CES 2012: Five Ways to Boost Productivity with New Tech Tools
LAS VEGAS – The exhibit halls are crowded and bustling at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and you can bet the long days and frantic energy have attendees thinking about working smarter -- not longer. Thankfully, some of the technology showcased here hits on that nerve, from cutting down on the devices in your shoulder bag to keeping your body running at optimum efficiency.
Here's a look at devices we found here that can amp up your output in five ways:
1. Monitor your business remotely, wirelessly: Time spent futzing with your business's wireless network is pure waste. D-Link's sub-$200 HD Media Router 3000 minimizes over-the-air traffic by turning power outlets into possible network connections. Additionally, the device's Cloud Services lets managers use iOS apps to do everything from monitor attacks on the network, view sites visited and even connect with D-Link Cloud Cameras to monitor the workplace.
2. Rout all your calls to one place: Whether it's between a plain old telephone or a mobile, fumbling between phones can be a thing of the past with the Plantronics Calisto 835. At about $200, this desktop speakerphone device uses Bluetooth to connect to your cellphone, USB to hook up with your computer and the wall socket to link to your phone line. The backlit screen is bright and responsive, giving the Calisto a flashy, futuristic feel. It comes with a clip-on microphone that allows you to take calls no matter what you're doing.
3. Fine-tune your body: You use all sorts of metrics to make sure your business is operating to optimum capacity, but what about your employees? Jawbone Up is a $99 data-gathering bracelet that works with your iPhone to catalog activities such as sleep, movement and eating.
By making sure you and your staff are getting enough shut-eye, exercise, and nutrition, you can ensure your bodies and minds are as productive as possible.
4. Trim down your tech footprint: Lugging around both a tablet and a laptop can become a hassle. Later this year, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, which will launch with Windows 8, will combine both in a svelte, 13-inch device. The 1600 x 900 resolution screen will blow the current tablet market away, and its battery is expected to last around 8 hours.
But with an expected price tag of about $1,000, road warriors should take notice of this two devices-in-one bargain.
5. Think, speak and text on your feet: If you think better on your feet, the Motorola Elite Silver might be the headset for you, packing HD-audio and dual microphones to block out background noise, and it connects to your handset.
The $129 headset's free MotoSpeak Android app reads SMS messages aloud and allows users to reply, or initiate new texts by speaking. The device's travel case doubles as a charger so, when it's not in use, the Elite Silver is safe and sound.
Based in Portland, Ore., John Patrick Pullen covers travel, business and tech for Men's Journal, Fortune and others.