There’s a digital divide - Some are on the other side
But it cannot be denied - We’re all in for quite a ride
I thought I had captured the flavor of the digital revolution when I wrote a futuristic piece for our 70Candles! Book, three years ago. The ground-breaking research in artificial intelligence, robotics, genetics and computer sciences chronicled by Michio Kaku in his book, Physics of the Future (2010) was astounding and inspiring at the time.
Daily newspapers now, herald changes afoot that I could not have imagined then. Inventions and applications of modern technology appear from countless sources, filling needs we didn’t even know we had.
What for example would we do without WiFi remote control of our player piano? How have we managed without touch screen mirrors in our clothing store dressing rooms? Yes, jut tap the screen to indicate your need and a sales-person will oblige. No more running half-dressed and barefoot from a dressing room to the clothing racks to select the next size.
Here’s some excitement – Imagine the World Drone Prix, the first international drone competition, held in Dubai and won by a fifteen-year-old British pilot. Next year, hold on to your, whatever’s, for the World Future Sports Games, December 2017, offering robotic swimming, running, wrestling and car racing.
Virtual Reality applications are rapidly increasing, as VR becomes integral to video games. Players will not just look at the screen and play; they will be immersed within their games. We hear of VR now being used in social skills training for those with autism, and it’s likely to be adopted in numerous other fields from online interior decorating to medical student teaching.
Some gadgets and devices are especially important for seniors, particularly when they choose to age-in-place, and the family is not nearby. Sensors, declining in cost, can now be placed anywhere; and provide aid to caregivers who may live at a distance. A sensor on the fridge can register its use while another detects falls.
There are safety watches for seniors that not only tell time but count a person’s steps, has a medication monitor, and an alert button that can be used in case of an emergency. Information from these devices can be transmitted to family members or other caretakers who want to be assured that all-is-well with the senior citizen living alone.
Voice control seems ubiquitous. With Apple’s Home Kit hub, you can tell Siri to turn on special LED Smart Ivy bulbs in any special named location of your home while you are away.
And what about FaceTime? How did we ever live without it? Skype allows grandpa in San Francisco to read a chapter from a book, to his 5-year-old grandson in Brooklyn. It connects the musically talented grandma to her granddaughter in another city for weekly violin practice. The granddaughter sends a photo of her music, the grandma prints it and proceeds to coach as the girl plays.
My septuagenarian (70+) friends and I do our best to keep up with innovations around us; we succeed to varying degrees. The pace of change feels incredibly rapid, but I admit each personal discovery feels empowering.
With the knowledge that my grandchildren are no longer doing email, I just learned how to use the keyboard mic to speak my text messages …ahh. And Siri’s voice recently magically guided me to a distant doctor’s appointment …how comforting that was!
I’m fascinated by the endless layers of information available on the web, and can surf with the best of them. Now, I’m looking forward to the smart cars that will independently stop to avoid crashes, and will eventually drive themselves. Can’t wait to see what new marvels tomorrow’s newspaper will bring!
Read Article (Giddan & Cole | huffingtonpost.com | 03/25/2016)
It just warms my heart to read something like this online, especially when its authored by a septuagenarian. Unfortunately, there are literally billions of them that are not this tech-savvy and many of them really want to be.
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