The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

What other senses can we apply to business computing?

5 senses.pngI sat in on an IEEE Computing meeting in Dallas last week with the title: What’s Next for VoIP? As I sat through the session, I was beginning to wonder about the limited scope and its relevance going forward.


Voice is nice. I’ve mentioned before that Unified Communications is important, but with all the effort focused on video (e.g., conferencing with Skype and efforts like Google Glasses) as well as other techniques to provide a wider range of interaction (e.g., Making a Huggable Internet), where will our bandwidth consumption be in a few years. Haptics and dimensions of sensory interaction are advancing quickly like digital taste and scent. I wonder if these techniques will ever significantly affect business computing.


Since the more senses we use to make decisions, the better/faster those decisions may be – it does make me wonder if we’ll soon put our hand on a device (or even our computer) to feel the vibration of a machine in the field. That is essentially what a microphone and a speaker accomplish, they are just aimed at transferring the vibration to our ears. Similar techniques could apply to using our nose to smell the way a chemical process is cooking. Our bodies are made to do that kind of thing. Why limit ourselves to bar charts and other gages for our eyes to consume? Of course, we’ll need the bandwidth to carry all that information.


Not that long ago, we thought that the entire Internet bandwidth would be taken up by SPAM. In November of 2012, one third of the NA Internet bandwidth consumption was taking up by just one application – NetFlix. It is strange how quickly our concerns can change.

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