The History of the Interactive Kiosk

Check-In Kiosks

Interactive kiosks are a relatively new development in the tech world, but they’ve actually been around for a bit longer than you might have realised.

Nowadays they’re just about ubiquitous, appearing more or less everywhere you might care to look. You see them on the streets, in the form of touchscreen cash machines outside the local branch of your bank, and in the shops, in the guise of self-service checkout counters at the supermarket or information terminals in shopping centres.

We use them in just about all walks of life, for a wide variety of sometimes starkly different purposes. But how did they become so popular? How did interactive kiosks get to the place they are today? Let’s look through their history a bit.

1977 – The First Kiosk

The very first self-service kiosk was created by Murray Lappe. Lappe was a pre-med student at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Designed in 1977 (making interactive kiosks almost 40 years old now), the Plato Hotline (called so because it operated on a PLATO computer system) was housed in the student union building of the University. During its first six weeks of operation, more than 30,000 people – not just students, but also teachers and visitors – queued up to use it.

Why was it so popular? Well, what one has to keep in mind is the lack of computers in any commercial sense back in ’77. Many people had never seen a computer at this time, let alone been able to actually use one. The first commonly-available GUI would not come into play until 1983, with the launch of the Apple LISA.

The Plato Hotline was used via a plasma touch screen (developed just over a decade earlier by Donald Blitzer, another U of Illinois student). It allowed users to browse directories, view maps of the campus, check out bus timetables and more, eight years before the first Windows was released. Impressive stuff.

1984 – The First Commercial Kiosk Network

Less than ten years later, the shoe store Florsheim Shoe Company installed the world’s first commercial network of kiosks. Known as the Florsheim Express Shop, it was introduced into all the physical stores and allowed customers to order any shoe from the Florsheim catalogue, in any colour and size, without having to rely on whether that particular outlet had the variety in stock or not. Customers paid through the kiosk, and the transaction was communicated to the head office via dial-up lines.

The commercial revolution had begun.

1991 – The First Internet-Connected Commercial Kiosk

Another first, one of the kiosks displayed at the 1991 Comdex (Computer Dealers’ Exhibition) happened to be the first one to be connected up to the internet. Its main use was to locate children who had gone missing – a noble purpose, if ever there was one.

1997 – The First Kiosk Conference

KioskCom – now called Customer Engagement World – was launched in 1997 to great fanfare. A tradeshow at heart, it was designed to provide information, demonstrations, and the latest news for any organisation looking into the deployment of interactive kiosks, such as the ones currently offered by Evoke Interactive and the like.

It currently takes place in New York City, and is usually held towards the beginning of November.

2007 – The First State-Wide Kiosk Initiative

Imperial Multimedia worked with the state of Virginia to install new touchscreen kiosks into more than 30 different State Parks. These interactive kiosks provide a wealth of information to visitors, such as what to do in case of an emergency, the various points of interest in the area, and even maps which can be printed off.

Now – Everything

These days, you can find just about everything in kiosk form. Creating a pizza to order? There’s a kiosk for that. Wanting to rent one of the latest movies? There’s a kiosk for that. Fancy speeding up the queues at the local supermarket? There’s a kiosk for that.

Where they’re going to go next, we can only guess. All we can predict is that we’ll be seeing even more of them for years to come.

photo by:

Apple Laptops: Are They Worth it?

MacBook Pros

Many people dismiss the idea of an Apple laptop partially out of intimidation. Since childhood, I was bought up in the realm of Microsoft, nice easy to use personal computers that are generally accepted by everyone. Children would use them to surf the net and even secretaries and other professionals would find these computers essential in their everyday working lives. They are accepted by everyone and why? Because the user interface is so friendly and easy to navigate. They are like a digital AA road map and that simple ‘Start’ button in the left hand corner seemed to make everything so accessible.

The first time I tried to associate myself with an Apple computer was in college when I was studying an irritating side module linked to my Media Production course. However this module was slightly important as I would not achieve my media qualification without passing this add on course. Therefore I did submit a small amount of my attention to it when required, yet not enough to remember anything I had learned after I gladly strolled out the doors for the last time. Anyway, at first glance, this Apple machine caused me great concern as it was something new and I did not appreciate change too much during that adolescent period of my life. As soon as I figured out which symbol on this annoying new interface represented the internet, it was inevitable that I would be constantly distracted by the likes of Youtube and the Mixmag web site. This was indeed the case too, especially with what seemed like broadband internet speeds on these things. Therefore I did not learn too much about Apple or creative computing while I was stuck in line waiting for university to come into my life.

