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How 'bout some technology thats' really useful?

Posted Friday, August 3, 2012, at 3:36 PM

I love my smartphone. It entertains my 8-year-old with countless little bells and whistles -- literally. It's got church bells and a train whistle and guitar and piano riffs and all sorts of little entertaining sound effects.

Plus I can call people with it. It works great as a phone and that part's simple to use.

Email and facebook also help me keep connected to work and play and family.

And I use it for all sorts of things I never thought I'd use a phone to do. Just last night I used it for a flashlight, as I have dozens of times before. I hear there's a flashlight app, but for me, just pressing the little on button is enough.

I take pictures and notes on it; both of which I've used for work. It's especially useful when I travel. It's got a calculator, a MoDOT travel conditions app, a weather app, games I never use, games my kid uses. a compass I've never used, a map app, a lake conditions app and some other stuff I haven't explored yet.

But there are some things my smartphone doesn't do that I think would be truly useful. What if my smartphone could tell me where its charger is? Or the television remote (even if I have stuffed it in the refrigerator with the leftovers hastily put away)?

And wouldn't it be cool if my smartphone could find my car keys, or my glasses, or my 8-year-old's left shoe when it's missing in action. And what about a "mood smartphone" that changes colors with your mood, putting others around you on notice that you're having a good day or a bad day, and chances are they are about to hear all about it. Wouldn't that be fun?

One of my friends suggested a "stupid alert," app, having recently watched a Blue Collar Comedy Tour DVD; but I'm not sure that's such a good idea. What if the smartphone decided I am the stupid one and sounded the alert every time I came too close? That might no work out all that well.

Maybe my smartphone also could randomly compliment me, too. Everyone could use a little pick-me-up now and then. Wouldn't a phone that told you "You look very professional today," or "I'm glad to know you," or "Great shoes!" or even "You're one of the nicest people I know," be a fantastic boost to your day now and then?

I'll just bet there's an app for that.

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What's there to do?
Lynn Wade
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Exploring the obvious and the not so obvious in search of the oh, so elusive "something to do' that's all around us.
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