Back in the days when we were at school computers were pretty basic. ICT tended to focus on microsoft word and there were very few programs you could access easily to understand the world of computer aided design or image editing.
Our children though? Well they can create perfectly edited photographs on their phones and navigate their way through any new technology that is thrown at them. They laugh at our inability to send text messages, eye roll at our use of text speak or emoji and have to educate us on how to take a photo which doesn’t have a thumb in the way. If you are struggling to keep up with the youngsters then it’s time to make a change!
First things first, let’s start with the old school technology. The computer. Laptops are now a common item in most households but are you making the most out of your laptop or do you just use it for emails and surfing the web? Did you know there is almost nothing you can’t do if you have a computer. Granted some programs may require extra tech or cost a fair whack of money, but it is still possible to do anything if you have an internet connection, a few wires (although we hardly need those anymore) and a little bit of knowledge.
Here’s a great example. Remember your old holiday films taken either on a cinecam or as the years went by, a camcorder. Today you don’t need any of that. Providing you have your mobile phone or, better still, a HD camera such as a Go Pro you can shoot high definition footage which can be downloaded (wirelessly) to your computer. Once on their you can create your raw files into amazing films. If you want to create a really professional finish you could try a Premiere Pro Training course. This will teach you the art of video editing so when you get back from your recent holiday, it’s you impressing the youngsters with your awesome films.
Photo editing is even simpler. With sites such as Instagram you can tweak any snap you take on your phone, crop it, add a filter and then post your work of art for the world to see. No longer are we getting a simple photo of your evening meal, Generation X are actually taking wall worthy images and adding definition and mood straight from their mobile device. You can now give the impression you live a far cooler life than you actually do. The selfie craze went mad and is still going strong. Apps such as Facetune give you all the tools of a professional photo editor. You can slim your face down, smooth your skin, make you eyes bigger and even change the background of your photo. With technology like this available it’s no wonder the photographic industry is taking a bit of a hit. We are all mini professionals!
Keeping your eye on the latest wireless tech isn’t just about making you look cool in front of the younger generation. Knowing what products are out there and understanding how they work can help you reduce the costs of your monthly outgoings. You can also keep your family safer.
Amazon released the incredible Alexa this year. This small wireless device can be hooked up to any electrical products you have in your home and give you the power of turning them on or off with just your voice or the integrated app software. You can ensure your lights are never left on by simply asking Alexa to turn all the lights off. Or you can ask Alexa to order your shopping for you. She can’t go and let the delivery man in for you but we probably aren’t too far off that happening. You can also control your heating from Alexa or your phone too. Switching it on and setting the temperature so you can work the system around you, not the other way around.
CCTV has been available on the market for years, but with the development of tiny HD cameras we now have incredible quality and even night vision or thermal vision. The camera can be left running all day and set to record when movement is sensed. The recording can be delivered straight to your computer or your mobile phone. Obviously this is brilliant for home security but is also useful if you are out and want to check on the babysitter. Or to see how your pets cope when you aren’t around. Not that we recommend spying on your children, but when you start leaving them on their own, it’s quite reassuring to know you can check what they are up to from your tablet. That’s if they haven’t gone one step ahead of you and worked out where all the spy cams are hidden. Kids are smarter than you, remember?
We are even using tech to pay for our dinner now. Contactless payments mean you can use a chip in your card to tap the merchant device and instantly make payments without having to use your pin. Reducing the time we queue and making checkouts a little less congested. There is currently a strict limit on what you can spend, whilst the technology becomes more secure this will increase.
Finally, the smart 3D TV. Can you imagine if someone told you 20 years ago that your TV was not only going to be able to access all information in the whole world at the touch of a button, but that you could stream live video from your laptop without any wire connections or that 3D was going to be available in every home that had the money to afford it? What our TV’s can do now is nothing short of a miracle. From the size, to the picture quality to the sound. We might still need to ask the teenagers for a little help navigating the system but we’re pretty sure if you come home with a TV like this you are going to earn loads of tech spec brownie points.