February 19, 2013

This is the future

Last night I walked past a bus stop after checking that the next bus was in 6 minutes and that it would be better to walk to the junction 400m further down the road to take another bus from there.

But how did I check this? (I did not check the cardboard route table for sure and this was not one of the stops with the live digital display.) In steps, I:
  • Pulled out from my pocket a device with four times the screen resolution of my first PC and the computing power of a full room of gear not that many years before that
  • Started and began using an app in less than ten seconds
  • Pressed "Nearby stops"
  • Got real time data on the whereabouts of the bus while still walking past the bus stop
So even if there is a lack of flying cars, this is the future we were thinking about as kids - I am pretty sure of it. And it was only after walking hundred meters past the bus stop I did the reflections leading to this blog post, so it felt like a very natural and non-advanced use of technology. Almost Ubiquitous, if wanting to buzzwordify this post a bit...

Being a technology optimist, I think this everyday observation gives hope that we will find both useful and entertaining ways of using technology in the months and years to come. We have seen nothing yet.


  1. Just for the record, I do not find the use of technology behind the example stunning or amazing (in fact they are very straightforward and I make apps publishing tools, among a few other things, for a living and should know). It is how it had become natural in my everyday use (and that it "just works" in combination with real time data available) that struck me as somewhat amazing. Or maybe it was only because it was a Monday in February and anything other than grey skies and slush-filled pavements seemed amazing by comparison... :-)