Walking into an electronics store to touch and feel all the gizmos and gadgets you can add to your collection has many of us feeling like kids in a candy store, but do we really need all these things that are sold to us? These days we endeavour to use one piece of technology, which is the internet, to save time and money shopping of other pieces of tech, so you don’t even need to leave your house for all those gizmos and gadgets you want to arrive at your door.
The question however, remains that of whether or not we really need all these things which are classified as technology. For starters, consumerism culture seems to have made us narrow our definition of what technology is to clever little electronic toys as well as the software that runs those toys. If you were to scour the web or watch the tech section of a televised news piece, chances are they’d be discussing something like the latest app to hit the app stores or perhaps even a new digital platform which effectively disrupts the market it seeks to get its own slice of.
Let’s shift the discussion to what the real meaning of technology is though, so that we beat out a clearer path to spotlighting that technology that will actually do what technology is meant to do – improve our lives!
What is technology?
The most concise definition of what technology is I could find is: “The practical application of science to commerce or industry.”
In many respects, art is a science as well, so I’d include art in this definition and transcend it to technology being “The discipline dealing with the art or science of applying scientific knowledge to practical problems.” Now obviously the outcome of that is manifested mostly through physical tech items such as smartphones, cars which are evolving into smart cars, computers, etc. If however we include the broader scope of what technology is in its true essence, something like a peg is technology!
Re-inventing the wheel
It doesn’t help anybody to effectively seek to re-invent the wheel through something like discussing the albeit real technological applications of something like a peg though, so we we’ll turn our focus onto some of the tech which is likely to influence major buying decisions as a proposed set of solutions to the “problems” we face in this day and age.
The Internet of Things (IoT) comes to mind as perhaps a practical application of another piece of tech that’s undergoing rapid development, which is of course Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI perhaps encompasses deep learning too, but what we’re getting at here is that the technology that will improve your life in the years to come is that technology which makes your daily life easier and fits into your lifestyle to free you up to pursue other elements of your life, like catering to your health, up-skilling yourself for some career advancement, etc.
One technological advancement on the horizon is the driverless car. That horizon is approaching rapidly, however, with hundreds, if not thousands, of tech engineers across the globe working to turn science fiction into reality. Fully driverless cars are already on the road in the US and UK where trials have been taking place, and whilst we might still be a way off them going mainstream, many new cars have autonomous capabilities, such as parking assistance and lane departure systems that park your car for you and help you to stay in lane. You can see here to see what Torc, an autonomous vehicle tech company, is doing to develop its own technology for use in driverless cars.
Whilst self-driving cars are real, albeit still in development, think about other things that haven’t even been developed yet. In the future, you could quite easily get a blood sample analysed by a microchip that is connected to your smart fridge and your online shopping account to perhaps have a drone deliver foods to your door that are rich in the specific nutrients you might be deficient in. It’s only a matter of time!