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Talking to Your Toaster: And Other Things You Never Thought You’d Do

Talking to Your Toaster: And Other Things You Never Thought You’d Do

If 2017 was a  crazy, 2018 is setting up  to be bananas technology-wise. Every time we open up Techcrunch or read the Huffington Post’s technology pages, there’s news about some new the tech scene that’s mind boggling. From iPhones and their facial recognition capabilities or drones that can fly through fireworks displays, the news never stops.

We’re doing so much, so fast, it’s almost impossible to keep tabs on what companies are dropping every other week. Hardware comes out with innovations constantly, but software is nearly impossible to keep track of because of its light speed evolution. Whereas the past had its charm thanks to a life of simplicity, today’s world is lightning fast, and the speed is only intensifying.

Our everyday items are becoming smarter. We are seeing a real convergence of where the consumer gets empowered, but also where old-school institutions are adopting new technology at every corner.

A few years ago when you thought of your fridge, you assumed it was simply a place where you store all of your food that needs to be cold. It was a simple, open the door, grab the milk and your business transaction was done. Today, our interactions with the refrigerator aren’t quite the same. Samsung, makers of the iPhone’s main rival, the Galaxy has debuted a four-door fridge with a 21.5 touch screen in the door that can sync to your phone, offers Wi-Fi, and thanks to proximity sensors, can hook up with your cable and shoot the game over to the display, so you don’t miss a play. If that ain’t some straight up Jetsons tech, I don’t know what is.

While hardcore tech heads have always been able to hack just about everything, this new onslaught of new voices in technology is opening up many doors to the mainstream. One of those innovations is the emergence of the Retropie. Last year Nintendo dropped their mini NES that had 30 of the system’s classic games – and then pulled it with no reasoning and no marketplace to download more titles aka Tetris and Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. But, for the gaming community, no one blinked an eye because they knew Retropie was available and cheap to make, and with endless capabilities.

A Retropie is a bootleg gaming system built on the back of the Raspberry Pi. The consoles use Raspbian as OS and integrate emulators for a wide variety of home consoles from the past – most notably Nintendo, Sega, Turbo Graphix 16, to name a few. By just watching a few YouTube videos and ordering parts of Amazon, users can build a gaming system that can be housed within an old NES cartridge and powerful enough to play every video from the 1970’s through to the early 00’s. And when say build the gaming system, it’s not an act of futile rocket science, but an easy set of gluing a few pieces in place and downloading the rest via a laptop. A user can have the entirety of the history of video games in their hands in a few hours instead of a lifetime of collecting like some folks do.

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