Digital Darwinism: iPad 3, Emotion Sensing, Siri, Display Glasses & Wireless Cars
I’d blogged about Brian Solis’s theory on Digital Darwinism a while back. Devices are being released globally, and connectivity is increasing globally which means these changes affect us, for the most, on a global scale.
Since then we’ve had a few changes like the iPhone 4S with Siri (and it’s flaws) as well as Google creating a Siri rival. Not to forget the unveiling of Samsungs Smart Window as well as other devices getting the “smart” touch (like Smart Watches however in the last few days and weeks there has been a significant number of other changes happening…again at a very quick pace.
Google X has announced the first “Google-made glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time. This raises a lot of questions around privacy, the strangeness of having a pair of glasses which is streaming real-time digital information into your brain and much more. I rememember reading ages ago that there may come a time where we walk past someone, look at them, and be able to see that persons data based on what they have revealed about themselves online right away (e.g Male/Female, Single/Married, Suburb, etc etc etc). The idea has later been replicated in many movies since then too. Something like this opens up that opportunity, and while it sounds exciting in principle, it does raise a number of questions around the angle of privacy yet again. Also as I mentioned a while back, someone who isn’t on any Social Networks is likely to be “off the radar” in some sense then those who are (a Matrixed/Networked society)? But again, the ability to control what information one is able to see (or how much the user reveals about themselves) is ultimately upto the user like with all Social Networks.
The iPad 3 has launched with a lot of hu-ha. The reviews for the most seem positive, and despite an increase in the width of the device itself, it seems that the tablet is ahead of most of it’s competitors in terms of specs. The key differences here is the HD screen and most importantly, the retina display. HD screens again turns the device into a far more compelling entertainment device (movies, TV, gaming, music, creaitvity, growth and opportunities). Retina opens up a world of opportunities as far as development of apps within the space go. Combine that with the advances that have been made already in the voice activation space with Siri and the concept of an “smart tablet” evolves again all together. “And then you add in the gestures, which are just so intuitive to begin with, but when you add a crystal clear screen with these intuitive gestures, it really does feel like you are touching the Internet. And your notes. And your videos. It’s a great sensation. With the kind of inroads the smart device across the spectrum is making in industries like the military, airlines, government and so many other facets of everyday life, this change again elevates the experience. The iPad 3 itself has a number of flaws I’ve seen a number of people point out, but this is more in relation to the overall tablet scene overall.
When I first used Siri I commented that this was one of the first steps into “robotics”. The concept itself wasn’t that new (hey remember those lights where you clap your hands and the lights come on and off)? Siri was really taking that concept of “activation via a gesture” a step further. But the ability to not just say a command and it does it, but somewhat have a “conversation” (smart programming that had gone into it) is what took me off guard (Google is already developing it’s own equivalent as we speak). And just as I get my head around that, Samsung introduces emotion sensing >”The technology behind the emotion-sensing smartphone is surprisingly simple: It infers your state of mind from how you use your phone. By analyzing how fast you type, how much the phone shakes, how often you backspace mistakes, and how many special symbols are used, the special Galaxy S II can work out whether you’re angry, surprised, happy, sad, fearful, or disgusted, with an accuracy of 67.5%”. Again this kind of an advancement is entering another level of “robotics” where machine can instantly recognize human behaviour (providing that the human is giving off the right behavioural signals). The software then correlates your “angry” with your actions during that period (your typing speed, phone shakiness, etc.). This is a very new concept in my view, and something that I will have to try myself before commenting on further. If I reflect on films like Minority Report (which took 10 years to write) and also think about the Will Smith starrer I-Robot for a second, is this the first early stages of something like this? Again, what is the impact on consumer behaviour and the brain with these advances? I have purposely left off Smart Televisions here though again, from what I have seen in this space from ALL of the suppliers seems to be cutting edge, and quiet a revolution as far as the concept of a “Television” is concerned.
And finally, the driverless car (been in the background for a long time) gets more advances. “I imagine a lot of people think of a self-driving car as science fiction or something out of The Jetsons and something that may not be available for a long time,” . This kind of change I believe is absolutely huge on many levels. Without the right level of testing and understanding, rushing this kind of an advancement could be detrimental on many levels. Of course I see the benefits too, but the impact this has on a much much larger scale economically, as well as the kind of disruption it brings is significant. How far off is this? Are we talking 1-3 yrears or 10-30?
Keeping in mind all of these particular changes, I can only ask, what this means for us, consumers, humans? While I see a lot of positive and exciting changes which would enhance the quality of a lot of things we do in everyday life, is this kind of a networked/matrixed society have another side we have not yet seen? I remember reading in a book THE FUTURE FILES, that the need to have “getaways” which replicate an older and more simplel way of life will become all the more signiciant for the connected consumer/businessperson to get away from the connected life. The rise of resorts, villas and just magnificantly and lavishly mounted hotels providing an escapsim like no other (at a range of price points) makes me think that for one to proceed and advance so quickly, the rise of the other seems somewhat logical?
For the older generation a lot of this may still sound like things which aren’t yet a reality or something that may not want to see as a reality in this lifetime (this could be vast generationalization as I know a number of older people who love technological changes and keeping up with the “shiny new stuff”), but for the Generation which is growing up with it now (as well as the Generation to come) this will be second nature. Right from the telephone to the radio, from Television to the early days of the internet. To the early days of Social Networking to the proliferation of the screen and where we’re heading now…..technology has always affected some industries for the worse yet at the same time created vast opportunities.
This quote may indeed sound like a cliche at the best of times, but once again as William Gibson once said “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed”…….?
Prashant Harish Hari