Convenience is the name of the game, and today more than ever, mobility is playing a huge factor in consumers' buying decisions for electronic devices. Gadget makers are answering the call, and in the first quarter of 2013, they shipped more than 300 million mobile devices around the world, according to the latest data published by Canalys, a market research and analysis firm.
Office buildings in the United States are woefully behind the times and have failed to keep pace with the revolution in automation that pervades modern life, according to a new survey of American office workers by IBM.
"Urban environments are experiencing growth at a rate where better efficiency at the system level is key," said Rich Lechner, vice president, Energy and Environment for IBM. "Yet, even as automobiles, transportation systems, electrical grids and other modern systems are achieving greater efficiency, many office buildings remain rooted in the past. Bridging this 'Intelligence Gap' can create huge savings in energy and maintenance costs and improve a company's bottom line, as well as create a healthier, more productive workforce."
Some of the numbers are pretty startling. For example, the cumulative time office workers spent stuck in an elevator in the past year totaled 33 years across the 16 cities in which the survey was given. The time spent waiting for an elevator was even worse, totaling 92 years, while 25 percent of respondents said that the elevators in their office buildings are poorly coordinated.
Only 33 percent of the 6,486 office workers surveyed rated their office buildings "somewhat high," "very high," or "extremely high" in terms of environmental responsibility, while 75 percent said they would be more likely to conserve resources at work if they were rewarded for their efforts.
If John Madden ever gets his hands on a new touch recognition SMART Board, we're throwing in the towel and never watching another game football again. It's bad enough watching Madden draw swirlies on the screen as he explains that the team who scores more points by the end of the game will be the winner, but can you imagine the added dimension of moving players and objects around? *shudder*
Despite the potential risks involved, fans of SMART Boards will be stoked to learn that touch recognition has found its way onto the interactive whiteboard. According to Smarttech, the touch recognition feature makes it possible for compatible Boards to discern between writing with a pen and attempting to move objects with your fingers and will switch modes automatically.
"For teachers new to the SMART Board, this feature helps them become proficient more quickly," Smarttech writes on its product page. "That’s because the intuitive flow of writing and erasing on the board is similar to how traditional chalkboards and whiteboards are used. And the sooner teachers become comfortable with the technology, the sooner they can start engaging students with interactive lessons."
You can view a clip of the new SMART Board in action on YouTube here, which demonstrates some nifty functionality such as moving newly written words around.
Touch recognition-capable SMART Boards are expected to available in early February, so any day now.