TECH NOUS Mobile Temptations

There’s no denying technology moves forward at remarkable rate. But there are times when the hype outstrips the reality. All sorts of promises are made, but the take-up turns out to be slow. In hindsight it is often good thing, because just around the corner lies faster, more powerful platform or standard and, more importantly, it’s cheaper.
Take videoconferencing for example. It was much heralded back in the mid-’90s but, here we are 10 years on and it is only just hitting its straps.
Mobile email is another example – albeit delivered in much shorter timeframe.
While it has been possible to process email from remote locations for some time, the capability has not been universally adopted by business.
All this is about to change however. Vodafone’s recent mobile email solutions launch suggests that we’re finally about to get serious about electronic mail on the run.
A new 2G/3G Mobile Connect Card and five new email capable handsets featured in the launch – that’s the Sony Ericsson K700i, Treo 600, Nokia 6238 and 6820, and the world-famous wireless device with the funny, fruity-sounding name – the BlackBerry.
In case you’ve never been introduced, the BlackBerry combines phone, corporate data access including email, calendar and internet browser all in slim, pocket-sized device.
One key difference from other mobile email devices is its ‘push’ delivery. Instead of relying on you to dial in and check your messages, BlackBerry delivers them to you.
It means there’s no frustrating time-delay when checking urgent emails before venturing on to the next meeting.
The new Vodafone 3G card allows users to roam between WiFi, GPRS, and 3G networks, and to more than 16 countries including those with 2.5G and 3G networks.
Why all the fuss about mobile email? Well, next to voicemail it’s the most pervasive means of communicating business-to-business. Research shows that we receive three emails to every one voicemail.
Indeed much of today’s new technology is aimed at the mobile business executive and borrows heavily on the trend to miniaturisation.
One such example is the innovative NewTec USB storage watch. Why have watch that just tells the time when you can have one that acts like second hard drive?
These watches feature Citizen movement, Samsung flash components (128Mb or 256Mb disks), and transferring files from PC is as easy as plugging in cord and copy/pasting or dragging the files from one folder to another. The watch shows up as removable storage disk on the computer screen.
What does that mean? Well, users can take files and memos along to meetings without having to lug around laptop. It’s all on the wrist!
This sort of technology is serious stuff, and yes, you can choose between plastic, steel or leather strap styles. Since my watch broke down while ago I’ve been relying on my cellphone to keep track of the time. This handy little USB device might just convince me to strap on wristwatch again.

Glenn Baker is regular contributor to Management.
Email: [email protected]

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