Technology Usage & Adoption.A Fable…

This week I went up to Liverpool to see my oldest bezzie mate and my family. So here’s a question… and it would be great to hear from you on this, what do you call your family-family? IE your spouse and children? In contrast to your parents-and-siblings-family? Answers on a postcard please…

Which brings me to the latest musings for this blog. Do you remember when we watched “Blue Peter” or “That’s Life”, it was always “Answers on a Postcard please” to any prize quiz on the telly-box. Oh how we have moved on in such a short space of time. Now it’s all text this and NFC that.

So, I was Skyping with my 7 year old from my Mum’s the other day. She is of the tech generation that if you say ‘mouse’, her first thought is to run a mile and call Rent-a-kill. To give her due respect though, she can now text. V.E.R.Y. S.LO.W.L.Y…

My mum is a little bit frail, and so not able to make it down to see us that often. She would love to come down more often than she does. My brothers on the other hand are down all the time which is lovely…

However…(read BUT)

I have bought them a bit of kit to enable them to have Skype calls on their ageing laptops. If only so I don’t have to wash and change their sheets every two minutes. They have had this kit now for 18months. Have they used it? Have they nif-naf. It is still in the box.

So while up there this week, on my swishy Big-Mac (as opposed to my little iPad), I gave Mum a Skype treat. She spoke to her Grandson, who duly showed her round the copious amounts of Harry Potter lego on our sitting room floor. Mum saw the intricacies of the Weasley’s Burrow on a very low grade camera and she is beyond thrilled. Imagine if she was using full on TelePresense in her home like the folk in Korea, courtesy of Cisco, do.

My brothers’ were both duly instructed to set up their Sykpe so she could see her Grandson and participate in his life in a much more meaningful way.

The best bit of this wee anecdote, is that Mum has a pal who lives in New Zealand, so they ration themselves to speaking on the phone once every 4 months. Not anymore. Mum has sent her the kit, so they are now are on the brink of being Skype’d.

The moral of this story is that we Technologists can see and evangelise the value of video conferencing and telepresence as much as we like. However until we can demonstrate the real value to people and how they will apply the technology to enhance their day to day, (work or home) it’s just a bunch of unsightly wires in a box, that will never get opened.

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