Monday, July 24, 2006

Time tracking as one of the earliest ubiquitous technologies

I've been wondering for some time how personal computers will evolve in the sense of becoming ubiquitous. I thought of another example of technology that evolved to be ubiquitous that could make a nice comparison.
Here's the paralelism: let's compare time tracking technologies with computers and let's see if we can draw some conclusions.

When time started to be measured for the first times, it was done by external huge devices (for instance stone constructions that together with the sun would track time).
Eventually humans slowely but surely got to have a big clock per city, and later one in each house (that does sound familiar ;), and of course most of the people ended up having one on their pocket first and their wrist lastly (for now ... but who knows what's next). It makes sense that it'll mesh up in evolution with other devices when them as well become ubiquitous.

From this evolution I think we can expect computers to follow a similar path of evolution, as intuition and market already show. Eventually computers will become physically attached to our bodies and we'll even sleep, shower, etc. with one close by. Computers will actually go much farther with neural comunication to be implanted into our heads or bodies or plugged somehow anyway to have a seamless operation with our brains, visual devices, and who knows what else ...

It'd be interesting to get some historic dates and accuracy, I'll ask some people or wikipedia ;)
Especifically, measuring the evolution of time tracking might shed some light as well on how accelerated evolution is today comparing those timeframes with timeframes for computers to become ubiquitous.
It'd be interesting as well to think of previous ubiquitous technologies and posterior as well. Maybe money would be another example? All of them start as a physicall thing that end up being digital and ubiquitous.

It looks like becoming ubiquitous is a standard characteristic of technology, a natural path for complexity and evolution. Mhh ... I wonder if there are a set of such characteristics that we could find ...

3 comments:

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