It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh wimage-superheroait…I just accidentally had my Google Glass load images of Superman! Oops! If only I knew how to clear the screen. I’ll ask Siri, she’ll know!

It’s really exciting to be alive in this day and age! Technology has grown and developed so rapidly over the past few decades, that’s it’s become astounding to look back and see how we even managed to find something as simple as a place to buy milk 20 years ago! Do you remember that canvas tote bag of maps you kept of every place you’ve ever been to? Do you remember that Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia you purchased volume by volume at your local supermarket each week as they became available? Do you remember that strange feeling you had when you realized you no longer needed these things anymore? That’s the greatness of technology! Technology has continued to empower us to find information we need (or we really don’t need but are too curious to stop clicking) in a micro fraction of the amount of time it would have taken us through paper maps and Funk & Wagnalls. Computers, tablets, smart phones, smart watches, smart glasses, and smart printers! Is it too late to say “oh my!”?

Technology in general has literally revolutionized the world, and so many of us have stories about a piece of technology that has changed our lives forever. But there is one piece of technology in particular that helped mobilize the way we live our lives—the smartphone. Approximately 46% of adults in this country use a smart phone on a daily basis, and the millions of apps available to download can give anyone the ability to feel super human! One app, Waze, encourages other smartphone users to join forces to help fight traffic. Getting home without sitting in a traffic jam…now that’s super! Another app, Evernote, helps you organize your life, your lists, research and more! The part that really makes this app super is its ability to synch with other devices. So now the meeting prep list you organized automatically goes to your co-worker without you having to email it. Improving work and home efficiency? Sounds like superhero powers to me!

Now, let’s say you are out to eat with some friends, and a conversation comes up about a movie starring “that person.” You know, that person from that other thing that has that guy in it! We’ve all been in a conversation that desperately needs some professional referencing help! Hello smartphone! With your superhero powers, you can quickly search for answers using Google, or IMDB, or any other reference tool, and save the day (or at least the dinner conversation)!

Personally, as a mother to a toddler, my smartphone often makes me feel like a superhero when I leave the house with my daughter. From quickly finding videos, music, or playing silly games for young ones, having a smartphone keeps my rambunctious toddler from running amuck in a waiting room, complaining that I’m taking too long at a store, or from getting into some mischievous trouble while waiting in long lines at the supermarket.

The technology of today often looks like the gadgets you saw your favorite superhero use in comic books or on TV. Let’s take Google Glass for example. I recently read an article about how Google Glass is paving the way for the future of superhuman vision. This device enables you to see it in the dark and navigate through a map that follows you in real time. While wearing Google Glass, you can video chat with a person and enable them to see everything you are seeing in real time. I’d like to think that if Superman was wearing Google Glass when he flew Lois Lane around the skies of Metropolis, that he would have stayed in the air a bit longer knowing he wouldn’t get lost!

As we all get ready for our travel adventures this summer, whether a travel destination or a day trip, I imagine you won’t be leaving home without your mobile superhero technology! Let’s face it, looking up a map on your phone is a lot less complicated than trying to fold the paper map sitting in the trunk of your car! And, of course, storing videos on a mobile device is less cumbersome than packing a bag of DVDs for the road. Although, you could always bring that Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia set if you don’t feel like referencing all the historical landmarks you drive past using your smartphone!

First published in our July 2014 IT Radix Resource newsletter