What is it?

A computing or electronic device that can be worn on your body and that helps you act on information and perform practical tasks.

Why is it important?

With a projected market of $53.2 billion by 2019 (juniperresearch.com), wearables are mobile 2.0. This brings opportunities to technical communicators with expertise in content for wearables.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Wearables"

What is it?

A branch of computer science that focuses on the development of software agents, also known as cognitive technologies, capable of performing tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as finding, interpreting, and manipulating visual and textual information.

Why is it important?

Artificial intelligence is producing cognitive technologies that are radically changing, and even automating, many traditional communication tasks. Technical communicators need to adapt accordingly.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Artificial Intelligence"

What is it?

A collection of objects that can communicate and interact with each other sharing data, information, and commands across networks. These objects may be physical devices (virtual or living) and may have the capability to sense and interact with their external environment.

Why is it important?

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects many different types of objects to a variety of technologies that facilitate remote control, diagnostics, and data gathering, storage, and analysis. We can use these capabilities to design new smart products, virtual devices, product clouds, and mega-systems to create unprecedented digital ecosystems.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Internet of Things"

What is it?

Both the suite of enabling technologies and the resulting experience of a user when highly contextual digital information (text, images, animations, video, 3D model, sound, or haptic stimuli) is presented in a manner that’s synchronized in real time with, and appears attached to, physical world people, places, or objects.

Why is it important?

By offering digital information (content) in context and providing interactivity with the content without leaving the physical world, augmented reality profoundly changes how people learn, live, and perform tasks in both physical and digital worlds.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Augmented Reality"

What is it?

A file format used to present and exchange documents reliably and without dependence on the operating system, computer hardware, or software.

Why is it important?

Since PDF files can be easily annotated with insertions, deletions, and comments via free PDF Reader software, they are an economical way to manage content reviews from remote staff.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: PDF"

What is it?

A digital file, in one of many possible formats, containing information similar to what would be found in a printed book.

Why is it important?

eBooks allow readers to engage content digitally, with functionality that is not available in print materials. It also allows communicators to reach broader audiences and expand distribution internationally.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: eBook"

What is it?

Recorded sound of any type used to transmit or to enhance information.

Why is it important?

We need all of our senses to understand the world. Audio provides an additional channel for learning that helps some users learn faster. It is also vital for people who are blind or visually impaired.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Audio"

What is it?

A moving image that provides visual explanation of a topic or concept that is difficult to explain with words.

Why is it important?

Animation helps people understand concepts that are difficult to explain with words or static images. It reduces complexity for non-expert audiences and shows how single objects or systems move and change.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Animation"

What is it?

A series of moving images, typically paired with spoken word, music, or other audio, often for entertainment or educational purposes.

Why is it important?

People turn to video for everything from a quick laugh to learning a new skill. With each passing day it becomes easier to compose and deliver videos, making it a communication form for everyone.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Video"