It is easy to become cynical about the latest innovation and the claims for its future success. The tendency becomes worse with age and the feeling that you’ve seen it all before. The IT consultancy firm, Gartner Inc. have invented a graph to describe the cycle of enthusiam, despondency and maybe ultimate productivity of new inventions. They call it the hype curve. For most new ideas the plateau of productivity is 5 to 10 years after the peak of inflated expectations and separated from it by a deep trough of disillusionment.
Gartner Inc publish an annual analysis of the status of new technology in the form of a single hype curve. It’s interesting to see what’s in the trough [cloud computing, mobile health monitoring] and what’s on or near the peak of inflated expectations [consumable 3D printing and autonomous vehicles] today. You might have noticed from your smart phone that speech recognition has just reached the plateau of productivity. The thumb-nail shows a historic hype curve for ten years ago.
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Nice curve, containing a lot of wisdom. I was particularly interested to see Cloud Computing at the bottom of the Trough of Disillusionment (next to NFC – not for comprehension?). At the personal level the cloud is a non-starter because it assumes ubiquitous connectivity to the internet. I don’t even have this at home with so-called “Infinity” (which drops out several times a day) and I certainly don’t have it on a Virgin train to London or while walking along the canal towpath.
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