Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hype Cycle of Emerging Technology and Me

Research Firm Gartner has recently identified five technologies which are about to reach the peak of the hype cycle. Hype Cycle according to Wikipedia is the

"Graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies"

I was just wondering how many of these have an impact or application on my life today.

Green IT

While I am very interested in this topic and would adopt a Green IT product if I had an option, my contribution to the 'Hype' or its impact on me (directly) is not significant. Green computing is the study and use of computing efficiently and the only exposure I have had to this are chain emails which warn us about the amount of power that can be saved by switching off the computer when it is not in use!

Cloud Computing

This is something I hear about very frequently. But despite being among those considered to be 'tech savvy' I have in the past made the mistake of thinking of Web2.0 and Cloud Computing are one and the same. Even as I write this I have not yet read Wikipedia articles about them to clarify my doubts. This according to me is a situation where innovation or 'invention' in the IT/Internet domain don't really have the same impact as 'inventions' in the classical hardware scheme of things. I recently purchased a digital transcriber which allows me to capture in digital form what I write on a paper, using this device. I am fascinated by the technology behind this and consider this to be groundbreaking in its utility. But a similar innovation in the IT/Internet domain would not be a tangible, physical product. Its utility will be manifest as an improvement in the way data is stored, retreived etc. This would result in downloading and uploading speeds to increase. Great! But the pace at which it happens has an inherent incrementality to it, which steals the shock and awe of a physical invention!

Social Networking

Now this is one emerging technology which I agree as having significant impact on my daily activity. Social networking has been pretty popular now for the past 3 years and I have been involved in various social networking sites and have actually found it to be useful in helping connect me to old friends. But if Hype Cycle peak is acheived when business application of the emerging technology becomes apparent, I fail to see this happening yet. I haven't been influenced to purchase anything yet as a result of being part of this social networking sites. Although, I can understand that information about me that the webmasters of these sites have access to, can be used to market products to me, I think I still haven't come across a such a proposition.

Video Telepresence

This is a very attractive technology, But I haven't yet been exposed to any business application which helps me use this effectively. I did see advanced prototypes of this in HP Cooltown in Singapore back in 2007, but have not had any business application of the same. But this is one technology which I can see being very prevalent, atleast in the near future - especially aided by the growth in cloud computing!


While I blog regularly in its traditional sense, I am yet to get onto this new phenomena of Microblogging. But some aspects of this seem odd to me. Earlier today I had an arguement with a colleague about the whole need to broadcast 'What I am Doing Right Now' to others, which is one of the main drivers behind the Microblogging buzz. I can see it as a superb tool at the workplace to replace old systems like sending memo. It is mainly facilitated through the mobile phone technology, using which most people Microblog. India with its already booming mobile telecom market is I think poised to get on the Microblogging bandwagan. I might just do so too!

Going by my dialog above, one can currently conclude that I am not really Tech Savvy. This I guess would be a victory for my colleague Freddie who claims I am an old relic who does not understand the impact of technology!

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