New York, April 25, 2006 – Nearly 88 percent of Americans drive to work each day, with an average round-trip taking 52 minutes. But what’s now dead time is quickly becoming productive. The May issue of Fast Company magazine (on newsstands April 25 – May 23) highlights the following new high-tech toys that help you live out your Knight Ridder fantasies.
Turn Email Into Voice Mail. If checking your BlackBerry has ever caused you to narrowly miss a head-on collision, now you can get your email read to you over the phone. The jConnect service ($15 a month) narrates your email messages by a monotonic computerized voice and lets you create an oral reply, which it then sends as an audio file attachment. www.jconnect.com.
The Information Interstate. Now that the phone carriers are finally building high-speed wireless networks (called EV-DO), you can drive for miles without losing yoru Internet connection. Both Verizon Wireless and Sprint can hit speeds that rival a home broadband connection. The modem will cost you more than $200 , and the service is $80 a month.
If you truly want a mobile office, buy Kyocera’s KRI Mobile Router ($299.99), which will let everyone in a vehicle share a single connection. www.kyocera-wireless.com.
Everything at Your Fingertips. Instead of jut firing up yoru computer in yoru car, you can install a car computer. The StreetDeck ($1,699, plus roughly $500 for custom installation) lives in your trunk and has a touch-screen display in the dash. A simple swipe of your finger will pull up driving directions, MP3s, satellite radio, or even a DVD. www.streetdeck.com.
Editors from Fast Company are available to discuss high-tech car toys and other topics from the May issue.