technology and the human experience

15 05 2011

I just sat down to eat breakfast and turned on the kitchen TV.  CNN was airing an interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt.  As a baby boomer and avid tech student, I am always interested in how our lives, both personal and professional, can be enriched by the warp speed changes in technology.

Eric Schmidt said something that just grabbed me at the right time in the right way.  It wasn’t anything new or something that I hadn’t thought about, but it was the way he said it and how it landed for me.  As he was discussing the iPad and the Droid version of the same concept, and the differences between closed and open sources, at some point he said that “technology enables the augmentation of the human experience”, or something close to that.

WOW!  This is so true. Some of my fellow baby boomers, think of these mind-blowing advances as a “replacement” for human experience.  But when we can re-frame our thoughts about tech innovations as augmentation instead of replacement, we have a whole new ball game.  Go Bulls.

I can’t help but ponder how these augmentations will continue to impact the restaurant industry and how we will all benefit.  We already have servers with mobile units entering orders so the kitchen can run more efficiently, more lean.  We have POS (point of sale) systems that keep track of our inventory, menu mix and sales, and enable us to market promotions directly to our customers.  QR codes for smart phones which link to mini mobi sites which enable our customers to get the info they need when they want it.  What’s next for cloud computing?  How will it help keep our businesses lean, strong and healthy?

It’s Sunday and I’m heading out for some human experience visiting friends in Milwaukee.   I’m taking my Blackberry and  iPod with me in my GPS and Satellite Radio equipped ultimate mobile device …. at least it was when I was sixteen and gas was 36 cents a gallon.