By the time I had grown up a little more, I was willing to accept change and challenge. I was learning to use a piece of unfamiliar editing software called Final Cut and Apple is the platform in which this software operates at its most optimum level. This piece of software was highly sophisticated and even I, someone not too technology savvy, could immediately see that this type of software would have been horrible to use on a normal Microsoft computer. Everything was nice and speedy due to the quad core processor and as I was editing video, I could see the resolution was far superior to anything I’d ever seen on a Microsoft computer.

It wasn’t until I bought my own Macbook, that I really started to appreciate Apple. I discovered one of the cursor features accidentally and to this day, it still impresses me. By placing two fingers on the touch pad simultaneously, it is possible to scroll down the screen without the aid of a mouse or without having to move the cursor to the side of the screen. The Apple operating system gives more ample support to the hardware too and because Apple use aluminium shells, the machines are incredibly tough. This makes it possible for Apple to create slimmer models which are far more fashionable to carry about than regular laptops. The Apple logo on the front of the computer also lights up when the machine is in use which in street terms, makes it look even more swag!

photo by: benjamin-nagel

The Best Offline Marketing Techniques

Sly & Barnes, Devonport

Offline marketing techniques are just as important as online techniques and shouldn’t be neglected. They’re an awesome way to get even more traffic to your site, custom, and brand awareness. But just where are you supposed to start? Let’s take a look at the best offline marketing techniques:

Give Away Free Stuff

Free stuff is one huge surefire way to get people interested in you and who you are. However, you want to give away free stuff that will actually interest your target market, don’t you? Think about who your target market are and the kind of thing they’d enjoy receiving. Would students like free ice cream handed out on their university campus? Of course they would! Brand the napkins with your website URL or store address and you could make a killing.

Stamp It

Stamp absolutely everything with your URL and logo. Small rubbers, letters, envelopes…everything! Make sure nothing that leaves your office/shop goes unstamped.

Arrange an Attractive Display

Attractive displays are designed to draw the eye in and create an impact. You can do this using special perspex display stands carefully arranged to appeal to your target market. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling shoes or shellfish, an attractive display works wonders!

Give More Free Stuff Away

Give away even more useful free stuff, and make sure that it’s branded. Is it raining? Have somebody stand outside and hand out branded umbrellas. Is it boiling hot? Have somebody hand out branded handheld fans. Is it snowing? Put a sign in your window telling people to pop in for a free hot chocolate…no strings attached!

Put an Advert in a Local Paper

Yes, it’s boring, but newspaper ads can be very effective. People still read them you know!

Get Sporty

If you’re active, then why not have your information printed on the back of a sports top? You can then wear this as you play football, run, or ride a bike! Even if you aren’t sporty, you could sponsor a local sports team and feature on their kit.

Business Cards

Business cards are still an effective part of an offline marketing strategy so don’t neglect to use them. Have some unique cards designed with metallic print and embossed writing to make an impact, and then give them out to anyone and everyone. You can even visit the local library and leave a few cards in books that are relevant to your industry, or drop a few on cafe tables as you walk by. Leave them for people to find!

Flyer Drops

Flyers are great ways to spread the word too so post them through letterboxes and on car windscreens. Include a cheeky 10% off deal with a unique code to see what percentage of these are successful!

Go to Trade Shows

Go to trade shows and advertise there. Better yet, speak at them and become an expert in your field! Have business cards and free merchandise available for people to take away, so they don’t forget you.

Use the above techniques in harmony with an effective online marketing strategy and your business will benefit, no matter what industry you’re in!

CMMS 101: Everything You Need to Know About CMMS


If you are dazed and confused by the vast array of software available on the market then look no further. This guide will give you the lowdown on everything that you need to know about CMMS.

What is CMMS?

A CMMS software package maintains a computer database of information about an organisation’s maintenance operations. This means that any information that you currently have stored within a database can be transferred into a CMMS software solution. CMMS can be utilised within any business. The software can produce in depth analysis and reporting, which in turn, make your business more effective and productive.

The Benefits of CMMS

Increased Vision

By utilising CMMS within your organisation, you are effectively deploying existing data sources and displaying their outputs in a simple manner. This means that you can increase your understanding, and knowledge, of your assets within your organisation. Different software systems can help you see different things within your organisation. CMMS software will help you utilise the information regarding KPI reporting as well as helping you gather information on company statistics. You can create reports and analysis for all levels of decision making. It means that everyone within your venture can understand output at all levels.

