Sunday, February 28, 2010

Doctors Planning To Purchase Apple iPad

 In a recent study, 22% of clinicians surveyed said they planned to purchase an iPad in the next year.  Epocrates Inc.,a medical software provider surveyed more than 350 clinicians. It already provides its software for the iPhone and iPod and is the most popular medical program in the Apple app store.  Clearly the iPad's larger screen is far more interactive than a smartphone sized screen and offers greater image accuracy; a ciritical consideration in the medical sector.

Another study by the American Journal of Roentgenology, shows that these devices may be particularly useful for emergency radiologists, who may be able to use them for teleconsultation and emergency procedures. A total of 46% of physicians and trainees and 45% of radiologists use PDAs so it is logical to expect a transition to a more functional device like the iPad.  This is not just a consumer product! 

What do you think? 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

eReaders Bring New Access To Library Books

It won't be long before you can borrow a book from your local library in digital format for an eReader.  Of course, you would need some digital rights management to disable the content after two weeks or some sort of online renewal mechanism, but there's no question that such convenience will lure readers back, especially when the content is free.  No more trekking down to the library if you can do this online at home.  Just the mere convenience of obtaining a book and traveling with one e-reader justifies investing in one.  
In Singapore, the electronic book reader was launched yesterday and provides access to 900,000 books for its residents.  The KeyReader is  a 19.6cm by 12.1cm, 300g touchscreen device with built-in wireless connectivity.  

A Las Vegas, NV, library has also launched an e-borrow program for your PC or Mac but so far these formats are not compatible with the Amazon Kindle.

If these devices are priced cheap enough, around $50-60, this would open up a huge market sector especially for students at colleges.  Who knows.......maybe the younger kids might start to read books again instead of just play video games!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kindle Reader Comes To Blackberry

It's hard to imagine anyone could possibly read a book on a Blackberry (the least attractive smartphone around),  but with over 420,000 titles available from Amazon, and growing,  it makes sense to make a Free downloadable App and for Amazon to have its books available on as many formats as possible,  especially since the Apple iPad is almost here.

Some are already saying this will compete with the iPad.  No chance!  If you are on the road and you don't have your Kindle, you can still continue reading your book at exactly where you left off on your other device.  It knows this via automatically synchronizing your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync  from Amazon.  

While I am sure many will download this App, it is hard to imagine reading a book on such a small screen as the Blackberry Bold or Curve, but the Storm is a little bigger in screen size.  

This is all part of Amazon's strategy to appeal to more users.  The Apple iPad is coming next month and this sector is going to get hot!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Medical, Healthcare App Comes To The Palm Pre

If you thought the Palm Pre was just another consumer phone, you are dead wrong!  Pepid, developer of clinical decision-support information and technology for the medical, healthcare industry, has released its drug database application on WebOS for Palm.  This is a powerful tool for doctors, nurses and even students to immediately check a pharmaceutical database for the latest in drug interactions before issuing a prescription.  It’s not just convenience and information at your finger-tips, drug interactions are a very critical part of healthcare and this App from Pepid allows the healthcare professional to deliver the best possible care at the bedside.

The application is free to download but there is a subscription fee for Pepid’s database access and clinical content, toxicology, illustrations  and other medical mobile tools.  For more information see  (Pepid is also available for the iPhone.)

The Palm Pre is a serious business productivity tool!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Online Shoppers Are On Facebook

If you are a business and you are currently not on Facebook, well here's another reason to be.  According to over half of online shoppers are already on Facebook.  They are social network users friending brands or,  joining as Fans.  They are looking to get good deals, discounts, coupons and find out what other people are saying about the products.

As a retailer, you just cannot afford not to engage in the new world of social media marketing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Twitter Gets Younger, Facebook Dominates Social Networks

A study just released by Comscore,  2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review, shows that Facebook surged as the number one social network with 112 million visitors in December 2009.  This was up 105% over 2008.  Twitter also grew, but what is more interesting is the shift in demographics.

Although the initial success of Twitter was driven by users in the 25-54 year old age groups, the younger users, 18-24 year olds is the fastest growing segment at 7.9% and the under 18’s also grew by 6.2%.  This shift is probably due to celebrity Twitters and mobile phones; younger people being more likely to be accessing Twitter with short messaging via mobile phones.

