Mobile innovation that could change the way you do business

A look at four types of devices that are pushing the boundaries of mobile capabilities.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad were revolutionary mobile products that changed how people communicate and access information, entertainment and services. Since then, similar slab-style smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous. This doesn’t mean mobile devices have become boring, but it does beg the question: What new kinds of gadgets will we see next — and what might they mean for your business?

Some new smartphones, like the one Amazon is said to be working on, might have 3-D screens. But there’s more. Some devices are wearable and can be carried hands-free as glasses or even woven into the fabric of your clothing. Others are ambient, meaning they’re embedded in objects around you and interact with you and your devices via various types of radio connections or the internet.

Here are four innovative, new types of devices that have potential implications for business:

1. Google Glass 

This is the first consumer “heads up” display — a small monitor that you wear like eyeglasses. Google Glass has a camera, microphone, memory, GPS and Wi-Fi built in. Right now, it’s costly (the initial version cost $1,500), and availability is sharply limited. But Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said that in about a year, Google Glass will be more widely available, although probably still pricey.

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