The last year has seen a really large amount of innovation both in the software fields and hardware fields, and to be honest its one of the most exciting times to be witnessing, as technology that used to be very expensive is suddenly a tenth of the price compared to 2-3 years ago. This means a lot of research and development has gone mainstream and is now available in every day appliances and gadgets. 2013 is definetly the year of 2 different technologies, but which are integrally connected from a developer and economic standpoint. When technologies converge in this way, it leads to a large amount of innovation and even invention in some cases. We are talking about a standardization in software systems and prototypes along with various hardware advances and integration into pre-existing hardware systems.
On the one hand we have the almost ubiquitous use and understanding of client side appliances, which the majority of us call apps, and on the other hand we have the hardware that these apps are filling our screens with, whether they are tiny, small, large or gigantic. Indeed, its this convergence of apps with the hardware that they control which has allowed for a massive plethora of different kinds of advances.
This has all happened almost by accident as a synergy of good luck, cheap hardware and inquisitive development. By now I'm sure we've all heard comments like, its the year of the tablets, or its the year of cheap High resolution TV and computing, or even the year of DIY creations, be they 3D models programmed into a computer and printed out with 3D printers, or the creation of more traditional items from clothing to footware, low volume book prints sent straight to your doorstep, or the integration of environmentally friendly tech of one kind or another by made to order companies.
The truth is that technology has hit so many different market sectors at once, that is has left us with a vacuum of new hitherto uninvented, uninnovated and in many cases unimaginable products. So its kind of a waste to start concentrating o,n individual technologies, although there are certain to be advances there too, but if one looks laterally at the expanse of new innovations, especially in the form of gadgets or the components that run them, you just might feel that inner light bulb explode before you know it.
So where do you start? Well, why not pick a technology that you are familiar with and enjoy using, lets say touch based tablets for arguments sake, and choose a particular field that you've always felt strongly about, how about dieting. And then take those 2 ideas and combine them with yet more items, how about medical sensors for feeling blood pressure, measuring ph levels, sugar levels, and calories burnt.
I think one already sees what I'm getting at and all we've done is think about a number of different technologies, most if not all, already existing as products in their own right. Now all you have to do is start the process of combining all we've talked and thought about to make a gadget which will conveniently fit your personality and with a little luck become something people must have,.
I have, of course, simplified the whole process here so you can decide whether you'll be creating a tablet app that connects medical sensors that are monitored by your gadgets software keeping everything in chek, as well as wirelessly connecting to things like the refrigerator that monitor what foods the subject has really been eating, Even when he or she are our of the house, geolocation will store data like, how much walking, running and going to the toilet is taking place, and if that happens to be at the local organic deli you've been mentioning repeatedly. In fact there are so many choices to be made you are quickly turning your project into a small R and D laboratory, something impossible even 5 years ago, without considerable funds.
Today you can be working on various custom web sites based on modern html 5 and current CMS and blogging frameworks which would have taken months or even years just a couple of years ago. Today, websites that are considerably more potent than those created from the ground up without using frameworks, can take days to create. The same thing goes for mobile based applications, tablet apps, and the converging of Television, apps and the internet. Even gaming has become the realm of many smaller independent companies, where previously more money than hollywood movies were needed to create a game that might become a best seller. Even hardware creation has become something capable of innovating with just a couple of people involved.
In other words, an IT specialist is no longer focused on just one technology, but really needs to take in a whole host of different fields, from communications to marketing, from programming to design, and even physics, biology and chemistry, if you are looking into nanotech. The good news is, its become much easier to learn all of these respective fields, even without going to a ivy league university. indeed, if you know where to look, the information is out there in a very compact form that allows a smart user to really understand information hitherto limited to the elite of universities, schools, and the like. These increasing information flows are just an extension of our living and breathing internet, and its a shame to waste that.
So the message here is, why not go forth and create your own little R and D lab, the costs will be minimal, the possibilities massive, and the majority of your time probably spent on coming up with novel ideas, whether they are to make money, or make the world a better place, or even more optimistically, both. Its obvious there is a lot of ambition required to throw yourself head first into such endeavors, but if you don't you might just be working for a company that is doing just that, but where you are forced to stay in your cubicle, doing your very segregated work, without understanding the bigger picture, surely the most interesting part of all this.
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