Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Five of Tech’s Best Time Management Tools

A poll accompanying a recent article from the Guardian, entitled “Time management woes: is digital technology the answer,” reported that only 45.3% of people felt digital technology could offer a “feasible time-saving solution.” We disagree. Certainly, sometimes it can be easy to get consumed by your email inbox, but it’s still more efficient than writing every correspondence by hand!

Five of Tech’s Best Time Management Tools

Photo courtesy of freelanceswitch.com

We often lose sight of the primary goal of both technology and time management: to make life’s pain points, i.e. the necessary evils, easier and quicker so we can get on to the fun stuff. Here we’re taking a look at the best time management tools today’s technology has to offer.

  1. The Things app for iPhone functions a lot like a simple to-do list, but has certain intuitive organizational features that set it apart. You can organize your to-do tasks by project or by priority. You can easily move tasks from today to tomorrow and you can have an aspirational “someday” task list. Things manages deadlines and gives you the satisfaction of crossing tasks off your to-do list.
  2. Another great app for iPhone is YadaHome. Billed as a “Family Organizer,” YadaHome lets you share grocery lists and a calendar with family members. Instead of last-minute items on the grocery list being called in, committed to memory, and inevitably forgotten, family members can simply add them to the list in real time.
  3. Toggl is a time tracking software tool that can be used on any device, from Mac to PC to Android and back to iPhone. It can be used by individuals or entire companies and helps keep track of time spent on different tasks and projects. You can either analyze this information to streamline your priorities or to easily bill clients for time—or both!
  4. Evernote is a popular software tool that promise to help you “Remember everything.” You can capture and store anything: images, notes, lists, audio, video, instructions, etc. You can then access and share those notes from any device anywhere.
  5. The ZOMM Personal Concierge service combines the human and tech elements. If you need help with anything, anywhere in the world, you can either call or email you Personal Concierge to help you out. From arranging your next business trip to locating the style of sunglasses a random celebrity wore in a certain movie five years ago, the ZOMM Personal Concierge can save you time completing the “necessary evils,” then help you make the “fun stuff” happen.

What technology helps you manage your time? 

 

 

 

Friday, May 11th, 2012

5 Apps for the Hearing Impaired in Honor of “Better Hearing & Speech Month”

Impaired hearing affects 14.9% of children, according to the Center for Hearing and Speech, and can dramatically impair language development. Only so much can be done medically for those who suffer, but there are ways to treat and cope. And now, there are smartphone apps to help.

In honor of May’s designation as “Better Hearing & Speech Month,” we’ve compiled a list of great mobile apps, primarily for iPhone and iPad, to help diagnose and treat the hearing and speech impaired.

 

A list of five great apps for the hearing and speech-impaired.

Photo courtesy of freedomscope.com

 

  • Siemens Hearing Test—Do you suspect you may be hearing impaired? This free app tests your ability to recognize words from background noise and compares your accuracy to the average score of normal listeners. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step to treating it. This test can tell you whether or not you should seek further medical attention.
  • Hearing Loss Simulator—Living with someone who is hearing impaired can be a trying experience at times. This app costs $1.99 and can help family and friends better understand that loved one. The app even adjusts the simulation to the degree of their hearing impairment.
  • Speech Trainer 3D—This $7.99 app animates how the tongue, lips and mouth properly move during speech. The 3D demonstration helps the speech impaired practice certain sounds, consonants, and vowels in the English language. A recent update allows you to use iPad and iPhone cameras to film yourself speaking and do a side-by-side comparison to the animation.
  • Eye Contact – Toybox—Previously featured on “60 Minutes” This $2.99 app rewards children for focusing on the human faces displayed on the screen. Maintaining eye contact can be a difficult skill for children to learn and is especially important for hearing impaired individuals.
  • EarTrumpet—Best when used with a headset, the EarTrumpet offers hearing enhancement tools. The $3.99 app was developed by a medical student and applies scientific inquiry and analysis to help the hearing-impaired better understand the world around them. 