Repair Costs are Decreased

If you utilise CMMS software correctly, you will be able to manage and maintain structures and assets within your organisation. With vigorous reporting and analysis, you will be able to monitor the repairs costs of certain structures within your organisation. This means that certain assets will be less prone to breakdown as you are carefully monitoring their progress. With fewer breakdowns from your machinery, you will have fewer repair costs. After all, you do not want to waste money on repairing machinery unnecessarily.

Fewer Purchase Costs

Well maintained assets will inevitably have a longer lifespan. This means that your expenditure, overall, will decrease. If you want to invest in a software solution that helps you save money overall, you need to invest in CMMS. Significant savings can be made within your organisation as you are monitoring your assets in a more robust way.

Increased Mobile Workforce Productivity

One of the most important functions of a CMMS system is that it allows mobile data tools to efficiently manage staff. This, in turn, means that if you have a large team that are field based, you can  utilise their time more efficiently to allow job handling, dispatch and sign off processes that can be undertaken remotely. You don’t have to have your employees chained to their desk in order to be more productive. With this level of flexibility, your workforce can become more productive in the workplace. With increased productivity, comes increased profit margins.

Adopting the Latest Technology

By adopting the latest technology, with a CMMS solution, you can have complete flexibility within your workforce. This, in turn, allows you to compete in today’s competitive marketplace. By adopting CMMS software within your business, you will be able to meet and exceed client demands and adapt to the work-based environmental changes that are ever present in the industry. It is a smart solution.

photo by: NAVSEA Corona

Webinar 101: Everything You Need to Know

Mac for every student ?

The trusty webinar is making waves again. In the press, there seems to be a vast amount of space given to the benefits of webinars. If you are at a loss as to how to utilise them within your business, and then look no further. If you need the skinny on webinars, you have come to the right place.

What is a Webinar?

Well, to put it simply, a webinar is a seminar conducted over the internet. Who knew the wonders of the internet extended beyond cat memes?

In the ever growing digital society that we find ourselves in, webinars are the internet’s version of the virtual meeting. We have virtual conversations via text and email; we can now indulge in a virtual meeting courtesy of a webinar. They can be used in the public or business domain; they can be private or open to the public. They can be utilised by mere mortals and business owners alike. Sometimes there is a nominal fee involved for attendance, and some are pre-recorded and available online. You can expand the reach of your audience to global proportions, or you can simply invite your current employees. The world is truly your oyster with a webinar.

The Importance of Webinars in Business:

In today’s thoroughly modern and the digital age, we seem to have lost the essence of time. We all lead such hectic lives that arranging a simple meeting can seem like an excessive chore. If you want my opinion, they are seriously underrated and underused in the business domain. The reasons lie simply in that business owner do not fully comprehend the wide range of important functions a webinar can have.

Webinars have varying degrees of quality. They can teach your colleagues and employees a great deal about their industry. It essentially a spoken word tool kit, which can provide and enable clients and colleagues with varying degrees of knowledge and expertise. Webinar developers engage viewers in a number of ways to maximise their learning potential.

Webinars can be an effective tool in your arsenal when they are used in the correct circumstances or when they directly relate to approaches of business innovation. Let me illustrate this point with an example:

If you are training an employee or client on new technology, then simply reiterating how to use the kit will not be as effective as allowing them the opportunity to watch a webinar that describes the process. More often than not, CEO’s are not effective teachers, nor is the average manager within an organisation. Therefore, it makes sense to employ a method that can tech in an effective manner. It is largely useful as a training tool, but can also provide valuable information on a number of approaches where teaching is better left to the experts. Take a look at Lexis Nexis webinars as a starting point of where excellent webinars can benefit your business.

To ensure that using a webinar is beneficial, it needs to offer an experience that is worthwhile.

The Ultimate Webinar Experience:

For those that are engaging with the webinar, there are number of things that they can do to ensure that they get the best from the webinar.

Webinars need to be chosen carefully to assist with the needs of the business. There are quality webinars (the case in point, the aforementioned Lexis Nexis series of webinars) and there are some serious duds. Ensure that you opt for a quality webinar to guarantee the professional development of those around you. Likewise, you should consider the professional associations that have the most riveting content. Not all webinars are equal so you will need to ensure that you are getting the most from your experience with careful research. It may be worthwhile confirming and consulting with your professional peers to find what they have found useful from the experience (or not as useful, as the case may be)

When maximising the webinar experience, ensure that you are showing the webinar to a group of people. This ensures that they see the importance and relevance of the chosen webinar as well as placing emphasis on their need to learn. Individuals watching webinars on their own tend to pay less attention as opposed to being in a large group. Likewise, you can encourage discussion once the webinar has ended, thus encouraging open and honest dialogue within your organisation. There will be points raised that you may not have thought of, thus making the experience enriching for all.

