Today would have been the day i took possession of my Apple Watch, had i remembered to order one. Or had Apple spontaneously decided to send me one. Neither of which happened. None of this would have mattered, except as i stood in the queue at the cafe earlier, the guy in front was waving his wrist around saying “well, i didn’t really want one, but it’s my birthday and i figured i needed a new watch, and they just had some in stock“. So i got a latte and he got my watch.
C’est la vie. In case i hadn’t mentioned it, wearable technology will change every aspect of everything. And we are just at the start.
Telephones democratised communication and bought about the evolution of knowledge: linking us to information in the moment. Today i Shazamed a track in the cafe: instant access to a world of knowledge, supporting me in the moment.
Except they’re not telephones anymore: in the course of the last twenty four hours i’ve Hungout, Skyped, Jive’d and Emailed, i’ve Messengered, Facebooked, Twittered and Linked to my In. I’ve even Facetimed and may have Texted.
At one point, someone tried to phone me, but i ignored it as i didn’t know the number.
The telephone is the conduit to the conversation, but the telephone is not the conversation itself. And anyway, it’s a smartphone these days.
We are starting to see the fragmentation of technology: my Jawbone talks to my Phone, utilising some of it’s processing, graphic and web accessibility. My Google Glass utilises the phone too, and even the hire car i had last month linked to my phone to access my music. Interconnected systems, lightweight in their communication.
We are just at the start of this. Soon it will be more than my bluetooth headphones and the chip in my shoe that talk to each other.
But technology does not just facilitate the ways we communicate: it changes it.
There’s a lot of interest around the ways we convey meaning through touch: technology emerging that let’s you stroke a glove on your own hand and someone half a world away will feel it. Or the shirt that will hug you in response to your partner hugging themselves. Or technology allowing signed language on your hand to be transmitted to a deaf and blind companion a hundred miles away on college campus: technology breaking down barriers of time and senses.
We are just at the start of this.
Then the geolocation and contextualisation of knowledge: technology that senses what you are doing and provides support, suggestion and knowledge based on what it senses you need. Or the people you are near. Or the conversations going on in your office, unheard, except within the community.
Technology will transform all of this.
So we need to play, we need to learn. Today, technology takes us places without any master plan, without any route map. Some technologies succeed and thrive, others fair: the point is, we have to try. We have to find what they let us do better, what they let us do differently, what they let us do that is new.
And then we share it.