Posted by: KarenOStein | November 20, 2017

What Lies Ahead in Tech: Optimism, or Future Shock?

With the current proliferation of new technologies, tech companies are hurdling over each other in an effort to develop the next big thing, from AR to VR to virtual assistants and 4D printing.

Observing these rapid changes might make people skeptical, as CNET’s Daniel Van Boom expresses in “I Gave Up on VR, but I Believe Again. Sort of.” Or it might strike them, understandably, with a Future Shock-style fear: What will protect us from introducing dangerous advancements that will irrevocably destroy the fabric of society?


Some comfort may lie in the market. First, tech marketers know that it’s not enough to simply offer new innovations and rely on the “cool” factor as their selling point. They also need to show how the technologies will make life better. For example, Mashable author Lance Ulanoff tells us that AR apps are both fun and functional – you can now see how that IKEA sofa will look in your living room before you purchase it, and try out recipes virtually before you actually cook anything. So useful!

Second, the Gartner Hype Cycle demonstrates how new innovations must traverse a series of peaks and valleys in the market in order to finally reach the Plateau of Productivity, where they hit mainstream adoption. Ideally, only the most beneficial products make it to that point, if people are voting with their pocketbooks. This fact should offer the fearful a measure of reassurance, and remind them of the regulatory power, and responsibility, they hold as consumers.

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