Trends and fads can be fascinating. I recall days from my childhood, when a new fad would be the theme each summer vacation. Some years, it’d be marbles, sometimes spinning tops, then came along glowing wristbands and spinning toy propellers. Each of them added an exciting layer of lifelong memories to our lives. As an early ‘80s kid, those are my grungy anecdotes, but I cherish them nonetheless. What’s interesting about my generation, is that we’ve grown up to imagine. We dreamed about the future of technology. And were deeply rooted in the future shape of things. Alright, not everyone. But at least those of us who were excited with technology and gadgets.
The ushering into technology
As a kid, my source of music was audio cassettes. You had to insert them in a player, and then hit a button. Then a motor started rolling the tape, and a couple of seconds later, you’d hear music. We didn’t have an option of skipping 10 seconds. Let alone scrubbing through the song. A graphic equalizer was kick-ass tech. The kind that got us off our seats in admiration. Lights dancing away to the tune playing. Such is my generation.
None of the examples I described about are relevant to technology or gadgetry. But they offer a glimpse into the psyche of our generation. While I’m sitting on my seat and typing away on a laptop to describe how I’ve grown up to experience the future, many belonging to my generation are shaping cutting edge technologies in the Silicon Valley, to influence how youngsters today consume and in turn shape their own future.
The idea of flip phones
Another aspect of my generation is our fascination with fantasy, and fiction. Everything futuristic. It was an age where we used our imagination much more than we find around us today. Summer vacations were about playing outdoors, and during those thoughtful, curious and inquisitive moments, talk about how cars in the future would fly, and humans could teleport (though I wasn’t and continue to disagree with that possibility).
The tech industry has the capability to fix in radio chips and through voice assistants help you dial a number. Essentially, your phone could adapted into a pair of wireless earpods. That’s how the world would imagine the future of the smartphone. Alas, we love to read. We love to browse, we love to see! That brings me to the next point I’m trying to highlight.
Future trends over past fads
The world is changing. And it’s doing so at a tremendous pace. In fact, the transformation has been far more rampant over the past 10 years than in the decades preceding. We can count the age of social media, the end of text messaging as we know it, the emergence of assistants, AI, services on the go. Who would’ve thought we’d get a cab when we want one, where we want one, knowing exactly how much we’d pay. And the same kind of service enabling hotel rooms, air tickets, and so much more. So then, in a world as rapid as this, would a banana phone or phone with QWERTY keyboards transform fortunes for businesses, or counter intuitively impress consumers to adapt en masse?