Tech adoption

When I was 20 I had a Canon SLR camera. Digital camera’s had taken off but only the point and shoot variety. If you wanted to take pictures and control the aperture, shutter speed and alike, you were still in the analogue world.

I remember taking a picture of my sister – who was around three at the time – and her grabbing the camera off me to look at the picture on the back. Despite being just a few years into their adoption curve, she had already got used to the idea that you take a picture and look at it immediately. She was confused further still when I told her it will be a couple of days until she got to see the results.

This has become a story I’ve told people I’ve worked with. It’s a story about how fast technology and user experience patterns can become the norm. And, more importantly, a story about just how quickly once common place practises can seem outdated.

Fast forward to 2020 and my two year old son and I are in the living room. There is music coming out of our stereo, it’s one of those old school stacks with an amp and speaker cable. A new track comes on, I can’t remember what it was, but clearly he didn’t like it because he marches over the speakers and says:

Hey Google, stop!

The music keeps playing, and I see that same look of confusion I saw on my sister’s face 15 years before.

I think it’s guaranteed I’ll see that face again. I wonder what will have caused it?

Daniel Bower

Blogging about platform regulation: algorithms, interoperability, kill zones as well as other bits and bobs. Read about my research, or read more about me.