To ensure that people are paying full attention to the webinar, ensure that they are taking notes. You could also distribute notes as a guidance tool. Webinars are effective learning tools, so it is critical that you get the most from them within your organisation. After all, just because we have left school does not mean that you have to stop learning. Emphasise the importance of why you have introduced a webinar into the business surroundings. Once your clients and colleagues are aware of the importance of a webinar, they will be likely to pay more attention.

Webinars Are Effective Networking Tools:

Personal networks are extremely significant for researching and developing pioneering new approaches to problems. Webinars can be a means for expanding your own works. Contact the relevant people who have participated in the webinar and network like crazy. For small business, this may provide a priceless way of advertising your business and spreading the word of your empire.

Innovation, Innovation, Innovation:

To be at the forefront of any business, you need to be an innovator. By introducing webinars to your business, you are essentially making your brand known within the ever-growing digital economy. Webinars are completed by a wide range of businesses and individuals, so dig around online and see what you can find. Of course, the more professional companies will produce a much slicker presentation than most of the work online, but it can provide a good starting point for the fledgling webinar user.

Webinars will dominate business in the next decade, so make sure that you and your empire does not get left behind.

photo by: luc legay

Top 5 Video Gaming Consoles Ever Released

Nintendo 64

The very first home video gaming consoles were released in the 1980’s, and thankfully, since then, the technology has improved and advanced beyond all recognition. While some people reading this may remember playing space invaders or tennis on their early models, most of you probably started a little later on, and that’s why the first console I’m going to mention is probably the one for which you all have the fondest memories. So, give me your full attention for the next five or six minutes, and take a look at some of the most successful, and widely used games consoles ever released.

Sega Mega Drive 2

Back when this console first made it to the international marketplace, we’d never seen anything quite as impressive. Sure, Nintendo had released a couple of good machines before this, but none were as fast or responsive as the Mega Drive 2. Also, there were more games available than ever before, and so players had far more choice. I personally used to live the Mortal Kombat series, but that’s just me.

Nintendo 64

This came a few years later, and soon became responsible for the birth of one of the most renowned and popular games of all time; Goldeneye. In fact, many people who owned the Nintendo 64 never played anything else. You can still get Goldeneye today on almost every new console that is released, and that should show you just how significant the 64 was to the world of gaming.

Playstation One

Released the same year as the Nintendo 64, the PS1 took a little longer to catch on thanks to the inflated price tag. Even so, within a couple of years, almost every serious gamer owned one, and that helped Sony to become the industry leader that they are today. Games of note included; Colin Mcrae Rally, Tomb Raider, Driver and Grand Theft Auto to name but a few.

Xbox One

After the release of the PlayStation, it looked as though Sony would never be beaten when it came to consoles, however, the Xbox soon changed all that. With games like Halo and so many others that have spawned full series, this machine was the best thing around for a good couple of years. In fact, it wasn’t beaten until the next one on this list became popular, some three years later.

PlayStation 3

I chose to miss out the PlayStation 2 because, let’s face it, it wasn’t really that good. This all changed with the release of number 3 though, and many people are still using this console today. While the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are now available, neither of them have seen sales like those experienced with the last generation yet. The game designs were just so innovative with the PS3 that many people wonder how they were created, and if you fit that category, you can find out more online.

So there it is my gaming buddies, you now know about the five most successful gaming consoles ever released. While you might have your own preferences, there can be no arguing with sales figures, and that’s the information this article has been based upon.

Catch you back here soon!

photo by: -Marlith-

Gaming Where Is It Going?

Sony Reports 7 Million PlayStation 4s Have Been Sold

For many gamers, consoles are always going to be the favourite way to get their gaming kicks. The Xbox 360 and PS3 have their dedicated fans for many reasons and although times are changing and these console aren’t solely dedicated to big boxed games anymore, there is one genre that’s not as common on a console – casino games.

Although there are lots of fabulous casinos and gambling websites out there, including as a great example, it’s hard to find console games dedicated to the fine art of poker and slots. If you dig deep though, you can find them, which is just as well considering online casinos and gambling is one of the fastest growing forms of gaming.

