With our constant proximity to technology, much of the world imagines Silicon Valleyites all walking around looking at things while little bubbles of information pop up, quite literally in front of our faces, behind our nifty, techie eyewear. While this is not reality, we may actually be closer to that than we think.
One company, DeepLocal, highlighted their recent projects involving robotics, innovative devices and most importantly, a new way of thinking about doing things. They strongly believe in using simple resources around them to make brilliantly innovative tools. Nathan Martin, Founder and CEO of DeepLocal, explained the company mission: to create products that have a purpose. His belief is that most companies and people think about how to improve technology to be cooler or better, where he and his co-workers think about building things as a solution to a problem. Will what I create solve a problem? That is where they start.
Chaulkbot, a chaulk printing tool, traveled the streets for the tour De France, printing inspirational tweets on the road for the bikers to read as they rode. That was just one of their projects for a company you may be familiar with – Nike.
Another panelist spoke about the power of advanced eyewear similar to Google glasses which is already being used by the military. These glasses allow incredible amounts of information to be shared within the sight of a user. Advanced eyewear will offer the user information about locations, transportation times, faces and even company logos.
Not only were robotics and fancy eyewear up for discussion, so were other wearable technologies like fitbits, personal devices to track caloric burn, BMI, weight and other realtime metrics. By 2016, it was predicted 1 in 5 people will be wearing a tracking device similar to these. And if we did not use a purpose built fitness tracker, we might just do it right from our mobile phones.
So while a big chunk of the world looks at Silicon Valley and thinks – “Wow, how times have changed!” based on what I saw at SHOP.org last week, there are lots of us out there looking at the world thinking that things are changing faster than ever and the future it destined to be a wild ride.