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Augmented reality, the 8th mass medium, connect the dots…

17 Dec

I’ve been doing a bit of research recently, i have been looking at what the futurists are saying, part of the reason i’m doing this is to try to figure out what i should be doing, thinking to align myself for the future.

A futurist might think of trends and possible scenario’s for future events, I’ve been looking at mass media and the trends they have followed through history

Toni Ahonen:

Tomi Ahonen

According to Tomi Ahonen, they are :

1st mass media, Print  from the late 15th century

2nd mass media, Recordings  from the late 19th century

3rd mass media, Cinema from about 1900

4th mass media, Radio,  from about 1910

5th mass media, TV, from the 1950’s. When i was in Lima i heard when TV was introduced in Peru, the young people in the country could see the great lifestyle that the city had to offer and voted with their feet, and ended up forming the shanty housing to be seen around Lima

6th mass media, Internet, from the 1990’s

7th mass media, Mobile

and now, the 8th mass media will be

8th mass media, Augmented reality

The funny thing with the list of mediums is when the medium was invented it took people a long time to figure out the business application, for example

The 4th Mass medium radio,people thought the radio would be good for broadcasting church services, nothing more, but when people fully understood the business applications of what the medium could do, until…

Wireless signals proved effective in communication for rescue work when a sea disaster occurred. A number of ocean liners installed wireless equipment. In 1899 the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York.

Two years later the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up to then, the Navy had been using visual signaling and homing pigeons for communication.


The 1st mass medium


Books used to be so precious, in Christchurch cathedral they were locked in cages and bolted to the wall, now you can download rare and precious books waiting of a bus and read them while sitting in the park

Railroads were the internet of their time, and to be honest i’m surprised it’s not on this list of mass mediums, railroads allowed for:

  • Musicians, Education, News traveled at incredible speeds to travel
  • Mobilisation of troops for war, the civil war in America being a good example
  • Sporting teams could travel
  • Manufacturing industries and the Industrial revolution

Railroads altered time: (Source)

Before railroads, each town determined its own time based on calculations about the sun’s position. This system was called “solar time.” Solar time caused problems for people who traveled hundreds of miles in a few hours on a railroad. Before railroads, this could never be done, so there wasn’t any problem with solar time.

However, after railroads spanned the country travelers could pass through several time zones in a day. The railroads operated on a complex time schedule and if each town had a slightly different solar time, things could go wrong. To solve the problem,railroad companies set up standard time. It was a system that divided the United States into four-time zones. Within a time zone, every town had the exact same time.

The standard time system went into affect November 18, 1883. However,Congress did not adopt standard time until 1918. By then, most Americans followed standard time and understood its benefits because following schedules had become part of daily life

Up until the early railroad, people never traveled further that 20 km from where they were born

Can you see a trend here?

Mobile phone timeline

With the 7th mass media, Mobile, one of the reasons that SMS became so appealing is when businesses sent their customers a text, that counted as a legal notification, before that sending out letters was an expensive, time-consuming business and you could be sure if the customer received the message, it’s funny the inventor of SMS Matti Makkonen, received $300 for his invention, Dan Bricklin that invented Excel spreadsheets got nothing

When i was in Scandinavia, i remember hearing how shy teenagers used in the early years of SMS to ask girls out on dates, Nokia used kids for their product development, as they don’t have any pre conceived ideas of how things are supposed to work, that tends to happen a bit later on.

When the first mobile phones were introduced, at the release of mobiles Stockholm had more users than all of London, why? Ericsson which became Sony/Ericsson are based there, so they encouraged the locals to use their phones, so Ericsson could test them

I remember hearing, 10 years ago, pre-smart phone technology of how, when questioned:

Q, Whats the worst thing that could happen to you

A, Losing my mobile phone

I read recently how the employees of a well know company would sneak away from their partner to send messages on their smart phones, and that IT company advised their employees to leave the phone at home and go for a walk on a nature trail.


Steve Jobs said,

 “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

The thing that interests me most is the ideas, sometimes the technology is ahead of the ideas, when you have the idea, you can do just about anything, but it all comes back to an idea and you need to believe in the idea, find the business application, with new technology comes new methodology, after all it’s cost effective to be efficient.

With the 6th mass medium, the technology was ahead of the business ideas


Introducing, Tomi Ahonem and Augmented reality

eReaders,Tablets, new technologies, new methodologies

10 Dec

While everybody’s concerned with what the kids are watching, what’s your mom and dad reading on this thing?

