Movies like Iron Man and Real Steel as well as similar Sci-Fi movies highlight technology and create a dimension and a vision of the future to excite the viewers. Recent technological innovations and advancements seem to lead our world today towards transparent touch screens, robots, and the ability to capture any moment and store it as memory.
Two recent innovations come to mind, the Google Glass and the Japanese Kuratas Robot. In many ways, Sci-Fi seems to describe our future. Any scientist would acknowledge that the origin of any scientific or social innovation or change is ideas. Ideas do inform the future conceptualization of reality.
However, while technology seems to increasingly create new ways in which people can interact with reality, these innovations like the Google Glass provoke questions about the society’s readiness to adapt to such technology and its implications. Moreover, these technologies have an apparent limitation as they cannot be universalized and accessible by all.
A society’s capability to adapt and accept new innovations and technologies is based on whether these countries or societies have the institutions and infrastructure to support and make use of such technologies. It also should appropriate privacy, patent and other laws to protect the technology and its users. The introduction of the internet and the camera introduced public discourse on their use, how can they be managed, and most recently the security concerns attached to them, such as acts of terrorism through Cyber attacks. Technologies such as the Google Glass and Kuratas, and other technologies are in essence forms of luxury that are aimed for economically able consumers and as ways to enhance the quality and efficiency of some businesses or some governments.
We begin to question these technologies and ask “what is next?” How can these goods improve the quality of life? As the world attempts to understand these technologies and adopt them, certain questions should be asked, “In what ways are they improving the quality of life for the average consumer or individual in a given society? What elements of these technologies are just symbols of economic and Research & Development superiority and what elements of it pertain to the goal of enhancing quality of life?”