I used to be an early adopter – I had one of the very first personal computers in our company, I was a very early user of e-mail (before the Internet was widely heard of), I got a mobile phone before most people and using the technology of the times (I had a laptop and technology that would push my phone calls to wherever I was sitting at the time!) I was remote working before the phrase was even invented.
Now however I find it very rare that I lust after the latest piece of technology. What has happened? I suppose I could have two reasons. Firstly that it was easier to be an early adopter when my employer paid the not insignificant sums necessary to acquire early versions of technology but secondly that it seems less and less frequent that we get real ground breaking paradigm shifters in the way that the personal computer and the mobile phone were.
I have resisted getting an iPhone, for instance, because nobody has managed to show me how they help in a way that can not be done using my old technology phone and my laptop. Having just been gifted and old iPhone3 (note that old in this context means about 24 months) I am still to see what all the fuss is about. If it had a 20 megapixel camera, or a good voice recognition system then maybe I would jump.
We may however be on the verge of the next revolution. I have been using voice recognition software on my laptop for about the last 15 years and it is definitely getting better. However it is still a little clunky and a system that will recognise fractured grammar and colloquialisms as well as accents will wipe the floor and completely transform computing in all its manifestations. The possibility of asking my phone or PC to “send a note to Sally and ask her what time the meeting about bees is on Friday night” and having the machine recognise all of that and take appropriate action (I don’t really mind if it sends a txt, a msg, an email or eve a voice message) WILL encourage me to jump. Is Siri the answer?