Clients and regular readers of this blog know that I believe that knowledge (“tecknowledgey”) is accelerating. As we collectively learn more and more about our world, new life-improving possibilities come into view virtually every day. (Sort of a pun there.) Some are truly life changing, some less so, but significant just the same. I would take just a few minutes of your time to share three new technologies that might improve your life.
The first is the Amazon Echo. This device has been around for a couple of years now. It happened that we were visiting our son when his Echo device was delivered to his home two years ago, and we were quite impressed with how “neat” it was. Well, Santa Claus brought one to our home this year and we continue to be impressed. The Echo is a device, fueled by artificial intelligence which responds to verbal commands or questions from anyone within voice range. It learns and is updated regularly and automatically, gaining greater and greater capabilities. It can control home devices and other apps with ease. In the interest of time and space here I will just say that if Santa has not yet brought one of these to your house you should be very good this year so that he might do so next Christmas. Of course, Amazon isn’t the only technology company developing impressive artificial intelligence products, but, the Echo is quite amazing! “It” responds to verbal communication and responds with verbal communication, and it becomes more capable and more conversant almost daily. (Read more about the Echo here.)
The second new device that has impressed me lately is the Netgear Orbi Home Wifi System. In my household the frustration level has proliferated along with the number of connected devices sharing limited bandwidth. So, every year or two I have to replace the latest and greatest router available from Best Buy with the next latest and greatest router available from Best Buy. This process has kept some peace among the natives, and lowered, but not eliminated the frustration levels. Most recently, after upgrading our home router to the latest and greatest only a few months ago I also upgraded our home internet speed to the same 200 mbps that we enjoy at the office, but still was not satisfied with the connection speeds experienced by our family members. I questioned the Best Buy manager about my problem and he told me that he had just attended a presentation of the Netgear Orbi router, and was really impressed! Smiling broadly he assured me that my problems are over. This router is designed to handle many devices, and can include satellite router devices to limit the “air drop” that occurs when your computer is not just next to the router. He did not lie! The Orbi has proven to be a major improvement and has solved our speed problem. (You can see the Orbi here.)
Finally, last year I mentioned a new client-facing application that would become available to my financial planning clients. It is now available and I have tested it with a couple of clients. Both have responded positively. I will be connecting all of our financial planning clients during 2017. Like the Amazon Echo mentioned above this application will be improving regularly, increasing the value of our financial planning service.