Thursday, March 22, 2007

Love gadgets, but not keeping up with them...

Somewhere along the line in the last seven years or so I fell out-of-step with keeping up with the latest technology tools and toys. Long ago I had one of the first programmable universal remotes and I set it up to automatically turn on my entertainment center, stereo, CD player, adjust volumes, and turn off all at a given time. I used it to its full extent. I'd like to say that I had the very latest in home entertainment equipment as well. And a constantly growing library of CDs. Today, not so much.

Today I have an even better universal remote - the Logitech Harmony 890 - and I haven't finished setting it up to manage all my devices. Worse yet, it's easier than ever to set this thing up. You just go to the Logitech website and select all of your components and the remote will be configured over a USB cable. I did define the devices, but when I tested the "boot up" process I ran into a sequencing problem and I just haven't taken the time to go back and fix it.

I'm also one of the last people in the US who doesn't own an iPod. It must be a sign of my age, but I just don't feel the need to listen to music everywhere I go. I don't have XM or Sirius sat radio either. You've probably guessed it but I listen to talk radio and books on CD during my commute.

PlayStation, XBox, PS3, Wii? Never got bit by the gaming bug. I know it could easily have happend to me. A timing issue. If the sudden rise in my discretionary income had crossed paths with gaming boom several years ago, I'd be as addicted as anyone. I think I just missed that wave. Not to mention that I've been busy with my two sons. Playing and teaching without electronic devices was intentional for us. But now they are 10 and 7 years old and the pressure to keep up with their friends' video toys is mounting. (BTW, I can't believe how many of my neighbors let their kids play "M"-rated video games. I just don't want my boys exposed to that world yet. Am I that far out-of-touch?)

So I do what probably most people in their mid-forties do and let the majority of tech devices go unnoticed, and give only the most highly acclaimed products a second look. DVR, for example, is something I was slow to adopt. Now I strongly believe that DVR is the greatest invention since the remote control.

I bought my first HDTV last year, after waiting out most of the hype. I went with the Pioneer PDP-5060HD 50" plasma. Absolutely fantastic product. It's tough to watch sports without HD now.

My point is that I'm not as easily moved to action as I used to be. But I like to keep up with what's available. I'm just not an impulse shopper who buys gadgets just for the sake of having the latest. The Apple iPhone will need to come "way" down in price and it'll need to go through several software patches before I'll consider it.

I do have my cell phone, with a couple songs on it. And it has a camera that can take pictures and record short video. It also has Sprint's On Demand TV content, but I haven't used it yet. I also use an EVDO wireless broadband card in my laptop. That I use.

I recently heard about this trick you can do to open a locked car door with your cell phone signal. Say you've locked your keys in the car. If you call home where the other set of keys are, and that set has a keyless entry fob like most sets of keys do, your friend at home can press the "unlock" button while you hold your phone up near the car. The radio signal will unlock the car. Things like that make me wonder about all the Location Based Services that must be at our fingertips thanks to cell phones. Marketing over the air is a whole new world I want to learn more about. Those are the gadgets and services that can improve my life.

So I'm going to start visiting, (more often),,, and other sites that are known for sharing the latest in the world of technology.

Fast to learn, slow to adopt. I'm sure I fall into a specific segmentation marketing category for most companies. With age comes pramatism, I guess.

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