It's the end of the month but still the beginning of a brand new year. If you haven't already begun thinking about the plans for it maybe take some time to look around you. Improvement is a step-by-step, incremental process that to be holistic is often times also slow. It can seem weighted down under it's size or scope, depending on the project.

Now is the time to consider large scale plans but also the small-scale efforts we as individuals make. Geographically speaking our region is vibrant and unique, unlike other suburbs or metropolitan regions. So too must our schematics for regional evolution reflect this unique perspective. What 1% change for the better can you make?

The tech world has moved passed the excitement of CES but not the products and more importantly the concepts! Technology and "smart" devices are becoming ubiquitous, further expanding into fields and new functions.

One new trend, placing sensors everywhere, is creating a constantly growing amount of data. A popular application for this is locational use. Both a feed of our devices and stationary units that devices can interact with. Not to mentioned augmented reality...

The popularity of shiny new tech gadgets and their encroachment into the analog world is pervasive. Technosprawl has lead to the emerging "internet of things". 

As always we'll have to be careful with personal information and beware of unknown or new of security risks. However, from a positive perspective, aren't these developments exciting? It's fun to imagine that the era we live in might be looked back upon in the future as a second phase or type of industrial revolution. Digi-industrial revolution.

This years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has been getting coverage around the web and has generated a lot of buzz on Twitter. This year's products that are receiving the most acclaim are those that are personal and attempting to play nice with the emerging "internet of things."

Wearable or clothing augmenting items with locational and biometric capabilities seem to be trending heavily in 2013. The Pebble, a new smart watch that came to market via Kickstarter, is garnering praise after heavy anticipation. Some of the most interesting can also be the creepiest, like these e-utensils by Hapi. Could you imagine this thing making comments about that extra piece of deep dish from Gino's?

What does this all mean for those of us living around the Lake? Companies are making more products that monitor our behavior. Perhaps it's a move towards big brother. On the other hand many industries are looking for better analytics to serve customers better. Also consumers desire to improve their access to information in an effort to make better choices. In other words, if you haven't read Kurzweil yet....

Know any cool tech culture events going on around the region? Fill us in! The next big conference that gets national attention is SXSW.

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