Technology Innovation... it's no surprise

15 Mar 2006|Added Value

Recently I was in the Apple store buying a gift. A salesperson approached me and said “Can I help you? You’re Denise, aren’t you?” My first thought was, “Interesting. They’ve now got facial recognition systems in the Apple store.” Of course the truth was that the recognition came the old fashioned way – they salesperson knew me from somewhere else. But what was surprising was that I wasn’t surprised by my initial assumption.

I guess I’m just used to the fact that amazing things are becoming common place. Facial recognition technology is not new, though thankfully not yet implemented at the Apple Store.

A colleague yesterday told me about a paper thin camera a friend had purchased that took very high quality shots. My reply… “Oh, that’s nice” as opposed to “wow, that’s unbelievable!” As it turns out, she was referring to the Casio Exilim, but my web search did reveal that even 2 years ago, paper thin lens technology was available. So I won’t be surprised when someone pulls out a business card that happens to be their camera. (In fact, I found quite a few paper thin technologies – phones, TV screens that could be put on magazines a la Harry Potter, batteries and most of these links were old.)

So if technology innovation is no longer creating surprise, what will take its place?

Well for me at least, I’m increasingly surprised, in fact annoyed, at things that don’t seem to take advantage of technological innovation. Things like the ridiculous cord used to charge and sync my Treo, which remains in a perpetual tangle. Or my office phone system that requires reading the manual in order to complete a 3-way call.

My guess is that as more products only seen in sci-fi films find their way to Wal-Mart shelves, consumers’ intolerance of lagging technology will increase rapidly. And maybe one day I won’t feel obligated to put up with a door bell that only works when it’s not raining.

prev next