With new technologies come new methodologies and the technology that has caught my attention recently is the e-Readers, Kindles, Amazons and tablets (not the pharmaceutical kind), apparently they are addictive, people love them, my love is conditional and i will explain why.

So today after a marvelous bike maintenance workshop by the city of Sydney, i navigated on 2 wheels to the Waterloo library for a wonderful presentation on e-Readers, check it out here, courtesy of Jeffery Cruz and the city of Sydney library

Now whats interesting to me is, there seems to be a big trend for people downloading books on these e-Readers according to futurist Stephen Euin Cobb, it would appear ‘Romance novels‘ are a huge hit on these devices and why? Well, it would appear people like reading stuff that they would be embarrassed to buy, interesting?

Tom Hanks liked e readers in the movie ‘Big’Image

Tom Hanks was in the year 1988, this is 2012, the movie Big was one of the first movies i ever saw in the big screen, back in the days when people (me) would get the bus into the city, queue up and see a movie on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t quite Cinema Paradiso, but it wasn’t too far away, the good old days as i sometimes recant

Now, maybe i’m from a different generation or the idea hasn’t really caught on for me and i can see why Steve Jobs would have said dedicated ereaders would never take off, it’s not for me, it wasn’t for him either.

Cinema Paradiso


Maybe Steve Jobs was the kind of guy that would go into any book shop and buy what ever he wanted, whenever he felt like? Me too, except i dont so much buy new books, i like pre loved books and random books, i looked through op shops for over 10 years for a book called ‘Papillion‘, i wanted to buy it for a $1 and i got it at a garage sale too…for a $1 and that people is my thing, i have no idea why i wanted to get that particular book in an op-shop, i dont think downloading it would have been as much fun?

Worth waiting for? You bet!


I like to think books find me, last week i was cycling home and i found a book entitled ‘Your voice and how to use it successfully’, you can download it to your eReader here

And now i realise that we are getting somewhere folks, for rare publications, out of print books, i would defiantly use an eReader, technical books, reference material, of course i would, they are a gift from god, this is why i would love them, otherwise i would rather wait and bide my time and let these publications find me or get them from the library, cycle to the library to get them, stop off in the park, have ice cream, maybe coffee later

I love that experience of going to my library, especially the library in North Carlton in Melbourne and truth be told, i’m not the only one, there are more like me, the nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso for books


The term nostalgia describes a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

I couldn’t help eves dropping on some people around me one day using a computer in the North Carlton library, pretty much everyone around me shared the same story of how they loved going to the library so much, they got rid of thier personal computers at home, for me i would stop for ice cream just up the street, sit in a beautiful park, watch dogs playing, the little kid in me loves that, how could i deny myself that?

It was a great experience that resonated within me, every time, the experience is locked in associations in my mind, its hard to appreciate something if you didn’t grow up with it, now cricket comes to mind


I was quite surprised other people felt the same way of going to a library as me, i really was most of the people were about 20 years older than me too?

Its interesting how these things take off, some ideas take off, some dont, plus an eReader would keep a lot of environmental people happy, but i wonder if people who are all about nature would be all about holding and reading a tablet to Die-Dye a t-shirt?

This is the future and 1988 is here, like it or not, we’ll just have to deal with it, maybe some will take advantage of it and accept ‘romance novel’ are Big, could Tom Hanks have predicted that?

One of the big hits initially with the internet was people felt more comfortable chatting with someone on the other side of the world about their likes and dislikes, a lot of ideas caught on from people chatting with strangers outside their peer groups, just so long as your mom didn’t find out and now, and now she’s got one of these eReaders!

I can remember picking this book up on a beach cafe in India, i didnt put it down until i finished it


I can clearly remember finding at random ‘The count of Monte Christo‘, ‘Dr Pascal‘, Francis Chichester’s autobiography, The lonely sea and sky, don’t judge a book by its cover i remember thinking when i picked it up and that cover was in tatters, i found it in my first night in Sri Lanka too, you can download all these books and check them out yourself, call it  serendipity, maybe it’s something more?

But don’t take my word for it.

Serendipity: A “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.


What i do like about the eReader is the E Ink technology, crisp clear, and it uses real ink that gets magnetised, the battery lasts two weeks, with WiFi off, it’s not like looking at a screen, so theres no strain on your eyes

The six eReaders that were presented were only 6 months old and are already obsolete now, sounds a bit like stories of laptops 10 years ago, newer models were coming out within months of each other, eReader technology is moving fast and definitely becoming more and more appealing

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