It's Time for Our Tech Devices to Get SmarterBy Samuel Greengard | Posted 2014-05-02 Email Print
Most of us are incredibly busy, and having to manage all our tech devices is not making our lives easier. Let's hope computer technology gets smarter very soon.
Although the IQ of the average digital device has risen significantly over the past few years, IT systems and devices still need to get a lot smarter. Let's face it, phones ring, ding and buzz at embarrassing or inopportune moments, such as at a child's music recital or when we're taking a nap. They blow through battery power obliviously—even at times when we don't need certain features, such as Bluetooth.
Meanwhile, the navigation system in my car often suggests a route that is longer, slower and more congested. It doesn't alter the route based on congestion or weather conditions. Yet, even if could do those things, it would provide only incremental gains because the system doesn't manage all cars and optimize everyone's routing.
Kulveer Taggar, CEO of mobile app firm Agent, is among those attempting to provide solutions to some of these challenges. His company has introduced a capability for Android phones that detects a low battery and automatically puts the device into power conservation mode. Another features enables the phone to sense when you're sleeping so it doesn't disturb you.
In the future, Taggar predicts that phones will alert users when someone important is nearby and will recognize when we're stressed and offer ways to relax. Of course, Taggar has a vested interest in the concept, but that doesn't mean he isn't on to something important.
Another problem is that help menus are a disaster. It's easier to search for the solution on Google or Bing. In addition, search tools at most Websites are atrocious. Back to Google or Bing. I'm not sure why a third-party search tool works better, but that's a discussion for another day.
It's clear to most of us that software programs need to understand context much better. And Websites need to understand how we browse, how we click, how we search and how we shop for things.
In the future, IT systems, phone, tablets and other tech devices need to have much better algorithms and sensing capabilities. This means that if you're in a car, the smartphone automatically switches to voice input. If you're at a restaurant, it automatically adjusts to vibrate mode. If you're taking a nap or running for a plane, it shuts up.
Devices need to listen and learn our behavior. They must learn to recognize our specific habits and preferences.
Most of us are already swamped and overwhelmed, and having to manage all our tech devices is not making our lives any easier. Let's hope computer technology gets smarter very soon.