Author: Nicholas D. Evans
Table of Contents
Table of ContentsI. TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY. 1. Getting High-Speed Connections: Broadband Internet.
2. Getting Wireless Connections: Wireless Local Area Networking.
3. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs): Toshiba Pocket PC.
4. Combining Mobile Phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs): Smartphones.
5. Personalizing Your Cell Phone: Downloading Ring Tones and Images.
6. Keeping One Phone Number across the Globe: World Phones.
7. Single Log-In and Profiles: Microsoft .NET Passport and the Liberty Alliance.
8. Increasing Your Security: Fingerprint Readers and Facial Recognition.
9. Remote-Control Software for your PC: GoToMyPC.
10. Using Voice-Activated Services: PCS Voice Command from Sprint.
11. Communicating via Instant Messaging: Nokia Communicator.
12. Receiving Alerts and Notifications: Microsoft .NET Alerts.
13. Using Voice Over The Internet: Groove Networks.
14. Video Conferencing With Your PC: Webex.
15. In-Car Safety and Security: OnStar.
16. In-Car Information and Entertainment: OnStar and MobileAria.
17. Finding Your Way:. Magellan Meridian GPS Receivers.
18. Tracking the Kids: Wherify GPS Personal Locator.
19. Taking Digital Photos: Nikon Coolpix.
20. Viewing Digital Photos: Microsoft TV Photo Viewer.
21. Filming with Digital Video.
22. Camera Phones: PCS Vision from Sprint.
23. Sharing Images, Audio, and Video over the Web: Kazaa.
24. Making Your Own Digital Recordings: CD and DVD Recorders.
25. Listening to Digital Music: MP3 Players.
26. Tuning in to Satellite Radio: XM and Sirius.
27. Watching Digital Television: HDTV.
28. Digital Video Recording: TiVo, ReplayTV and UltimateTV.
29. Multiplayer Online Gaming: Playstation, Nintendo and Xbox.
30. Printing from Your Mobile Device: ThinMail and PrintMe Networks.
31. The Next-Generation Laptop: Tablet PCs.
32. Simplifying Convenience Payments: ExxonMobil Speedpass.
33. Securing Internet Shopping: American Express Blue.
34. Shopping With Your Mobile Phone: Digital Wallets.
35. Simplifying Shopping With Self-Checkout: NCR FastLane.
II. TOMORROW'S TECHNOLOGY.36. Connecting Your Home: Internet Home Alliance.
37. Networking Using the Phone Line: HomePNA.
38. Networking Using the Electrical System: HomePlug Powerline Alliance.
39. Using Many Devices With One Connection: Personal Mobile Gateways.
40. Talking To Your Mobile Device: Spoken Language Understanding.
41. Using New Visual Interfaces: 3D...
Consumer Gadgets is the easy "how-to" guide to 50 of today's most amazing high-tech innovations -- and
tomorrow's. Discover how these breakthrough technologies can enable you to have more fun, simplify
your life, and be more productive wherever you are. Nicholas D. Evans demystifies everything from TiVo to
OnStar, XM to Segway -- plus many exciting products and services not yet on the market. Evans offers
simple explanations and practical usage scenarios, as well as realistic guidance on choosing the
"winners" -- and avoiding the "losers."
Despite the rapid rise and fall of the Internet economy, one thingis certain: Today we are seeing more and
more tech gadgetsbeing made available to inform us, entertain us, help us communicatewith one another,
and generally assist us in our daily living.We are experiencing the rise of ubiquitous computing.
Computersare becoming embedded in everyday objects, and the personal computeris moving from the
office into almost every other room in thehouse. Computers are helping us achieve more with our
televisions,with our entertainment systems, with our cameras and videos, andwith our personal digital
assistants (PDAs). They are becomingembedded in our cars as well as our homes, helping us stay
informed,be entertained, or be more productive with work.A decade or so ago, the only challenge for
consumers in the worldof technical gadgets and gizmos was to figure out how to program theVCR, set
the date and time on digital watches, or install Microsoft'sWindows on a personal computer. Today, there
are gadgets for keepingtrack of the kids, for communicating wirelessly, for navigating inthe car, for
shopping without cash or credit cards, for securing Internetpayments with smartcards, for typing without a
physical keyboard,for digitally rewinding TV shows, and much more.Many of these gadgets are so new
that most of us don't evenknow they're available. We may be masters at some of these tools viaour
hobbies, but we're often unaware of the others, or have becomeslaves to them because of their novelty.
Keen photographers knowabout digital cameras and digital video recorders, but do they knowabout voice-
enabled PDAs, multimedia messaging or virtual keyboards?Keen music fans know all about MP3
players, but do theyknow about radio frequency identification key tags for making wirelesspurchases at
convenience stores? Heavy computer users knowabout collaboration over the Internet and about wireless
local areanetworks (LANs) but do they know about handheld global positioningsystem (GPS) receivers?
This book was written as a way to help address this problem, toexplore the benefits behind some of the
new consumer gadgets on themarket and to provide a glimpse of some of the ones to come. Ratherthan
a product review or technical discussion, however, the goal ofthe book is simply to explore the merits of
some recent innovations ofwhich we may not be aware, but that can help us in our daily livesand
activities. The book takes an activity-centered approach to showhow you can have fun and simplify your
life by using some of thesenew consumer gadgets.The basic philosophy of the book, therefore, is to
explain whatthe activity is, what the relevant gadget is, and how you can benefitfrom it. I also touch on
how the gadget works, but more at an operationalor process level with step-by-step instructions rather
than at atechnical level. For example, if you want to know how you can keeptrack of the kids, there's a
section in the book on how to do this, whyit may be beneficial to you, what gadgets are available, and
where toseek further information.The book is divided into two major parts. The first part,
"Today'sTechnology," describes consumer gadgets that are commercially availablenow. These are 35
activities that can help you have fun and simplifyyour life by using new gadgets or by using well-known
gadgetsin new ways. The second part, "Tomorrow's Technology," describessome consumer gadgets that
will appear soon in a store near you. These are some of the technologies coming out of research labs, or
arein prototype stages or in early adoption, that may soon becomeembedded in everyday devices and
objects.Each profile within the book is...
Nicholas D. Evans
Nicholas D. Evans is a Director within the Emerging Technology Practice of one of the world's leading
professional services organizations. He focuses on the delivery of Wireless Internet consulting
engagements such as wireless strategy, architecture, and implementation.Mr. Evans is an industry-
recognized E-Business consultant, speaker, and author. He has a regular M-Business column published
in Internet Week reaching over 275,000 readers and has written for numerous other computer industry
magazines. He is the author of several books on web technology, including titles from Microsoft Press
and Powersoft Press. He is frequently quoted in the industry press and has been featured in thought
leadership sections alongside Peppers & Rogers and the Patricia Seybold Group.Mr. Evans was formerly
the National Technical Director for E-Business at PricewaterhouseCoopers within their Global Software
Solutions Center. In this role, he was responsible for selling and delivering engagements to major PwC
clients nationally. Mr. Evans co-founded the National Internet Practice for Coopers & Lybrand in 1997.Mr.
Evans' clients have included 3M, AT&T, Abbott Labs, American Airlines, American Family Insurance,
Best Buy, BP Amoco, Compaq, Conoco, First USA, Intel, Kodak, Major League Baseball, Schering
Plough, SunTrust Bank, Texaco, Van Waters and Rogers, and many others.Mr. Evans holds a B.Sc.
(Hons) and M.Sc. from Southampton University in England. He is a frequent advisor to the venture capital
community and serves on several advisory boards.