"It's a Great Time to be a Geek!" - Ideas for Writers

I returned this week from the Gartner IT Operations Strategies and Solutions Summit in Orlando, Florida. It's a "Great Time to be a Geek!" Technology is always changing, and there will be exponentially more devices and applications in the next five years that will access the Internet. It's mind-boggling.

Good writers are always looking for ideas - no matter where they are. I came up with a great plot line for my PI series. Here's some of what I learned:

  • There are already smart elevators that use scans to get to your floor, rather than buttons.
  • There are mining operations with computer-driven equipment, including trucks.  The biggest problem they had was with the ruts in the road. All of the trucks took the same path back and forth, and caused a lot of damage. The operators had to program a variety of algorithms to save the mining roads.
  • Ethical reviews are important with technology. For example, should medical devices be blue-tooth-enabled for monitoring? It's a great way for your physician to monitor you, but what happens if it's hacked? Think about the possibilities for legal and medial thrillers.
  • Everything is possible, and nothing is certain. Sounds like a lot of change in the future. As a writer, you do need to be careful when mentioning specific technology unless your work is set in a specific time period. Fax machines and flip phones are out of date.
  • By 2020, over 25 BILLION things will be connected to the Internet. In addition to phones, tablets, and laptops, things like printers, copiers, cars, hospital beds, and refrigerators will be reporting data or communicating to other devices and services.
  • Work is now an activity and not a place. People can work anywhere, anytime.