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4 Things in Tech We're Obsessed with Right Now

There are things being dreamed up, drafted and built all the time in an attempt to make our lives easier. Technological advances are grander and more magnificent than ever before. In this recurring post, we share some of our favorite things from the world of tech that are changing the way we live.

At Tresta, we adore things that make life easier or more interesting. We hang our hats on the fact that our cloud-based phone is changing the way businesses think about communication, so we have a strong appreciation for the people who have different perspectives on the things we use daily.
On top of that, Tresta is comprised of early-adopters and trend spotters. We’re also chatty, so we love to tell others what they should be paying attention to.

Here are just four of the things we think are insanely cool right now.

Magic Leap and Mixed Reality

Magic Leap Mixed Reality Virtual Reality Universe Space


If you pay any sort of attention to tech news, you’ve undoubtedly read about the advancements being made in virtual reality. In fact, it’s so much more than virtual reality now; there’s also augmented reality (think Google Glass) and now mixed reality. Mixed reality takes virtual reality and overlays it onto your actual reality.

Ronnie Ricker, a digital marketer with Tresta, is going apey over the prospect. When asked why she found this development so interesting, she could hardly verbalize it.

“Er…because virtual reality IN REALITY!”

And she’s right: Magic Leap is pouring tons of money and time into a technology that simply does not exist at this level or quality. And it’s all very hush-hush, which is also part of the appeal for Ronnie.

“It’s like they’re a bunch of superheros in their batcave, but their bat cave is a little office building in Florida,” Ronnie said. “I wish I could say things like, ‘I’m creating virtual reality that includes reality reality. But sorry – we’re in STEALTH MODE, so I can’t discuss.’”

Read more about Magic Leap and the work they’re doing on mixed reality. It will blow your mind.

Hackathons

Trailhacks Hackathon codefest hackfest Tallahassee Trailahassee


The words “hack” or “hacker” can set off alarm bells for some, while others have embraced it and turned it into something positive. So, what is a hackathon? Simply put, it’s an event where computer programmers, developers, designers and others gather to collaborate on a project.

Hackathons, also called hackfests or codefests, typically last a full 24 hours.
Tresta developer, Mike Dunton, recently participated in Tallahassee’s Trailhacks – an event where participants (students and pros) create new technologies use in Florida’s parks and trails. And now he’s hooked.

“I like the idea of hackathons because you get to stop thinking about your normal 9-5,” Mike said. “[Participants get to] take an idea from concept to fruition.”

On top of creating real solutions to real life problems, Mike says hackathons are great to connect with others and learn about trends.
“[Hackathons are] a good way to meet new developers and discover new tech.”
Learn more about hackathons or find one in your area.

The Connected Home

Automated homes connected homes smart homes lighting temperature home monitoring

Not one, not two but three Tresta team members are currently obsessed with wiring their homes to be smarter. Smart home technologies have been around for some time, but are rapidly becoming more affordable. And with the advent of the smartphone, one can manage entire home systems from anywhere in the world.

CEO Austin Davidson is just a shipment away from hooking his entire house up with smart lighting. He said once he has the lights set up, he will connect them to his Amazon Echo so he can adjust his lights by using voice commands.

“[I] will never touch a light switch again,” Austin said. “But more importantly, with a single click or command I can adjust 30 plus lights to exactly the levels I want.”

Tresta’s Senior Software Developer, Miguel Gonzalez, has rigged a home monitoring system he can access right from his phone.

“I rolled my own video surveillance at the house with [some] Raspberry Pi units and cheap USB webcams. Still got some work to do to get every angle, but I can see [out from] most windows in the house from anywhere for pretty cheap.”

Marketing Specialist Jamie Nichols bought Nest as a present for her fiance, but has become a fan of it herself. She is particularly fond of the ability to manage the temperature while out and about.

“For instance, [if] it’s really cold and I’m in bed but don’t want to get up to turn the air up. Do it from my phone! Oh shoot, we forgot to turn the air up before we left for the weekend. Do it from my phone!”

Holding off on connecting your home? Some people argue there are some serious bugs that need to be worked out before an automated home is worth it.

NPR One App

NPR One App Apps applications smartphone podcasts news entertainment tech


I love a good podcast. I also love NPR. So, you can imagine my utter delight when I came across their new app, NPR One.

Not only does the app connect with your local NPR station, but it curates stories and podcasts based on your behaviors. Since I started using the app two weeks ago, I’ve become a fan of a podcast I’d never heard of before – Nerdette. If you’re an NPR fan or a podcast junkie, it’s worth a download (free).

Want a true Nerdette experience? Check out their Game of Thrones recaps.
What are you really into right now? Tell us in the comments!