Technology – Revolutionizing Our Lifestyles: An Inquiry

About a week ago, I sent Duncan Stewart a direct message via Twitter. I also registered for the TMT Predictions 2011 in Toronto. It is highly related to the industry I am going to work in and I am extremely interested in hearing Duncan Stewart speak live. TMT = Technology, Media, and Telecommunications. WOW. (I hope my supervisor supports this – I already registered!)

Nevertheless, I have been following TMT for a bit and when I have more time, I will definitely catch up on last year’s and see what he had to say. In fact, forget about last year’s…we have to look forward more. Technology research and it’s uses in consumer and business is extremely fascinating. It’s revolutionizing the way we live, communicate, work, play, etc. It’s becoming something that is so crucial in our lifestyles. For example: smartboards in elementary schools, portable storage devices, Google/online TV, tablets vs netbook or laptop, wifi/3g devices, communication & networking, meeting people, geo-tarketed marketing, etc. Duncan Stewart has this amazing sneak peak video on Youtube:

What shocks me is the number of hits it’s had. Not even 100! That’s absolutely ridiculous. I think this area of research has much potential and businesses (and students) should learn more about it. But…what do I know… I’m sure those in the industry are already well-acquainted with the ins and outs of everyone else. For an ambitious and passionate student like myself, I feel like a novice trying to tap into this fascinating new realm of our (technological) world  and I want to know HOW or where to start! Technology is constantly changing and like they say, the Third World War is going to be digital…  It’s been over 50 years since WWII, so technology is definitely on the rise.

What I’m really curious about is how does one predict what is going to be the next thing? First, one must be knowledgeable on all the different new technologies. Secondly, to know which stage of the Product Life Cycle they are in. Knowing which products or category of products will reach the Early stage is what intrigues me the most.

That said, do I start by looking into databases on consumer lifestyles and what the trends are? Should I be reading more technology blogs online? Should I continue to follow the news on technology, business, investor reports? I’ve already set up Google Alerts for RIM. Perhaps I need one for “technology” and “telecommunication” too. (NOTE TO SELF) Looking at the trends from the past almost seems irrelevant, given the pace we’re going at, but I think it’s quite important in setting the foundation to understanding human behaviour and how we’re being affected by it. (This bridge between  human behaviour, technology, fostering conversations, making life and teamwork more efficient, etc. is what fascinates me the most!)

I’m starting to see the importance of forecasting. These numbers and all this Excel finally means something to me, but I’m not big on numbers. But seeing the relevance it has to where it leads to, oddly, makes me very eager to learn and this overly-energetic sense of enthusiasm comes over me…(signs I’m turning into an authentic dork?)

Nevertheless, the reason I mentioned receiving a reply from Duncan, is because it’s a clear example of how powerful technology is nowadays. Twitter, a platform for sharing ideas and communicating. Also, a new medium for community engagement, marketing (Re: me winning tickets to RIM’s DevCon10 back in Sept) and data gathering (Re: my business case of support for Investopedia’s Social Media presence). From seeing his videos on Youtube, to reading about TMT predictions on Deloitte’s website, I came to know Duncan’s name. Clicking around different sites, I was led to his Twitter page and followed him. After he followed me too, I was able to DM (Direct Message) him and have that immediate contact. Further, looking at who he follows, I was led to other technological savvy individuals and looking at their “tweets” (yes, tweets), I found more interesting  links and sites to read.

This, however, begs the question of information overload and being able to choose which is the best data…that’s a different post, in itself. The last thing I wanted to mention is that Duncan’s comment about targeted marketing (in the Youtube video I posted above), reminded of this particular TEDtalk about data obtained through gaming. I attended an alumni event hosted by the University of Alberta, TED Talks @ Noon, and we had a very interesting discussion about the extent to which this data should be gathered and used. Enjoy!


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