The Digital Revolution and The Digital Evolution: Part Two
In Part One we dicussed how Curation, Crowdsourcing and the Thirst for Knowledge made up phase one of the Digital Revolution. Now let's discuss the ramifications of the Digital Evolution as I see it, and how we will take part in shaping this for the better or worse of mankind.
I’m sure we all have theories of what the future will look like, and in most cases, this will be a ’Big Brother’ society where we are tracked and surveilled by authorities, government and even, employers. But I will let you in on a secret, we’re already there. As our use of mobile smartphones increase, so is also the ease to keep track on where and when we go places.
But this is not all bad is it? While there are concerns of making it easy for stalkers, bullies and the like to find us - the advancement of tech brings new possibilities for you to meet with good friends or maybe even make new ones, so let’s not be afraid to show where we’re at and embrace the use of GPS. We are free to decide whether or not we show our movements and activities. And we should exercise them when we have a possibility to do so knowing we can choose to ’fly under the radar’ from everyone for a bit as well.
There is a lot of promising things happening in this area - among them NIKE Fuelband, Runkeeper software for smart phones, and other gadgets to measure running, walking, swimming, diving or all the diversities of training. Then there is the Withings scale to help us keep track of our health and progress in our training, making it more for the geek in us to really do the training!
There is a lot of other possibilities too - let's innovate a solution on the spot here. How about the intelligent bed mattress that scans your sleeping habits, oxygen-levels, body weight, fat percentage, blood pressure and more and provides a report in the morning giving you the opportunity to correct things as needed and will provide an alert if you need to set up a visit with your physician (who might also be receiving these reports fro your mattress).
Maybe you could avoid office visits and instead, consult your physician over the phone by using a smartphone/Tablet to measure the essential reports that would send them live while you are talking. Adjustments could be made saving you both time and money while not eliminating the face to face interactions as needed.
I’m sure we will see more health solutions to come as the evolution continues. As we grow older, the need for monitoring our health will also grow as the tools and technology give us the ability to do so. Photo Credit: William Hook
Here is one of those fields that really need s a shake up, and most importantly, standards in place so you don’t need a trillion different apps to help you make you payments on the go.
There are some interesting solutions using NFC technology, but hence the range, it’s sometimes hard to manage. Various ’wallet’ solutions are in circulation, but aren’t accepted everywhere as a source for payment. Direct payments to people in the field via credit cards is also a solution. The Swedish startup Izettle is one, and Square is another one. Izettle’s variant uses the smartchip to read information while Square uses the information on the magnetic strip on credit cards.
I still think this is a market that will grow in time and change to be even more simple to use. However, my personal point of view is that we still have a long way to go in this field before the evolution continues as micropayments are here to stay, and to prosper.
Digital Everyday Life
I see a growth of smart objects in our everyday life. We haven’t seen so much of ’Internet of things’ yet, but it’s coming - mark my words. I have no idea how it will look, but in my future, I can see washing machines that read the rfidchips (or equal markers/technologies) to determine temperatures, dosage of washing detergents and softener. There wil be smart storage that will sort your clothes according to usage, colors and season - maybe even gives you dress suggestions from the clothes you have. Like a personal stylist, but combined from your own wardrobe.
And the smart watches have already arrived. Sony and the startup Pebble are examples of that, and this is also a market I can see growing. Pebble is a startup that exemplifies crowdsourcing on its ultimate level as they raised more than $10 million on Kickstarter.
And not that far off are the smart glasses, which record all the things we see and do (if we want it). There is also the Swedish startup Memoto, that takes photos during your day. There’s of course risks with that too, that with every new piece of technology that comes along, someone will find a way to manipulate it and use it for no good, but I can see positive uses for the glasses, for instance, people that have for one reason or another lost their short-term memory. They can backup the recording and see what they did an hour or so ago to hopefully stimulate the memories. And there I’m sure of more fields where digital will be more of our everydaylife, but the ones above are the ones I’m sure we will see a growth in sooner than later.
What technology are YOU excited to see?
In my next article, I will cover the future of teaching using digital means.