Techno Life

Lastminute.com, 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.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

PHONE - NOKIA 7250i

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.

ORGANISER - BLACKBERRY 7230

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!

AT HOME - GPS/ROBERTS DIGITAL RADIO

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.

LAPTOP - SONY VAIO

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!

WISHLIST - A HOUSE OF THE FUTURE

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.

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