When Christopher Columbus first landed on Hispaniola on October 12, 1492, he make a huge discovery that has greatly impacted the world. Columbus, his crew, and all of those who followed him to the Americas were brave as hell and not afraid to try something new.
That spirit of discovery has become deeply embedded in the American psyche, and it is a widely celebrated trait that is only picking up steam in the 21st century. Here’s a look at some innovations that are – or will be – changing our lives:
Big Data Analytics
Because my startup, UberStories, covers Washington, DC-area tech startups, I get a front-row seat to the newest trends. Big data analytics isn’t new, per se, but it’s becoming the de facto way to conduct business.
From politics (Sunlight Labs, LegCyte) to green tech (SolVista) to marketing (Frakture) to social discovery (SocialRadar), a lot of companies just here in DC are writing algorithms that analyze big data to support products that will help people make better business decisions.
The Internet of Things
The term was first coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 and refers to the idea of connecting every object to the Internet. Near-field communication (NFC) and QR codes are two such examples that are currently in use.
If you store your business documents and presentations in the cloud, they’re already connected to the Internet and therefore retrievable anywhere, anytime. The Internet of Things will take this one step further: Imagine never running out of inventory or supplies, or having your favorite meal automatically delivered to your office because you have a lunch meeting scheduled.
Google Glass and smart watches are the first wave of wearable technology, which is poised to completely change the way we consume information.
Google Glass is a mobile device that will run on apps, just like a smartphone, but it will deliver information to you in a seamless, nondisruptive way. Imagine walking down the street, wearing your Google Glass, and GPS is directing you visually and/or with audio to your destination. Important emails, texts, news alerts, or weather alerts will pop up on the screen as they come in. If you know where you’re going, maybe you’re just listening to a playlist, Pandora, or your favorite SiriusXM channel.
If you want to do all of that right now with your smartphone, it’s a completely disruptive experience. Your face has to be glued to the screen (watch out for that telephone pole!), you have to have your earbuds in, and you have to hold your phone in your hands. Google Glass can almost be thought of as the next wave of mobile devices.
Which of the above innovations are you most excited about? Why?
Image courtesy of 9to5google.com