While I agree with your thoughts on the rewards smkinoshita, I constantly struggle with my kids to teach them that you don't always "get" a reward. Sometimes finishing is the reward, or doing well is the reward. We shouldn't have to "get" something in addition to the satisfactioon of having completed the task. That's a bigger social issue, but the more we "gamify" things the more people are going to require a reward in return for doing something that should be an accomplishment in itself.
I think your suggestion may have niche appeal, Scott. I say this only because the world is full of people who "know" perfectly well that their lifestyles are unhealthy, but aren't motivated by that knowledge. But yes, there's a market for it.
I think that instant reward is generational too, just like the gamin (and probably goes hand-in-hand). I know that getting in shape is going to take time and I'm OK to work on it. Maybe some of that just comes with being older (and of course wiser).
@Mitch: And most importantly, these apps have to start early so kids get into the mindset of health and moderation before bad habits are set.
To give an example, I once explained homework to my cousin's kid in terms of Pokemon. I explained that just how pokemon get stronger after every fight, I told him that doing his homework had the same effect on him because the idea of getting stronger with practice in pokemon came from real life.
@Mitch: The rewards may be ineffetive for you, but they could be very effective for others. The main goal of the app is to help people live their ideal lifestyle. Essentially, allowing you to really "see" the damage sitting all day does, as well as "see" your health improve by getting up, exercising, and eating right.
Part of the reason why living right is HARD is because there's no immediate health reward. It's not like if you exercise you immediately feel 'powered up'. You feel it over a period of time and notice things are easier to do. Whereas eating junk food and just wasting time provide immediate 'rewards'. So the gamification of the healthy lifestyle helps provide something more instant.
Yes. Those are great points. I added up the calories we expend doing regular chores once - it was in a magazine - and was amazed (happily) at how much all these chores I do total up. Made me happy to vacuum (for a short time anyway!).
Not the internet Kim, but automation in general. Standing at the sink doing dishes vs. putting them in the dishwasher. Vacuuming vs. watching the Roomba. Walking to the bookshelf to grab the dictionary vs. looking it up on the phone that's sitting beside you. It all adds up, especially if you're not eating well nor getting regular exercise.
It'd be purely optional, but for anyone concerned about their health it'd be a good motivator. Say it comes with a little meter of some sort (whatever it reads) and when you get up and move around, then it uses maybe NFC tech to process the results, and you see a healthy "blip" on your health meter letting you know you've extended your life expectancy.
For example, what if the computer included a health monitor app which predicted how much you'd weigh and had it on display in the upper right. It could be set to alarm the user when their health is degrading, and maybe reward the user for when their health was in the green. Make the interface game-like -- such as a health guage. That way it's cute enough to not be heavy-handed but serious enough that it sticks in the back of one's mind.
I did a joke about mandatory weight minimums for tech devices being 5 lbs (like the mouse, phone, etc).
But essentially, we're going to need to get creative with our tech so that it prevents us from sitting around too much. It shouldn't be mandatory or forced. I think we're going to have to incorporate gamification and other rewards as well as some practicality before we get it right.
I've thought about THAT too. When I was a kid (good grief, I sound like my grandfather), I bicycled EVERYWHERE, every day. To friends houses', to the store, sometimes on dangerous busy roads. And the twist is that I was actually, by the standards of that day, an obese, sedentary, bookish kid. By today's standards, I would be considered freakin Davy Crockett Jr.
Alison, absolutely. I was thinking about that the other day. The Amish don't reject all modern technology -- they consider each advance and whether it will be good for their way of life. They've adopted the Internet and cell hones, but only for business, not in the home. We could all stand to learn from the Amish.
Magazines and other media of the late 19th Century were very concerned about the effect of phones on the virtues of young ladies, who would be able to communicate with young gentlemen without the supervision of their fathers. We laugh about that today,but we take for granted living in the world those people feared.
They'd be equipped with all kinds of sensors. There'd be a lot more people on the roads though, so infrastructure would suffer: More seniors, more people with disabilities, perhaps younger "driving" ages--why would you have to be 15 or 17?
Alison, no street signs. Cars moving bumper to bumper, because robots have faster reflexes. No traffic signals at intersections -- cars would weave together at high speeds, always missing each other (but only by short distances). It would be incredibly scary to someone from 2013. But the teen-agers of that time will have grown up with it. They will have known nothing else.
Kim, that's a good question. When a human being is driving down a residential street and sees a baseball roll out into the road, he automatically brakes and looks out for kids. Will a machine be able to exercise the same judgment?
