It used to be that changes in technology came at a manageable rate; the telephone took around 70 years to become ubiquitous. Computers help us develop faster computers… and this process is accelerating. Plus we have the infrastructure – the internet, to roll out many of these new technologies immediately.
Nvidia unveiled the world’s first “superchip” this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, the Tegra X1. It’s twice as powerful as last year’s model, and more powerful than the fastest supercomputer of 15 years ago.
That supercomputer, the ASCI Red, was the first to reach one teraflop of processing power. It took up 2400 square feet, needed over 500,000 watts of power and cost around $67 million.
The Tegra X1 is the size of a thumbnail, needs only 10 watts to do the same job, and is nearly a million times cheaper.
This chip will for instance be able to stitch images together allowing us to view a 360 degree panoramic image – in real time. Self driving cars… and a whole lot more.
Human genome sequencing, the world’s largest collaborative biological project, originally cost 3 Billion and took 13 years to sequence 1 persons gene’s. Now it can be done in about a day for around a thousand dollars.
One of the potential problems with our society being more reliant on technology generally, and the increased pace of change, is this change can out run our ability to deal with it. The term for this is “autocatalysis”, essentially a condition that is unstable, unpredictableable and therefore unreliable. There is a real risk that parts of our civilization could become unstable, unpredictable and unreliable.
There are so many different things going on in the world of technology – power generation, the internet, self driving cars, TV’s the size of your wall, biotechnology; all moving at their own pace. This, thankfully, tends to bring the pace of change to its dynamic centre. Of course the pace of change will be too fast for some and too slow for others.
I was thinking about trying to invent a NOT-SO-FAST app, the original impetus for this blog post. I soon realized that I already have one – Beyond Audio.
We have always taken a long term view of technology. We try not to get too excited about the latest gadgets, but when we design systems we try and provide customers with the best value over time. When changes come, they should be able to implement these new technologies without having to tear out old wiring, or replace their entire system.
In 1995, we were at least 5 years ahead of our local competitors in wiring infrastructure design, way ahead of Shaw Cable, Telus, and WAY ahead of your electrician. We still are.
Keeping up takes a lot of effort reading a lot of material from a lot of sources, plus taking a ton of training classes and seminars. We also test a lot of technology in our own homes; the only way to know if the new stuff actually works properly or not.
Drop by our showrooms anytime for a demonstration of some of the latest technology has to offer, and don’t fear change, just know it is here to stay.