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2015 Tech Wrap-Up

  • By: Garry Feldman
  • Date: December 30, 2015

2015 is nearly past us. It seems that with every passing year, the amount of really cool tech increases exponentially. Here are some of the highlights from a great year in tech: 2015.

The Amazon Echo

“Computer, locate the nearest star system capable of supporting human life.” That was a something you were likely to see Mr. Spock or Captain Kirk asking to thin air on the bridge of the enterprise. A dutiful feminine voice would inevitably answer their questions or give them a simple “not enough data” type response. Well, that future is now and it was given to us by Amazon.

The Echo is a speaker sized device that can sit anywhere in your home. It acts as an intelligence hub that you can ask questions of and receive answers. All you have to do is utter the activation word, her name of Alexa, of course, and she springs to action. For now, the command set is somewhat limited but Amazon has released an SDK for 3rd parties. Expect to see all sorts of fun applications on the horizon. There is no telling what Alexa might do next.

The Tesla Powerwall

Who would have thought that a car manufacturer would be leading the charge in the latest battery technology? That is just what Tesla is doing with the Powerwall. Tesla is leveraging their experience in lithium ion battery production in order to provide you with unprecedented energy storage.

The Powerwall can store surplus energy from solar cells or from the regular power grid. Powerwall will pull that power from the grid during non-peak hours when the cost of the power is cheapest. The Powerwall is currently available in 7kWh and 10 kWh sizes. The smaller one is for daily use while the larger one can take the place of a generator in your home.

Periscope

While the question a few years ago may have been, “Why does my phone need a camera?”, it seems the question today is, “What can I do with that camera in my pocket?” Periscope is an application that answers that question quite well.

Periscope is just what every aspiring movie director, reality TV show star or budding journalist needs to turn their phone into their very own broadcast network. The app is installed to your smartphone and then videos are broadcast from it via the internet to whoever would like to see. Everything from Black Lives Matter rallies to Mayweather-Pacquiao have been shown. All you need is a mobile device and someone interested enough to watch.

Windows 10

If the words “Wow, I hate Windows 8” ever left your lips, then 2015 was the year for you. A much needed fix for the clunky and unfriendly operating system that was Windows 8 finally happened when Microsoft released windows 10. For free, no less!

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