Thursday, August 14, 2014

High Tech Products of the Not-so-Distant Future

AltaOne members can now access some of the most cutting-edge technological tools to help manage their finances -- MSC Online, mobile apps, BudgetPro, BillPayer, Popmoney, etc. Outside the AltaOne world, technology continues to explode. Products such as Google Glass -- the amazing eyewear that conducts Google searches, snaps photos and videos and tracks trending news -- are already here. 

Let us take a gander at what other items are on the horizon that are destined to "wow" the world.

The "Eye-Witness"

A portable retina scanner may soon be available to help fight identity theft and protect your personal security. The tiny device is only 5" long x 3.5" wide. The scanners can be used by financial institutions to identity members conducting transactions in an efficient and unassuming manner. Look for these devices to really take off when the technology is incorporated into a smartphone.

The Six-Million-Dollar ... Finger?

How annoyed do you get when you realize the beer bottle is not a twist-off and you cannot find a bottle opener? Introducing "bionic fingers."

These robotic devices, which are still just prototypes, simplify such tasks as peeling a banana and unscrewing bottle caps. Developed by MIT researchers, users wear the "supernumerary robotic fingers" on the wrist. The device is equipped with two "fingers" that move in-sync with the real fingers.

Too Much Scale?

As if stepping on a scale is not difficult enough for some folks. Now there is a scale that not only displays your weight -- it also discloses your body mass index, heart rate and fat mass.

The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is quite the know-it-all. The $150 device also knows the indoor air quality and room temperature.

We will be far more impressed if the scale can tactfully recommend the right diet for users, as well.

Holographic Telepresence

Just when we learned how to use video conferencing tools, the next incarnation has already arrived -- holographic video conferencing.

"Holographic telepresence" transmits a 3-D moving image to each destination – giving the appearance that you are actually in the room with your associates.

The technology already exists for other purposes. For example, it has recreated deceased rapper Tupac Shakur's image for a music festival.

The Polish company Leia (named after the Star Wars' Princess Leia), has produced the Leia Display XL, which projects images onto a cloud of water vapor. This technology is destined to achieve widespread popularity. Expect to see it marketed within about a year.

We live in such intriguing times.


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