I wish you all could have been at my dinner with my friend yesterday. he's a great guy -- it was a fanastic Thai restaurant -- and we talked about this a lot. We talked about the United landing on the Hudson River. He says most laypeople picture that as an act of fast reflexes and daring, like the chase scene in the third STAR WARS movie. In fact, it was more a case of keeping a calm head in a crisis, and exercising good judgment and making good decisions.
I wonder if people who dislike self-driving cars view them as less than today's cars. The driver sits in the front with absolutely nothing to do. Whereas I think of it like a tiny little train car for one, with a comfortable bucket seat and Internet access.
I can only go as anecdotal evidence: When my friend Ken comes down to San Diego from where he lives in LA, he always drives because he loves the drive. When I go up to LA, I always take the train (when I can) because I don't like the drive but I don't mind the train ride.
Kim, you could be right. It could be something that has "gee whiz!" appeal, rather than practical reality. For one thing, for the kinds of jobs that these robots would do, people are inexpensive. Bicycle messengers and UPS couriers surely aren't paid THAT much.
I was having a conversation about self-driving cars with a friend who's a commercial pilot last night. He's very skeptical they'll ever become mainstream. He says making a car that drives better than a person will prove impractical. And that if people wanted self-driving cars, they'd use mass-transit more.
Alison, one of the things the Wired article touches on is that it's only recent that we have the ability to give the robots the ability to sense what is around them. Until now robots in factories have been fenced off because they're dangerous. Now that they're more self-aware they can actually work WITH humans, not just FOR them.
Still, drones have revolutionized warfare in ways that civilians aren't entirely aware of. And I think we're going to see drones and robots -- real, hardware robots in the science fiction sense of the word -- change a lot of things about civilian life in coming years.
And then there's John Robb's Dronenet idea: http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=625&doc_id=256830&f_src=internetevolution_gnews Which the more I think about it te more I think that it might turn out to be as revolutionary as he says, and might be another Segway.
Kim, oh, yes, absolutely. People have confused the Web for the Internet from the outset of the consumer Web. Dealing with just one very old example: The email is part of th Internet, but it is not a Web app. Same for IM and Twitter.
When people talk about going online, surfing the Web, or using the Internet, they're generally referring to using a collection of websites. I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact that the Internet pervades our lives in all kinds of other ways.
There was a promo for 60 Minutes (to air on Sunday) about robots, too, @kenton. It showed a warehouse with these American-made robots that look like those robot vacuums. They use RFIDs and wireless, and are preprogrammed to know where to go, what to take, how to travel when loaded and heavy... really amazing.
There is an interesting series of articles in the current Wired magazine about robots. The big thing it has pointed out to me is how the "internet" is really becoming the "robot" that is doing all sorts of things for us. Data analysis of big data is one example.
I certainly think you're onto something there Mitch. I think we're seeing a commoditization of the web infrastructure to use it to facilitate all the other stuff. Apps are an example of this. I hardly use a browser on my phone, yet everything I do is using the internet underneath.
And every day I read the paper, and see new medical reports, for example. You see how they're using big data to combine hundreds or thousands of studies on the same disease. Then use all those studies to figure out humungous strides based on tens or hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, combine that data with social media insight...
Yes, that's where things like cloud and big data get exciting. Because the infrastructure is all being put into place and now people and orgs are moving on into pushing the actual technology into more exciting and useful and innovative areas. For example, we're seeing organizations using cloud for things more than just storage.
So help me out with a theory, IQ Crew. Theory: The evolution of the Internet is now happening off the Internet. Argument: While innovation on the Internet has descended to the level of Instagram-clones and weather apps, the Internet is being harnessed for exciting innovation -- in the real world. The Internet of Things, self-driving cars, drones, and reinventing whole segments of the economy: Retail, education, medicine, etc.
"Computer users are being advised by security experts to disable Oracle's widely used Java software after a security flaw was discovered in the past day that they say hackers are exploiting to attack computers."
I didn't follow CES all that closely. Part of the reason was that the news I did see didn't seem all that interesting. The flexible OLED tablet was cool but I've learned not to get excited about prototypes.
Join the editors of Internet Evolution for our weekly Friday chat today (that's Friday), Jan. 11, 2013, at 2 pm, right here. We'll talk about the top news of the week and whatever else strikes our fancy.
And did you see how I wrote the year correctly three times in this message. Didn't write 2012 once!
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I've been writing about how the next evolution of the Internet might just be an advertising revolution, and how corporate IT can stay involved as the enablers and providers of the technologies that make this possible.
In the 1970 science fiction thriller Colossus: The Forbin Project, two giant supercomputers from the United States and Soviet Union secretly join forces to take control of the collective nuclear might of the two countries. In the film, the two machines discover each other's existence, communicate back-and-forth, share their collective data, and cut their human creators out of the process. It is the ultimate example of machine-to-machine communications, or M2M.
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
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