Poker is probably the most common casino style game you can find on Xbox 360 and PS3, which isn’t surprising considering poker has undergone a revival over the last few years. So, which ones are the best?

World Series of Poker: Full House Pro is a console game designed to make you feel like you’re right there in the casino, playing cards. Available on Xbox 360, it’s a successfully immersive game with impressive graphics, music and feel to it. The player can wander through different venues and vary their gameplay by choosing people to play against. The online mode probably helps most to make it feel like real poker as the player can play against people all over the world, but for those who prefer to challenge the impressive AI, there’s that option too. All in all, it’s a great game if you need your poker fix.

Developers are also putting casino and card game elements into their titles so if you’re a fan of Fallout: New Vegas you can gamble with the local currency while in game. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas also famously incorporated a gambling and casino element, which means you can play some casino games on your console.

Online poker crops up in all sorts of different games including the newest game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise with its casino style level that has slot machines and pinball elements. Red Dead Redemption also offers poker and horse race betting, all within its old world Wild Wild West game universe, which offers a twist on the normal casino games.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 also has an unexpected online casino twist. If you buy the casino island DLC then you can play poker and slots against up to 31 other people online at the same time. No money changes hands, but you can still enjoy the fun of the casino games on your console.

You can also, of course, access online casinos through both your PS3 and your Xbox 360 should you wish to have a more casino centric experience, but it’s perfectly possible to find some great casino and poker console games if you prefer.

photo by: BagoGames

Simple Advertising Tips For Small Business Owners

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If you’ve started a new business this year, your focus will be on attracting the most customers possible, and creating the most sales. This is the same, regardless of whether or not you’re providing products or services, and so the information in this post should be universally useful. Thankfully, I’ve been working in advertising for a long time, and through my years of experience, I’ve learnt that the right techniques are usually the most simple ones out there. With this in mind, the post you’re reading today will highlight some of the things you might like to try in layman’s terms. There’s no point getting all technical and confusing you all, as this really isn’t rocket science. All you need is the right information, and the best advice to see you through.

Don’t get me wrong, it is obviously possible to waste your money and get things wrong. Indeed, I’ve seen this happen time and time again. However, this is almost always because the person concerned thought they knew best, and so they chose to ignore the advice of others and plough ahead. Avoid becoming this person if you can, as trial and error can be a vext costly way of learning your lesson.

Brand Your Vans

Lots of business owners will invest in vehicles for their firm. These could be cars for transporting your sales reps around the country, or they could be vans or lorries for making deliveries. Either way, you’ll be missing a trick if you decide now to put your logo and branding on these automobiles. There are some great companies online that offer a variety of vehicle branding solutions you might like to consider, so make sure you start reading through their testimonials to determine which one is right for you.

Use Online Ads

Thanks to the rise of social media websites and a certain online search engine giant, advertising online has become one of the cheapest, and yet still most lucrative marketing endeavours any small business owner has at their disposal. It might take you a couple of days to get to grips with the targeting, but so long as you have enough information about your potential customer base, you should be able to find them online with ease. Also, you don’t have to spend thousands to see the kind of results you can achieve. In fact, you can spend as little as £10 and make a real difference. Where else can you get something for such a low cost?

Organise Events

Whether you choose to sponsor a charity concert or hold events at your business premises, getting people to learn about your firm without directly advertising at them is always a good move. Marketing experts call this “awareness”, and it’s a low level advertising technique that works on the subconscious. You will obviously have your logo dotted around the place, and even if people don’t consciously notice it, the next time they see it, it will seem familiar, and so they’ll give for attention to it.

Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to read this article folks, I hope you’re now in a better position than you were before.


Best Tech for WC Action!

Brazil 2 x 2 England

With the 2014 World Cup less than 50 days away, billions of fans across the world will begin making preparations to celebrate the most prestigious football tournament in style. Many may be fortunate enough to afford the cost of travel, accommodation and ticket to make their way to Brazil and get right behind their nation as they bid to represent their country with pride and potentially go all the way to the Final. Others will stick to being glued to their television sets in their home or at the pub with friends and fellow football fans. Both options create a party atmosphere, with the former being an ideal choice for friends and family members to come together and cheer their nation on.

Watching the drama, excitement and tension unfold during this summer’s World Cup on television may not be enough for football enthusiasts who wish to remain rooted to the pulse of everything related to Brazil 2014. This is where modern day technology can be utilised to enhance your World Cup experience and catch every minute of the action on and off the pitch.

