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(ARA) – Does it ever seem like the more things new technology can do, the more complicated using it becomes? And sometimes it’s so complicated you don’t feel like using it at all? If so, you’re not alone.

"Technology has revolutionized our lives and made them so much better and easier on so many levels," says Sean Moss-Pultz a technology expert and CEO of Openmoko. "But when increasingly complex technology makes it difficult to use a tool quickly and easily, people can feel frustrated."

That backlash might explain the rise in popularity of simple tech tools that do just one thing – but do it very well. Such simple tools can appeal to very diverse groups – from baby boomers and seniors who are more comfortable with basic tools that function well, to savvy tech-users who seek to streamline certain applications of technology in their lives.

If you have a place in your life for uncomplicated technology, here are five tech tools that are both easy to use and elegantly useful:

1. Digital encyclopedia

The WikiReader, a hand-held digital encyclopedia, does just one thing – allows you to access Wikipedia, the online, user-generated encyclopedia. Text and hyperlinks of more than 3 million Wikipedia articles reside on the device, meaning you don’t need a wireless connection to access the information.
It’s small, hand-held size makes the WikiReader as portable as a cell phone. And its ability to access Wikipedia even without a wireless signal means you always have the information at your fingertips – even if you’re traveling in an area where there are no wireless signals. "The device is especially useful when used as a reference while reading or doing school projects, or when traveling outdoors or abroad," says Moss-Pultz. "You certainly wouldn’t carry around a set of encyclopedias and you may find yourself needing information when you’re somewhere that a wireless signal isn’t available." Visit to learn more.

2. Touch-free soap dispenser

A soap dispenser may seem mundanely low-tech, but what raises it to the level of smart technology is a touch-free sensor. Because of the number of times it gets touched in a day, a traditional soap dispenser can be a haven for germs. With the addition of the same touch-free technology used in public bathrooms around the world, a basic soap dispenser becomes an example of cutting-edge technology that doesn’t complicate life.

3. No-blade fans

The same company that markets bag- and filter-free, high-end vacuum cleaners has introduced a fan that has no blades. Eliminating the blades allows the fan to produce an uninterrupted stream of air, free of buffeting, the company says. Plus, because it has no blades or grill, it may be a safer choice for families with children or pets.

4. Hand-held GPS

While hand-held GPS devices can be very versatile, they still basically do just one thing – tell you where you are. Some new smart phones boast GPS capabilities, but using your phone to find out where you are means wherever you are had better have an available cellular signal. Since GPS devices get their info from a satellite – and satellite coverage is pretty much worldwide these days – using a handheld GPS as opposed to a GPS-enabled phone means less limitation in where you can use the device.

5. Electronic dictionary

Sure, you can look up the definition of any word – in any language – online and you can access the Internet from a variety of devices these days. But a hand-held electronic dictionary gives you instant access to definitions anywhere, even if you’re not able to get a wireless connection. Allow your youngster to use this single-purpose technology for schoolwork or projects, and you never have to wonder if Junior is really playing a video game or texting friends instead of working.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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