Emergent Futures Tumblelog

This is the Tumblelog of Paul Higgins and Sandy Teagle - Futurists from Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. Go to Emergent Futures to see more or follow on Twitter at FuturistPaul . If you right click on the pictures, titles or links in these posts you will be able to go to the original story on the web. If you click on comments for each post you can either read what others have said or add your own comment via Disqus. If you click on the date of a post it will take you to a single post view where you can copy the web link if you want to send it to someone else. If you click on the tags it will take you to other stories from Emergent Futures with the same tag.

courtenaybird:

Are Smart Phones Spreading Faster than Any Technology in Human History? 

“These figures show that smart phones, after a relatively fast start, have also outpaced nearly any comparable technology in the leap to mainstream use. It took landline telephones about 45 years to get from 5% to 50% penetration among U.S. households, and mobile phones took around seven years to reach a similar proportion of consumers. Smart phones have gone from 5% to 40% in about four years, despite a recession. In the comparison shown, the only technology that moved as quickly to the U.S. mainstream was television between 1950 and 1953.”

Posted at 8:52pm and tagged with: tech, technology, smartphones, technology adoption,.

courtenaybird:

Are Smart Phones Spreading Faster than Any Technology in Human History? 
“These figures show that smart phones, after a relatively fast start, have also outpaced nearly any comparable technology in the leap to mainstream use. It took landline telephones about 45 years to get from 5% to 50% penetration among U.S. households, and mobile phones took around seven years to reach a similar proportion of consumers. Smart phones have gone from 5% to 40% in about four years, despite a recession. In the comparison shown, the only technology that moved as quickly to the U.S. mainstream was television between 1950 and 1953.”

joshbyard:

State of the 3D Printing Union, Per The Telegraph

You might not know anyone with a 3D printer yet, but, says Neil Gershenfeld, head of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “digital personal fabrication has been growing exponentially, and the ways these exponentials work is that there’s a kind of barrier to perception. You may think nothing’s happening and then suddenly there’s a revolution.” Brooklyn-based MakerBot has sold around 6,000 machines, to tech-savvy early adopters like the aforementioned eggcup maker, Brendan Dawes.

But we don’t know how many 3D printers there are out there – some, like the RepRap, can make their own parts and reproduce themselves. Bowyer designed them to be “evolutionarily stable”: RepRaps offer people goods so that people will build them, just as flowers offer bees nectar so that they’ll carry their pollen.

Another problem with the perception of desktop 3D printers is that the things people are making at home right now don’t look that exciting. Take the Thingiverse, a website where people upload photographs and design files of things they’ve designed and made themselves. There are plastic kittens. Plastic door stops. Plastic plant pots. Plastic toy planes. Plastic widgets and encoder wheels and screw isolators and servo wheels, individual parts to improve your printer but not much else.

But just when your inner cynic starts to kick in, because homemade plastic tchotchkes don’t look much more appealing than ones made in Taiwan, someone will tell you a cautionary tale. Gershenfeld invokes the name of Ken Olsen. The head of a company called the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), in 1977 Olsen made a famous pronouncement: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” As Gershenfeld says today, “Now DEC is bankrupt, and you have a computer at home.” Underestimating the potential for new technologies to adapt, evolve and thrive can make you look stupid.

(via Make your own: the 3D printing revolution - Telegraph)

(ht BigThink.com)

Posted at 7:21pm and tagged with: 3D Printing, tech, technology, technology adoption,.

joshbyard:

State of the 3D Printing Union, Per The Telegraph

You might not know anyone with a 3D printer yet, but, says Neil Gershenfeld, head of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “digital personal fabrication has been growing exponentially, and the ways these exponentials work is that there’s a kind of barrier to perception. You may think nothing’s happening and then suddenly there’s a revolution.” Brooklyn-based MakerBot has sold around 6,000 machines, to tech-savvy early adopters like the aforementioned eggcup maker, Brendan Dawes.
But we don’t know how many 3D printers there are out there – some, like the RepRap, can make their own parts and reproduce themselves. Bowyer designed them to be “evolutionarily stable”: RepRaps offer people goods so that people will build them, just as flowers offer bees nectar so that they’ll carry their pollen.
Another problem with the perception of desktop 3D printers is that the things people are making at home right now don’t look that exciting. Take the Thingiverse, a website where people upload photographs and design files of things they’ve designed and made themselves. There are plastic kittens. Plastic door stops. Plastic plant pots. Plastic toy planes. Plastic widgets and encoder wheels and screw isolators and servo wheels, individual parts to improve your printer but not much else.
But just when your inner cynic starts to kick in, because homemade plastic tchotchkes don’t look much more appealing than ones made in Taiwan, someone will tell you a cautionary tale. Gershenfeld invokes the name of Ken Olsen. The head of a company called the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), in 1977 Olsen made a famous pronouncement: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” As Gershenfeld says today, “Now DEC is bankrupt, and you have a computer at home.” Underestimating the potential for new technologies to adapt, evolve and thrive can make you look stupid.