These apps demonstrate how modern technology is addressing real human problems. Likewise, the ZOMM Wireless Leash and the myZOMM app could be a great service to a hearing and speech-impaired individual in a moment of panic. The center button can be programmed to call either 911 or a number of the ZOMM owner’s choice when it’s held for a period of time.

How are you observing “Better Hearing & Speech Month”? 

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

4 Common Gadgets Being Replaced by Smartphones

Smartphones are completely ingenious; there’s no question about it. As they continue to gain popularity, though, some other gadgets aren’t faring so well. When you have a handheld device that can do some many things, it’s only natural that other devices will fade to black.

smartphones
Take these four common gadgets for example:

Digital Cameras

Nearly all smartphone owners use their phone to take photos. The 8-megapixel camera in the iPhone 4S is just as good as, and in some cases better, than digital cameras.

GPS Devices

Mounting your smartphone in your car while you drive is the same as using a portable GPS system—and you don’t have to pay $200 extra for it.

iPods/mp3 players

Very few people want to actually carry around an iPod and a phone. When you can load your entire music library on to your phone, why bother with both?

Standard wristwatches

No, we don’t think watches will go away completely. However, between using a smartphone to check the time and the development of Android-based watches and wristbands for iPod Nano, the watch as we know it may be history.

As these devices make their way out, we’re especially interested to see what new innovations come about. The evolution of technology never ceases to amaze us.

Have you phased out any of these gadgets in your life? Are there others your smartphone has replaced?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Top 3 Super Bowl Commercials – Do You Agree?

Super Bowl XLVI was an exciting one. In the end, the New York Giants came out on top, edging out the New England Patriots by four points. While thousands watched the big game go down, they also got to see one of the most exciting parts of Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials.

We watched them all and chose our Top 3. Take a look at our choices below, then let us know if you agree!

3. Audi – Vampire Party

Taking on the vampire craze that’s swept the country over the past few years, Audi created a hilarious spoof, while truly showcasing their new feature. Plus, we really want those headlights.

2. Honda – Matthew’s Day Off

If you love Ferris Bueller, you can’t help but love this one. The reprise of the 80s flick is full of more references than we could count.

1. Best Buy – Innovators

Without mobile phones, where would we be? There’d definitely be no need for a Wireless Leash—and that’s why we chose this as our favorite commercials. Highlighting innovators in the mobile world, Best Buy did it right.

 


Do you agree with our top three? If not, leave a comment below with a link to your favorite Super Bowl Commercial!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: Giants vs Patriots – Social Media Edition

The New York Giants and New England Patriots first met during the preseason this year. Now, they meet again in the final game of the NFL season—the Super Bowl. Both teams have already landed in Indianapolis, home of Super Bowl XLVI, and are preparing for the big game. On Sunday, they will fight it out until only one team is left standing as NFL world champions.

super bowl giants patriots

Photo Cred: NY Daily News

Today we’re going to have to two teams face-off, not based on their football skills, but on their social media skills. Let’s take a look at how they compare:

Twitter:

  • New York Giants — @Giants, 215,434 followers
  • New England Patriots– @Patriots, 301,714 followers

Facebook:

Notable Social Media:

  • New York Giants—This past August, Mashable did a story about the social media initiatives within Giants’ MetLife Stadium. During their preseason game against (ironically) the Patriots, they Giants integrated life tweets from fans into NBC 4’s live broadcast. According to the article, the Giants were the first NFL team to “embrace Twitter to this magnitude.”
  • New England Patriots—Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has built a significant Twitter following—more than 3.1 million followers—including President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. If you follow @ochocinco, you know that he likes to interact with fans by taking them to dinner, offering dating advice and provide lots of inspirational messages.

We’ll let you decide who wins this battle. And speaking of social media, why not check out ours? You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs: His Top 5 Innovations

Through his products and innovations, Steve Jobs touched the lives of millions of people around the world. His passion for and view of technology inspired us at ZOMM to create sleek, easy-to-use devices that solve everyday needs.

