I don’t watch a lot of TV. No time really. But there are two shows that I watch when I can. “Person of Interest” and “Hawaii Five-O”. If you are in the tech space, I suggest you check these shows out. Why? Because I think they give you a sense of where two major tech trends are headed. Naturally, Hollywood takes liberties with technology realities, but the potential for Big Data in Person of Interest and the use of surface technologies (ie tables and walls as tablets) in Hawaii Five-O are reasonable examples of where those technologies are headed.
We are talking a lot about Big Data these days. The Person of Interest show reveals a what-if scenario for the good and bad in harnessing Big Data. But, in addition to the TV show, the concepts of Big Data highlight two discussion points. First, with reference to Gelernter’s Mirror Worlds and the concept of LifeStreams, it seems that the cornerstone of this concept will be the harnessing of Big Data. By “harnessing” I mean the software intelligence necessary to collate and correlate your personal, professional, private, public and social information in a manner that is relevant and contextual as needed. Not just from a PC or a tablet, but from a myriad of devices that over time have more intelligence incorporated into their existing objects (back to the Internet of Things). Obviously this requires more intelligence “printed” on to more objects (see previous post for a crazy idea), but the Person of Interest show begins to give you a sense for how that might naturally evolve.
Second, In a recent forum, I suggested that the “cloud” that everyone is talking about is not the end game in and of itself. Yes, it drives down IT costs. Yes, it creates agility for corporations. But that is just the beginning. The cloud is that aggregator of chunks of big data, borne from the internet of things, that once intelligently harnessed can – potentially – become the breeding ground for the next wave of technology induced economic growth.
That brings me to the next TV show – Hawaii Five-O. Putting aside for a moment that I cannot comprehend how a police department could afford the technology shown in Hawaii Five-O, the use of surface interface technology is impressive, and intriguing. We know today that most of what they show works. For example there are wine bars in NYC (e.g. Adour) that are using surface technologies today. Moore’s law, among others, will drive down the cost, but why not come from the other direction. Why not take the concept of the tablet today, and apply the technology to more surfaces, not just tables in a wine bar, or conference room tables in a police station. Yes there is a huge opportunity for tablet growth, but I find it intriguing that it appears everyone is “chasing the iPad” rather than leveraging the tablet technologies (hardware and software) into more of the everyday devices that are part of our everyday lives. Perhaps an interim step between today’s tablets and tomorrow’s augmented reality?
So, can Person of Interest and Hawaii Five-O give us a flavor for what Big Data and next gen tablets/surface technologies will be doing for us in the next year or two? Is that where the puck will be in two years, and should we be skating there, instead of where the puck is today?