HWM (Singapore)


- Zachary Chan Editor

I believe the idea of advanced technology is fascinatin­g to everyone, but the reality is a lot more subdued. Growing up with science fiction, the future was filled with space travel, androids, teleportat­ion, time-travel, holograms and giant transformi­ng robots. Fast-forward 30 years later, and the best humanity has to offer is TikTok and AR filters.

To be honest, that’s what it is like working in tech journalism as well. I wouldn’t say I’m jaded after all these years. I still love seeing new products and technology announceme­nts. I would say that I’ve sort of tempered my expectatio­ns as to what these new products can do. Progress and improvemen­ts are evolutiona­ry, not revolution­ary. And this is true even for technologi­es that are considered “revolution­ary”. The majority of time, even if the tech is available, there are little to no use cases for it that would make it useful, and it takes years or even decades to build on it to the point where we are able to integrate it into our lives.

Think of all the buzzwords you’ve heard of over the past 5 years like IoT, AI, and the cloud. Think of the promises made and where we’re actually at today. Now, think of today’s buzzwords: blockchain, metaverse, web3. How many years do you feel it will be before there will be actual advancemen­ts to make these technologi­es useful in everyday life?

I do not think that any new technology can be considered a success when it is shiny and new. I believe technology can only be considered a success when it has been so integrated into our lives that we no longer think about using it.

The best success story in the past decade must definitely be the smartphone. What’s next?

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