Scanning for Bargains

Along with the Webby Awards this year comes a document from the Creative Group setting out some of the clear trends energing in new technology. This year, a couple of the predicted trends include:

Powerful new search services that will transform shopping – online and off. No longer just for chatting, your cell phone will become a bargain-hunting tool with the addition of barcode scanners. Scan a book or CD at the shops or even at a friend’s home and your phone will tell you where you can find it cheapest online.

For those in need of immediate gratification, a boom in local search engines will provide bargain hunters with the best prices at nearby stores by simply plugging in a zip code and the name of the product you are looking for.

And when you can’t stand it any more and you’re overwhelmed by bleeps, bings and rings they say that addiction to IM, mobile email, and cell phones is leading to CDD, or Communications Deficit Disorder. In 2005, they predict gadgets, new workplace policies and a little common sense will come to the rescue. So – watch for keychain devices that can turn off any TV anywhere (these are actually available now and I want one! SB.) and for theaters and restaurants to install cell phone jammers, which block mobile phones. At the office, we can expect to see more workplaces encourage face-to-face interaction by following the lead of a Chicago firm that banned employees from sending e-mail on Fridays!

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