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Two innovations that can change your life

Here are two technologies that can help you manage your lives better

brunch Updated: Feb 10, 2018 23:12 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
technology,phones,home cloud
We expect game changing gadgets and jaw-dropping new features to spawn all around us every single day

Innovation in tech is a given thing. We expect game-changing gadgets and jaw-dropping new features to spawn all around us every single day. But within this slightly jaded look at how we all treat true innovation, is buried the fact that we may just be missing out on tech that can change our lives. I recently discovered two such innovations that have changed mine.

With the Home Cloud, you can create a backup for everything you do

WD My Home Cloud – the Swiss Army knife of backups
What’s the greatest problem in the world? Besides relationships – it’s actually all the media and data we all create. Think about all the pictures and videos, and music and documents you’ve created in the last five years. Chances are that some of the most important media you lovingly created has been lost when an iPad crashed or you upgraded a phone or lost a laptop. It’s estimated that we only retain 30 per cent of all data we create and the rest of it is lost. That literally means that we lose seven out of every 10 pictures and videos we shoot. The main reason of course is that backing up all the trigger happy media we create continues to be the most painful thing on the planet. You have to buy a hard drive, connect your phone with a cable, use a USB drive, plug into a computer, set up a pretty complex NAS machine – all either extremely time consuming or fiddly or needs a rocket science degree.

It’s estimated that we only retain 30 per cent of all data we create and the rest of it is lost

That’s why when I discovered the Western Digital My Cloud Home Device, I thought I had achieved nirvana. Here’s why. This is a very elegant-looking device that takes away multiple pain points. Power it up, download its app and it almost sets itself up on its own. Designate an auto backup and every time you take a picture or a video or generate any other data on that device – it automatically creates a backup copy on the drive. No questions asked, no user action required. It’ll do it over WiFi or your carrier network, your choice. Download the app onto every device you use. You can also set it up to automatically back up from Facebook, Google Photos, Dropbox and even individual folders on your laptop. I have my whole family on this, and everyday their devices automatically back up all that they’ve done neatly into the right folders without a button being pressed. We haven’t lost a single image in months.

MediaTek biosensors help you monitor your health easily

MediaTek BioSensor – saving lives
There are now officially more mobile devices on this planet than people. What if each of those devices could behave like a mini medical lab? Well, it’s about to happen. MediaTek, the chip maker changed the rules of the game by introducing a very low cost biosensor that can reside inside every phone and literally any mobile device. This biosensor gives extremely accurate readings on six key bio measurements data points. Heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure trends, SpO2 blood oxygen levels, electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG). It gives these readings within seconds just by placing a finger from each hand on two sensors. Taking these measurements on a daily basis and monitoring it long term could have a huge effect on your fitness and health.

The biosensors will be on economy phones too

Now imagine this kind of tech built into every phone and available to all users. It could become the single greatest study of health parameters worldwide and save millions of lives. Apps that takes these measurements and relay it directly to your doctor could be integrated. Heart patients could use it to do daily check ups and athletes could use it to better their performance. This technology could literally change medical diagnostics across the world. I’ve used a prototype over a period of time and even checked it against medical devices and found it to be very accurate. MediaTek also announced that this wasn’t technology for expensive flagships phones only but could easily be integrated into 3,000 economy smartphones too. Expect the first phones with MediaTek biosensors to hit the market very soon. Now when you reach out for your phone first thing in the morning, do a biosensor checkup before you check Instagram.

Yes, there will be phones with 10GB RAM, microwave ovens that talk back to you, robots that you can cuddle up with and cars that drive all on their own. Yet, its going to be technology like the two I’ve mention above that actually do what most whiz bang technology cannot. Change lives!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, February 11, 2018

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First Published: Feb 10, 2018 22:38 IST