Tag Archives: Technology

How Technology could Cause an Instant Global Awakening

Imagine technology that enabled 2 people’s brains to momentarily sync.

In in instant, both people would immediately not just know every thought and action each other has ever had. They would actually have experienced it (as far as they know).

Now, imagine that same technology scaled large enough to “sync” every single person on the planet, for 60 seconds.

Instant Global Awakening.

For geeks, think of:

  • Telepathy (aka Professor X).
  • Vulcan Mind Meld.

It’s the same thing, but instead of cool but impossible magic powers (Trust me that would be “Plan A,” but my extensive research of trying to grab the remote control using “The Force,” isn’t looking very promising at the moment.

However, we can invent… and as impossible as this idea sounds, it could be done, with immense R&D, a bottomless pit of money, and a lifetime.

Most (or all) of the people starting the project would never live to see the result, but it would give your life purpose. We’d be building heaven, but never get to go…

What about our kids?

…and theirs?

Randomly thought of that… the same effect is happening with the gradual extinction of privacy, and our ability to instantly communicate.

It’d still be faster, but then you run into:

Is it wrong to force everyone to do something once, if it means putting an end to so much pain? Who gets to make that decision?

Think.
Have Ideas.
Be Wrong.

Google Glass Will Become the “Calculators” of the Medical Industry (and Several Others)

Doctor Glass

 

Google Glass is Going to Medical School

The University of California at Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine announced that it’s integrating the iconic wearable tech into its four-year curriculum for medical students.

Glass Finds its First Professional Home

Google has had the #glassexplorers program, which allows individuals to buy #Glass for personal use, but they have also donated pairs of +Google Glass to various industries and professions. 

This was to see which industries found usage of the device beneficial, right out of the box. By “right out of the box,” I mean using the product as it now exists, which is essentially glasses with a built-in camera and a display that projects an Augmented Reality menu to navigate (along with a few basic apps). 

The Future of Glass

Possibilities are endless. Along with releasing the base models of #Glass, Google also released Glass’s API. This means that, as we speak, developers from all over the world are testing out and building Apps made specifically for the device. 

In general, it’s mutually understood that eventually #Glass will be able to (at least):

  • Automatically identify objects and people, using facial recognition and object recognition (remember Google Goggles?).
  • Determine which objects or people are relevant to the user.
  • Present useful data, relevant to the user, about the world around them, in an augmented overlay.

All of this will happen in real-time, and only in ways that will help the user. It will be possible, but horrific, for #Glass to identify everything in view and present information about it. The idea is that #Glass will become smart enough to know when to present what info: 

“Technology that’s there when you need it, and invisible when you don’t.”

This is my paraphrasing of Glass’s original mission statement, and is the entire reason for its existence. The idea is that technology is awesome and helps us in so many ways, but has negatively affected our social behavior. We text and drive, text and walk, text and eat, surf and poop, google while having conversations, and are constantly looking down at a screen.

With glass, we’re accepting that technology is too beneficial and enjoyable to cut from our lives. We’re also accepting that our current set up is not an ideal one. We’re smarter, more globally connected, and more productive, but at the cost of being less social (in life) and less engaged in our surroundings.

Wearable Technology is Born to Bring us the Best of Both Worlds

With wearable tech devices, such as Glass, we do not have to choose either being immersed in technology or being engaged in the real world. We will be able to have our cake and eat it too.

Getting to that point will take a bit of time, advancement of the technology, trial and error, and lots of tweaking (not twerking). However, it is a certainty, since all the foundational building blocks are already there. 

Come back in a decade, and you’ll see a different, improved society.

The Medical Industry has demonstrated the strongest immediate benefit of utilizing this new technology. The video/audio and communication capabilities of Glass are the primary functions being used, now, but more uses will come…

Doctors Using Glass ~2024:

  • A doctor, wearing #Glass, walks into a patients room.
  • Glass automatically identifies the patient, using facial recognition.
  • Glass pulls up the patient’s medical records.
  • Glass displays the most relevant aspects of the records in an augmented overlay being projected directly into the doctor’s eye, so only he can see the info.
  • The doctor says, “OK Glass, let’s do a physical exam.”
  • Glass opens up a medical app for performing physical examinations on patients.
  • The questions that the doctor needs to ask the patient pop up in his display.
  • As he asks the questions, Glass records the patient’s responses, converting speech to text, filling out the exam.
  • After the questions are complete, Glass displays the next steps for the doctor (i.e. Check blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes, temperature, ear check, throat check, etc.).
  • In real-time, the Medical app is not only filling out the forms automatically, it is trained to spot certain patterns.
  • This advanced pattern recognition compares live, incoming data, the patient’s history, and a database of medical knowledge, #Glass pops up a recommended diagnosis of the patient.

