Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shifting Technology Boundaries

Technology offers and can quickly deliver social, cultural, medical benefits and opportunities that are often beyond our imagination, but at the same time, it can introduce new threats and risks to our personal information and lives. Balancing the evolution of technology to ensure we can manage these conflicts is probably our greatest challenge.

Today’s technology can accumulate random data from multiple sources to analyse; who we know, who we don’t know, how many steps away from individuals we are, when we last ‘chattered’ and what we communicated. They are capturing the various intertwining circles of social influence and relationships we all have. It can accumulate data on our behaviour; our views, our habits, when and what we buy and what we don’t buy and from where and what we looked at but passed on. It is in fact able to map our taste and probably predict our action and reaction to certain propositions and actions. It knows private information that can identify and authenticate us as individuals and going now even further than mere passwords and ids, to capture information on our very personal identifiers and distinguishing features. Every time we stamp a facial recognition on a photo we are in fact  ‘date and time stamping’ more personal information and aiding facial and feature recognition.

The emerging technology is not only mobile and constantly switched on, but is becoming increasingly intuitive and closer to our senses. Glasses with screens and cameras and driven by voice instructions, are capable of capturing our every movement. We shall be able to identify those in our vision through face recognition and be fed all the facts about them whilst they stand in front of us. Through tracking we shall be able to know who is just around the corner and even out of sight! We can now scroll information with our retina movement of our eyes without even a verbal instruction and in doing s, capture more information on how we navigate, not to sit in a historical repository, but to help our future activity.

The world of the ‘sixth sense’ is upon us.

The boundaries between different services we use are often blurring and what once were standalone social network such as Facebook or Linkedin are is now cross fertilising with email, skype, twitter, blogs, photo and music libraries etc.

So where are we going in the world some refer to as the new contextual dimension? Who will hold the information cards and who and how will information be used? Yesterday it was about content, products and access to all things material. Tomorrow it’s about the social and behavioural extension of information about us.

Marketing becomes mass marketing on a direct marketing basis. Upselling now is becoming about feeding known habits and true likes and dislikes and not merely trying to guess buying habits based on what individual’s bought. 

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