Internet tech is not all there is to tech

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I will open this article with a quote from an article, Why VCs should stop investing in ‘Internet’ startups and start investing in ‘tech’, that paints the picture clearly:

…Internet tech is just one sector of a much larger technological field. On its own, the Internet can’t solve all of the problems, or satisfy all of the needs, of humanity. As one of my friends once put it, “Social media can warn you that an asteroid is barrelling towards the earth, but it can’t do anything to stop it.”

Unfortunately, it looks like when the average person talks tech these days, it is within the confines of internet tech – apps and internet services. For example, why are we not seeing and hearing more of things going on in the automobile industry? That’s tech too.

Having stamped its foot firmly in internet tech, Google seems to be on an adventure into other areas of tech now: self-driving cars, and recently robots. Have you seen Big Dog in action? It is a four-legged robot whose builders, Boston Dynamics, Google recently purchased. Big Dog controlled, directed and stabilised by an onboard computer that receives input from various built-in sensors. Here is Big Dog in action:
Big Dog

It is something amazing and scary at the same time. But it is tech, and it will be a part of our future in different shapes and sizes. While the US says Big Dog will be deployed for carrying luggage in rough terrains where four-wheeled vehicles cannot go, it isn’t difficult to see something like this bearing firearms – missiles and guns. It isn’t difficult to envisage future versions of Big Dog being used for patrol and for hunting down people. Surely, Star Wars is upon us.

And talking of Star Wars, we will be seeing more in the lines of robotics and artificial intelligence. We will see more along the lines of laser technology, new propulsion systems (especially for space flight), holographic projections, self-renewing energy systems, and so much more in the years ahead. We should start talking more about these other tech things. And we should invest more in them. They are the future.

  1. Sure, the rest of the developed world are inexorably making technological waves.

    We should start talking more about these other tech things. And we should invest more in them. They are the future.

    We? As in, Nigeria?

    No; we should focus on getting the basics right first. We should invest human and material resources in things like:

    … providing stable electricity
    … making food cheap and abundant
    … building a viable educational system where Universities don’t go on strike for five months before things happen
    … Like building strong institutions that make it impossible for a minister to buy two cars for N255Million, and nothing happens.

    Such basic things should be our focus.

    And talking about the future, your future is created a step at a time, daily.

    Are we creating that desirable (tech) future?

  2. First, you would have to define “we”; “we” as in the writers and readers of technology, or the end user? And if the average end user has no fascination or attention span for these things, it would be difficult to get them interested in other forms of technology.

    Sure, it’ll be on the average user’s radar, things like Big Dog might be fascinating technology but not as accessible as the device in their hand.

  3. mr mo, am quite disappointed with the article above that i jumped straight to comment without reading the few above comments.
    I have been a big fan of boston dynamics for a very long time, but i never saw the purchase coming and yes they are all tech. you failed to identify the reason and ideal behind the purchase but rather you were just amazed by the robots;

    to google it is not investing on the robots but in a bigger picture it is still investing on data (ICT) ;
    the robots will serve as a sub for humans in collection data as with their dynamics and power they can now get both accessibility and productivity respectively at the same time.
    that how the unmanned vehicles and planes came to be; for surveillance and data collection

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