Your Future Projected in the Palm of Your Hand

Smartphones and tablets are devices that exist to make our daily lives easier. They connect us to the web and each other faster than ever before. They put any information we could ever want right at our fingertips. They can do everything except predict the future, right? 
 
The designers at Dor Tal in Israel want to change that with a new device called Future Control. This app uses algorithms to detect patterns in the interactions we have in our digital world. Once a pattern is detected and the app determines that the event is likely to occur, it suggests a number of actions that the user should take to respond to the event by displaying an interactive interface via a tiny projector onto a flat surface like a wall, table, or even the palm of your hand. It takes information from emails, calls, calendars, social networks, and other digital interactions we have on a daily basis using our Smartphones and tablets to predict the future of our jobs, friendships, and even romantic relationships. 
 
What makes this app different from a comparable product offered by Google is that it incorporates information from your friends as well. It uses their Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates, and other Social Networking information to help you manage your personal relationships. Miss that Tweet your friend sent about her dissatisfaction with her job? Future Control saw it and has already mapped out the closest flower shop for you to pick up a bouquet to brighten her day. Think your team won’t be ready for that big meeting this week? Future Control doesn’t think so either, so it has already suggested that you move the meeting to next Monday. This app does all the thinking and planning for you when you can’t always see what’s coming. Click here to watch a promotional video for this new gadget. 
 
As cool and convenient as this technology is, at what point do we take a step back and wonder why we need an app to let us know how our friends and family members are feeling when all it really takes is a phone call? With the multitude of ways in which we connect to each other on a daily basis, shouldn’t we be able to detect our friend’s moods better than a Social Media scanning algorithm? As we progress further into the digital world, more and more tools are surfacing to help us stay in touch with reality. I think I might need an app to detect the irony in this situation.

Travel Savvy

While I was studying abroad at Oxford University over the summer, I planned a weekend trip to London with some other students. It was our first weekend trip, so we did what any traveling college student on a budget would do on their first week abroad… we looked for the cheapest hostel available to ensure that we had enough money to spend on other trips for the rest of the summer. That first week, we committed the biggest mistake that many travelers make: we didn’t read enough reviews.

Now, thanks to various websites (and that less than positive hostel experience), it is easier than ever to make a study of customer reviews a priority for every vacation planning process. Whether you are checking out a condo to rent at the beach, a boutique hotel in a foreign country, or a rental on AirBnB, there are review sites for all of your accommodation needs. For Millennials like me, Getaroom.com is the place to go. There are numerous reviews of smaller, more budget friendly boutique hotels that appeal to my generation of travelers who aren’t afraid to try a quirky B&Bs or an artsy independent hotel.

Getaroom is capitalizing on the most common behavior of Gen Y individuals, which is sharing information and opinions online. Peer reviews and the opinions of friends and family influence many day-to-day purchases, and they are becoming greater influences on how we choose where to stay and what we do on vacation. The best part: it’s never been easier to share or discover reviews thanks to review sites and Social Media.

Customer reviews are great resources for guests who are looking for potential places to stay, but they can present a challenge to hotel management. When I am planning a trip, I look for reviews that have been acknowledged by the hotel staff. I see this as a sign of hotel management’s dedication to improving guest experiences and it makes my confidence in the hotel increase. Even if a hotel has a negative review, a response from management shows that they value the opinions of their guests and will try to accommodate them.

Millennials are a generation of Social Media loving, content creating, review reading travelers who love to have the inside scoop, so it will be important for hotels, restaurants, and “local” specialty destinations to see customer review sites as another tool to reach their audiences.