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Yes, I know exactly what I’m implying.

This gadget, considered a high-tech, $1,500 novelty-toy by the mainstream, could essentially replace doctors (as we know them) in as soon as a decade. I don’t think doctors will be eliminated, by any means, but I do see a future where Medical school is 2 – 4 years of schooling plus another 2 – 4 years of hands-on training. 

Google Glass will be the Calculators of the Medical Industry (and Several Others):

You can do complicated math problems, manually, but why would you waste the time? Do it quick on the calculator, cut time and errors, and then spend the extra time doing something actually beneficial.

Same as the future of medicine… Keep doctors, but will it be necessary for that much schooling, memorizing hoards of information, to make a diagnosis that a device can do faster and more accurately?

Doctors of the Future

  • Learn the basics of the industry.
  • Become a master of the tools.
  • Reduce education cost and time.
  • Improve ability to diagnose complex illnesses (Some illnesses may be so complex that they now cannot be discovered).

Also, use the exponentially increased productivity to:

  • Personalize treatment.
  • Invest more in research.
  • Provide medical care in places of the world with a shortage of doctors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology / Time = “+” / “-” Impression on Humanity

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“The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.”

  • Thomas Sowell20140323-201138.jpgI adamantly agree with this belief, even more so today than ever. Yes, technology can be an occasional annoyance, but let us not be ignorant of the convenience that it continues to improve in our lives.

Cliff Notes Genius

Wikipedia is great.

I take everything with a grain of salt, whether it be a wiki page or a well-respected book by a so-called “expert.”

I have learned so much from Wikipedia, that I don’t mind if a couple of the fine details are off. It’s opened up my mind to subject matters that I otherwise never would have touched.

For me, as a polymath / aspiring polymath, it’s all about breadth of knowledge, not depth. My “Cliff Notes knowledge” of a million subjects wins out over a specialist’s extreme details, any day.

Connecting the Dots

This is because my strength is not being super-detailed or specialized, but in being able to make out-of-this world connections between unrelated subjects. This ability allows me to walk into a room of experts and see solutions to problems that they never would have dreamed of. They still get to do the detail work that makes it actually function, but I produce the idea that enables them to get started (or the solution that allows them to get unstuck).

Autodidact

I’ve personally learned psychology, accounting, graphic design, advanced marketing, modern business methods, philosophy, basic pharmacology, and many other things from self-teaching myself online.

I have a double major in marketing and consumer science, as well as a minor in sociology from a legit college. I can honestly say that I’ve learned more about those subjects, too, from self-learning online.

College was a complete waste of time, not to mention that it screwed me over financially, due to student loans. I had to have that “piece of paper” that was supposed to land me jobs: I want to set fire to it.

Your Experience May Vary

Not to brag, but to be fair to readers of this post: I have an IQ of 170, and my personality type is an ENTP (“The Creative Inventor”). This means that not only am I technically a genius (in the 99.9998467663 percentile), but my personality type means I am primarily driven by curiosity. So, not everyone is built to be a generalist. Specialists are needed and serve an important function in society. However, there will continue to be a rise of generalists, due to technological evolution.

Driverless Car of The Future

This rough concept, based on mixing driverless car technology, deeply embedded systems, and a radical design concept (that involves rotating front seats) shows what’s possible for the next generation of automobiles.

It’s pretty straightforward:

Driverless Car Technology

The car is completely driverless, using a mix of radar and GPS technology. This technology is already developed and is in the beta testing phase.

googlecar

Embedded Systems

The car has embedded systems (what some now refer to as “The Internet of Things;” They both mean the same thing). It is when technology is seamlessly integrated into everyday objects, so that what you end up with is basically everything being a part of the same massive, connected system. Things like refrigerators, tabletops, or walls are all a part of the system.

Smart_Kitchen

Everything becomes a device, integrating technology to enhance whatever the object is, and since it is all connected, the individual components can be monitored and controlled remotely. There is essentially no difference between your TV, your computer, your smart phone, your wearable technology, a wall on your house with a screen set into it, and eventually, even your (driverless) car.

The_Internet_of_Things

Google (and just about every major tech company) is working on ways to do this and bring prices down. This technology becoming the “mainstream” solution for average consumers will mark a revolutionary shift in the way we experience life.

