JANUARY 2013: Of all the convenient and innovative apps out there, some can really, truly save the day — they put the smart in smartphone! Check out these super-useful apps and get ready to hop up to a level of productivity you may have never thought possible. Your smartphone can:
1) Tell you where you left your car keys. Or where your cat wandered off to.
StickNFind is a Bluetooth-connected sticker that’s about the size of a quarter and has a battery inside. Stick it on whatever you tend to lose … your keys, your wallet, your toddler’s shoes, the remote. As long as the sticker is within 100 feet of your smartphone, you can track it on a radar screen and page it so it beeps, lights up or both. The Virtual Leash feature tells you when a sticker has moved farther away than you want it to, and if your sticker isn’t in range, the app will let you know once it is. StickNFind works with up to 20 stickers and will be released in March. Check out the video that was used to raise the seed money. Works with Apple devices (iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, new iPad, New Touch, mini iPad) and Android devices supporting Bluetooth Low Energy and running Android 4.0 and newer. From $35 for two stickers to $1,400 for 100 stickers (the Company Pack).
2) Tell you if you’re having a heart attack. Or a stroke. Or just a bit of indigestion (whew).
iTriage is a self-diagnostic tool that was created by two ER docs. It helps you answer two very important questions about something going on with your health: 1) What medical condition could I have? 2) Where should I go for treatment? Millions of users already have researched their symptoms, learned about potential causes and found the nearest place they can leap to for appropriate medical help. You can check out the online version, too. Works with iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) and Android phones and tablets. Free.
3) Tell cars that you’re nearby so they won’t hit you.
In the not-too-distant future, your smartphone will be able to communicate with cars that have built-in WiFi to let them know you’re nearby. You just need to have your smartphone on — no app required. Using WiFi Direct peer-to-peer technology (or short-range wireless communications), the sensor in your phone works with other sensors to alert your presence to cars that are within 200 yards, or two football fields. The connection speed is very quick — just one second, which is way faster than the connection at Starbucks — so even cars driving fast can get the message. The technology is from General Motors and tests have been conducted nationwide. Check out the official site for more details.