3rd wave of computing

Curious catThey say that curiousity killed the cat, perhaps the cat was getting too close to Gareth Morgan, yet without curiousity we should never have learned anything. Ongoing learning makes us better able to cope with and solve everyday problems as well as being able to use such technology as we find enjoyable.

We are now in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution and you, dear reader, is surrounded by digital technology which together with the Internet of Things [IoT] will transform our world like never seen before.

This is what is now referred to as the 3rd wave, a new age where embedded, intuitive computing incorporating our homes, cars, stores, farms, factories have the ability to think, sense, understand and respond to our needs. No it is not science fiction, it is the dawn of a new era.

car-safety-volvoWe already feel the impact, in small but significant ways it helps us to live safer and healthier lives. My car for example has a number of sensors to ensure that I keep to the lane, and stops the car if a pedestrian comes close. Over in Nigeria I note that farmers use weather sensors that communicate with their mobiles. And in the US a new pill bottle reminds you via text or automated phone message that it is time to take your medication.

smart-watch-There are already loads of wearable devices you can use to check your steps, your sleeping patterns or calorie intake, or let the newborn try a diaper with inbuilt humidity sensor that tells you when it is time to change it.

With other words technology is now being integrated into our natural way of life through real time data connecting our physical and digital worlds. Naturally this will also mean a dramatic shift in our relationship with technology, and business wanting to continue exist will adapt their products and services accordingly.

amazon-echoIn the previous post Let’s talk Internet I mentioned ‘Alexa Echo’ the Amazon home setup with microphones and speakers with which you can communicate. It does a lot more than answer questions [like Siri [Apple] or Cortana [Microsoft] still to come to NZ], and ‘Alexa Echo’ keeps track of your shopping list and places orders at Amazon [maybe soon at New World or Countdown], books your Uber ride, controls the temperature in your home, and in your fridge or other devices, tells you the train times, reads recipes and does maths. Most recently it can call a plumber and share medical advice. Would you like an ‘Alexa Echo’ in every room? May not be that far away.

ambientIt is clear that this type of computing, ambient or surround computing, has become a top technology trend, and by taking something already in existence and then turn it in to something more with the help of AI we are most likely looking at the new wave of start-ups, think autonomous cars where outsourcing cognition to machines amplifies the inherent intelligence.

10 years from now you arrive for a meeting at Wellington Airport and on exiting the plane your mobile presents the message “Welcome to Wellington, please go to the curb after collecting your bag”. At the curb a selfdriving car will meet you and once inside will advise you that your destination is Hotel xyz.

So awesome as some of this is there is no reason to fear it, it is just evolution, and is a part of of the ambient intelligent future where technology fades into the fabric of daily life and relegating mundane tasks to ambient intelligence, a future we are already part of.

The 3rd wave is coming. Be up to date, Kapiti SeniorNet is here to make it easy.