Tag Archives: tech-future

Thoughts on the Future of Technology from ceBIT

Say What attended ceBIT last weekend where I was a keynote speaker. I took a few moments to talk with him about my thoughts on the conference, the iPad 2, Skype and FaceTime.

While the conference has gotten a bit smaller over the years (as with other trade shows), I definitely was surprised to see just how big ceBIT was. In my mind, it saw more attendees than even CES did this year. I hate seeing the decline: trade shows are really the only way you can get out there to see the new products and meet the people and teams behind them. You simply cannot make that same connection through a web page or social media account.

I have to say that the coolest things I saw at the conference dealt with assistive devices, such as the intendiX. I’ve long said that technology is becoming more pervasive rather than invasive. That has never been more apparent than it was during my time in Germany.

Some of the things I witnessed while I was here blew my mind. These types of advancements were things we only dreamed of less than ten years ago. Technology is transforming the human experience. I may be able to walk, talk and see but not everyone can do those things. The technologies of today are making it so that everyone is on a level playing field. It’s bridging the gap between those who already could – and those who were waiting for that little bit of help to be able to.

I believe the best and most important tech advances come from simple hacks. Take the Kinect: we’d have never had something of this magnitude if it weren’t for hackers who were tinkering and making gadgets do what they weren’t designed to do out of the box. Geeks see promise in something and take those idea to bring something else. Inspiration leads to inspiration.

The seemingly silly gadgets and gizmos inspire someone to create something better. By seeing what’s already out there, you can then gain a better understanding of where the industry is going. It gives you perspective. Never forget to look beyond yourself and your ego-centric view to the larger picture.

After discussing the conference in depth, we laughed over the fact that I stayed up far too late in order to watch the iPad 2 announcement. I’ve already given my initial thoughts about the device in another video. I will remind you that it’s not about the apps or the hardware: it’s about the experience.

Talking about the camera being integrated led to us bringing FaceTime into the mix. I predict that within a year, we will see Apple shipping a FaceTime application for Windows. Skype sucks in my opinion… FaceTime is where it’s at. It’s video calling done right. Apple has made it simple, clean and easy. That combination makes it appealing to users on all operating system.

What are your thoughts on ceBIT if you were there – or any of the trade shows you may have attended recently? Which technologies really stood out to you?

Where is Technology Headed?

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I love answering the questions you send in – especially when they are broad ones that have no right answer. This way, all of you can chime in with your thoughts, as well! Frank recently sent me a set of three excellent questions, so I thought I would answer those today.

Do you think there will ever come a time when we hit a wall with tech – and nothing more can be made? In a nutshell – no! It’ll never happen, I guarantee you. Anyone who says otherwise, doesn’t really understand the nature of technology. Faster and more pervasive things are always going to be on the horizon. Imagine walking into somewhere, and having no access to the Internet! It’s everywhere. If you had told me when I was a kid that I’d be able to access this type of information instantaneously, I’d have laughed at you. Every year, there is something new and cutting edge. Technology is always going to evolve.

Do you feel people really appreciate technology, and the effort that goes into creating something innovative? I do… but I also realize that everyone is a critic. The Internet has given rise to any number of people who think they know what they’re talking about. You know the ones – the people who believe they know everything, and illustrate their ignorance when they try to prove it! As individuals, we are very egocentric. We want things on our terms. We take technologies for granted these days. I appreciate technology – but I do know that I take it for granted as much as the next person. It’s just *there*. Not enough praise is given to the people who make something. If you’re going to rant about something, take the time to be constructive.

What about technology is important to you, and what is it that makes you want it more? It’s changed over time. As I’ve grown older, I have different needs. I think the bottom line is discovering what a piece of software can do for me, or a service, or even hardware. I want to find something I couldn’t do before! I go through epiphanies. I try to excite myself with excitement over the power of change, and of communication.

This is something I’ve made a large part of my conference Gnomedex, which is coming into its ninth year this August! I’ve given it the title “Human Circuitry”. It’s the meeting of technology and humanity into a nexus of sorts. That’s what defines us, or is beginning to define us, and change our world. Technology is not always bad, but can be used for nefarious things as we all know. You have to take the bad with the good, in the hope that the good will far outweigh the bad.

It’s the good in technology that keeps me happy and excited for more! Feel free to post a comment or video response to any or all of these questions!

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