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Photo of two old Mac Quadra towers to make a bench.

Ambient Computing and the Future

We haven’t seen much new tech in about 10 years. Sure, many items have improved over time but not much,”Wow! What’s that?” kind of innovation. You want to know why? New tech is working hard to integrate into our lives by injecting tech into products we already know.

Many everyday products now include some sort of artificial intelligence, augmented and/or virtual reality; robotics and some can even be worn.

“This is ambient computing, the transformation of the environment all around us with intelligence and capabilities that don’t seem to be there at all.” – Walt Mossberg

Turning off my brain when I’m trying to sleep can be a challenge. Especially when I’m working on a project I’m excited about. When I was working in Social Media my thoughts would frequently be in the form of a short 48-character post. “I almost brushed my teeth with body lotion”, and “Women walk into rooms and forget what they are looking for 3 out of 5 times a day”.

Facebook announced they are working on a way to use the brain to type which is great; however what I’m more excited about is being able to SAVE that typed out thought and move on. Normally if I come up with an idea I don’t want to lose I later have to deal with all these little notes scattered everywhere, and the light of turning on my phone or laptop wakes me up too much to fall asleep again.

The goal is to avoid pushing buttons, touching controls, speaking commands or tripping over wires.

Before, tech’s goal was to make practices discreet. To look up information on the web in your own home, instead of going to the library for instance. What’s gotten better over time is cleaning around a smart phone takes less time and space than a desktop tower, screen and mouse pad.

I realize many worry about privacy. If our thoughts can be read, what if they can be changed? I personally think if thoughts can be changed easily why do we need so many psychiatrist, therapy sessions and counseling? I don’t think we will lack stubborn thoughts anytime soon.

I do think security, when using ambient computing, is an area that needs much work and inclusion now and in the future. People are social by nature; so finding a way to keep and discover new relationships while still being safe is a delicate balance that will always need to be addressed.

If you’re a gadget lover like me, put down your phone and think about going somewhere without having to remember to bring: your wallet, purse, phone, keys, tablet, power cord, laptop, pen, or tape measure. Ah! Kind of relaxing isn’t it?

Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn

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