New Year, New Technology

New Technology

So how is everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions? Have the apps I recommended in my last posting helped you any? I will just assume that all is going well and the apps helped; unless I hear otherwise. Ok so with it being a new year I thought we’d take a look at some new technology. There is quite a bit out there but below are a few of the ones that caught my attention and I decided to share with you.

Li-Fi – Now here is a “bright” idea! Why not use light to transmit data? Most of us are familiar with Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves to transmit data, but I bet hardly any of you have heard of Li-Fi. A German physicist named Herald Haas has developed a process known as Visible Light Communication or VLC for short. Basically, VLC, nicknamed “Li-Fi” is the transferring of data via light. By adding a microchip to any LED it is transformed into a broadband communication device. This is accomplished by the microchip causing the light to blink millions of time per second as it sends data, Morse code style, to wireless devices within line of sight of the light. As some of you may know, the radio wave spectrum or bandwidth is diminishing at a rapid rate as more and more people use it. This is causing all sorts of issues and Li-Fi may just be the thing to help solve this problem. Right now transfer rates for Li-Fi are expected to be as high as a gigabit per second; now that is fast! Can’t wrap your head around that number? Let me explain it to you this way. In the time that it takes you to send a text over Wi-Fi, you could download a high definition movie over Li-Fi. Now as great as all this sounds, there is draw back to this technology. Remember earlier when I wrote the Li-Fi sends data to devices within line of sight of the light? Well therein lies a big problem. Where radio waves can travel through walls, ceilings, light foliage and other objects, Li-Fi can’t. Because of this, Li-Fi and Wi-Fi will most likely be used together. When Li-Fi fails, Wi-Fi will be there to take over. This will hopefully help unclog the airways and most likely pave the way to even “brighter” wireless technology ideas in the future.

Vine – Do you like Twitter but hate to type? Maybe Vine is the answer for you? It is an alternative social media site created by Twitter. It is basically the same thing as Twitter but instead of a limited amount of words you can type, you have six seconds to record a video. I think this is a great idea but not sure how well it will catch on. It will be interesting to watch. Who knows, maybe it will “grow” on us?

Oculus Rift – Remember back in the early 1990’s when virtual reality was all the rage? Well if you don’t, I do. I was excited about it but it fizzled out pretty quickly because it wasn’t that great and never really caught on. Well all that may be changing thanks to 20 year old, virtual-reality enthusiast, Palmer Luckey who after collecting some 43 virtual reality headsets, since he was a boy, and studying them, developed what he calls Oculus Rift. These goggles have an accelerometer, gyroscope, and even a digital compass to track the position of your head and sync the game’s visuals to the direction you are looking. This is what the original creators, back in the 90’s, had envisioned but were unable to accomplish due to the lack of technology then. This time around, I believe things are going to be different. Many others think this too.  John Carmack, the legendary designer of Doom and Quake, is working with Palmer to incorporate Palmer’s goggles into his games. I think this is one to “keep an eye on”.

Sharp Aquos LED TVs – How’s a really light and easy to carry 20” all the way up to 90” TV sound? Now add to that the ability to place that TV anywhere in the house you want and watch it without having to plug it into a cable or satellite receiver. That’s right, these televisions can stream HD movies via a Wi-Fi connection and the 20” Aquos model is even equipped with a battery (and a carrying handle) that allows you to watch TV without being plugged into an outlet.  Sharp’s Aquos series TVs bost 1080p LED displays, dual-core processors, built-in Wi-Fi, ultra-slim frames, and Active 3D technology. They also support Sharp’s SmartCentral platform, which consists of a web browser and support for Flash and HTML5-based apps. They also have split screen capability so viewers can watch TV while surfing the Web. Sharp even offers a new, free app called Sharp Beam, which enables users to transfer content from iOS and Android smartphones or tablets to their TVs. I think we Sharp’s new line of LED TVs are surely something to be “watching” this year.

Tobii Gaze – Wouldn’t it be cool if you could surf the Web without having to use your hands? This new technology called Tobii Gaze allows you to surf the Web and files on your computer by tracking where your eyes are looking on the screen. This “looks” like it could be a great breakthrough for people without hands or the use of them to be able to use computers.

Ok so I could keep going with these. There seems to be so many cool new advances in technology out there. I was reading about the new 3D printers, solid state drives, a helicopter you can control with your mind, cars that drive themselves, Google glass and so much more. So what new things have you heard or read about?

About Shawn Lane

Shawn Lane is the owner of Lane’s Computer Repair located in Johnson, VT. He is also an Information Technology Specialist with the Vermont Army National Guard. He has an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from the Community College of Vermont where he took many electives in Information Technology and he has a Professional Certificate in Digital and Computer Forensics from Champlain College.  He lives in Wolcott, VT with his wife Kelly and can be reached at Email: or Website: | Facebook: /LanesComputerRepair/

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