We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore

Nearly eight decades ago, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz cemented the definition of persistence on the silver screen. The movie followed the energetic Dorothy, seemingly dull Tin Man, and initial meekly Cowardly Lion through their journey of wonder, heroism, and perseverance. Now you may be asking yourself “Why would this shmuck author make mention of an outdated and irrelevant movie that I could likely care less about?” Well the answer is simple my friend (well I hope we are friends!), that movie is a perfect reflection of the technological world we live in today. The Dorothy’s of the world continue to innovate and build possibilities for everyone to access the internet, and once dumb phones have gotten their brains. Wizards everywhere continue to help the technologies of the world improve, and will not stop until they reach their highest potential.

The internet is still a relatively new technology; and with all technologies, some people just can’t access it. Cost and location both stand as obstacles for those who would like to access the world wide web, but simply cannot. Literally have you tried getting internet in the middle of the desert? Exactly. But Google and Facebook are trying to fix that dilemma! Google is in the process of providing super fast internet (1000 mps!!) to certain cities for those internet addicts, and also offer low cost internet for those who cannot afford the price of other expensive internet providers. But Facebook is taking internet providing to a whole new altitude. Facebook engineers have built a solar powered aircraft that can beam down an internet connection for those in rural and isolated areas. Aquila, as they have called the invention, can stay in flight for about 3 months and provides those in a 50-km radius with internet. Although they only have the one plane for now, VP of infrastructure engineering at Facebook ensures that “This [project] will be an effort that we will invest in for many years to come.”

Men nowadays are too worried about size, and whether or not it will fit in their tight skinny jeans. Yup, choosing the size of one’s cell phone has become a more complicated task than many may have thought! When they were first made, everyone wanted those bulky things to go on a diet and slim down. Yet now, the bigger the better, as cell phones have become mobile entertainment centers for all ages. From watching the newest superhero movie to running around town catching all the pokemon for personal glory, cell phones no longer are just phones. But beyond entertainment, smartphones are in fact a whole lot smarter. They learn your commute to work, recommend where to go eat, even act as personal health coaches and tell you whether or not you should eat that 200 calorie doughnut based on how much you’ve walked (here’s a hint, no, go run a marathon instead). But they continue to become smarter, specifically through AI (Artificial Intelligence). Innovators are creating software that can act as more than your personal assistant, but rather as a personal nurse, a political debater, and even as your best friend to keep you happy and productive. The future is bright thanks to the visionaries among us, and perhaps in eight decades our children may all look back at today with pride for the pioneers who took us into the future even we can’t imagine.