Design in Technology and Everything Else

ght-designintechnologyWe often take design for granted. Well, we shouldn’t. It’s important to realize the attention to detail that is taken to make products perfect. Everything is thought about. Design is the reason one button on a smartphone was placed two millimeters to the left, and it’s the reason some products make it while others don’t. More than anything, change in approaches to design is what develops technology the most. For example, the creation of laptops that could flap open like a notebook revolutionized computing, making PC’s portable.

There are two principles I see in design: functionality and aesthetic, which often go hand in hand. In technology, these are the most important qualities of successful products. Here are a few rules that make design successful.

  • Eliminating distractions. If something isn’t necessary and doesn’t serve to further the purpose of the object being designed the only thing it does is detract from the objective. This is why there is a huge emphasis on “clean” design.
  • Design is an art, not art. When designing, the focus should be primarily on the function of an object, not the aesthetic. Making something look good is secondary and usually comes in later. Now, don’t get me wrong, making things look pretty still counts for something. It just shouldn’t get in the way.
  • Simplicity is complexity. Figuring out how to design something as focused on the goal as possible is difficult. The ultimate goal is to have something appear simple, even if the method of getting to that state is difficult and complex.
  • Attraction. A product that is designed well can have all the above, yet not be successful if it doesn’t catch the eye. A little bit of color and creative design never hurt as long as functionality isn’t hindered. However, it is important to remember what the goal is: the space shuttle just had to get people into space safely, it’s looks weren’t a priority.

No matter what the product is–a shoe, a website, a chair or phone–these are the principles I use to judge the design of a product, and ultimately it’s quality. Altogether, focus on design is probably the most important feature of any product.

Most People Don’t Care About Wearable Technology, Despite the Hype

Tech companies come and go. Sometimes very fast due to the nature of this ever changing industry. When critics begin to charge companies with a lack of innovation, they are basically predicting these companies’ imminent demise. This makes the tech guys scared.

So what do they do? They try to innovate. That’s why there’s all this hype around wearable technology, devices that can be worn like a watch or glasses. “It’s the future” they tell me. “I don’t care” says the average consumer. I agree: wearable tech is the future, but consumers aren’t ready to invest in it.

Now, let me get something clear, I’m not saying I don’t like wearable tech. If I could get my hands on some Google Glass I would literally go insane. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, a touch screen watch that connects to Samsung smartphones, would be incredible. I would love these devices but the average consumer these companies rely on doesn’t care.

By being “innovative” and creating wearable technology, tech companies that are feeling old and out of date are trying to get back in the game, but they aren’t doing it the right way.

What these companies need to do is make wearable tech realistic in people’s minds. Wearable technology has to start off really simple. For example, Samsung’s new smart watch has voice recognition, can take phone calls, and even has a camera. With a 1.6 inch screen, most people will find so much stuff unrealistic and inapplicable in their lives. Definitely not worth the 299$ dent it will make in someone’s wallet.

Instead, I would recommend a watch that can only do a couple things that are simple yet extremely helpful. A smartwatch that can simply check emails and answer calls would be the perfect step into wearable tech for most consumers. Between $100 and $150 it could also become an instant hit. People could imagine having such a device, and it could make their lives easier, as innovative and powerful technology should.

What IS Technology? It’s history, present, and future.

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We throw the word technology around a lot. Today, it’s become almost synonymous with computers, cameras, and GPS’s. But, it’s much more than that. Technology has a history as long as that of humanity. In fact, it’s the constant that separates the eras, centuries, and generations of people. We are different from our grandparents and ancestors because of technology.

So, what is technology? The purpose of technology is to extend our natural abilities. Until very recently in human history, this has been a physical concept. Hands can’t cut, knives can. People can’t push, wheelbarrows roll. Horses are fast, engines are faster. You get the picture. Today, technology manifests itself differently. Computers have become extensions of our brains, the most complex organ of our body. That’s what makes right now one of the most exciting times in human history. Technology as we understand it has reached the ultimate frontier, thinking on its own, and not being dependent on a person to function. Imagine a world where we don’t have to think anymore! I can’t.

Anyways, back to the present. The life of technology is in the present. That’s why we automatically call our cell phones, tablets, and PC’s “tech”, when the wheel was “tech” some thousand years ago. The present is where technology is developing and evolving the most at the moment. In the future, it will most likely be something different. And probably, that something is not too far away, now that technology is improving and changing exponentially faster than ever.

So, why am I talking about the definition of something we all know. Well, this blog is meant to discuss the future of tech, which means understanding where it came from and in what direction it is currently going. I can’t say I know where that is, but I do know this: it’s important to have a solid understanding of the past and present before trying to grasp the future. That’s why I like a good definition.

Here’s where I think technology is going. Since tech is meant to extend human abilities, the next frontier for technology is the brain. Programmers and computer engineers are already trying to replicate the brain. After our tech has surpassed the abilities of the brain, who knows where its going? Biological re-engineering maybe? Counter evolution? Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: it will always be “tech”, and I’m gonna talk about it.