(via Make your own: the 3D printing revolution - Telegraph)
(ht BigThink.com)

theatlantic:

Flash and the PDF: Computing’s Last Great (and Now Endangered) Monopolies

Remember the 1990s when Microsoft and Intel dominated personal computing, long before there were smartphones or tablets or other things that are sort of like computers but not actually computers? Back then, as the chart Asymco’s Horace Dediu created shows, WinTel computers dominated.

In recent years, though, the dominance of the WinTel computing platform has collapsed. Apple’s traditional computers and iOS devices combined with Android’s smartphone success mean that, as often as not, people use an operating system and device that’s outside the WinTel model. 

Given the proliferation of computing gadgets and operating systems, many standards have collapsed. There are few near-monopolies left. Microsoft Office is everywhere, but increasingly unnecessary. Even mighty Google’s search market share is only around 66 percent.  

But you know, there are two 90s-era products that continue to have ridiculous installed bases: Adobe’s Flash and PDF.

Read more. [Image: Asymco]

Posted at 8:20am and tagged with: tech, technology, disruption, technology adoption,.

theatlantic:

Flash and the PDF: Computing’s Last Great (and Now Endangered) Monopolies

Remember the 1990s when Microsoft and Intel dominated personal computing, long before there were smartphones or tablets or other things that are sort of like computers but not actually computers? Back then, as the chart Asymco’s Horace Dediu created shows, WinTel computers dominated.
In recent years, though, the dominance of the WinTel computing platform has collapsed. Apple’s traditional computers and iOS devices combined with Android’s smartphone success mean that, as often as not, people use an operating system and device that’s outside the WinTel model. Given the proliferation of computing gadgets and operating systems, many standards have collapsed. There are few near-monopolies left. Microsoft Office is everywhere, but increasingly unnecessary. Even mighty Google’s search market share is only around 66 percent.  But you know, there are two 90s-era products that continue to have ridiculous installed bases: Adobe’s Flash and PDF.
Read more. [Image: Asymco]
It took AOL 9 years to reach one million users. It took Facebook 9 months to reach one million users. It took Draw Something 9 days to reach one million users.

thisistheverge:

Smartphones now account for half of mobile phones in US, Nielsen reports

A new report from Nielsen shows that as of February 2012, just about half of US mobile subscribers own smartphones — an increase of 38 percent over last year, when only 36 percent of mobile subscribers used them.

Posted at 10:47am and tagged with: tech, technology, mobile, trends, technology adoption, smartphone,.

thisistheverge:

Smartphones now account for half of mobile phones in US, Nielsen reports
A new report from Nielsen shows that as of February 2012, just about half of US mobile subscribers own smartphones — an increase of 38 percent over last year, when only 36 percent of mobile subscribers used them.

thenextweb:

The Next Web got an exclusive first look at the latest report from app store analytics company Distimo, which zooms in on the App Store for iPad, roughly two years after Apple’s first ‘magical’ tablet computer hit the market. The report is largely based on United States-only data about the App Store for iPad as measured throughout February 2012. According to the latest public figures, Apple has sold over 55 million iPads to date, and very much counting. (via Two Years Post-Launch, A Close Look At The App Store For iPad)

Posted at 3:23am and tagged with: tablets, tech, technology, technology adoption, applications,.

thenextweb:

The Next Web got an exclusive first look at the latest report from app store analytics company Distimo, which zooms in on the App Store for iPad, roughly two years after Apple’s first ‘magical’ tablet computer hit the market. The report is largely based on United States-only data about the App Store for iPad as measured throughout February 2012. According to the latest public figures, Apple has sold over 55 million iPads to date, and very much counting. (via Two Years Post-Launch, A Close Look At The App Store For iPad)

When predicting technology trends, Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and author of Sketching User Experiences may have said it best:

“If history is any indication, we should assume that any technology that is going to have a significant impact over the next 10 years is already 10 years old!”

This theory holds true for several technologies. For example, the first mobile telephone call was made in 1946, many years before the first commercial cellular network was launched in 1979. GPS was in use for nearly 30 years in government and military programs before it became a must have for personal vehicle navigation. And, the formation of the Internet as we know it began in the 1980s, but wasn’t truly incorporated into virtually every aspect of modern human life until a decade later.

Applying this premise to radio frequency identification (RFID) seems to hold true as well. The technology itself was well over 10 years old in 2004 when retail giants began pushing it as a means of driving efficiencies into their supply chains. While these initial retail programs didn’t succeed according to plan, and mass adoption didn’t happen the way many analysts predicted, these initiatives did kick off a high level of interest from retailers, product manufacturers and many other industries and markets focused on improving their business and service processes. Between 2004 and now, something else happened that makes one ask if RFID is ready to have that significant impact Buxton mentions.