Media Observations – Accelerating Change

So no flying cars yet? Really? It’s 2014, guys. Where are the flying cars? We have the technology, so why aren’t they here yet?

The reason for this is due to a human fallacy we often suffer from: We think things will change really fast, but we also think things will change very specifically.

The rate of change and the scope of change are what I’m talking about here: People tend to think that one technology will advance very quickly, on a very narrow track, while in reality technology advances somewhat more slowly as it broadly affects many aspects of life.

Smart phones illustrate this point perfectly. We expect a massive advance in cell phone technology and wearable technology due to the smart phone, moving on and on faster than we can keep up with (which expectation is reinforced by magazines such as Popular Science, which show technologies that could technically exist soon, but really won’t until the existing tech fully expands out to all the areas it can reach).

But smart phones are advancing a little more slowly than expected. Each iteration of the iPhone has a few more features, but nothing earth-shattering. Except Siri. Siri’s voice is earth-shattering. *insert a longing sigh*

The thing is, it’s not that smartphones are not making advances. They’re just not making forward ones. They’re advancing laterally, sideways across the wide spectrum of human use. We can use them for more and more types of tasks, rather than using them for the same things but more powerfully or quickly. They become more versatile rather than more powerful.

What technologies do you see taking off in the next few years? Will they be innovations on existing tech, or something new entirely?


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