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Conversations while I am on an airplane typically go one of three ways:

  1. Exchange some pleasantries, discuss a mundane topic, and then politely go back to my own business
  2. Talk for two minutes and then realize I’d rather gouge my eyeballs out with the passenger safety card than continue talking
  3. Engage in a few deeper discussions that often reveal some interesting insights or perspectives on the world and make me a more enlightened person

To be certain, options 1 and 2 represent approximately 90% of the conversations I have on planes – if I ever do begin conversing in the first place. But sometimes, option 3 appears and it is like a wave of positive emotion that washes over the entire flying experience.

While on a lengthy overseas flight this past weekend, I was seated next to a 69-year old gentleman who was returning from a vacation with his bride of 50 years. They were split up between rows (hey, take the first class upgrades however you can get them!) so it was just the two of us in our row. Shortly after we sat down, it was obvious that she was his caretaker, and I’d have to pitch in some of those duties (moving things around, getting out the tray table, etc.). I really didn’t mind at all.

Somewhere in the middle of the flight, he wanted to relax a bit and watch a movie, so asked for some help. He was navigating the touch screen menus with relative ease, despite the language barrier getting in the way. He then paused, looked right at me, and said “this is just the beginning.” Interested to know more, I asked what he meant by that. He said, “technology has evolved so much during my lifetime, but this is really just the beginning. There is so much future innovation that is yet to happen.”

EHANG184 at CES 2016In January I had the privilege of visiting the Consumer Electronics Show, “CES” to those inner circle-types, and couldn’t have been more amazed by what I saw. The show displayed everything from connected homes and appliances to wearable health technology to cars that apply intelligence to your day to all sorts of flying objects like the EHANG184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle pictured to the right. If you’re not familiar with the show, it is 2.5 million square feet (232,000 square meters) of hands-on immersion experiences, keynote speeches, and discussion panels across many subsections of technology. Visitors get an exclusive look at what is on the market today, and a glimpse of what is coming a few years down the road. There is more on display than can possibly be viewed during the show hours.

The gentleman next to me on the flight was absolutely correct.

Daryl DuLong

 

 

Working on the Bausch + Lomb Eye Health iPhone app has given me a new-found appreciation for all of those shiny icons on my iPhone screens. Check out a neat analysis of how the economics of the App Store all comes together:

go-app-store-r10

 

Apple’s iPhone 3G launched today in 21 countries, at precisely 8:00am in each local time zone. The logistics of pulling off such an event are absolutely insane to ponder, and preliminary market reports of activation issues are being trumped now by stories of out-of-stock warnings around the world. Hong Kong has a history of literally maniacal mob scenes when a major product is introduced, so Apple took no chances and hired guards in kevlar vests and helmets with shotguns. For a phone.

This is the point where I stick my tongue out at the people who told me Apple was going bankrupt in 1997 and wouldn’t live to see 1998!

Nielsen BuzzMetrics, the Internet “conversation” tracker, released some stats on iPhone 3G’s online presence, which, admittedly, are not that interesting to view.

However, it appears the peak in the online buzz came a few weeks before launch, specifically between June 9 and 13, the time of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference during which Mr. Jobs detailed the new iPhone features and specs. This is what conveys a true latent demand in the smartphone market, and I wish Apple all the best of success, though it appears I won’t need to:

“iPhone buzz is through the roof. One out of every 100 new blog posts is about the iPhone – more than Barack Obama or John McCain. And while the blogosphere may pay special attention to new technology, this buzz underscores the important role the iPhone is playing in raising awareness of and interest in multimedia phones,” said Nic Covey, Director of Insights, Nielsen Mobile.