There’s a reason that companies like Apple and Microsoft have been in slumps over the last year or so. There hasn’t been anything to come out that has really impressed us. Sure, there are smartphones and smartwatches, tablets and glasses, but the wow factor hasn’t come along and smacked us on the face in quite a while.
In essence, we’ve grown complacent to “smart” things. We want something brilliant.
Everything was pacing in that direction. The advancements from 2001 through 2006 were impressive with both internet technologies and gadgets galore to add to enhance our lives. The iPhone and subsequent mobile connectivity devices and software ramped up the innovations from 2007 through 2011.
Something happened. It slowed down. Yes, there are more devices coming out, more websites being built, and better software being released, but there hasn’t been anything that has blown our faces off. The Samsung Galaxy 4 and iPhone 5 were nice with interesting new features, but Siri was the only lukewarm addition that had any real play.
What’s next? When does the next generation of super-technology start?
Some would say it will happen in the automotive industry as driverless cars and connected dashboards are starting to really make a move. Others look to the home-based lifestyle changes that companies such as Microsoft are proposing, a world in which mundane acts such as cooking or taking a shower are made elaborate through technology.
Gaming is something that might bring the spark. Sony and Microsoft are bringing out their next generation devices shortly and if they’re nothing like the “innovations” that Nintendo brought to the table with the WiiU, they should be in good shape.
Expansive. All-encompassing. Intuitive. These are the traits of technology that can take us from “smart” to “brilliant” in a short period of time.
The venues and devices are changing. Wearable tech is supposed to be more of a thing, but there are skeptics regarding that possibility. Will people really want to be wearing connected devices all of the time? Will the really enhance the experience or make it more clunky, more tedious?
Perhaps the real jump into the next era of technology will be within the human body itself. Genetics, implants, mind-controlled devices – all of these and more have the potential to emerge in the coming months and have real applications for use in today’s society. Imagine not having to wave your hand or push on the controls to make characters in a game move. Imagine if you simply have to think about it to make it so.
As Facebook and Google push down the road of making the internet more accessible to the rest of the world, are we approaching a tipping point of connectivity that can bring a true artificial intelligence into play? Can enough data and enough opinions collected and sorted appropriately reveal a technology that can think for itself and possibly think for us? It’s been the topic of discussion for decades in science fiction, but it shouldn’t be too far off in the horizon now with the technology that we have at our fingertips.
Regardless of what the “next big thing” is, one thing is certain. It cannot be more of the same. A breakthrough is necessary or we’re just going to get bored. It isn’t just the consumers and the users. It’s the innovators as well. Many are so focused on the next iPhone app that they’re not bothered with working on the next iPhone replacement.
Something needs to come soon. Our attention spans are shortening and nobody is stepping up to impress us. Everyone is putting out technology that is smart. When do we get to see the technology that is brilliant?
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“Technology” image courtesy of Shutterstock.