Techno Life, which Brent Hoberman co-founded in 1998, has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an online bucket shop. As well as being one of Europe's favourite travel and leisure websites, it is now that rare creature, a profitable consumer web business. A compulsive e-mailer, Hoberman shows MT the tools he uses to run his life and business, and peers into his crystal ball to identify the hottest new tech trends.


The mobile phone is now really a commodity device, but I use a Nokia because I like the interface and know all the shortcut keys. This one has a built-in digital camera, but I use that only for fun. WAP is good for news and information, but I don't use it for e-mail. The other great thing about Nokia phones is that there are so many of them. If you lose your charger, someone else always has one you can borrow.


My Blackberry is the one thing that I always carry with me. I have to manage a huge volume of e-mail - several hundred a day - and it allows me to make good use of downtime in airports and on trains. It does my diary too; it has got 5,000 contacts on it and it synchs with my PC very well. I get the company's latest sales figures on e-mail every 15 minutes, and I've even been known to use it in meetings - it's great for obsessives like me, although my wife hates it!


Although I hate long drives and I walk to work, I use the Global Positioning System in my car because I have no sense of direction. GPS will have a huge impact when it is linked to mobile services in the next couple of years - restaurants offering to book you a table for lunch as you walk past, that kind of thing. I bought a Roberts digital radio to research the technology. I like it a lot. I didn't read the instructions, but I managed to get it working.


My laptop has a wireless network card and I use wi-fi a lot when I'm travelling. I download my e-mails via the airport lounge hotspot, read them and compose replies on the plane, which I send when I get off at the other end. Wi-fi is bigger in the US than here, but it's coming - The Cloud will have 16,000 hotspots soon in the UK, and Intel is really pushing wireless devices. It can be a bit erratic to use, but it delivers a real 'wow' experience. I was at a wi-fi conference in the States recently and everyone was streaming wireless video to their laptops so they could watch the baseball playoffs!


I'd love to live in a place with a home wireless network, flat screens everywhere and Sony Aibo's running around - like that house of the future that Orange built a couple of years ago. My wife has a different view, though. I can't even persuade her that a plasma-screen TV is a good idea.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today