I have over 1000 books, and not on my kindle. They are old fashioned paper backs, hardcovers, some special editions and a few I made my own. Some are dark and I was frightened when I read them. Some others were just precious and I still read them every now and them. I don’t dust them as I should, as there is something romantic and unpredictable yet expectable in dusty books.
Let’s linger there a bit, on that last sentence: there is something one expects out of non-digital stuff. It might be a romantic motion, lingering in those things one can still touch and respond differently to our senses. It still surprises me to open a book and discover a different font being used other than Book Antiqua, Garamond or Times New Roman.
I am also slightly allergic to dust, yet I bare with it because it coats my books, reminds me of the fact that decay is always there and only I can keep it away by cleaning those books. I haven’t done so in some time but I will eventually. That’s something I like to do, move my books, touch them.
This morning I read that fitbit is going public, and there’s been some concern about it’s pre-IPO scenario and what might be either a brilliant future or a gamble. They are not alone though, and this might have not been a decision they would have made themselves if there wasn’t an enormous pressure on wearables today. Oh, in case you don’t know what fitbit is just click here to visit their website. As I said, they are not alone. Other manufacturers are looking at them and betting on this movement of their own.
A wearable device today but something you wear that connects through some wireless technology to another device, which at the same time might store or beam some information up into another iteration of itself or a “mother-storage-ship” within “The Cloud” or as my generation formerly knew it, “The Internet”. These wearable devices are meant for one thing: to extend the use of your senses and collect information on them so it can be processed somehow for whatever reason.
When I look around these days, I can see a lot of people wearing these devices as a natural thing. We have assimilated them easily enough. I know people who wear not one but at least two or three devices if you consider their smart phones as one of them. If you take fitbit as an example, you can see that we’re at that point where growth is still exponential for this type of Technology. Great momentum for wearables inventors.
These are now becoming a more trending topic everywhere, even hotter than the Internet of Things and Big Data. There’s a runner-up though, if we consider AI / Computer Learning another trending topic, only it’s not yet as hot. It’s still not clear to the general public why AI is so important or how they can consume it. It’s still not clear if there will something they can consume other than a few toys for children and funny gadgets.
That’s what happened with books some time ago…probably a few centuries all the way up to this day. They became easy to acquire, read, treasure and even regain their value by selling or trading them. Yet books keep their allure…as it is the content that makes them precious, the kind of connection you make with them or the impact those words have on you.
If only Iron Man’s suit was possible, we would be in front of the Ultimate Wearable, we could discuss an evolution. Wearables stop being interesting as they become outdated…yet one keeps them, as old books up to the point where we don’t use them anymore. Yet books, no matter how old, remain there with all their personality and reminiscence of the times when you read them. Something unique that even today Technology hasn’t been able to replace.
What will Technology do to take the next jump? With fewer and riskier investments in Space and Aero Tech or even Medicine we are aware of, and most Technology manufacturers focusing more and more in end users and their ways of consuming, it seems that the Tech bubble is only getting bigger and thicker, which makes it more important to question what will be next.
There are many fronts were Technology has already taken huge leaps but are they big or significant enough as Gutemberg’s invention was, or are they just big revenue pools for those who manufacture it? Think of medical devices as an example (which are the origin of wearables like fitbit today). How close are we, of massively producing devices that help prevent some of the most common diseases out there, like the simple cold? Or think of the Moon and how long it’s been since we visited it. Think of the power that AI and Big Data could harness to save our planet from Ecological disaster. Think of holographic images, which are still not a reality. Think of how far we are….and how close we can be.
Only when it does or when it creates something as powerful, as lasting and human as books will it advance us to the next step of evolution: when some technology we build becomes as simple to understand and take with one as books did.
But what that step is, I must say, is not yet clear to me.