A Brighter Perspective on Technology From Industry Veteran
This is a guest blog post from good friend Richard Rybka who provides a brighter perspective on technology than some of the critics. Great to have you back on the team Richard.
Recent research has found that some people are experiencing anxiety triggered by the declining percent of battery charge remaining on their cell phones! Don’t believe it?
Just this morning, I read an article (“The Unsettling Ways Tech is Changing Your Personal Reality”, by Markham Heid) on Medium.com that discussed this very topic. Proximity to a phone charging outlet is also cited as a potential mood changer.
What have we come to?
If you read some of the current trendy blogs and articles circulating on the Internet, you’ll get the impression that technology has a bad reputation. The addiction to digital media, especially social media, is identified as a serious problem facing our society. Statistics state that young people spend up to nine hours a day on smart phones. It’s even come to the point where self-esteem is equated to the number of “likes” a person gets on their “selfie”.
A Brighter Perspective
I have a much brighter perspective on technology. For eight years, I worked for a global company as a technology journalist and product specialist. I interviewed dozens of companies and individuals who told me stories of how the application of an advanced technology completely changed their workflows and businesses. Monumental increases in productivity, vast reductions in rework on building projects, and freedom from the scourge of human error were enthusiastically proclaimed. Being the person who recounted these stories as a journalist has forever changed my perspective on technology.
Thirty years of work experience in design, engineering, and construction made me a believer. Back in the day, a GPS base / rover system was considered advanced technology. While these systems have become the backbone of most survey and field engineering work, they are now eclipsed by more sophisticated systems that include spherical imagery and millimeter accuracy. But purchasing that GPS system enabled me to have more control over my workflow, less dependence on outside consultants, and reduced time in making critical decisions. My quality of life was greatly improved because I was in control of the company’s destiny.
Opportunities and More Opportunities
Market saturation is a fear of both technology manufacturers and service providers. Everybody’s got one, everybody’s doing it. Succumbing to this attitude is self-defeating. For the innovative thinkers, opportunities still abound.
For the past five years, I have worked in the natural gas pipeline industry. This is largely uncharted territory for the companies who can bring innovative solutions to the table. Producing as-built information is still, in many situations, a laborious, time consuming task recorded by hand with pencil and paper.
Heat numbers (alpha-numeric codes used for quantity control), size, grade, and strength are all attributes of steel pipe and fittings that must be recorded manually and become part of the as-built information. What if this information could entered into a spreadsheet on a tablet in the field, attached as attributes to the CAD design drawing, and integrated with the owner’s GIS database? The name for this workflow solution? PIM – Pipeline Information Modeling. This potential solution is out there, waiting for an innovator to capture it.
A Visionary Perspective
I will forever remain a visionary as I continue to research and write compelling technology success stories. My personal satisfaction comes from the fact that I have shared valuable information with others. These stories may provide the impetus for someone to invest in new solutions that will produce amazing improvements in workflow, profitability, and yes…quality of life!
I would like to thank my good friend Gene Roe for the opportunity to post this blog on Lidar News. I was a regular contributor to this fine online journal for several years, and hope to once again join Gene’s team of writers.