever, affecting users of their (overly)popular Blackberry device around the world. Reports from the U.S., Canada, and the UK abound.
Wow, that was fast! It was barely a week ago that we predicted the convergence of GPS and Internet on cell phones and it leading to location-based push advertising to your cell phone, and now Nokia has announced (well, leaked, really) that they plan to have full navigation GPS on all Nokia cell phones.
Here is my prediction: the next big thing from the Internet advertising point of view is going to be this: the convergence of always-on Internet and GPS in one device. Internet and GPS convergence.