Software

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Changing tech values

Vital technologies seem to come and go faster and faster...

Written at London Heathrow airport and dispatched to silicon.com from a hotel in Nice, France, via a free wi-fi service offering serious bandwidth

Not so long ago all we had was the telephone, radio and TV. Today we also have the internet, mobiles, email, text, instant messaging and social networks. So here is a simple question: if you could have only four of those nine facilities, which of them would you be prepared to give up?

For me the telephone, radio and TV could go instantly, without even a second thought. They occupy an insignificant part of my attention and are of ever-decreasing value.

But after that it becomes more difficult. I don't think I could live without my mobile, text messaging or the internet. What about email and social networking? Right now email wins, but social networks are coming up very fast.

Of course most youngsters are ahead of me and see instant messaging and email as so yesterday. For them social networks are the focal point of their attention.

Think for a moment about which technologies really matter to you. What's your take? And remember to consider this question again when you get video conferencing that really works.

It seems to me our technology journey has only just started and we have a long, long way to go. Like Morse code, telegrams and Telex before them, a lot of today's hot technologies will eventually fade in importance.

About Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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