Lolo Siderman was recently interviewed for the story below. Click here to view it on Ai InSite.
There’s no doubt that technology is a bigger part of our lives than ever before. For some, it’s a welcome addition that allows for increased flexibility and freedom. For others, big concerns remain including privacy and security.
From mobile wallets to talking refrigerators, opportunities abound to integrate technology into everyday activities.
“2012 should be a watershed year for personal technology, showcasing the beginning and end for a lot of companies, as well as major transitions for those that are left,” writes Rob Enderle writer for TechNewsWorld.
Enderle believes that tech products will evolve to become even “thinner, more social, easier to talk to, friendlier, and smarter” than they are now.
THE TABLET-IFICATION OF TECH
Individuals who cannot separate from their iPad will be glad to know that Samsung has already created a refrigerator with a built-in tablet computer. “Others are likely to follow their example,” Enderle writes.
Car companies are getting in on the tablet frenzy as well, building tablet-like features into their dashboards.
“This iPad effect will likely extend to things like home automation and high-end home alarm systems as well. And yes, you’ll likely be able to install apps on many of them,” states Enderle.
Apple’s popular Siri personal assistant will gain some competition, Enderle believes, from big names such as Google. And he believes that the European trend of replacing cable boxes with game consoles and smart TVs will soon land stateside.
“The traditional cable box will increasingly be replaced next year. This has been going on in Europe for some time, with systems like the Xbox, and Verizon just started a similar effort with that product here for FIOS customers.”
Mobile wallets, or the ability to make purchases using mobile technology, is gaining in popularity — so much so that it was a major topic at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
USA Today’s Edward C. Baig, who covered the conference, noted that the war for mobile wallet supremacy has heated up. Isis, Google Wallet’s main competitor, announced that it has partnered with major credit card and wireless companies to mount a serious challenge against Google.
“The New York City-based joint venture formed by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless announced that Chase, Capital One, and Barclaycard will let customers place their credit, debit, and prepaid cards into the Isis Mobile Wallet. That will let folks shop with their phones at participating merchants,” Baig writes.
The Isis wallet plans a test run this summer, with pilots in Salt Lake City and Austin.
But unlike more mainstream technology products, mobile wallets can be a hard sell.
“A mountain of issues must be solved before mobile payments take off in a major way, not the least of which is the very real challenge of getting consumers, accustomed to paying with cash or plastic, to buy into the idea,” Baig asserts.
These concerns are being addressed by the industry in an effort to gain new customers — especially those customers who are not comfortable using their phones to make a payment.
SO HAPPY TOGETHER
The marriage of technology and life can be sweet — and beneficial.
“My iPhone is truly part of me — I can’t be without it! And my Macbook is my work life,” says Lolo Siderman, founder of Gypsywing Media. “I’ve needed to get some minor repairs on it but I was told they may need it for two days and I just haven’t been able to part with it. I think I’ll just have to live with a cracked screen forever.”
Siderman, who in 1999 earned an Associate of Science in Graphic Design degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, asserts that while people don’t really need technology, their desire for it is based on easy availability.
“As these things have become available, they’ve increased and changed how we connect with friends, family, and business associates and would now leave a void if we didn’t have them,” Siderman says.
She sees both positives and negatives with the technology inundation, asserting that downsides include cell phones buzzing through dinner dates, utilizing Facebook instead of interacting face-to-face with family, and the impossibility of escaping work emails.
Siderman mentions a new level of personal connectivity that, if it actually makes it to the market, could literally allow you to internally feel incoming digital communications.
“I saw an new invention recently that literally connects a smartphone to the user wirelessly, so when the phone rings or receives a text the person feels the vibration in their body,” Siderman says. “I don’t think I’m ready for that yet, but I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more of that type of integration that pushes our comfort levels.”