If you are a Star Trek geek like me, think of on Star Trek: The Next Generation, where people on the ship would just say “computer,” no matter where they were, and could perform any function of the computer — right from that very spot. The computer, built into the ship, demonstrates embedded systems at partial capacity. That’s possible within a decade, if all the major players do their part.

Eventually, everything in society becomes connected. This creates an entirely new Minority Report society (with the good aspects, not the bad).

future-society-internet-of-things

Radical New Design of Automobiles

Combining driverless technology and the embedded systems, this creates options for automakers that were never conceived of. I’m not saying that this is the way all cars will be like in the future, I am merely suggesting one possibility:

The front seats of the car can rotate to face backwards. Obviously, this option has never been considered before, because now someone needs to be driving the car. However, since that will no longer be needed, it opens up a new option available in future automobiles, actually bringing families closer together.

With the front seats of the car rotated to face backwards, and the driving automatic, a central table or console could be used for various purposes:

For example:

  • A centrally located console could double as a table where the family eats lunch at, together.
  • The car drives itself: a legal wine tasting, anyone?
  • A dual-sided screen mounted there, where the family could watch a movie together.
  • The dual-sided screen could be synced up for displaying the same image on both sides for a movie or TV show that passengers want to watch together, or each side could be used independently.
  • The kids in the backseat are playing a video game, while a parent in the front seat uses their side of the screen to look up something on the Internet, or they work on a project that they would today use a laptop PC for (not if they were driving).

Driverless_car_of_the_future

FYI:  I am NOT an artist and this picture is an extremely rough drawing of the concept car. However, I think it gets the point across about what could be possible in cars soon. With a car like this, it won’t matter if the driver has wearable tech or not, since the car will be doing the driving.

The Future is Coming Soon

These technologies, individually, are in a mere testing and cost reduction phase, so it is not as if anything is that far off from happening. The technology needed for this radical design of a car is available now, it has just never been considered due to the current need for a driver to drive the vehicle. With the driver out of the equation, this concept and a variety of other radical concepts become a realistic possibility.

Technology Removes the Humanity from Society… and Then Brings it Back Better Than Ever

This example proves a major point that I have pushed for a while now that most people have a tough time believing:

For a time, technology will make society less social, individuals glued to their smartphones checking their Social Network updates or playing games. However, once we reach the next phase of technological innovation, we will be able to use technology to not only bring society back together, but enable us to do things together that were never imagined.

Automatic Technology

This is another concept that will evolve as a result of these devices having technology integrated into them. I call it automatic technology: a device’s ability to “know” where  you are and what you are doing, and it intuitively and automatically switches “command” over from one system to another.

Imagine:

  • You wake up, and check the built-in display in the wall for today’s weather.
  • Your refrigerator let’s you know that the milk you purchased on Tuesday is going to expire soon and automatically sends a reminder to the core system.
  • You grab your Google Glasses, which automatically power on upon being touched,  and shuts down the computer system being used on the wall.
  • As you are walking to your car, your brother calls you on your Google Glasses, and allows you to speak to him via earpiece.
  • Once you enter your car, the call automatically shifts to the car’s large screen for a face-to-face chat.
  • The gasses automatically power down to save battery life.
  • When you exit the vehicle, power is automatically restored to the glasses.
  • When you are driving home from work, a reminder pops up on the car’s display, when you pass by the grocery store, that you need to buy more milk.

Technology is a Tool: It Should Work for You, Not the Other Way Around

The examples and possibilities of this are endless. Everything made so that going through every aspect of life is incredibly intuitive, which will make the entire society more productive.

The Future is Closer Than We Think.

future_world

Why Can’t a Tech Giant like Google Have Amazing Customer Experience?

Is a company like Google too large to make huge impacts on their customer service? I don’t think so…

Now, to be fair, when I complained that the iPhone App for Google+was no longer working, I did get a comment from +Vic Gundotra, who “plus-mentioned” someone else (I’m assuming the person responsible for the Google+ App for iPhone).

google_plus_iphone_app

The iPhone App has yet to be fixed, but I give Google major points that the person in charge of Google+ actually read my post and passed on the information to someone who may actually be able to do something about it…

I sent +Vic Gundotra  a private message about this, thanking him and offering up a suggestion, but I don’t know if he read it or not (he never responded, but he is a busy man), but it’s not private information. It is a deeply held belief of mine, so I don’t mind sharing my advice on this post…

Companies Make Mistakes

Shit happens. From my many years managing in the restaurant industry, I learned that no matter how “tight of a ship” you run, occasionally the ball is going to get dropped. At my restaurant, it might be a spilled drink tray or an undercooked piece of meat. For Google+, it may be the iPhone App breaking or various other bugs that occur from time to time.

fail

The two are actually a lot more similar than a lot of people realize (running a restaurant or running a billion dollar tech company). Both occur in real-time, right in front of the customer. There is no “down time” during the operating hours of a restaurant, just as there is no “down time” during the running of a social network. They can’t just magically fix all the mistakes while things are shut down and reopen the next day fresh.

