Experiencing the power of computers used to mean being tethered to desktop “towers” or large clunky “lap”tops. Now that same power sits in your pocket, or it is wrapped around your wrist. In the last decade, computers have continued to get smaller, cheaper, and faster. And this trend isn’t slowing down as computing power is moving into other areas.
We now have the Internet of Things and the power to connect to TVs, household appliances, locks, garage doors, lights, and a number of other devices. We have systems that monitor our furnace and the air quality of our house. It’s amazing.
But as amazing as this hardware is, the real power lies in the software powering these devices. That is where the magic actually happens. It’s the software that gives us access to these devices.
Think about all of the things that we can do now because of the software. Here are a few to get you thinking. You can:
- Find the best restaurant in an unknown place based on the opinions of people that live there.
- Instantly get directions when you get lost.
- Hail a cab and watch it’s approach on your phone.
- Verbally ask your phone for today’s temperature, and it tells you.
- Adjust the temperature in your house from work.
- Stream a movie within minutes of it’s release.
It was possible to get all of this information previously. But it wasn’t nearly as easy. To do this before, you would have to purchase then fumble with a large paper, or drive to a rental store, or wait on hold to get an operator to help you. All of these things are now possible with a few touches or voice prompts.
This is just the start of where the technology is taking us. The same things that power our smart phones can now live in something as small as a watch, or smaller. It means that more can be put in our existing devices to make them do more. This spread of hardware is intersecting with a culture that is getting better at building software. It’s exciting.