incrementalevolution

The first ten or fifteen years of a computing era is a period of chaotic experimentation. Early product concepts rapidly evolve via both incremental and disruptive innovations. Radical ideas are tried. Some succeed and some fail. Survival of the fittest prevails. By mid-era, new stable norms should be established. But we can’t predict the exact details.

earlyproducts

The chaotic early days of a new computing era is an extended period of product innovation and experimentation. But both the form and function of new products are still strongly influenced by the norms and transitional technologies of the waning era. New technologies are applied to new problems but often those new technologies are not yet mature enough to support early expectations. The optimal form-factors, conceptual metaphors, and usage idioms of the new era have yet to be fully explored and solidified. Looking back from the latter stages of a computing era, early era products appear crude and naive.

This is a great time to be a product innovator or an enthusiastic early adopter. But don’t get too comfortable with the present. These are still the early days of the Ambient Computing Era and the big changes are likely still to come.

Slide Bite: Grassroots Innovation

April 19, 2016

How do we know when we are entering a new computing era? One signal is a reemergence of grassroots innovation. Early in a computing era most technical development resources are still focused on sustaining the mature applications and use cases from the waning era or on exploiting attractive transitional technologies. The first explorers of the […]

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Slide Bit: From Chaos

April 18, 2016

At the beginning of a new computing era, it’s fairly easy to sketch a long-term vision of the era. All it takes is knowledge of current technical trajectories and a bit of imagination. But it’s impossible to predict any of the essential details of how it will actually play out. Technical, business, and social innovation […]

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Slide Bite: The Ambient Computing Era

April 16, 2016

In the Ambient Computing Era humans live in a rich environment of communicating computer enhanced devices interoperating with a ubiquitous cloud of computer mediated information and services. We don’t even perceive most of the computers we interact with. They are an invisible and indispensable part of our everyday life.

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Slide Bite: Transitional Technologies

April 15, 2016

A transitional technology is a technology that emerges as a computing era settles into maturity and which is a precursor to the successor era. Transitional technologies are firmly rooted in the “old” era but also contain important elements of the “new” era. It’s easy to think that what we experience using transitional technologies is what […]

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Slide Bite: Computing Eras Aren’t About Hardware

April 14, 2016

Computing “generations” used to be defined by changing computer hardware. Not anymore. The evolution of computing hardware (and software) technologies may enable the transition to a new era of computing. But it isn’t the hardware that really defines such an era. Instead, a new computing era emerges when hardware and software innovations result in fundamental […]

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An Experiment: Slide Bites

April 14, 2016

Over the last several years, a lot of my ideas about the future of computing have emerged as I prepared talks and presentations for various venues. For such talks, I usually try to illustrate each key idea with an evocative slide. I’ve been reviewing some of these presentations for material that I should blog about. […]

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Redux | The Third Era of Computing

March 21, 2016

In 2011 I wrote a blog post where I present the big picture model I use for thinking about what some people were calling the “post-PC computing era”. Since then I’ve written other related posts, given talks,  and had conversations with many people.  Time appears to be validating my model so it seems like a […]

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Working Outside the Blue Bubble

May 6, 2013

I written before about a transition period to a new era of computing. Earlier this month I gave a keynote talk at the Front-Trends conference in Warsaw.  In preparing this talk I discovered a very interesting graphic created by Asymco for an article about the Rise and Fall of Personal Computing.   It was so […]

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