Now, we turn from Anita Elberse's take on the blockbuster in entertainment to the gadgets that entertain us. David Pogue of the New York Times spends his time thinking about the race to make phones ever slimmer, their cameras just a bit better, and our watches a little smarter. We chatted about his predictions for the latest and greatest breakthroughs in technology.
Apple's recent release of the new iPhone raised lots of questions about what would be coming next in the world of phones. Is there a new frontier in smartphone technology still on the horizon? Unfortunately, Pogue predicts that smartphones - like personal computers before them - may have reached an innovation saturation point. "What's the last breakthrough PC idea you heard?" he asks. "You know what you're going to buy. There's no arms race."
Speaking of arms, what's Pogue's take on one of the new products getting the most buzz: smart wristwatches? (Pardon our pun.) In the race to make your watch a phone, Pogue says that it will take a creative genius to make the currently cumbersome technology both sleek and user-friendly: "Right now, everybody's fumbling around looking for someone like Steve Jobs to come and define them," he says.
Until then, Pogue picks two new favorite gadgets that solve problems we've all encountered. How many times have you fumbled with the camera on your cell phone, only to end up with a blurry, dark photo? Sony may have come up with a solution with their QX series, a camera shaped like a lens that is controlled through your phone. Nest, meanwhile, the company that redesigned the thermostat, is now turning their attention to another much-maligned household technology: the smoke detector. The Nest Protect alerts your phone when it goes off, has a more soothing alarm, and can be turned off with only a wave - solving many of the most annoying issues of conventional smoke detectors.