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A Publication of WTVP

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m no techie. While I have an iPhone, having moved on from my BlackBerry, I still print my Outlook calendar to take with me to meetings—I find it much easier to see the month at a glance on an 8.5”x11” piece of paper. But that doesn’t mean I’m not intrigued by all the groundbreaking technologies coming to market these days…

We’ve put together a number of tech-focused issues in recent years, but never have I been so amazed by the “futuristic” nature of these technologies as what I’ve read in this issue. Our cover star, Janice Brown, weighs in with a firsthand account of her experiences as an early adopter of Google Glass, while Chad Udell of Float Mobile Learning, also a Google Glass Explorer, provides a broad overview of wearable technologies—and their possibilities for business.

It seems like science fiction, still, but these “wearables” are already available, even if Google Glass isn’t quite ready for the masses yet. Just the other day, Google announced a new version of its Android mobile operating system, crafted specifically for wearable devices, and the first product to feature the new OS, known as Android Wear, is expected to hit the market this summer. So just as I’m getting used to mobile, the cutting edge has moved on to wearable. As usual, technology is a step or two ahead of me!

As I’m still wrapping my brain around the potential impact of wearable devices, another gadget has grabbed my attention: the new Beltone First, which just became available in February. While talking with Laurie Chiou, owner of five Beltone locations in the area, about the company’s partnership with Apple, I immediately thought of a good friend who would benefit from its capabilities; he later became the first person in central Illinois to be fitted for the device. After a month, he reports he can not only hear better, but loves the ability to adjust settings for different environments as he wishes—right from his iPhone. Where he once had trouble hearing in crowded social settings, he can now keep up with no problem. It’s (sort of) like “Google Glass” for his ears…

As wearable technologies begin to make inroads in the marketplace, it will be fascinating to see how they will be applied to business. From CSE Software’s virtual reality technologies, to the insight of folks at Float Mobile Learning and OneFire, to the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center and beyond, Peoria is certain not be left behind! Read all about it in this issue… iBi

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