Tech Products: What Excited You In 2017
by Philip Leimbach
Lots of improved products hit the market this year. But, there seemed to be a lack of Earth shattering new products out on the market. What did you see that blew you away?
There where five market items and trends that made me stop and think. From health and safety to “toys,” to shaking up old industries. Here are the things that made me stop and think.
– Sounds funny that an IT Leader would be excited about a mouthpiece used in contact sports like American Football. Sorry, no lie, I am excited about the work I am seeing from a company like Prevent Biometrics. The mouthpieces are loaded with shock sensors that report and track the number of hard hits that an athlete takes and reports it back to an app on a phone or tablet that allows trainers, coaches and parents to sit the athlete down if necessary.
Playing football through high school in rural New Mexico into the US Army. I know first-hand how dangerous Chronic Traumatic Encephalopath (CTE) can be for young people. Then there are the reports from the National Football League which are just terrifying, with estimates well over 90% of players suffering from some sort of head trauma. Additionally, I have a background in the sport of rodeo. I have seen way too many bull riders suffer from head trauma. These athletes are only paid when they win, so the chances of them sitting out of competition due to a concussion is slim. It wasn’t until lately at the highest levels of the sport that the Professional Bull Riders implemented Concussion Protocol through their sports medicine program that allows the doctor to sit a rider if they cannot pass protocol.
I think these mouth pieces will be able to help the coaches, parents and guardians of young athletes make smarter decisions about health and well-being.
Resurgence of Build Your Own
– do you remember the magazine “Computer Shopper?” It was our bible for everything build your own computer back in the late 80’s through the 90’s. Boy could we use the old “Computer Shopper” today. Andurino, Raspberry Pi, or fill in the blank here ___. Build your own has gone from being a hobbyist past-time to quickly becoming a must need. One market they are quickly gaining traction in, is the automated home by owner field. In other words, I know nothing about AMX, Crestron or Extron (Insert any popular automation company here). But I want my home more automated, so I build out a device similar to Raspberry Pi and now I control my lights and my HVAC from a central location. Smart.
From Phones, to televisions, garage doors, heating and cooling, lights and the ever-popular smart fridge. The house is moving beyond just a smart security system, and many people who have the ability to wire would prefer doing it themselves. Now if the Solar Shade company I visited with last year enabled their product to be put on the home network, life would be so much easier.
The Electric Semi
– so everyone was atwitter when Elon Musk unveiled his next land based project, a Teslea Electric Semi-Truck. Wal-Mart put an order in before they’ve really set a production date. But sorry, I know to many people who drive trucks for a living and I’m just not to impressed yet. I’m waiting for you to put them next to a couple of real semi-trucks and run from San Diego through San Francisco over to Salt Lake City, down to Las Vegas and back to San Diego. Let’s see how the electric trucks do on the mountains. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I hope they have success, because I think they will be great for doing in town hauls’. But for over the road routes I just don’t think they can last long term. One more question will be, how will they handle the extremes in weather. Coming out of St. George, Utah through the Mojave Desert in June would sure tell a story.
– Yep, Virtual Reality is still hanging and rattling its chains in the attic. As some one with vision issues, I’ve never quite gotten VR. But I see potential uses that seem to be getting seriously over looked. Science and medicine are great examples of were Virtual Reality could really use a boost. Whether it is training the next dental hygienist or showing how chemicals react in a flower when exposed to sun light, we are not quite getting it. Just my opinion.
Consumer Slow Down
– The sky is falling the sky is falling. When the iPhone X from Apple didn’t quite reach its mark when released, the market went into a frenzy. A $1,000 phone on the heels of a release of the iPhone 8 earlier in the year seemed to have made the fan kids skittish. Don’t worry, Christmas of 2017 was not as bad as many had predicted. Unless, you listened to the die-hard Star Wars fans. Then the galaxy has been murdered, killed in cold blood by Disney. Never fear though, I am positive Disney will bring out another Princess movie and your kids will make you forget all about Star Wars. Until Han comes out next year, of course. Because we need a scruffy..never mind.