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Wireless Gadgets and Trends 2010

I'll be speaking tomorrow, Wed., Oct. 20, to the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wireless Gadgets and Trends 2010: What’s Hot Right Now for Business.

The talk is 7:30 – 9:15 a.m. at Thomas Edison State College, in conjunction with Trenton Small Business Week.

It's the era of the smartphone, not just for always-connected communications and data, but also full-fledged apps. Come explore the new opportunities of this new kind of device that combines the power and display of a portable computer, broadband data access to the almost-infinite resources of the Web, and location-awareness for here and now services.

For a preview of some of this season's devices see my article - Holiday Gadgets 2010: Portable and Wireless

Holiday Gadgets summary ...

It's been another fun and exciting year for electronic gadgets, heightened with breathless coverage in the media, featuring the heart-stopping excitement of new products like the Apple iPad, and titanic battles like the Apple iPhone versus Google Android.

While you many not share the deep lust of the early adopters for these kinds of devices, they really have proved to be quite useful -- especially for keeping in touch when we're so often on the go.

So here's my take on interesting developments, and products that illustrate new trends in portable and wireless devices, to tempt you for the holidays ...

One key trend is the desire to keep fully connected, not just by lugging along a laptop or netbook, but through more powerful smartphones like the Apple iPhone and Verizon Droids. Yet there still may be a place for separate dedicated devices, like the Apple iPod touch, or even tablet devices like the Apple iPad.

But you don't want to buy a separate monthly cellular data plan for each such devices, so products like the Verizon MiFi or smartphones with Wi-Fi tethering become interesting to share one connection with multiple Wi-Fi devices.

And there's still a place for dedicated media players like the Apple iPod line, but Apple has refocused the iPod touch as the app and media player, and the iPod nano and shuffle as solely portable clip-on music players.

The Apple iPhone and iPod touch also have been redesigned with dual cameras, especially for video calling through the FaceTime app.

Video calling is getting much more interesting, with products like the Logitech HD Webcam line for simple and high-quality video calling on laptops and desktops, and Logitech Revue with Google TV bringing direct video calling to the set-top.

Similarly, even though mobile phones have cameras, there's also still a place for dedicated pocket camcorders with the Cisco Flip Video line -- great HD video with dead-simple controls.

These portable devices also call for useful accessories -- portable power with USB chargers, portable sound with Bluetooth headphones and portable speakers, and portable storage with a wide range of tiny to rugged USB flash drives and portable hard drives.

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