Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

December 15, 2013

TECH TALK WITH MIKE GINGERICH: Keeping up with the technology Joneses

Technology continues to change at a rapid pace. Simply look at the adoption rate of smartphones as one example. In late 2010, roughly 30 percent of U.S. mobile phone users had a smartphone. Now that percentage is more than 55 percent and growing.

From social media, to tablets, to apps for smartphones, the technologies continue to change and evolve, and innovation is non-stop. Today, I’ll look at three unique technologies that are either available now or being tested for mainstream use in coming years.

Fancy Hands

Fancy Hands is the personal, virtual assistant for busy people. It enables users to “hand off” simple tasks and have them accomplished by a team of assistants. Need to order flowers for a friend in the hospital? No problem. Want to make reservations for dinner or reserve a hotel room for the conference you are attending next week? Yes, a Fancy Hands assistant can do that. Users of Fancy Hands pay a monthly fee starting as low as $25 for a ability to make a number of requests. All the assistants are trained and based in the U.S. Users can submit requests via email, iPhone or Android apps.

There is also a business version enabling Fancy Hands to be “the team” to “your team.” Assistants can plan meetings, manage schedules, order supplies, book conference rooms and more. For busy, on-the-go people carrying an Internet connected device, Fancy Hands is a new breed of personal assistant.

Coin

Will Coin become the go-to standard in our wallets, similar to how Youtube is to online video or Facebook is to social media? It’s in pre-release so it’s hard to say, but the concept is intriguing and even in pre-release the pre-orders are rolling in. Coin is an electronic payment card, about the size of a credit card, that stores all your other cards so your wallet stops overflowing and causing you back issues from the bulge you sit on. It’s a little like having PayPal in your purse in the form of a card. It will be able to store credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and even membership cards, including those used at large chain retailers.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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