Online services have to be part of your search

The Internet has become a part of our daily lives, and social media has only enhanced the importance of the web. Yet it’s still amazing how many people don’t take full advantage of the tools that are available online or through their smartphone. Of course that’s changing, particularly with the exploding popularity of phones. Now you can check directions or the weather with a quick tap on your phone. You don’t need to sit down and boot up your computer or tablet.

Still, web searching is much easier on a laptop or desktop if you’re doing real research, and if you want to take full advantage of the web, you should make the time to do research for all sorts of things. This is true in your personal life along with your business life. For example, would you really do work on your home without researching potential contractors online? If so you’re being foolish. If you’re looking for online printing services, you should compare various options like UPrinting brochure printing against your local printers. If you’re shopping for anything, you should always check places like Amazon first or even while you’re at the store.

The bottom line is that you’ll get lower prices and better quality if your spend the time doing common sense research.

The Internet of Things

ReadWriteWeb has an interesting featuring covering the top 5 web trends of 2009. Their latest entry covers the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is a network of Internet-enabled objects, together with web services that interact with these objects. Underlying the Internet of Things are technologies such as RFID (radio frequency identification), sensors, and smartphones.

The Internet fridge is probably the most oft-quoted example of what the Internet of Things will enable. Imagine a refrigerator that monitors the food inside it and notifies you when you’re low on milk. It also perhaps monitors all of the best food websites, gathering recipes for your dinners and adding the ingredients automatically to your shopping list. This fridge knows what kinds of foods you like to eat, based on the ratings you have given to your dinners. Indeed the fridge helps you take care of your health, because it knows which foods are good for you.

The potential impact on a new, all-digital lifestyle is quite staggering. The fridge example is a good one, but it opens up so many possibilities.

Imagine how we can monitor aging people in the future. Many seniors currently have little choice but to live in a nursing home. Assisted living is becoming much more common, but with tools like this family members, and health care providers, could more easily monitor loved ones. Home security and personal security is another huge opportunity.

On the other hand, this will raise serious privacy issues as well. In the future, will everything, and everyone, be monitored all the time?

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