Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Could Apple Be On The Verge Of Another Revolution?

The smartphone and tablet revolution created by Apple has changed the way we work and live.  More people are now accessing data not at the office or the desktop, but on the move or in more relaxed environments.  In fact Apple has just reported selling over 16 million iPhones and over 7 million iPads in just the last quarter of 2010.  We all love these devices and can't leave home without them, but the major problem has been battery power. While Apple has unquestionably revolutionized mobile computing, we are still left with pretty appalling battery life for these hungry devices.

But that's about to change in a big way.

It's recently been reported that Apple has secured its first patent for a Liquidmetal, a new innovation in space-age metal alloy technology.  The liquid metal (amorphous alloy), is the main component of small fuel cells. The new patent describes a container plate of amorphous alloys for fuel cells, an electrochemical battery that uses hydrogen to generate electricity. Utilizing this technology Apple could create mobile devices with battery power lasting 30 days or more, and MacBooks with battery life of 20 hours or more. That's hard to imagine and sounds like science fiction, but it's real. NASA says this technology is “poised to redefine materials science as we know it in the 21st century.”

While there are those that talk about Apple's market share being eroded by Android phones or other tablet device manufacturers, let's not forget that this company created these sectors and all the others are now having to follow to stay in the game.  Such a prolific leap in battery usage time (the holy grail), will give Apple yet another leap ahead of its nearest rivals for years to come. And this technology is cheap, efficient and environmentally friendly too!

Just as the competition comes up with a competitive product, Apple is already preparing its next big move. We certainly hope Steve Jobs is back soon.  It is his unique vision of the future that is the powerhouse of Apple's product development. Could Apple be on the verge of the next revolution in technology?  I think so.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ford Launches Sync Destinations

The Ford Motor Company has launched a new App called Sync Destinations. This is not just another navigation App, and there are many free Apps for both iPhone and Android smartphones already available. Sync Destinations is special because it is designed to work not just on the handset but also with its Synch in-vehicle operating system, providing seamless synchronization between the smartphone app and the car’s onboard navigation system.

On the phone, the user can search locations and map routes and save those destinations for future reference. Once the user enters their car, the app instantly links with Ford’s on-board navigation system. The system not only uploads the saved destinations but extends the nav system’s more sophisticated functionality to the app. Now the user can access the destinations through voice commands and receive turn-by-turn directions. The app also uses real-time traffic and weather data to adjust routes which is really useful in major city centers. It will even give you a suggested time of departure to make your destination on time.  Now that's really useful.

Ford has really thought about the consumer in developing this technology.  It's perhaps one of the reasons why this car manufacturer has survived the auto industry downturn without needing a bail out.  Sync Destinations is available on all the major smartphone platforms including iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Ford will be showing off its Sync platform at CES, Las Vegas next week.  

Hard to imagine this kind of technology would be at our fingertips 10 years ago!
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