Monday, August 26, 2013

Human Innovation in High Tech

Innovation is something new – typically revolutionary – that reduces the cost of a transaction, in terms of time or money.
But is that necessarily a good thing?

The ideal application of any technology is something that enables you to be more productive while getting out of your way. This is the challenge with technology. Speaking on the phone is a great way to communicate, but subtle cues are missed such as facial expressions. Even with video chat the technology distracts and diminishes communication since users have to be concerned with trivial conditions like lighting and frame composition (i.e. how well can the other person see your face). The very enabling benefits of technology can also get in the way.

In addition to these issues is the prep period – the overhead with setting up and processing the technology. I can't see myself blink when I look in the mirror, but I can see myself blink when looking at a "live" video feed of myself on my computer.

Now we face the challenge with humanizing technology.

We see technology dehumanizing us everyday – and I am guiltier than most as seen in this video making the rounds the past few days. Rather than accepting the interruption of technology, we need to integrate it in better, more subtle ways.

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