Let’s run through a brief tech timeline, shall we?
1980s – The Age of Computers
1990s – The Age of Software (for Computers) and the Dawning of the Internet
2000s – The Age of the Internet and the rise of Mobile Devices
2010s – The Age of Connectedness
In these last 30 years, I’ve seen an amazing network of information infrastructure unfolding before me. Much like developing previously uncharted territory, our technological civilization began. Early on, there were colonies and outposts where only the most adventuresome explorers dared or cared to set up camp. As time has gone on, those single, unconnected dwellings were updated and eventually roads were built between them. Before we knew it, we had major freeways – and now we continue to build upon and develop this virtual civilization, all the time bringing it to the next level of connectivity. The interesting thing is that the time has come where our virtual world has grown so much and has become so complex that we have surpassed our development mark in the physical world…which took us hundreds of years to accomplish. The virtual version only took a mere 30 years. Talk about efficiency!
Connectedness isn’t really a new thought for me, I feel like it has been cropping up in my posts for a while now – but I stumbled upon a new gaming model that gave me pause. The “system” is called Brass Monkey. It is an app that you load onto your phone and a website that you go to on your computer. Here’s basically how it works – you load the app on your phone, which contains your account information and takes care of the commerce part of the operation. They use “brass coins” that you buy in chunks of 10,000 or more starting at 99 cents. Then, you go to the Brass Monkey website and find a game to play. The games are relatively unknown at this point and some seem to be knockoffs of other more popular games, but they do look pretty fun and you have to start somewhere, right? Anyhow, what happens next is the cool part: you use your browser on your computer as your gaming console and your phone as the remote! They utilize your Wi-Fi connection to work together, and your phone is technically advanced enough to act similar to a Wii-mote allowing you to wave your phone, etc., for a truly up-to-date gaming experience.
All of this got me thinking…as all of the computerized things in our environments get better at communicating with one another, I would imagine your command center would likely be your phone. At the very least, I can imagine people would have a tablet installed into a holder on their walls to control lighting, sound, thermostat, and on and on. I assume there are a select few who already do this to a point, but it certainly isn’t mainstream at the moment and the manufacturing companies, software developers and devices are still catching up.
Between having sensors in your home, computerized devices talking to one another and your phone or a tablet controlling it all – it certainly alters the landscape of possibilities and it could really happen faster than we’d imagine. I was going through my glove compartment just this last week when I found a calculator. I had last thoroughly cleaned out my car about two years ago and placed it there very deliberately should I ever need to make a calculation on the run. When I found it, it might as well have been an abacus or any other random object, really. I was a little dumbfounded when I first pulled it out – WHY would I have a calculator in HERE? Then I realized – I didn’t have a phone with a calculator function back then! (or not at least one I used…) Now, I’ve got a calculator, maps and apps to help me find the nearest restaurant or gas station and much, much more all in my phone! I found it to be almost comical that I took up space in my glove compartment with a calculator. It just speaks to how quickly we can adapt to these new abilities, conveniences and connections that sneak their way into our lives one by one.
If we’ve come this far in 30 years – imagine where we’ll be in another 30? I’m can’t wait to see where this will go…bring it on!