Technology has come a long way since the first cellular phone call was made by Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, with a phone that weighed 1.15kg, was 10 inches long, and could only be used for 20 minutes before the battery died.
But technological innovation comes in many shapes, sizes and formats, from mobile phones to computers, tablets, watches, televisions, even virtual reality workout platforms.
Leigh Stark, web editor andtechnology journalist at the Gadget Guy said ease of use is a vital element for busy business people when choosing new technology.
“If something is easy to use, you can relay how to use it not only to your staff, but to anyone else you need to work with,” he said.
For example, The USB Type-C, the new universal connector for all mobile devices, has user approachability at the forefront of its design.
“The USB Type-C featured in the new MacBook, and we’re now seeing it on a lot of laptops released at the start of this year. It’s also on the bottom of the latest phones from Google, Microsoft and LG,” Leigh said.
“It’s a new USB port and the idea is that it’s universal – it’s not proprietary – so if you land overseas and you’ve forgotten your cable for your MacBook and Google phone you can buy a Type-C compatible cable, and it can charge both.
“The whole point is that you literally just carry one cable around with you that can charge all of your devices.
“The technology is super helpful, because it features high speed data transfer from device to device, and it’s reversible, meaning you no longer have to get the plug the right away round – making it harder to break.”
But Leigh said the evolution of the web is by far the most important technology for business people.
“The next generation of 4G – 4.5G is being rolled out by Telstra and Optus at the end of this year,” he said.
“This technology will make video conferencing, especially for business people, just that much clearer.”
Leigh said security also plays a major role in technology purchasing for business people, particularly when it comes to smart phones.
“Security is an element that can’t be overlooked, fingerprint security is a great way to safeguard your device, and lots of smart phones now incorporate this,” he said.
“Some devices out there even have ‘iris security’ which use various patterns in your eye to unlock the phone – two Windows phones feature this already.”
For tech heads and busy business people alike, the world’s latest technology was on display at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January – a global electronics and technology tradeshow that takes place every year in Las Vegas, Nevada – with many of this year’s top performers designed to make life and work just that little bit easier.
So for those looking to recharge, trim down, and present themselves in an even better light in 2016, here are The Real CFO’s top tech picks for the year ahead.
Small, but made for big things
Meet The Cube – this mobile projector may be small, but it will make a big impression at your next presentation. The lightweight 2 x 2 inch cube fits into the palm of your hand and appeals to business users who need a compact, yet powerful way to display media in meetings and presentations.
Most importantly The Cube is versatile, fun and easy-to-use, and allows presentations to be shared directly from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to a 120-inch vivid projection display on a wall or ceiling.
The Cube is portable and autonomous, highlighting that this palm-sized star was truly built with business people on the run in mind. It features an LED bulb with a lifespan of 20,000 hours.
Battery life – a worry of the past
We all need access to a charging outlet to keep our smartphones and tablets fully juiced and the TYLT’s Energi – an all-in-one charging station is a top pick.
The desktop charging station can charge up to five devices at once making it a handy gadget to rid your office of multiple chargers, allowing you to power up your phones, smartwatches and tablets simultaneously.
The neat device at 5 x 4.25 inches, features a clever design that allows you to wrap your cables around the platform to keep them in order. There’s also a removable battery pack (the fifth USB port) allowing you to charge your device on the go.
For the office fitness fanatic
We’ve all got those workmates who embark on their fitness challenges, and with activity trackers flooding the market right now, they have plenty of choice when it comes to fitness technology.
The latest technology leading the pack is the Fitbit Blaze – now available in Australia – with its vibrant colour touch screen setting it apart from all other trackers on the market, which mostly feature simple monochrome displays.
The Fitbit Blaze is thinner than the Apple Watch and has an improved heart rate sensor providing more accurate readings. It is water resistant, has automatic sleep and activity tracking, and importantly for those looking for a device with little extra style, the Fitbit Blaze can be customised with a number of fashionable bands and frames.
It’s a translator, but not as you know it
We work in a global world and language barriers can hurt a sale, ruin a possible connection and slow down business proceedings.
To overcome language barriers, Iamili has released the ili Wearable Translator, available in June, which records conversations and translates words in English, Chinese and Japanese in two seconds.
It also works without an Internet connection, as the dictionary is stored within the device.
Later in the year more languages will be available, to help any business deal get done faster.
Sleek and razor-thin
The Galaxy TabPro S, available in Australia later this year, is the latest technology in tablets, aiming to squeeze full PC functionality into its lightweight design.
It’s razor-thin and features a full Windows 10 operating system to run all traditional programs, and a 5200mAh battery with up to 10.5 hours battery life, so you’ll get a good day’s work from just one charge.
Measuring in at 11.5 x 7.8 x 0.24 inches and weighing 0.68 kilograms, the tablet is super light making it easy to carry around between meetings and a good travel companion for those traveling internationally.