08 Sep Kids spark the darndest technology trends
Lost your glasses? No worries. Just print up a new pair with HP’s Volume printer! (photo Ubergizmo)
My kids get a kick out of the fact that I need glasses to see small type. My son actually has a pair of my glasses at his bedside so that I can’t feign the excuse of not being able to read a bedtime story. I’m afraid I have the same problem seeing into the future.
If you want to know about the future, don’t ask a consultant. Ask a kid. Parenting has taught me a whole lot about human nature. Most importantly, it has taught me that we all too easily discount the intensity with which kids challenge the conventional. That act involves risk – often more than adults are willing to take on. The result is that adults build some great new technology without a clue as to how they will be used. It’s the kids that end up using these technologies and finding the way to shape the future with them.
Take the Internet. Long before all the hullaballoo about Web 2.0, my kids and a few million others already were using the Internet for its social-networking killer “app” capability. Guess what? Kids don’t want computers for e-mail and cell phones for talking. If you don’t know what they do use these devices for, I’d politely suggest that you are prima facie evidence of my point that most adults haven’t a clue as to what the future holds.
So what are some of the devices that are going to similarly change the face of the world in ways we can’t predict? Here are just a few. I’ll let you try to figure out how they will actually change the world, but I would offer one piece of advice: before you try too hard to predict the future, try asking a kid what they think!
Home Manufacturing “Fabbers” promise to change the way we buy and build consumer products. Where will these devices take us? Hopefully not to the dump with bagfulls of polymer junk! Check out Fab@home and HP’s Volume Printer
Multitouch Surface Technology soon will revolutionize computing interfaces. Forget about the mouse, scroll bars, and drag and drop. There’s a whole new metaphor that will blur the lines between physical and virtual. Check out this VERY cool TED video by Jeff Han (R&D precursor to MS Surface). Also Check out Surface, Harrah’s Entertainment, and “Virtual Flirting!”
Peace is just around the corner. Okay, perhaps I’m getting carried away, but the reality is that we get a whole lot closer to world peace if we tie our global economic fates and prosperity together. See how it’s being done in the Middle East between two companies in Israel and Palestine.
Enjoy and stay young!
Recent articles by Tom Koulopoulos
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