Monthly Archives: May 2016

What Is the Relevance of Technology

“Technology in the long-run is irrelevant”. That is what a customer of mine told me when I made a presentation to him about a new product. I had been talking about the product’s features and benefits and listed “state-of-the-art technology” or something to that effect, as one of them. That is when he made his statement. I realized later that he was correct, at least within the context of how I used “Technology” in my presentation. But I began thinking about whether he could be right in other contexts as well.

What is Technology?

Merriam-Webster defines it as:

1

a: the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area: engineering 2 <medical technology>

b: a capability given by the practical application of knowledge <a car’s fuel-saving technology>

2

: a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge

3

: the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor <educational technology>

Wikipedia defines it as:

Technology (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, cunning of hand”; and -λογία, -logia[1]) is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include construction technology, medical technology, and information technology.

Both definitions revolve around the same thing – application and usage.

Technology is an enabler

Many people mistakenly believe it is technology which drives innovation. Yet from the definitions above, that is clearly not the case. It is opportunity which defines innovation and technology which enables innovation. Think of the classic “Build a better mousetrap” example taught in most business schools. You might have the technology to build a better mousetrap, but if you have no mice or the old mousetrap works well, there is no opportunity and then the technology to build a better one becomes irrelevant. On the other hand, if you are overrun with mice then the opportunity exists to innovate a product using your technology.

Another example, one with which I am intimately familiar, are consumer electronics startup companies. I’ve been associated with both those that succeeded and those that failed. Each possessed unique leading edge technologies. The difference was opportunity. Those that failed could not find the opportunity to develop a meaningful innovation using their technology. In fact to survive, these companies had to morph oftentimes into something totally different and if they were lucky they could take advantage of derivatives of their original technology. More often than not, the original technology wound up in the scrap heap. Technology, thus, is an enabler whose ultimate value proposition is to make improvements to our lives. In order to be relevant, it needs to be used to create innovations that are driven by opportunity.

Technology as a competitive advantage?

Many companies list a technology as one of their competitive advantages. Is this valid? In some cases yes, but In most cases no.

Technology develops along two paths – an evolutionary path and a revolutionary path.

A revolutionary technology is one which enables new industries or enables solutions to problems that were previously not possible. Semiconductor technology is a good example. Not only did it spawn new industries and products, but it spawned other revolutionary technologies – transistor technology, integrated circuit technology, microprocessor technology. All which provide many of the products and services we consume today. But is semiconductor technology a competitive advantage? Looking at the number of semiconductor companies that exist today (with new ones forming every day), I’d say not. How about microprocessor technology? Again, no. Lots of microprocessor companies out there. How about quad core microprocessor technology? Not as many companies, but you have Intel, AMD, ARM, and a host of companies building custom quad core processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, etc). So again, not much of a competitive advantage. Competition from competing technologies and easy access to IP mitigates the perceived competitive advantage of any particular technology. Android vs iOS is a good example of how this works. Both operating systems are derivatives of UNIX. Apple used their technology to introduce iOS and gained an early market advantage. However, Google, utilizing their variant of Unix (a competing technology), caught up relatively quickly. The reasons for this lie not in the underlying technology, but in how the products made possible by those technologies were brought to market (free vs. walled garden, etc.) and the differences in the strategic visions of each company.

Evolutionary technology is one which incrementally builds upon the base revolutionary technology. But by it’s very nature, the incremental change is easier for a competitor to match or leapfrog. Take for example wireless cellphone technology. Company V introduced 4G products prior to Company A and while it may have had a short term advantage, as soon as Company A introduced their 4G products, the advantage due to technology disappeared. The consumer went back to choosing Company A or Company V based on price, service, coverage, whatever, but not based on technology. Thus technology might have been relevant in the short term, but in the long term, became irrelevant.

In today’s world, technologies tend to quickly become commoditized, and within any particular technology lies the seeds of its own death.

Technology’s Relevance

This article was written from the prospective of an end customer. From a developer/designer standpoint things get murkier. The further one is removed from the technology, the less relevant it becomes. To a developer, the technology can look like a product. An enabling product, but a product nonetheless, and thus it is highly relevant. Bose uses a proprietary signal processing technology to enable products that meet a set of market requirements and thus the technology and what it enables is relevant to them. Their customers are more concerned with how it sounds, what’s the price, what’s the quality, etc., and not so much with how it is achieved, thus the technology used is much less relevant to them.

