Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There was a time when using a computer was ......(part 3)

About how will we use new technology?

Future Technology - man interacts will hologram
Will Technology go Minority Report on us?
“After growing wildly for years the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy”
John R Pierce, Bell Labs, 1910 - 2002

The definition of technology has changed over the years from computers to information technology (IT) to information and communication technology (ICT) and so on.  Microprocessors’ are ubiquitous, it has become difficult to find devices that are classified as technology that do not have a microprocessor at the core of its operation.  
Back in 1999, when we all lived in fear of the impending doom of the Y2K bug, it started to dawn on us that no matter what our opinion was or our personal feelings about computers, there were very few places left on Planet Earth where we could avoid them.

We now consider ourselves ICT users, if we use a Smartphone, access the web on a mobile device, use APPS, type an e-mail on our laptop, or sit at our desks to upload our photos to a cloud based storage drive.

The number of ways we now interact with ICT has also changed because the nature and breadth of the devices has changed.  It could be argued, that we now need to be able to type, use a mouse, interact with a touch screen (of varying size and shape).

Arguably, it took the advent of the iPad to move ICT from the desk into people’s hands.  It opened the possibility of using technology in a way that does not involve clumsy peripherals.  Moving the keyboard and mouse to the side of the access debate has introduced the world of ICT to a much younger audience, seeing children of 2 and 3 years in a car or on a plane journey is now a common sight.  Making Smartphones a gateway device for the Internet and services such as Twitter, Facebook, newsfeeds etc., has also drawn older users into the ever widening ICT family.

It could easily be argued that we are at a junction, where the future of how ICT is used is standing at a crossroads.  We encounter arguments that people will continue to use desktops and laptops as “office” machines - will there even be such a thing as an "office", let alone an "office machine".  
Will a tablet device require a keyboard to be useful and who will win the "Battle of the APPS" to become the dominant mobile operating system.   
The analogy of the crossroads may not in this case be the most accurate; rather it might be better to describe the situation like a tree, waiting for the conditions required to allowfor the emergence of new branches. 

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