“COME TOGETHER RIGHT NOW.” Paul McCartney and John Lennon had other thoughts in mind when they wrote that now famous line almost five decades ago, but their words still resonate across today’s technological landscape. Bringing together various technologies can create powerful synergy.
Remember how clever it was when someone first integrated a VCR right into the TV itself instead of their being separate machines? I still recall how impressed I was the first time I saw a refrigerator that had an ice dispenser on the outside of the door. Today, refrigerators can not only keep track of the food you have on hand but also find recipes online to match that inventory. To this day, few technological advancements have changed my home-life as much as the DVR technology now built into my cable box. The ability to binge-watch a whole season of “Breaking Bad”’ in one weekend is beyond what even Michelangelo or Galileo would have dreamt, and being able to skip over the commercials is just a slice of heaven. Nowhere is this technological synergy more apparent than with the smart phones that most of us carry around in our pockets and purses (or “satchels,” according to my brother in law). In addition to microprocessors that the Cold War Soviet Union would have killed for, these handheld devices commonly include proximity sensors, ambient light sensors, magnetometers, gyroscopic sensors, fingerprint scanners, voice recognition software, virtually scratch-proof ultra HD touch screens, miniaturized HD video cameras, and much more. Oh, and they can also make phone calls. The next generation of “wearable tech” that would have been equally at home on the wrist of George Jetson or James Bond is already here and fast becoming as commonplace as our phones.