Monday, February 13, 2006

Changing everyday items

This USA Today article says "regular old dumb stuff is getting smart and connected.You can buy a backyard telescope loaded with global position satellite (GPS) technology so it can point out which stars you're viewing.At one university,each parking meter has a chip and antenna so you can call it with your cellphone and buy more time.And then there are the touch-screen sewing machines that can download images to embroider,gas station pumps that run Microsoft Windows,and shipping crates that can call their owners for help if they're lost.A lot of technology companies focus on making computers more powerful and Internet connections faster.But a major trend is pushing in another direction,toward getting cheap computer chips and limited networking capabilities into products that never used to have such technology.It lets companies turn commodity products into premium products that cost more and stand out in the marketplace.The trend is analogous to the electrification of products 100 years ago,when inventors found ways to use that technology to change everyday items.Hand-turned drills became power drills.Ice boxes became refrigerators.The same thing is happening now,but with computer chips and tiny radio transmitters".

Via Smartmobs

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