Explaining Future Technology

Andy Ihnatko said something in this week’s episode of MacVoices that really got me thinking about my life as a technologist. The episode, linked to above, focused on the Apple Watch and similar smartwatches on the market.

Starting at 43:42 of the episode, Mr. Ihnatko starts talking about explaining technology to those that don’t understand it or have never used it. Here’s the best part, in my opinion:

The other analogy is the comparison to Graphical User Interfaces… You don’t realize how bad you had it until you get to try something different from [what you are used to].

-Andy Ihnatko, 45:11, MacVoices #14204: Adam Engst, Andy Ihnatko and Jason Snell on The Pebble and the Smartwatch Future

I find that this resonated with me because I was the person in my family and group of friends who was considered an early adopter and the question is always, You have X, why do you need Y?” This question will undoubtedly come up again with the discussion of smartwatches. Why do you need a smartwatch when you have a phone, fitness tracker, normal watch, etc.? My answer is always contingent on the person asking the question understanding the capabilities of the device in question and/or the intricacies of the greater technological landscape in which this device finds itself.

Moving forward, my answer for technologies in their mass market infancy should probably be, I’ll let you know when I have one.”

Posted: October 10, 2014

In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.

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