Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's your favourite thing?

What's your favourite thing that you currently own that you never realized how awesome it was until you got one yourself? I ask my readers to chime in with their own answers in the comments.

In my case, it's my smart phone. I've always been quick to adopt new technology (when I could afford it). When I retired from the military in 1999, I knew getting a cell phone was going to be a necessity if I was to leverage my ability to network and communicate quickly, especially while searching for my 'next career'.

But after proclaiming to everyone that I had no need for a phone that connected to the internet, I finally took the plunge and got a smart phone (iPhone 3G to be precise) in January 2009. That's when my life changed.

I can be objective and say that I don't really 'need' a smart phone. But having one sure opens up a lot of options that I never would have imagined using 3 years ago. A partial list follows. Before you read it, try to imagine a time before smart phones, when access to the internet was something you could only do at home or work and tasks like taking notes, taking pictures, playing music (both playback and an instrument) and computing tasks, all needed their own individual devices.
  • Access to email anywhere. That in and of itself is huge, but I'll even use email as a means of sending myself reminders to do things and taking documents from place to place.
  • The ability to take pictures and send them to anyone.
  • Recording audio for interviews and note-taking.
  • Sampling a song for the purpose of finding out the title and artist.
  • A portable jukebox, containing most or all of your music collection.
  • A radio that can connect to any station (real or virtual) around the world.
  • An interactive personal calendar and contact list, with pictures.
  • A portable photo album for showing photos to people.
  • A GPS system. The ability to ask for and follow directions from where you are to any destination, using any means of transportation.
  • Reconnoitre a place you've never been to and get the lay of the land before you arrive.
  • A calculator.
  • An instant messenger.
  • A flashlight.
  • A web portal for looking things up online. Anything. By voice command.
  • A remote control for my wireless sound system at home.
  • An electronic boarding pass. An electronic business card.
  • A portable TV set with access to millions of video clips.
  • A few dozen musical instruments.
  • A tour guide.
  • A remote control for other computer systems.
  • A star chart.
  • A scrolling LED sign to communicate with people who can't hear you.
  • Check restaurant ratings before deciding to go to one.
  • Facebook from anywhere and share photos of what I'm doing - in real time.
  • Oh - and it's a phone.
My next smart phone will allow me to record movies. Who knows what else.


Anonymous said...

My Passport!!


Retro Blog said...

You must not be a reader, Kindle App for smart phone works well, and would be the first app downloaded IF I owned a SmartPhone.
I would also argue it could be an web meeting instrument.

Anonymous said...

Your next smart phone will also allow you to change the battery, and switch / upgrade the memory storage, if you make the right choice that is.

Karl Plesz said...

No doubt. Having said that, I am not wanting for any extra memory and my battery still holds a good charge.