August 21, 2009

Hope, Hype and Honesty : Technology at the Edge


Every new technology ( or idea for that matter ) that appears in the human psyche goes through the phases shown above [ see chart ] if they survive adolescence and enter maturity. Virtual Worlds, Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing are three ideas that keep churning through my thoughts and I was pleasantly surprised to find the three of them being addressed in the Gartner report on technology hypes.

Being an early enthusiast of and evangelist for Second Life -- the 3D Virtual World where I had first set up my first Kali Temple and virtual Praxis B-school -- I had been resigned to the fact that low penetration of personal broadband lines will hamper the growth of this wonderful technology. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Second Life has posted a 94% QoQ growth and now has nearly US$ 50m of user to user transactions every month. Also the availability of Wireless Broadband from the CDMA players will accelerate acceptance and finally pull it out of the "Trough of Disillusionment" and take towards the "Plateau of Productivity"

Web 2.0 is moving closer into the "Slope of Enlightenment" and we can see it right here at Praxis and our very own Kollaborative Klassroom. Not only have we adopted this Orkut lookalike as our base platform, it is so widely popular with both students and faculty that we very often wonder how other schools and colleges can do without this platform.

However, Cloud Computing is in danger of having a dramatic fall from the "Peak of Inflated Expectations". While we at Praxis continue to use Cloud Computing to the hilt -- both for our Kollaborative Klassroom, as well as a part of our academic curricullum -- there has been, of late, some reality checks that have been performed on the claims that are being made by the various vendors like Google, MS and Amazon. These test show some weaknesses but this only to be expected in an area as new and as challenging as this but I am quite sure that once people get to know about tools like Zoho Creator, the adoption process will pick up and enter the mainstream.

But while it is good to know that technologies that were once at the bleeding edge are now moving into the mainstream ... what is that shall keep us awake at night ?

Thought controlled MMORPG ? Think about it and no puns intended !

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