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Why we don’t all really need smartphones

The latest and “greatest” isn’t the right fit for everyone. And that’s okay. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at five ideas that relate to how we live, work and play.

1. Everyone shouldn’t have a smartphone.

Michael S. Rosenwald had a good read on people who struggle to operate their smartphones. I couldn’t help but wonder, why get a smartphone if you aren’t comfortable with it? If you are only using your phone to take photos and make calls, a feature phone will do the job. Choosing a feature phone over a smartphone would save the hassle, and a lot of money (even some young people are doing it!). While technology can often be a pain, I don’t have a ton of sympathy for people who put themselves in difficult and expensive situations without good reasons.

2. China finding its innovative touch? From the Wall Street Journal:

Many executives at Chinese and Western companies contend, China’s technology sector is reaching a critical mass of expertise, talent and financial firepower that could realign the power structure of the global technology industry in the years ahead.

3. Contact lenses, from Google. I wrote a few days ago about why I see Google as the most interesting company around today. No idea seems too daring or challenging. Well, another example has arrived, they’re making smart contact lenses to monitor blood sugar levels for diabetics. From the Associated Press:

The prototype, which Google says will take at least five years to reach consumers, is one of several medical devices being designed by companies to make glucose monitoring for diabetic patients more convenient and less invasive than traditional finger pricks. The contact lenses were developed during the past 18 months in the clandestine Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car, Google’s Web-surfing eyeglasses and Project Loon, a network of large balloons designed to beam the Internet to unwired places.

4. Want innovation? Then create proximity. From Quartz:

Talented people want to work and live in urban places that are walkable, bike-able, connected by transit, and hyper-caffeinated. Major companies across multiple sectors are practicing “open innovation” and want to be close to other firms, research labs, and universities. Entrepreneurs want to start their companies in collaborative spaces, where they can share ideas and have efficient access to everything from legal advice to sophisticated lab equipment.

5. Amazon drones? How about rockets. While not quite as funny as Groupon’s catapult delivery service, here’s a fun video to mark Friday.

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.



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Matt McFarland · January 17, 2014

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