Some time ago I wrote a piece about how I used to be an early adopter of technology. Coming across that piece recently, it struck me that I have some new thoughts on the topic.
I see the challenges and rewards of early adoption these days as being different to those in the heady days when IT was first hitting desktops and the internet was a mysterious thing used by international scientists and nobody else.
let’s be honest about this, in the early days of IT corresponded with the stage of my career when I was needing, or was it wanting, to make an impression. Being the one with the mobile phone, the one using e-mail and the one who understood how to connect to the Internet most certainly put me into that position.
However, I don’t think even I have ever been quite so facile as to believe that the primary reason for adopting such technology was to make an impression on others. Instead, I like to think that I actually saw the potential of these technologies and wanted to get hold of them in order to try them out and see what was possible.
As I explained in my earlier post, that mobile phone and laptop facilitated a total transformation in how we can work. Remote working suddenly became a possibility and who, given the choice, would not sit on the beach at Flamborough doing their work rather than locked up in an office in the middle of Bradford. That era, the late 1970s and early 1980s, was when the world seemed full of endless possibilities and when emerging technologies created the opportunities to grab the possibilities and even create new ones. Compare that to many of the products that are hitting the market these days – Windows 10 is fundamentally an incremental improvement on the last few versions, iPhone 6 is slightly bigger, slightly faster, slightly more memory etc Ello so far as I can see is just another version of Facebook, WhatsApp is a messaging platform and so on with seemingly very little radical technology actually emerging.
Oh yes, voice recognition has come on considerably and I can actually now talk to my phone and say “Send a text to Suzanne” and it will do so without seriously mangling the content. But to successfully dictate an e-mail, report or even blog item I have to remember a whole bunch of complex commands for inserting formatting. We are nearly there and I am about to try Cortana once I am brave enough to upload Windows 10.
So I guess I might be missing some hot new trends, but then again I am not a hot new trend myself either. I would be very happy if anyone out there to point me in the direction of a current genuinely potentially transformative technology.