Technology Spectrum

As technology continues to evolve and impact us, designers and manufacturers are taking note of new possibilities for improving all aspects of our daily lives. At the most basic level, devices that help us perform mundane tasks more efficiently will save us precious time. They can be as simple as watches that are easier to read, or they can be smarter solutions that will undoubtedly allow us to attend to the more important things in life (Twitter! Facebook! Angry Birds!).

EKey’s new fingerprint scanning system, for example, not only does away with the need for front-door keys, it is also compatible with Crestron’s home automation systems. So it can trigger specific actions—playing your favorite music, or recalling personalized home settings such as room temperature or lighting intensity—all with one swipe of a finger.

As MP3 players and smartphones take on an even bigger role in our lives, speakers are being reinvented in all sorts of ways to complement these tools—some are useful, while others are just plain fun. Finally, we’ve noticed that austere and cold tech hardware is being softened using humble materials, like various species of wood, offering a more meaningful tactile experience. The following products, from a nifty wristband that monitors your health to a speaker in the guise of a stuffed animal that dances along to your music, reflect the wide variety of today’s tech solutions.

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