Steve Jobs’ inventions were true to his own words when he said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show them.” And show us, he did. Here are our Top 5 Steve Jobs Innovations:

steve jobs innovations

Apple
In 1976, along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer, Inc. The company, based in Cupertino, California, started with their line of Macintosh computers.

iPod
The way we listen to music changed dramatically in October of 2001. Since the first iPod was released, we’ve seen a slew of upgrades, updates and enhancements to the digital music player.

iTunes
Along with iPods, iTunes reinvented how we buy, share and listen to music. What started as a music store with 200,000 songs in 2003, reached 10 billion downloads in 2010.

iPad
Is it a smartphone or a personal computer? The answer is neither and both. Jobs’ 2010 release was the first Mac/iPhone hybrid that landed right in the middle of the two based on size and weight. Currently there are two versions available and over 28 million have been sold worldwide.

iPhone
The first iPhone came in 2007, and mobile phones have not been the same since. Literally putting a computer in the palm of your hand, the iPhone combines all your gadgets (camera, phone, mp3 player, and gaming console) into one. There have been several upgrades (iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4), with the most recent being the iPhone 4S that is available for pre-order on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, starting today.

We’re thankful for everything Steve did for the technology world and will miss him greatly. We found no better way to sign off, than with a quote from Steve himself:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”


What’s your favorite Steve Jobs innovation?

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

iPhone 5 Rumor Round-Up

iphone 5 rumors

In June, we admitted that we are a little partial towards the iPhone, even though our Wireless Leash works with any Bluetooth-enabled phone. We also gave you some of the latest rumors surrounding the much-anticipated Apple developments. In the two months since, the rumors have gotten even crazier, and we’re excited to share them!

The iPhone 5 will no longer have a home button.
When the iPad came out, word was that Steve Jobs didn’t want any buttons on it, but eventually allowed it. Now, the rumors say he got his way. According to the Metro and their leaked photos, there will not be a home button on the iPhone 5.

iOS5 will offer a text-to-speech function.
Presumably, iOS5 will be available at the same time as the iPhone 5. While there are many confirmed features, the text-to-speech function is one that is being tested, but isn’t confirmed for the new OS. According to 9to5mac, the Nuance text-to-speech function is being tested in SMS only for now, with hopes to integrate throughout the OS in the future.

The iPhone 5 will have a 4 inch display.
According to renderings based on a third party accessory retailer, the next iPhone will have a 4 inch display. It will also be thinner than previous iPhone models. 9to5mac even offers images of the iPhone 4 sitting in an iPhone 5 case for comparison purposes.

With a rumored release date of mid-October, there’s still plenty of time for rumors to pop up before the product is officially announced. We’re curious to know—what have you heard lately about the next iPhone?

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Technology Firsts – Machines, Devices and Gadgets that Changed Our Lives

There are a lot of things we use every day that we take for granted. From cell phones to automobiles, there are devices of all shapes and sizes that make our lives easier. However, have you ever stopped to think about the origins of these things?

inventions

Well, we’re taking a look back through history at the Top 10 Technology Firsts that made the World what it is Today:

  1. New York City saw the first passenger elevator in 1857. Passengers used the elevator to travel up and down the five story E. V. Haughwout Building at 488 Broadway.
  2. Alexander Graham Bell reigns as the creator of the first telephone, on which he is said to have made a call in 1875, exclaiming, “Watson, come here! I want to see you!”
  3.  The first gasoline-powered automobile came in Europe in 1885, from inventor Karl Benz. The vehicle traveled on three wheels and only seated two people.
  4. At the 1893 World’s Fair, Josephine Cochrane showcased the first dishwasher (from which modern units are modeled), which she created because her servants were chipping her fine china when washing it by hand.
  5. The first general purpose computer was announced in 1946 and was roughly 8’ x 3’ x 100’—taking up 1,800 square feet.
  6. 1969 brought us the first automatic teller machine, better known as an ATM. It debuted in Rockville Centre in New York City.
  7. In 1972, the first working television was born at the hands of Philo Farnsworth, who incorporated electronic scanning for both the cameras and receivers.
  8. In September of 1975, we saw the first laptop computer. The Epson HX-20 had an LCD screen, rechargeable battery and a small printer.
  9. Philips, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic joined forces in 1995 and created the first DVD. Since they offer more storage than CDs, DVDs became a quick hit.
  10. The world’s first Wireless Leash was unveiled in January 2010 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The poker chip-sized device used Bluetooth technology to alert users if they walked away from their cell phone.

