Texas Instruments today launched a calculator for the iPhone that will cost $14.99 and perform all the functions of its BAII financial calculator. The move is a watershed moment for this scion of high-end calculators (yes, I know about HP, but TI is in my home state and makes the products on which I learned), and possibly an admission that the future of the calculator as a standalone device in this age of smartphones may be limited.
However according to TI spokeswoman Lin Windle, the core TI market — comprised of students and teachers — is still buying calculators, in part because fears of cheating keep wireless-enabled devices out of classrooms and testing centers. “This iPhone app is a way to broaden — not shrink — the total market,” Windle said. “My husband is a realtor and at his office he has a BAII professional on his desk, but when he’s out in the field he needs something handy. We hope this appeals to a broader market.”
I personally would hate for anyone to pry my financial calculator out of my hands, and I treasure the memories of using my TI-85 graphing calculator to play Super Breakout while I was supposed to be learning algebra, so I’m pleased that calculators are getting a bit of a reprieve. Readers, what do you think? Will we ever give up our graphing, financial, or even plain-Jane standalone calculators?
Dunkin’ Donuts ‘Dunkin Run’ iPhone App Will Change The Lives Of Office LackeysDunkin’ Donuts ‘Dunkin Run’ iPhone App Will Change The Lives Of Office Lackeys
If you are the person responsible for supplying the office with Dunkin’ Donuts products, prepare to have your mind blown. Dunkin’ Donuts new “Dunkin’ Run” iPhone app is going to change your life forever.
Dunkin’ Run brings customers a completely new and unique social online group ordering experience and tools. To begin, “Runners” can initiate a group order on www.DunkinRun.com through their computer or mobile device, or via an iPhone application available for free download at the iTunes online store. Immediately, interactive alerts are sent to the Runner’s list of friends or co-workers, telling them when a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts is planned along with a personal message inviting them to place an order online. Invitees can view the Dunkin’ Donuts menu to place their order, and registered users can select from their own personal list of favorites and/or previous orders. All Dunkin’ Donuts core foods and beverages are presented using interactive product images to make personalizing an order both simple and fun.
Siri is a Virtual Personal Assistant – a new way to interact with the Internet on your mobile phone. Like a real assistant, Siri helps you get things done. You interact with Siri by just saying, in your own words, what you want to do. You can ask Siri to find a romantic place for dinner, and get reservations for Saturday night. You can discover things to do over the weekend, get tickets to the movies, or call a cab when you’re out on the town. You don’t have search through a bunch of web pages, following links and hunting down facts. Siri does all the work giving you the information you need at your fingertips.
We believe that in five years most people who use the Internet will have a Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) to take care of the details of using online services. We will look back at the birth of VPA’s in 2009 and wonder how we ever got by without our trusted assistant. The days of wading through links and pages from your mobile interface will seem quaint, because the natural way to interact with the rich world of information and services is to have a conversation. As John Batelle, the author of The Search, says “The future of search is a conversation with someone we trust.” Siri is just getting started, and has a lot to learn. Stay tuned – the era of the personal assistant has begun!