Technologies for the future: yes or no


When I started college 25 years ago, we didn’t use email. I moved into the dorms my freshman year with a Brother Word Processor, convinced I would never have a single computing need beyond the necessity to type, save and print text. It’s incredible to consider how wrong I was. I never saw the Internet coming, let alone smart phones or the Interet of Things.

Matthew Horn looks at three monitors plus an iPad

Matthew Horn in the SAS Emerging Technologies UI Lab

Unlike me, Matthew Horn, who manages the SAS Emerging Technologies UI Lab, was dismantling PCs and writing computer programs around that same time period. Still, he never predicted his work with computers would go from punch cards to optical discs.

Which brings us to the next 25 years. In 2040, will you be viewing analytics dashboards on a transparent plasma screen, visualizing data overlays through augmented reality glasses or even perceiving data outputs right inside your brain? Maybe you’ll receive alerts from an implanted ear piece. Or maybe all analytic based decisions will become operational, transmitting triggers from machine to machine without the need for human intervention.

Some of these ideas are scarier than others. And some are more farfetched. The point being, it’s hard to predict how today’s technologies will evolve to become useful in the homes and workplaces of tomorrow.

But we try.

At SAS, one way we try to get ahead of the latest technology trends is through the Emerging Technologies Lab, where we test out technologies like surface tables, augmented reality glasses and 3D printers.

“The goal and purpose of the lab is to find new technologies that are beneficial to SAS and our customers both short term and long term,” says Horn.

In a new blog post series, Horn will introduce us to some of the technologies in the lab and provide opinions on their usefulness for business.

“Things like the iPhone happen, whether we’re prepared for it or not,” says Horn. “The lab helps us be prepared and ahead of the curve instead of following the trends.”

Stay tuned as we introduce you to robots, computer games and goggles that could be a part of your workday in the future. “The lab is an awesome way to entertain some ideas that may seem crazy, but it’s a great way to bring some of that out of the box thinking into our lives,” says Horn.

In the meantime, you can read about three organizations who are embracing new technologies by anlalyzing IoT data today.


About Author

Alison Bolen

Editor of Blogs and Social Content

+Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

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