Sunday, May 29, 2011

On the Road --Everyday Gadget Use

I'm just one Baby Boomer and last week I was on the road up and down the east coast for graduations. In between the two graduations I attended a professional conference. I expect that my life is a lot like yours. Boomers are ever moving, whether visiting children and grandkids or traveling for fun. However, this time I was amazed at how many times I used some gadget or my iPhone to help me out while I traveled and even at the conference. Here are some of the ways I used technology:
  • GPS -- The GPS navigation in my car was a life saver. When I booked the hotels for this trip I was a little bit late (graduation day hotels are often booked a year ahead of time) and the hotel in Maryland I found was a bit out of the way.  My GPS got us to the hotel for graduation and to the graduation ceremony with no problems.
  • Blackberry navigation -- Once, we found that the GPS that came with the the car wasn't updated with all of the local streets located inside the University of Maryland campus. My daughter brought out her Blackberry and we were able to use that to navigate the campus and find our way to specific buildings.
  • Hotel Reservations -- First, I made my reservations online, once using a hotel site and once using one of the travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz or Hotels.com. I kept a copy of my hotel reservation on my phone, just in case, so I could check to make sure I was being charged correctly. I admit, I also printed it out.
  • Finding Restaurants -- In one case we were looking for Gluten-free restaurants in Boston. First we used Google online to find one, simply by keying in the words Gluten free + Boston. Then we used one of the many review sites (I can't remember if it was Urban Spoon, Open Table, or Yelp) to find out what people thought of the place. I made reservations using Open Table.
  • Taking some pictures -- The battery in my husband's fancy Nikon camera wasn't charged when we went to use it in Maryland, so I took out my iPhone and took some pictures with the phone. They weren't the best pictures I've ever taken, but they were better than not having a record of these important memories. I can't wait for the day when the iPhone has a really good camera in it.
  • Sending photo messages -- I sent one of those pictures, of my niece and her husband participating in our festivities, directly to my brother-in-law's iPhone through photo messaging. That was cool. I've used photo messaging before, but this was a terrific way to send the picture.
  • Texting -- The phone reception in each of the graduation venues was terrible, but we all kept in touch by texting. Somehow the texts went through when the phone calls wouldn't.
  • At the conference -- I used my iPhone to record presentations and take pictures of events. The little record app that came with the iPhone did a great job. I wrote about this record app when I first got my phone.
This was just a short list of all the ways technology helped me enjoy these special days.  We were at dinner with relatives when one of my husband's cousins jokingly said to me, "now what will you do? Put your pictures up on Facebook?" He thought he was being funny. Well, that's exactly what I plan to do, as soon as I have them together. And that should give me some fodder for a future post.

    14 comments:

    world of warcraft gold said...

    I also love using gadgets whenever I'm out or just only at home. Mostly, I use it when texting or calling people whom I'm going to meet and sometimes playing some of the games when I'm bored.

    Allan@Memoir Tree said...

    re: "At the conference" -- the recording function is great. Sometimes, even a 10 second audio clip can help keep a memory fresh.

    Doc said...

    The new tech is becoming increasingly useful to this Boomer. I find myself doing things almost instantly that only a year or two ago, I had to struggle to even accomplish. I have an iPhone, iPad, iMac, desktop PC, two laptops, etc, and use all extensively. I have even started writing apps for iPhone. My first is Cost Then (yes, it is on the app store) which calculates what things used to cost based on historical US inflation data. It is fun, and informative. to see what things used to cost and to project that trend into the future (that part is not in the app--yet). Rapid Change is upon us Boomers and is here to stay.

    I think that when the new wears off, Boomers, more than even the younger generations, will find that smart phones, tablet computing, and the ability to do anything anywhere, more intriguing and necessary. I think many of us are already starting to wonder how we lived so many years without this new technology. I see some interesting times ahead of us as many Boomers, if not most, embrace the new 'Anywhere' tech trend.

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