Technology, real time and you

Something new is happening.

Never before have we, the general population, been able to step back and watch the spread of technology as it occurs.

The ability to view the extension of different technologies has usually come long after their introduction into mass culture.

The maps of the proliferation of the printing press, the telephone, automobile, television, air travel, moving pictures, and computers were usually made available well after these technologies were already being used by large numbers of people. Even now, many of us have never seen or thought about what those maps might look like, nor have we had the tools to chart the different ways these technologies changed elements of human activity and interaction.

This information has historically been kept within the small circles of academic, scientific or product researchers.

That can all be different now.

Today, because of the massive production of creative data, those of us who have access to the internet can watch the movement of technology unfold right before our very eyes.

Let me show you one example of what I mean, a spectacular digital map that was built to show the rapid unfolding of the communication technology “Android”.

It might first be helpful have a bit of background.

Android is an open source operating system for mobile devices currently owned by Google Inc.

The Android operating system is a stack or combination of technologies: an operating system, applications and middleware (middleware provides connectivity between individual software applications). The basic goal of this technology stack is to achieve fast, smooth and easy data transmission for people using mobile devices.

The Android mobile operating system is used for smartphones, netbooks and tablets. The first phone using this system was released in late 2008, producing a ripple of activity around the globe—the beginning, very probably, of a profound change in the tools humans use to communicate

And for the first time in history, you and I can watch this change occur.

The very short video that follows is a moving map, in fast time, of Android mobile devices being activated by people around the world from late 2008 to early 2011—a three-minute light show that condenses twenty-six months of the expansion of a new communication technology. First we get global view, then North America, then Europe, then Asia.

Take a look here or on the screen below.

Pretty spectacular, right? After watching this moving map, we can easily imagine increasing numbers of people standing on top of our round earth holding their new tools. All engaged in different types of activities.

This view of the rapid spread of a new communication technology is dramatic, and it is only a partial view. There are a handful of other companies with similar technologies that, if combined on the same map, would represent even more people engaging in a new type of activity.

All of our projects depend on communication, and all of our communication efforts need strategies.

Never in history have we had this kind of opportunity to see, to reflect and to position ourselves using maps that illuminate significant changes that are occurring right now, and that also show us the probable trends for the future.

Depending on your particular project vision and goals, perhaps there is a strategy waiting to be developed.

Above all, there is an opportunity for awareness in the very moment that a technology that will affect us all is spreading across the human landscape.

Not years or decades later. But in real time.

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