They have to stay running on all other fronts, in addition to fixing whatever went wrong. A restaurant has to continue serving all of its other patrons, and a social network has to keep functioning for all of its other users, while the problem gets fixed in the background (at the same time).

Initiating a Moment of Truth

This is what I used to call it when something bad happened at the restaurant. It is not a ‘problem’… it is a ‘challenge’ that gives the business an opportunity to show what they are really made of. As I said, initially, companies make mistakes (even the best companies). How the mistake is handled is what separates the weak companies from the strong companies.

blog-image-better-customer-service2

The “problem” that occurred is an opportunity for the business to:

  1. Apologize for the mistake.
  2. Let the guest/user know that a solution is being worked on.
  3. Fix the problem (get the right food out or work out the kinks in the Google+ iPhone App).
  4. Make it up to customer/user (with restaurants, I would comp a guest’s meal, but with a social network they may need to think outside-the-box on this step).

I was the only one that I know of that complained, but I’m sure the bug in the iPhone App affected all Google+‘s iPhone users. To make up for the iPhone App being unusable for multiple weeks, perhaps on the next App update, they could include an extra feature that is iPhone-exclusive.

So, a way +Google+ could “initiate a moment of truth” would be:

  • issuing an official statement that explains the error
  • that they fixed it.
  • they are including an extra special feature in the next update to make up for it.

Another way Google+ could initiate a moment of truth would be:

  • issuing an official statement.
  • that they fixed it.
  • maybe offer a couple free songs from Google Music (a way to apologize, and secretly convert iTunes users over to using Google Music).

The fact that +Vic Gundotra  took notice of my post at all was huge for such a large company like Google… and I can infer from his plus-mentioning of someone else that it’s being taken seriously. However, Google could take it to the next level of customer experience by doing something like the examples I’ve listed above.

I know that it is such a large-scale user base that the individual can get lost in the shuffle, but I don’t think the solutions I’ve suggested above are unreasonable for Google to do, and it would set them apart from the other technology companies by actually taking the user’s discomfort seriously, showing that they empathize with them, and making an effort to do something to make up for it.

That’s what would push them into an exceptional customer experience level, like what you would expect at one of the Disney Parks. The “word of mouth” alone from doing something so positive would spread like wildfire on the net: “Even Tech Giant Google Cares About Their Users, Whether They Use Their Branded Smartphones or Someone Else’s.”

customer_experience

You couldn’t beat that. Just a suggestion…

How to Build Innovative, Next-Generation Products Before Anyone Else Does

Avanade_CustomerJourney_graphic

Put yourself entirely into the mind of a consumer (except slightly in the future):

  • How they will think.
  • How they will feel.
  • What your business will look like from their POV.
  • How your product will seem from their POV.
  • What they truly desire.
  • What would make their life easier, simpler, or more enjoyable?

Completely “become the customer” in your mind. Forget about reports, stocks, the shareholders, the technical limitations, and the cost. For a significant amount of time, try and see everything through their eyes, not through the experienced eyes of an experienced businessman.

Try not to recognize the technical limitations taught to you in engineering school. After all, the customer doesn’t care about those things. They do not exist to a customer.

BECOME THE CUSTOMER

consumer

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

– Steve Jobs

Imagine the product that would make your life easier, better, or more enjoyable in someway. Now take this imaginary device and try your best to explain it to your team. It’s at this point that you may realize certain “impossibilities” of the product you’ve imagined. You may realize at this point that the technology needed to build this product is a decade away, or is still in the experimental phase.

START BUILDING THAT PRODUCT, REGARDLESS

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“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

– Steve Jobs

Then, you simply build the product that you wanted, with all hands-on-deck to push along the development of any aspect of it that is not yet possible. Double the R&D funds to that department, if necessary. They key is to build the product that you imagined, and to do it faster than originally seemed possible.

You imagine first, then you make it possible.

“In the end, for something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

– Steve Jobs

That is how you disruptively innovate an entire culture with a single product. By doing so, you get to the prize (the fully developed product) several years before your nearest competitor. Everything they do will be a rip-off of your invention, or a counter-move to catch up.