The Pogie Awards for the Year's Best Tech Ideas

Manila Bulletin, January 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

The Pogie Awards for the Year's Best Tech Ideas


What a chance to step back, look ahead, sum it all up!Or else I could just trot out my usual end-of-year silliness, better known as the Pogie Awards.These honors, now in their fifth consecutive year, aren’t meant to identify the best products of the year; that’s way too obvious. Instead, the Pogies celebrate the best ideas of the year — great, clever features that somehow made it past the obstacles of cost, engineering and lawyers. Kindly turn off your cellphones and refrain from flash photography. All right, then, let’s begin.DROID DOCKS The Motorola Droid, of course, is an app phone (that is, an iPhone wannabe with a black rectangular touch screen, etc.). It’s generally a very good one, with slide-out keyboard, excellent speed and the Verizon network.The winner here isn’t the phone, though — it’s the docks. One $30 plastic dock suctions to your windshield. When you slip the phone into it, hidden magnetic sensors automatically fill the Droid’s screen with Google’s new GPS navigation software, complete with turn-by-turn driving directions, spoken street names, color coding to indicate traffic, map icons (for parking and so on), satellite view and more. Or buy the $30 home dock. When you insert the Droid, the screen becomes a handsome, horizontal-layout alarm-clock/weather display, complete with buttons that let you access your music or even dim the screen for sleepy time. You have to charge your phone overnight anyway, so why shouldn’t it be doing something useful in the meantime? ITYPE2GO In 2009, the risks of text messaging went mainstream. Statistics made it clear that texting while driving was shockingly common — and incredibly dangerous.But what about texting while walking? You’re looking down as you flail away on your keyboard; next thing you know, you’ve crashed right into a person, a tree or a fence. Trust me: It’s hard to look cool when you’ve just face-planted on a No Parking sign. …

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