When Japanese consumers have a problem with the small Dyson vacuum cleaner, they dial customer support and put the phone up to the grill in the picture. The vacuum then provides its information to customer support.
Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.