Mobile phone

Mobile phone devices have evolved over the years to provide modern day owners with a substantial array of facilities and technological capabilities that far surpass the basic purpose of its invention. Smartphone and Android phones have transformed into hand-sized computers which have improved our quality of life and made us dependent on their functions, whether it is remaining organised via a daily schedule or accessing the internet via a wireless connection. Mobile phones can be utilised through Brazil 2014 by football punters who wish to gamble while the action unfolds in front of their eyes. Betting apps take you straight into a world of gambling where a vast array of markets is available to make a potential profit. Many novices may be tempted to place a bet during the World Cup to add to the excitement and tension, although it may be a daunting prospect, at first, to work out the odds. They may appear as only fractional ones without a converter which allows newcomers to work out the potential winnings they could receive from each bet.

Games console

The 2014 World Cup is set to be one of the greatest tournaments in modern history with many of the best players in the world set to represent their country and turn on the style. Each group will offer its own twists and turns which will start the tournament off on the right foot. After every game, football fans may feel that their appetite for the sport has not been quenched, and require more football action between each World Cup fixture. Purchasing a next generation console can put you in control of your country and re-enact the game you have just watched, or lead a nation to glory. Choosing between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 may ultimately come down to which console your friends own; playing online further enhances the gaming experience, particularly alongside your friends on the pitch.


Tablet devices, along with smartphones, are widely considered to be the most innovative technology that rose to prominence during the last decade when its capabilities were pushed to new boundaries. Tablets follow the same principle as modern day mobile phones, as they allow users to customise their device through downloading apps from a plethora of markets that are designed to improve our quality of life. They can be useful throughout the 2014 World Cup in keeping tabs with the latest news and live scores from games you may be unable to watch via a wireless internet connection. The considerable screen size can also be utilised to watch live matches through apps that instantly take you to the heart of the action at the touch of a screen.

DAB Digital Radio

Watching the World Cup on television is arguably the preferred choice for any football fan who wishes to see every second of the action with their own eyes. There may be moments, however, when you are unable to watch a match first-hand or prefer to have another viewpoint on the action. DAB digital radios are ideal for catching live commentary of every World Cup game wherever you are; they provide a much crisper sound and simpler tuning system than traditional radios. Purchasing a DAB radio that is battery powered can keep you tuned in throughout Brazil 2014 whilst on the go, with pre-match and post-match conversations allowing fans to listen to other opinions and keep their interest in football at an all-time high.

photo by: Digo_Souza

How Technology Changed the Way we Play

Technology on the bus

From banking to bingo, advances in technology over the past half century have utterly transformed the way in which we live our lives. Nowhere is this more clearly apparent than in the way we spend our leisure time.

Two fat, digital ladies

Take bingo for instance. Bingo halls continue to thrive throughout the world as social hubs for the bingo-besotted, but the game has essentially moved to the digital realm over the past decade. Thousands of bingo sites now offer bingo games to players at home and on the go. By branching out ot offer new services such as slots games, digital bingo providers have gone one better than their ‘flesh-and-bone’ bingo hall counterparts. We’ve traded in our big bingo dabbers for a smartphone stylus!

The e-reader revolution

Many people living today who were born in the 20th Century will never fully accept that e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle are replacing the paper books we grew up with. Our attachment is a sentimental, understandable one – throughout our lives paper books have whisked us away to different worlds as we held their pages in our hands. Nevertheless, the arguments for e-books are strong and numerous. The self-publishing revolution now allows authors to reach readers without a publisher as middle man; no paper and therefore no rainforests are used up in the production of e-books; and e-books are extremely reasonably priced for the consumer. E-books will never be quite the same as a dog-eared old paperback, but they will replace them within a lifetime.

Recording power to the people

In the early ‘90s, the music recording process was essentially the sole preserve of successful, signed musicians. The arrival of recording software such as ProTools, Cubase, GarageBand and Reaper over the following decades completely shattered this idea, heralding the arrival of the bedroom musician/producer. Bedroom recordings have given us some of the most significant new music of the century so far, including essentially the whole genre of dubstep. Technology has given the power to record to the people, and the musical fare on offer to the listener is now vastly more varied and interesting as a result.

It’s easy to approach the quick march of technological advancement with suspicion, even fear, but if the changes to the ways we play seen over the past few decades are anything to go by, we should really be celebrating.

photo by: KOMUnews