A Look at Changing Technology with Peter Leyden

By |  January 6, 2016
Peter Leyden.

Peter Leyden

Peter Leyden is founder and CEO of Reinventors, a network of innovators who use group video to conduct online interviews and roundtable discussions about how to “reinvent” America.

He frequently gives presentations about new technologies and trends. Leyden began his career as a journalist, and is the co-author of two books. Here’s a look at his thoughts on technology, and how it’s changing.

What’s next in technology? Leyden says in the technology world, the way people do things has changed many times. These paradigm shifts have been happening for decades, and several are happening now. Historic changes are underway, he says, thanks primarily to the use of telecommunications, computers and the Internet.

“It’s now gotten to the point where we’ve got 2 billion people on the planet now who are online,” Leyden says. “In the last 10 years, we now have 5 billion [who] have cell phones. So three-fourths of the planet is connected to this telecom network. Soon, you’re going to have almost every human being on the planet connected with powerful computers in the palm of their hands for dirt cheap, connected with high bandwith. This is a big deal.”

Everyone has taken advantage of these technological changes. People can access the information they want and need by using touchscreen tablets; these compact devices take the place of books, newspapers and magazines. The use of smartphones makes it possible to take high-definition videos and high-quality photos. Smartphone apps facilitate tasks that would otherwise be difficult. Video communication allows for virtual “face-to-face” meetings.

The way in which people now use the Internet illustrates a major technological change. In 2005, Leyden says, video really began to take off thanks to YouTube. Today, the number of videos on the Internet continues to climb.

“Every single day, 2 billion videos are streaming off of YouTube. Every day,” Leyden says. There are only 6.7 billion people on the planet. It’s an insane amount of video.”

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter demonstrate how people share data. But it’s not just about a shift in the way technology is used, according to Leyden. It’s a generational change, too, and the millennial generation is the biggest in American history.

“They will be a force to be reckoned with,” he predicts. The members of this group are racially diverse, affluent, inclined to travel abroad, civic-minded and optimistic. They’ll have a big impact on how technology is used. Technology will continue to change.

“What’s next is essentially the shift in solving problems,” Leyden says, noting that technology has changed the way we now solve problems. People used to communicate with each other by meeting in person, then they sent emails, next came instant messaging, and now they collaborate via video conferencing. The goal of the virtual meeting tools that are now available is to “get close to the subtlety and complexity of physical meetings,” he says.

Whether we like it or not, change is happening. Leyden believes we’d better learn to adapt.

You can reach Managing Editor Diane Sofranec at dsofranec@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3793.

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