Recently, I was involved in a discussion on Google+ about the new Motorola X phone. A lot of the people on those posts slammed the phone for various reasons – price, locked boot loader, etc. There were also plenty of knocks on the fact that it didn’t have a quad-core processor like the S4 or HTC One which were priced similarly. What they failed to grasp is that whether the manufacturer used 1, 2, 4, or 8 cores in the end makes no difference as long as the phone can deliver a competitive (or even best of class) feature set, functionality, price, and user experience. The iPhone is one of the most successful phones ever produced, and yet it runs on a dual-core processor. It still delivers one of the best user experiences on the market. The features that are enabled by the technology are what are relevant to the consumer, not the technology itself.

The relevance of technology therefore, is as an enabler, not as a product feature or a competitive advantage, or any myriad of other things – an enabler. Looking at the Android operating system, it is an impressive piece of software technology, and yet Google gives it away. Why? Because standalone, it does nothing for Google. Giving it away allows other companies to use their expertise to build products and services which then act as enablers for Google’s products and services. To Google, that’s where the real value is.

The possession of or access to a technology is only important for what it enables you to do – create innovations which solve problems. That is the real relevance of technology.

Did you know you can add more fingerprints to your phone Here s how

Most top-end smartphones, and even some low-end models, come with a fingerprint scanner these days.

Last year, the fingerprint sensor stopped being a gimmick and started becoming one of the most useful parts of a modern smartphone. From keeping your phone secure to authenticating payments, the one-touch fingerprint sensor has numerous advantages over a pin code – but only when it works. There are few things more frustrating than repeatedly touching your finger tip only to have it refuse to unlock.

But what most people don’t realise is that the fingerprint scanner on most smartphones and tablets can recognise up to five fingers.

In the initial setup of the phone, it will run you through registering one digit and then say you can register more now, or skip. Most hit skip, trying to run through the setup routine as fast as possible. It’s understandable, but registering more than one finger makes using the scanner a lot easier and more convenient.

If one finger is wet or sticky, use the other. Register fingers on different hands so you can unlock the phone with either hand. Use a thumb for unlocking it in your hand, but an index finger to unlock it on your desk. You can even register someone else’s fingerprint – a partner for instance – although the terms and conditions for some applications, including Android Pay, specifically prohibit digits from others being registered on your device for obvious reasons.

To register an extra finger or four, all you have to do is find the security settings for the fingerprint scanner and run the setup routine for a new finger, which normally takes less than a minute.

Android

On an Android device running Lollipop, Marshmallow or N, head to Settings -> Security -> Fingerprint and then start the routine to add another fingerprint. You may be asked for your pin or passcode before registering a new fingerprint.

iOS

For iPhone or iPad users head to the Settings app -> Touch ID & Passcode -> Enter your pin or passcode -> Add a Fingerprint. That will start the Touch ID registration for another finger.

With most devices, tapping the fingerprint sensor with a pre-registered finger when viewing the list of fingerprints currently registered will identify which fingerprint corresponds to which entry.

Technology Public Relations Firms Have to Accentuate The Positive Aspects of Technology

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Today’s technological achievements truly are astounding. The things that we can do with great ease today would have confounded and perplexed previous generations. It would have been quite a shock for a denizen of the Middle Ages or from Feudal Japan to walk into a modern day electronics store. More than likely, these individuals would stand mouths agape at the twinkling wonders that seem sound bountiful. They would have a hard time comprehending many of the devices’ purposes, let alone know how to use it. It is sobering however, to think that a few hundred years time, future generations will think that way about the current generation. They will view whatever future wonders lie ahead, such as teleportation, commercial space travel, time travel, or perhaps jetpacks, as commonplace and would have a hard time thinking about how they would live without them. But that is neither here nor there, as all that is pertinent is that in this day and age, technological advancements are happening on a daily basis and are quite astounding.

