Emerging Technology Group Update

Bah (hum) bugs.  Too many easy puns this time of the year.  Too easy…

Now where were we?  Since we last publicised our little group here at the KfH, our team members have been busy bees.  One such bee, Catherine, attended an interesting conference app-tly (like I said, too easy) named Internet Librarian International (ILI) conference.  Click here (www.swimsnetwork.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/102-Swimming-Pool-Dec-2017.pdf)

and zoom to page 6 for fantastic insights.

For moi, Lesson #1 is worth a little discussion: fad vs trend.

Hands up to those who have bought that fancy piece of technology only to realise that after one mere annum down everyone’s life, you cannot even find it in ANY bargain basement of well-known low-cost high street shops?  I share your pain.  Truly.  Minidisc anyone?

For me, fad = fashion, trend = usefulness.  To wring it another way, perceived usefulness (fad) versus real usefulness (trend).  Things that showcase as the ‘must buy’, those high-fashion colourful shiny new tech, bits that make you feel superior and full of high status.  FAKE NEWS!!  Mundane, geeky, dull stuff, those you see people quoting lots of numbers and unheard of vernacular on.  REAL NEWS!!

Augmented reality/virtuality is a trend, virtual AI assistant (store.google.com/gb/product/google_home, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Alexa,  microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/cortana ) is a trend and common to popular beliefs, VR glasses is a trend (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Glass ).  Or certainly the beginning of one.  Curved TVs are a fad, >90% screen to body ratio phones are a fad; perhaps even smart watches are a fad.

What does this mean for LKS and the NHS?  Understanding the potential and utilising technological trends is very powerful indeed.  For example:

Virtual reality has already been utilised by cool surgeons for operating on patients (bartshealth.nhs.uk/news/surgeons-use-virtual-reality-to-operate-from-different-sides-of-the-world-2171 ).  AI and voice commands are already being explored within the health sectors by politicians and web giants (www.digitalhealth.net/2017/12/artificial-intelligence-voice-technology-health-sector).

So let’s take this one step further.

What if we can have a virtual library when someone dons  a VR headset/Google Glass?  How about if we use augmented virtuality for educational purposes or to simply tour our Trust (www2.mmu.ac.uk/creativear/projects/the-box-project-mixed-reality/)? How about if we complimented all this by AI virtual assistance to help with FAQs.  I could literally see Estates jumping for joy here at the sound of this, and the cries of ICT department at the implementation.

Hindsight is something of a wonderful thing however, and sadly, I do not have an X-Men like soothsayer’s abilities to predict such outcomes.  Only time will tell.  Ahh there goes my dream of owning an island filled with quokkas.

As the once famous (?) rapper said, back to reality.  Our team look to publish on our specialist technological domains once every two months, lovingly listed below.

David :                  Future concepts (AI; algorithms; augmented reality; automation; gamification)

Yi Wen:                Digital security (encryption; digital security; privacy issues and concerns; anonymity)

Catherine:           Software and apps (FOC and low cost readily available software or programs (for individual use or a small group); mobile apps )

Alex:                      Hardware (current and upcoming hardware (e.g. 3D printers, 3D/QR barcode, iPhone X); translation of industry hardware to LKS settings (e.g. manufacturing, engineering))

Stephen:              e-Platform and delivery methods (e-learning platform (to share knowledge) e.g. using Google Docs for lecture taking; digital social space/media;             digital methods of delivery (e.g. for knowledge mobilisation))

For those who are familiar with the TLDR (too long didn’t read):

Fad = fashion, trend = useful goodness.  Look out AI assistance, VR stuff and cheap VR headsets.  Ignore curved TVs.  I will leave you with one final thought:

are e-books a fad or a trend?

Happy Christmas 🙂

David Low
Emerging Technology Group

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