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THE TECH SET: Innovation Edition

THE TECH SET: Disturbing the Technological Peace

Sowing the seeds of rebellion with 4 new “disruptive” technologies
We’re all told it’s bad to be disruptive. Don’t disrupt class. Don’t disrupt meetings. Don’t disrupt bingo night at your grandmother’s retirement home. Anything we do to impede the predictable, stable progression of the status quo is seen as social mutiny.

But sometimes, it pays to rock the boat.

Remember 8-bit video games? Three hundred pound TVs? Brick phones? The abacus? When it comes to technology, the old standards would stay… standard… if new innovations didn’t disrupt category norms and tempt the masses to change.

The thing about disruptive technologies is, at first, they don’t seem like a threat. They target fringe consumers—geeks, techies, nerds, disenfranchised juice bar workers. Not exactly your bread-and-butter sort of consumers. Then it happens: the mainstream catches on. The new technology matures and improves. And pretty soon, Sony ain’t sellin’ Discmans… because everyone’s buying iPods.

Who would have thought? Probably not Sony, back in 1998.

And that’s the point of this article: identifying the rabble-rousers before they make their move. Because, like it or not, the next tech revolution is just around the corner—and it’s never too early to pick sides. Viva la Revolucion! (raises eye-mounted HUD unit into the air, chants vociferously)


WHAT IT IS: A smartphone on your wrist.
WHY IT’S DISRUPTIVE: Once the technology matures, it has a chance to threaten the smartphone’s hegemony over the mobile communications market.
WHO TO WATCH: Pebble, Apple (maybe?)

Ocular HUDs

WHAT IT IS: A face-mounted display device that superimposes images directly over, or into, your eye.
WHY IT’S DISRUPTIVE: Paired with voice activation and cellular capability, it will be the ultimate expression of the wearable “smart” device.
WHO TO WATCH: Google, Innovega

Personal Fuel Cells

WHAT IT IS: A portable generator that creates electricity by chemically combining hydrogen and oxygen.
WHY IT’S DISRUPTIVE: It can provide cheap, off-the-grid power for every kind of electric/electronic device imaginable.
WHO TO WATCH: Intelligent Energy

TheAccelerator_Innovation-29Next-Gen Genomics

WHAT IT IS: Making DNA as easy to program and manipulate as an iPhone app.
WHY IT’S DISRUPTIVE: Medicines as we know them will become obsolete—and eventually, so will we.
WHO TO WATCH: Ginkgo BioWorks, 23andMe

Feeling disruptive? Tell us about it! There’s always a new tech revolution on the horizon, and we’d love to get your take. Let’s get the conversation started—leave a comment or feel free to contact us any time.

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