Benjamin S. Barnett

14 posts

Let Me Blow Ya Mind

There's no question about it, we live in a crazy age. An age where nearly anything is possible. I once listened to, and scoffed at a Graduation Speech, delivered by Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting star), where he remarked "what if this is all a simulation?" Before you laugh, honestly and sincerely consider the following.

We live in an age of "fake news," a time of virtual reality, and are witnessing what we're told is the dawn of Artificial Intelligence. All of these things are fun to think about separately (among other "futuristic" technologies), but imagine the possibility of using these technologies together.

Technology has the power to shape our perception of reality.

What if what we're told about the world, about existence, about reality is all one big facade? Not to shelter us, or harm us in any way, but to keep things running smoothly (or, at times, not so much). What if virtual reality applied to our TV screens? What if "fake news" was tailored to each of us? What if Artificially Intelligent CGI existed so that the faces that we all recognize could be made and manipulated to say what we, on an individual level need to hear? Throw Big Data in there and there's no telling what's really possible...

We all know about planned obsolescence... What about planned innovation? For how far into the "future" have companies prepared? Not only that... what agreements these companies have with the other giants in the world (i.e. governmental agencies) when it comes to "classified" technologies.

What if the real problem wasn't preventing nuclear weapons from being created / used, but rather was preventing the existence of light sabers and laser guns from being common knowledge. What if the celebrated "greats" of innovation were just the ones that discovered this alternate (honest) reality and negotiated with the right people to maintain the illusion? What if their job was to plan the release of "The Next Big Thing," which really existed over twenty years ago?

How good are we at concealing our secrets, our most valuable innovations?

There's no question that Bill Gates' reality is different than mine. But how different? How profound of a difference is there between his public life, and his private life? Does he live in the public eye, anticipating the camera flash and the printed photographs, only to go home to take and print pictures with his mind? Take some time to laugh at this dramatic example, but at the same time - consider my point.

How many veils have been pulled over our eyes? And for whom will they be lifted? Is there someone out there who knows for a fact that aliens have visited earth, that time-travel is real, and that we live in a cyclical reality? If there were, all that's needed to keep this person quiet is the possibility of public embarrassment / shaming.

As a society we do not ask "higher level" questions because we've been conditioned not to. We're raised to accept our reality, and to not question it. We barely push the envelope when it comes to the real truth. We ask "was the election rigged," but don't ask whether our President is picked decades in advance by artificially intelligent machines that have existed for over a century (another dramatization).

If you do anything with your time in 2017 - branch out! Ask yourself questions you once considered "crazy," because the truth is - crazy is the new possible. There's no telling what lies ahead - the world is only going to continue on this trend of "innovation" and this is a great way to prepare! In the words of Mythbuster Adam Savage "Reject [their] reality and substitute [your] own."

Guiding Innovation

I was recently asked by an online form (form, not forum) why someone should work for Universally Thinking? My response was simply, "if your dream job consists of being encouraged to think abstractly, to question what is possible and to push the limits of the unfortunate, current state of our creative reality... we may be a perfect fit."

I know there will always be a need for innovation and creativity. The fact is, the current state of our creative reality rests at just a fraction of its potential greatness. We are here to help society realize its ingenious potential.

Collectively we've spent Billions of dollars on "The Next Big Thing" which was just a micro-sized version of a technology that has existed for over 10 years. Yes I am talking about the Smart-Watch. No I do not own one.

It is sad to say, but top Tech Corporations need help innovating. "Innovation" as it stands for Tech Corps is to wait for a startup to grow large enough for it to be a justifiable acquisition.

Instead of this model of what I like to call "Observe and Acquire" why not move on to "Risk and Realize." In other words, why not do what Microsoft (yes I said Microsoft) has done and take a chance on new technology (HoloLens). Of course I could have said (and should have said) Google for it's Glass project as well. Google's Glass 1.0 flopped but they still tried. And yes, I would have purchased one.

How can Universally Thinking help? Simple. We can think like a consumer and think like a startup. I am not going to say that all of our concepts will be huge but, I do believe that any company that currently aims to produce a facade of being a "top innovator" can achieve the more desirable reality of being a top innovator with us on their side.

Consumers can only purchase the same technology for so long before they start going outside and socializing again (look up dopamine). @AllInclusiveTagForTechCompanies Why not start taking chances? Sure they could flop.. but learn from Microsoft and Google.. Even the failed concepts will strengthen your reputation as innovators. The lame duck stops here. Just another Universal Thought.

Apple, Schmapple

Let’s discuss Apple’s product line for a moment. Anyone who has watched a Jobs’ documentary or read about his history knows how much he loved innovation.

The problem I see with Apple today is complacency, and rightfully so, they are worth hundreds of billions more than any other company on globe. But do the consumers not deserve more than “complacent innovation”? Don’t the loyal Appleites deserve more than just a different sized touch screen and minor feature additions like software updates. Oooh Ahhh, said no one.

If you can’t create a HoloGram quite yet and you haven’t perfected the invisibility cloak, at least get creative with the technology we’ve been buying for years. Put projectors on laptops and make presentations a breeze. Heck, put touchscreens on the Macbook for awesomeness and by golly let the screen swivel. For that matter have one screen for a keyboard and one for a viewport. When you swivel the viewport screen have it be mirrored on the keyboard screen. Show the person across the table what you are working on with ease. Also! Transparent tech, don’t say that it can’t happen. Make it happen, along with flexible tech. Why is Samsung out innovating the no. 1 product supplier in the world? Take chances, reap the rewards.

Raising the Innovative Bar recently featured an article with the phrase "Want to Seem Innovative?" in the title. While the article offered good advice and input about the new .nyc domain extension, the title raised a flag.

"Want to Seem Innovative?" Seem innovative. It seems that this is the practice of many large corporations these days - giving the illusion of innovation in the form of larger and smaller screens. Have things really changed that much? Are we not still using the technology we perfected some ten years ago as our main source of procurable "innovation?"

Don't get this wrong, it is widely known that Apple's newest iPhone is still attractive to consumers (more so than ever) but there is nothing really stopping us from using our dinosaur of an iPhone 4. After all, the only thing we have to gain is a larger screen and an unruly display - we have all heard about pocketGate.

In this day and age anything is possible. Instead of asking when, ask why not now? Why aren't we making huge strides in technology? Instead of making bigger and smaller screens - make flexible, resizable, screens. Make transparent technology for windows, table tops and other awesome applications.

When thinking of the great innovators of this lifetime, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk come to mind, not Apple and Tesla - and that really is a shame. With the resources available to these tremendous corporations (that's Billions with a "B") we should expect more, a whole lot more.

The hover cars we have dreamt of for decades are nowhere near becoming a reality, and drones have yet to be used to their fullest potential. Facebook should be a cloud based Operating System (call me for details) by now, yet it is still just a website.

The looming question of “why not now” has a very simple answer. If new technology were released as soon as possible, how much would the potential profit of old (and boring) technology diminish? Think about it, if transparent or flexible touch screens were released just months after the original touch screen, Apple and their competitors would lose out on nearly ten years of potential profit – or several Billions of dollars. The truth is, these companies have no incentive to “Raise the Innovative Bar” other than maintaining the illusion of timely brilliance.

Do we not deserve more for shoveling money into the hole that is the varied sized touch screen? How much can we invest in the same technology before it gets old?

The truth is, these companies would not exist without our support, maybe it is time they begin listening and stop delaying the release of truly new technology. Until then, we can all awkwardly nod in contempt of "The Next Big Thing" commercials featuring the release of the slightly larger and slightly smaller displays.