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Brown Bag Briefing offers insight into the future of IT

Posted in December 2013

brown-bag-lunch.logoBrownBag.Nov 8The inaugural Brown Bag Briefing, a new informational resource for Kona-Kohala Chamber members, was offered November 8 at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Titled “Trends and Changes in Technology,” the program was presented by Rick Casey. For the past 22 years, Casey has been actively involved in the computer business in Waimea, both in maintenance and repair, as well as counseling on hardware and software.

Casey opened with a look back at the development of information technology, or IT as it is commonly referred to.

“The Information Age coincides with the evolution of computer technology as it takes a computer’s inexhaustible processing and storage capabilities to collect and categorize huge volumes of information,” noted Casey. He shared it was identified in 1982 that the primary factors driving this new age were convenience and user-friendliness, which in turn, created user dependence. Computer networking then provided the sharing of electronic information across the populace.

With the release of Windows 95, followed by Netscape 2.0, the world was opened up via the Internet and the general public was now “connected.”

Casey provided a sample of what is considered the norm, made possible by IT:

  • Streaming of media, i.e. books, film, music, etc.
  • Connected auto technicians
  • Health and legal data
  • Maps are GPS systems
  • Manufacturing is performed by robotics
  • Military drones
  • Physiotherapy, athletic and business management decisions guided by information analytics
  • Descriptions, inventory and delivery of goods and services

Cloud Computing is the latest advancement and offers “cloud storage” away from the hard drive. Examples of cloud storage include iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft Sky Drive and Amazon Drive. SaaS, or Software as a Service examples include Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365. How will this change us for the future?

BrownBag.Nov 2Casey said current IT companies may become online service providers, selling consumer packages of services and storage. Phone companies as we know them now will need to change to remain competitive, looking at fiber optic cables to replace the cooper wire service utilized now.

The latest trend, ubiquitous computing, also described as ‘pervasive computing,’ is computing available everywhere and anywhere. This type of computing can occur using any device, in any location, and in any format. The user interacts with a computer, which can exist in many different forms, such as laptop computers, tablets, terminals and phones.

According to Casey, we’re already utilizing “haptic technology,” the science of touch. Now consider hands-free touchscreens, enhanced headphones that allow one to “feel the sound,” and textual online shopping.

Nanotechnology will bring about miniaturized supercomputers. Nanomedicine will offer new and more effective drug compounds, better diagnostics, DNA sizing and sequencing, bioelectronics and antibacterial dressings and coatings. We are already experiencing improved and enhanced medical care with online access to records, patient visits and test results. Imaging results go directly to the physician from the scanner with no film or files to be transferred. Safe and reliable in-home health care will be available with linked-in telemedicine consults with doctors and nurses.

BrownBag.Nov 6Perhaps most intriguing is the idea of “driverless cars” and “self-driving pod cars” that will bring autonomous cars to the masses. Another exciting futuristic idea also becoming a reality is 3D printing. This idea could change the face of imports/exports by eliminating the need for low cost labor.

Casey’s take away for the session? “Don’t ignore the changes in information technology. This isn’t a train you can stop. But I would advise avoiding version one of anything new.”

Watch for the next Brown Bag Briefing, which will focus on understanding the legislative process, scheduled for January.

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  • Posted in: December 2013