Recently, I had the privilege of visiting family members who still reside in Cuba and got to see where my father and his family lived until the early 1960s. It was a truly eye-opening trip on a number of levels and one I am unlikely ever to forget. Though it was an incredible journey through my family and cultural history, it was also a bit of a digital nightmare. I returned to the United States with a renewed appreciation for Web development and what it means to truly consider the user’s experience.
Using the Internet in Cuba
While I was in Cuba, I kept friends and family back home abreast of what I experienced on my trip via email and Facebook. Thankfully, most of the hotels where we stayed made this relatively easy by providing a Computer Lab This was generally just a single, old computer and what I could generously describe as “Internet access.” I paid $5 for 30 minutes of access, which might sound like a decent deal, but the Internet speed felt slower than dialup. So just sending a quick update easily cost me 10 minutes of time. This was painful to say the least. Read More
As recently as 25 years ago, the physical reality in which we lived was an analog world that was becoming increasingly global. While globalization is still very much a factor today, our world is now decidedly connected and is becoming increasingly virtual. However, thanks to a combination of enabling technology and the possible impacts of global warming, some aspects of globalization are shifting back to being local. This connectedness—both virtual and local—is contributing to the emerging world of smartware.
As we detailed in “The Smartware Transformation,” smartware is a convergence of emerging technologies and science. Artificial intelligence (AI) is fueling its rise. The technologies that are enabling smartware include the Internet of Things (IoT), mixed-reality environments, and additive fabrication, or 3D printing, as are incredible advances in sciences such as genomics and neuroscience. Some or all of these advances are core to the emergence of incredible new products that are just over the horizon—products such as self-driving vehicles and neighborhood parts manufacturing. In “Smartware, AI, and Magical Products,” we took a look at the current darling of technology and entertainment media: artificial intelligence. We’ll continue that analysis in this installment, as we look at some other core smartware technologies, before covering the key sciences underlying smartware in our next column. Read More
What does the future hold for advertising embedded in digital experiences? Making advertising part of your digital product’s or property’s business model has always been a challenging balancing act. Creators of digital experiences need to make money. Selling ad space within a product or Web site helps you to earn money—and, generally speaking, the more traffic you get, the more you can leverage advertising as a business model. (Although high-quality traffic can be more important than just the amount of traffic, depending on the advertising model you choose.)
Of course, on the flip side, users rarely want to see advertising—for several key reasons:
Advertising often lacks originality or creativity.
Advertising often lacks relevance.
Advertising takes up space that users would generally prefer be dedicated to content and clutters up the visible digital canvas. Read More