There is a natural cycle of supply and demand when it comes to technology. It seems that we human beings just can't get enough of it. We hunger for what's new, what's next, and what's better. But as many technology futurists have noted, it won't be long before technology will be beating on our doors, instead of us going out looking for it. Look out Virginia, the rise of the machines is becoming reality.
Think of all you do that is technology related. You use smartphones to order dinner or schedule a doctor's appointment. Your refrigerator has internet access and can tell you when you need milk. Your dog's collar has a GPS transmitter so you can find him at the local park when he gets out of the house. Your kids use iPads and notebooks in the classroom. So many things that we do involve technology at so many levels, and in so many layers, that it's unthinkable that there is a place in anyone's life that doesn't use technology.
But what is slowly evolving is not the use of technology, but the intelligence of technology. Devices are becoming digital salesmen, and they're making their way into our lives proactively.
How many ads do you see during a typical online session, either on a computer or a smartphone? Do you even know how many times your device updates itself and its software? Do you realize that even as you read this article, you have devices that are poised to force you to upgrade with better batteries, new firmware or improved interfaces? What we see as typical "device lifecycle" issues, worn out batteries, or slow operating systems are slowly turning into an automated push from our own tools for us to spend money and make them more powerful.
It has gotten to the point where many tech users like me don't even bother to upgrade or update much anymore. Sure, we're told that upgrading will drastically improve performance or that updating protects us from malware or crashes, but it is starting to feel like a digital visit to the auto mechanic. I just need an oil change -- what's with the new tires and the bigger alternator? Do I really need to change these things? Our devices are making us do things without us really asking why, and we are just clicking the OK button.
Remember when your phone was just a telephone? Or when your computer just did computations? Well, watch out, because soon your smartphone will be making its own calls and your computer will be updating itself...
Oops, it's already happening.