The Internet comes out from the behind the glass
Ten years ago Smart Phones slowly began imposing themselves on our lives. Like all technology that eventually becomes ubiquitous in our lives, for quite awhile many people weren’t sure what a Smart Phone was or why they needed a phone that could take pictures, send email, browse the web, or Tweet (whatever that was!) I can remember Googling what was actually meant by “Smart Phone”.
At the time, technology “futurists” were pontificating on a future whereby “agents” brought us information, stories and news tailored to our own specific interests. Next these “agents” (or services) could start “doing” things for us – forwarding us messages, replying on our behalf and so on. It was all digital. This all took place “in the ether” – in “Cyberspace”.
Fast forward a few more years and services like “IF This Then That” were appearing, whereby we can start to combine these online services. Solutions and innovations started appearing from creative and imaginative people – some very useful, some just “way cool” – you’d use them because you could, but like any novelty, most would soon lose their appeal.
Fitness apps on your phone or iPod offered some great services and motivated many people to exercise…. for awhile. This is great – helping people form healthy habits is noble, but it’s still up to the people right – these phones can’t run for you. And the product, the service what they delivered, and how you interact with them, were still all digital and all device or PC driven.
The Internet was still behind a screen, accessible via a keyboard or touch screen – but the all the action is still all going on in Cyberspace.
Then the term “wearables” was coined. Wearables took the old pedometer into the digital age and gave the fitness apps a life of their own.
The concept of wearables and also other purpose built devices, gave humans and interaction with the Internet that didn’t (not obviously anyway) involve a computer!
Now take a look at this new product currently attempting to raise capital on Indiegogo (a crowd funding site). These are wireless buttons which perform actions on your phone. Provided your phone is in the vicinity and switched on, you press a physical button, and something happens. There is also a similar product that interacts with “If This Then That” – an online service I’ve discussed previously.
Such products are the tip of the iceberg, with “The Internet” encroaching more and more on our physical world, each year. The Internet is no longer something that lives behind a glass screen on your desk and is “used” when you turn on your computer.
The capabilities of the service like Flic is way beyond just the “cool factor” too. Uses for such are device are unlimited, but applications as highlighted on the article linked to above, such as distress alarms and opening doors have far reaching ramifications for the elderly and disabled. A super practical and affordable device means it can become common place at which point the benefits start to expand exponentially. The “button for anything” is just the beginning. As truly high speed Internet rolls out around the world, wireless communications continue to improve and screen technology becomes such that you can almost “paint” screens on to any surface, our interaction with the Internet will explode and the lines between real world and cyberspace will blur.