Enterprise Insight: Gadget envy? Just give in


For the disco floor: a 1970s-style belt buckle video display which also displays groovy psychedelic swirling patterns.

Mossberg and Co. also showed off the new $150 laptop.org machine, cell phones with real-time GPS navigation, and 2-megapixel cameras, watches that record up to 12 hours of MP3 audio (watch what you say!), noise-canceling Bluetooth headsets that connect to your jawbone for greater accuracy, eBook devices that finally work, and a digital star gazer that talks to you in detail about the constellation you're looking at.

Video was a main theme, and the panelists agreed that storage needs will continue to skyrocket as millions of people start using these new gadgets. They also said the government needs to intervene to get America back on par with broadband in other countries, because U.S. telecom providers (which Mossberg called "the Soviet Ministries") lag way behind their foreign counterparts on feeds and speeds.

Mossberg recalled recently getting 30Mbps at a pub in a remote Irish town (vs. the sub-1Mbps he gets with his home DSL), and said many foreign technologists view the United States "as a Third World country" when it comes to broadband. The panelists also noted that wireless and home networking, particularly the self-discovery part, needs to get better and easier to use.

For IT this means that at a minimum, you should go out and buy yourself one or two of these toys just to enjoy them. You deserve it. It could also be that your internal customers will want some of these toys too -- so it's good to know what's out there before they start popping up on your network.