13 Jan

About a year ago, Qualcomm announced a $10 million competition designed to produce a real-life version of the Tricorder -- a device, known to fans of the American television series "Star Trek", that could instantly diagnose the medical condition of, say, Mr. Spock or Captain Kirk, merely by being waved in either character's general direction. According to Qualcomm, the winning device, expected in about 2 or 3 years, will be "capable of capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases." 

10 Jan

It was good enough for James Bond, and many consumers are now considering it as an option for their homes and offices. When the recent James Bond film Skyfall used models for the spy's trademark Aston Martin assembled from plastic, 3D printing began getting real attention. For the film, filmmakers used three cars assembled from 18 separate printers, all created using a 3D printer.

By now, many people have heard of 3D printing. Many people also assume 3D printing is far too costly for their operational budgets. But prices have begun to drop, falling to the low thousands of dollars. While the average household won't be rushing out to pay $3,000 for a printer that makes plastic shapes, there is definitely a market for it, and that market includes everyday people like me and you.

08 Jan

Silicon Valley is known for having its hands deep in the technology pot. Around the world, it is one of the most respected areas for technology start-ups to well established tech companies. Nationally, other areas are becoming increasingly competitive with Silicon Valley threatening this tech hot spot. Fresh tech faces are taking their business elsewhere, while many of those businesses move to what is known as the “Front Range” that stretches from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Colorado.

06 Jan

You've seen the TV commercials featuring Siri, the digital assistant for iPhones. "She" gives directions, looks up information and even seems to appreciate a user's sense of humor. That's a significant step forward from phone answering systems that used to translate simple phrases into gibberish, as in "Please connect me to a representative" being answered with something like, "I'm sorry you're having difficulty making a choice."

The ability to respond to individual users' habits and personalities means that voice recognition, which began in the 1950s with systems that only understood single, spoken digits, looks to become the next big add-on to computing systems -- particularly mobile systems that already offer some degree of hands-free operations.

04 Jan

It seems these days as though every major electronics manufacturer is lining up to produce the next big thing in the tablet PC industry. What at one time was a product that was little more than a novelty is now a major contender for consumers' dollars. So it would stand to reason that Nokia, at one time a top name in cell phones, is poised to take its place on retailer shelves.

But in an already overcrowded field, is there room for yet one more tablet manufacturer? It doesn't help that this particular manufacturer has been operating mostly behind-the-scenes for the past decade or so. However, Nokia has never been one to shy away from innovation. This is, after all, the company that was at the forefront of development of the GSM chips that allowed cell phones to carry data as well as voice. Without GSM, we'd be forced to talk to each other 20th-century style instead of texting, Tweeting, and Facebooking.

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