But with each new science or even sometimes with each new household appliance, there comes a certain amount of skepticism or doubt regarding a new technology. People start to wonder if they actually need whatever brand new innovation has just been released to the general public. Others may decide to take a decidedly more hostile approach when dealing with new technological achievements. Some segments of the population may regard certain advancements as morally reprehensible, and should never have been pursued in the first place. This is a common occurrence that has taken place far too many times throughout the course of human existence. With the advent of stem cell research, organ transplants, and abortions, some people have resisted the natural forward progression of human science in favor of a narrow minded and decidedly short sighted approach to dealing with problems the world faces. This is precisely why so many research firms have employed the services of a highly skilled and fully qualified firm that specializes in the field of technology public relations.

A highly skilled and fully qualified firm that specializes in the field of technology public relations can help research companies sell their products to the masses, but not in a traditional advertising or marketing sense. Rather, a highly skilled and fully qualified firm that specializes in the field of technology public relations can help shape public opinion with regard to their clients’ needs. For example, if a technology public relations firm is employed by a company that conducts stem cell research, then that technology public relations firm has to do everything in its considerable power to protect their client’s reputation and fight the mountains of bad press that a controversial practice such as stem cell research can generate. Technology public relations firms have to let the public know that the good outweigh the bad, and they have to ensure that their clients are not marred by scandal. It is in this way that a highly skilled and fully qualified firm that specializes in the field of technology public relations can help their clients achieve their goals in science and business. All too often, good research falls pretty to the prejudices of an ill- informed public. It is therefore the duty of a highly skilled and fully qualified firm that specializes in the field of technology public relations to ensure that this does not happen so researchers can keep looking for the next breakthrough.

Seeking Out Equipped And Proficient Technology Professional Services Providers

Technology professional services can be viewed as among the topmost priorities of several companies these days. A company which works in the information technology market is able to do much better whenever it has the assistance of professionals that quickly offers what it needs and performs together with its aims. Years ago, information technology was treated as a tactical differentiator. Now, it has developed to become a crucial component of business. Nonetheless, because of its sophisticated nature, several organizations can’t seem to maintain the system as well as the need to be ahead of transition as a result of a consistent stream of adjustments along with upgrades. By far the most functional method to fix these challenges is to give the reins over to an outside expert.

Outsourcing the IT element of an enterprise can provide key benefits to the company. For small enterprises specifically, dealing with technology is not a premier consideration. Its primary focus is always to efficiently run its core business. By outsourcing this particular job, they are able to keep on with their major business tasks and leave the technology components to professionals. Determining the right IT specialists allows an organization to get cost savings over the long term. This can also be the huge difference between coping with crisis scenarios and moving forward ahead for progress.

How to find technology professional services

Acquiring good IT solutions companies may be attained in several means.

* Word of mouth. Talk to customers and vendors along with relatives and buddies with regards to their It requirements and where they go to whenever they need to have suggestions about technology. They generally offer ideas and referrals basing on their personal experience.

* Search on the internet. Use the internet and look up keywords like “IT services” or “tech support” to come up with a listing of possible service providers. Pare down the listing to service providers whose offerings match with the company needs.

* Use a business-to-business directory. This could provide a listing of IT specialists that provide solutions that the firm specifically requires. Using this directory can aid in locating firms that offer different IT services like on-site help support, optimization alternatives as well as technology managed services, to name a handful.

Things to consider when choosing an IT services company

There are plenty of factors to take into consideration when in the act of picking a best suited technology services supplier. Listed below are on the list of top considerations:

* Effectiveness in offering IT services. Take a look at the company’s background and customer referrals. All these should offer clear clues on how they are doing with regards to offering their offerings.

* Accessibility to tools and resources. For the IT service provider to be effective in its performance, it should have the correct applications, resources and programs on hand to be able to offer required services. Evaluate their method in repairing problems, taking care of changes and their techniques in efficiently coping with their help desk.

* Economical service plans. Assess the service plans presented by the IT specialist. Seriously consider the deal regarding service levels. Choose mainly the solutions and applications which will be beneficial to your company. The Service Level Agreement must plainly go along well with with the company’s company needs. An IT professional who is able to present a long-term program with matching, satisfactory spending budget approximations is worth an attempt.

By way of outsourcing to a suitable technology professional services professional, a company can benefit from their expertise and capability to maintain the technology side of the business in good shape. With this aspect in good hands, the organization can set about its principal goal of operating its primary business. And with the competent as well as productive aid of a skilled and reliable IT solutions professional, the frequent worry about the continuity of the business will then end up being eliminated.