Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jump theme park lines with a new mobile app


OK, I will be the first to admit that I am a theme park wuss, since even simple rides (except for classic roller coasters!) make my stomach heave. But plenty of my friends are headed for places like Hersey Park in Pennsylvania or Disney World in Florida, so a new mobile application from Smart Destinations got my attention.

Smart Destinations is in the business of offering discount passes for more than 400 attractions across the United States. It news application, which works on iPhones or iPads, lets you use your smartphone to buy discounted passes -- so that you can get around long lines. If you buy tickets to multiple places, you can save up to 40 percent off the admission, which is a big deal if you've seen the price of theme park tickets recently.

You get in by scanning a QR code for the pass at the gate.

Cities that are covered include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Oahu, Orlando, San Diego and San Francisco.

If you're going to any of those places AND you're thinking about enduring a day at a popular theme park or tourist attraction, you should definitely check out the site.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Worried about a loved one who lives afar? Mobile tech could help

Thinking about some health issues related to an elderly family member of mine, when I remember this piece from USA Today earlier this year about mobile devices for helping monitoring toddlers or senior citizens with conditions such as Alzheimer's that might prompt them to wander.

The primary thread is that sensors, accelerometers or even just the location technology in a mobile phone could give use new ways to keep tabs on those who we worry about.

Some of the companies serving this market:


  • Omnilink, which combines a tiny sensor that can be inserted into an Alzheimer's patient's shoes with the Comfort Zone Web-based application for monitoring 
  • AmberWatch GPS, which can be clipped to a children's backpack
  • BioHarness, which monitors vital signs and sends them to doctors
  • Exmobaby, a onesie that will include smart technology for tracking infants while they sleep