The biggest use of networked devices in the future will be in the domain of health. We know about things that use the body to unlock things, like Nymi, but from using the body to control what we do we’ve actually reached the point of injectable sensors – we just don’t have mass adoption yet. So many things I’m seeing here at South By are so much from the future, and make me think of why these aren’t mainstream yet. Lack of access to technology is one obvious reason (not all NHS offices can buy injectable sensors) but increasingly I get the feeling that education is bigger than access. If you don’t know about something you’re not going to search for it to buy, even if you do have access to resources.
I popped in to a session where the future of the second screen was being discussed. The conversation was about the fragmentation of second screen apps and devices – even before something can get to being adopted by the masses, advertisers drop support because there isn’t enough adoption by an intended audience – a vicious circle. From a corporate perspective, education comes up again here, interestingly: not enough people stay the course – potentially because they don’t find use in it, but potentially also because they don’t know about it. It’s a dog eat dog world for startups, but the people who have the money can help by reorienting the way they look at emerging technology. Just a thought.
The Julian Assange livestream – where do I start. I’m not going to try and do it justice right now, but I do want to point out that he also spoke about doing good through giving people access to funding and resources, specifically he mentioned Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media and how they are now free to focus on surfacing what the NSA and GCHQ, amongst other agencies that use surveillance, are trying to do to us. Money is power, but in the world we live in money can create power through creating knowledge and spreading information through mass media.
The evening was a blur, and I’m really going to need to focus to power through the rest of SXSW!!
To see live photos of SXSW view PHD’s Pinterest page.
Anjali Ramachandran is the Head of Innovation at PHD UK. Follow @anjali28