Adults however, seem to favor Facebook. It is worth noting that 73% of all adults aged 18 and over have a Facebook account.  By contrast, only 48% of this age group have a MySpace account.

What Does This Mean For Business?

Nearly 80% of U.S. internet users visited a social networking site in 2009.
Social networking accounts for 11% of all time spent online in the US, making it one of the most popular online activities.

So despite the recession, consumers use of social media saw new heights in 2009.

What does this mean for Business Owners?

If you’re not on Facebook, you need to start thinking about social media marketing because this is where your customers are hanging out.  Can you afford not to be participating in the social media revolution?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Your Own Personal Assistant On The iPhone

If you want your own personal assistant or virtual concierge service on your iPhone, there’s an App for that.  Basically its your very own PA in your pocket and its free!

Siri is the developer of a conversation or speech to text ability to interrogate your iPhone.  For example, if you want to find a restaurant, movie listings or a taxi nearby, you simply speak your request into the phone.   This is not ordinary speech to text but a virtual assistant, because it goes further; it actually goes ahead and makes the reservation.  You do require an appropriate service at the backend, such as CitySearch, OpenTable etc.  In fact there are 30 trusted brands behind the App.

Another cool feature is the simple reminder for example, tell it to remind you to make a phone call at any time, and it will.  Isn’t that what your PA used to do?

Siri is a clever array of  technologies including natural language processing, but with semantic analysis, and was developed with $200 M worth of Darpa grants.  The App is free and Siri makes money from affiliates fees.  It currently requires a 3G iPhone because it requires processing power.  Android and Blackberry versions are next. 

No word yet on when Siri will be available on Palm OS.  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Apple iPad - What The Experts Say

I've already voted the iPad a winner as you see from my previous postings.  It's nice to see other industry experts also believe the Apple iPad is a game changer.  Here is an interview featuring Walt Mossberg (from the Wall Street Journal), David Carr (new York Times) and Michael Arrington (TechCrunch).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will Amazon Take Apple Head On?

Both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported on Wed, Feb 3rd that Amazon had acquired a start-up company called TouchCo in New York.   As the name would suggest, TouchCo specializes in touchscreen technology.  This technology will probably enable Amazon to bring color and touchscreen to the Kindle.

So if  the iPad was just a larger iPhone, why would Amazon be so concerned?

Add to this the rumor that Amazon is adding Apps to the Kindle ...and...well you start to get the picture that the iPad is indeed a Kindle killer.  Who wants a 1980's black and white looking screen with a real keyboard interface as the only way to navigate the screen?  Amazon has to catch up to stay in the game but only if it perceives itself as a computer company.  Consider also that Apple already has about 140,000 Apps and through the SDK (Software Developer Kit),  developers will be able to port these to the iPad.

Amazon should focus on what it does best, an online retailer and a distributor of books.  Taking on Apple and Steve Jobs is a formidable challenge.

So will there be a Kindle 3 or a Super Kindle?  Probably, but Apple is now the game changer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apple iPad - The A4 Hidden Gem

The big announcement at Mac World 2010 was the now much talked about iPad but the much lesser reported news was the  new A4 chip inside.  The 1GHZ A4 chip is not Intel but the first chip ever from Apple.    The A4 is a System-on-A-Chip or SOC, which integrates the main processor with other functions like memory controller on a piece of silicon.  This is exactly what Intel is trying to achieve with its Moorestown Atom Processor.  However,  Apple is already there and has achieved a product with a 10 hour battery life performance, which in itself has far reaching implications for Apple's product range going forward.   

Rumor has it (as reported by Techcrunch),  that a new tablet is being designed by Apple for release in June this year,  with a much larger screen - 10.6" or more.   A touchscreen of that size starts to rival a laptop or even possibly replace your MacBook.  As I talked about in my last article,  it is easy to see the practicality of  hooking up the iPad to a docking station with a full sized keyboard.  A multimedia tablet with multi-touch screen and OSX applications - now  that's a compelling device for around $1000.   If you add Bluetooth, that means you can add a mouse and a whole world of connected devices.  If Apple adds a built-in camera, that brings video conferencing and Skype as well as other VOIP communciations making the iPad a communications device.  

So, why upgrade your MacBook when you can get everything in an iPad, let alone bother with another device such as a Kindle or ereader?   It's going to be an exciting year for Apple!  

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