Sometimes we lament how boring tech has become. I’ve definitely felt that blogging about tech is less fun than it used to be. So much of the conversation has had to move to market power, antitrust, and content policies as those have become more important than the cool new tech we see releasing.
Phones are getting faster, thinner, and higher resolution, but they’re not really changing the game, they’re linear improvements.
Given that slump in excitement, I think it’s worth noting that in the first half of 6 months, we’ve had two major breakthroughs that have tons of people enjoying things that they’ve simply never experienced before. ChatGPT launched last year, but it really hit the mainstream in early 2023, and it’s blown basically everyone away with what it’s able to do. Microsoft has pivoted the whole company around this, and basically every software company is trying to figure out how they can leverage this tech to improve their products.
Then there’s Apple Vision Pro, which I think ended up being more of a leap into the future than most people expected it to be. Their demos were quite compelling, but what’s resonated with me are the impressions for everyone who got to actually use the product, which have also been positively glowing. Person after person comes out of their demo with some variant of, “it was unlike anything I’ve expected ever and I can’t even properly explain it to someone who hasn’t used it.”
There are of course questions and concerns about both of these products. The complications of LLMs are well documented, and the Vision Pro raises questions about isolation, use cases, social stigmas, and yet another closed operating system where Apple has absolute control over what software gets to exist.
These issues will all be debated and will come more into focus in time, but I also think it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate that we still live in an age of wonders.