A slew of new and upcoming online gadgets include tools and websites with significant potential to affect how people complete everyday tasks such as paying for goods, investing money, using email, sharing and collaborating on projects and viewing Web content.
Encrypted Open Source Email
Email clients technically aren’t new online gadgets, but there may be room for improvement. Mailpile has not yet been released but the developers behind it are making quite a buzz with this handy tool that makes email safer and more secure thanks to enhanced encryption. Mailpile is an open-source email client that’s free, self-hosted and ad-free. It was developed in Iceland and raised more than $160,000 on Indiegogo’s crowdfunding platform (another online gadget in this list). It can be used as Webmail or on a computer. You can also put it on a portable USB drive. Mailpile software was developed to combat against intrusive governments and malicious hackers.
The cloud online gadget has been around for some time (though it wasn’t always called “the cloud”), but its far-reaching use is recent. Dropbox was one the first mainstream cloud storage solutions, but Google’s Drive and Sky Drive are other strong examples. Additionally, Adobe and Citrix are examples of the cloud giving people access to online tools like the Creative Suite and the GoTo series of Citrix sites, which are accessible on a cloud subscription service.
BitCoin and Bit Mining
Bitcoin became the world’s first digital currency free from government regulation, and millions of Bitcoin holders are spread across the globe. These online gadgets which help people acquire the units of currency are bit mining operations that consist of beefed-up computers running processes to mine the coins, which are volatile but currently trade at a few hundred dollars. Websites and other busineses are beginning to accept them for payment on goods and services.
Geo-Tags and Location Data
A computer’s ability to track, use and share your location has major implications. Many social media sites employ geo-tagging to complement information in a given network, such as events on Facebook or Places on Google. Craigslist and other sites have used location settings to complement user experience on websites. The app market has exploded with all kinds of online gadgets that are tapping into location data from GPS/GPRS signals or online maps like Google Maps or MapQuest.
Though Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is fairly new to the financial sector, it has grown substantially in the past few years. Prosper, Kabbage and The Lending Club are some examples. It’s a fairly simple process and very appealing to those who cannot obtain short-term credit from traditional banks. Investors can fund individual or business loans. The site levies fees for administering transactions and the borrower waits until enough people feel comfortable with the loan in question. Interest rates are relatively high, but approval comes easier. Credit checks via credit reporting agencies are commonplace.
Crowdfunding has exploded in recent popularity with sites like Indiegogo, Fundable and Kickstarter, to name a few. These sites allow people to invest in ideas, projects or goals from people all over the world and across a variety of categories. Many are businesses but some are non-profits. There are literally thousands of crowdfunding campaigns. Sites usually levy a fee from the revenues brought in.
These online gadgets are some of the latest developments in the world of online technology that have implications on how individuals perform day-to-day tasks, and they may also have an impact on the development of other online technologies.