The world truly would not be the same without these ten inventions. We’re blessed to have these inventions in our lives, and so thankful there were people smart enough to create them! :)

 Is your favorite invention on this list? If not, what are some of your favorite technology firsts?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

ZOMM’s Top Tech Tweeps

Do you tweet? Chances are if you’re interested in all things tech (as we know many of you are), you’ve visited this micro-blogging site at least a few times. Maybe you even have a Twitter app or two downloaded on your smartphone.

Twitter isn’t just a fun way to keep track of friends and foursquare updates; it’s also a great way to get up-to-date information on new tech trends such as Spotify and the latest iPhone rumors.

Want to stay updated on everything going on the tech world? Here’s a list of top tech tweeps we recommend following:

@CaliLewis

Cali Lewis is one tech-savvy lady! Not only does she host her own show GeekBeat.TV, but she’s also a tech correspondent for CNN, FOX and Sirius 101’s GeekTime. All that and she still finds time to tweet! Kudos to you Miss Cali!

@Scobleizer

Robert Scoble might be one of the most popular people to follow on Google+, but this technology evangelist and former Fast Company blogger is also a great tweep to follow on Twitter. Robert doesn’t just talk about tech; he brings a critical eye to many of the latest tech trends.

@Kabster728

Katie Boehret’s technology column is published weekly in the Wall Street Journal, but that doesn’t mean she reserves her tech updates for Wednesdays. This tech-savvy writer also blogs on the WJS.com blog “All Things D.” Her twitter stream is filled with updates about these posts as well as her musing on technology and small insights into life at the WSJ.

@Mashable

Mashable.com is a great source for the latest technology news and their CEO and founder, Pete Cashmore’s Twitter account covers everything from the latest gadget news to how technology is influencing global events. If you choose to follow this Twitter account you’ll be in good company; @Mashable has over 2,402,230 followers!
@theZOMM

Our very own Twitter account isn’t just a great way to stay updated about what’s going on at ZOMM, it’s also a great way to find out about technology trends and get updates about mobile tech! But you knew that already, right?  (And we have to give a big shoutout to all our followers – we just passed the 10,000 follower mark!)

Not on Twitter? You can still get great updates about ZOMM on Facebook. “Like” us to find out more!

Who’s your favorite tech tweep? Leave a comment below or give us a give us a shout out on Twitter and let us know!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Are you a geek? Whether you’re a geek for technology, fashion or numbers, tomorrow is the day to let your freak flag fly. Why? Well because tomorrow, July 13, is Embrace Your Geekness Day.

Embrace Your Geekness Day is copyrighted by Wellcat Holidays , and is for people who are “into dungeon games, comic books and doing vampire dress-up,” and those who “spend endless hours going strange places on the internet.”

embrace your geekness

For people like us at ZOMM who work in technology every day, Embrace Your Geekness Day probably won’t be much different than any other day in our lives. However, if you want to get down in geek town tomorrow here are a few ideas:

Download geeky songs from iTunes. A few recommendations:

  • White and Nerdy – Weird Al
  • She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby
  • Technologic – Daft Punk
  • Mr. Roboto – Styx

Communicate only via technology. No face-to-face communication. Use only email, instant messaging and text to communicate with family and friends. You can up the ante by only using your computer or smartphone to watch TV shows and movies, instead of using the television.

Watch A Geeky Movie. We suggest something like:

  • Star Wars
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Back to the Future
  • Office Space
  • Revenge of the nerds
  • The Goonies

Get a Geeky Tattoo. Ok, so that might be going a little bit overboard. However, we do suggest checking out these geekified tattoos at www.GeekyTattoos.com. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired!

How are you embracing your geekness?

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