- We were trying to come up with the top 5 high tech developments since 1980 on the ride home.
- The PC, Internet, cell phone and GPS were 1 – 4. We could not agree on 5.
- Some say laser scanning will be bigger than GPS, but can it make it into the consumer world?
On the ride home from my much too short vacation I was playing a little game with my children. Our attention had been on the new GPS car navigation device that my daughter had just purchased for the trip, and how well it had performed, even on the back roads of the Adirondacks. It was sending us on the “short cuts” that my brother had only found out about after 10 years of traveling in that area.
I asked the group for the top 5 high tech developments since 1980. Of course the Internet and the PC were the top 2 in reverse order. We then went with the cell phone and GPS as 3 and 4. We actually did not come up with a clear winner for the 5 spot.
My question is where do you think 3D laser scanning is going to rank as time goes on. I have heard a number of people say that it will be bigger than GPS, which I do tend to agree with from a technical/surveying application perspective.
But I am not sure about the potential impact of laser scanning in the consumer market. Without that there is no hope of it making the top 5. If you include the medical field, such as dentistry, and/or expand the definition to include all of the 3D imaging applications it will get closer, but knowing the technical background of GPS and seeing how the awesome power of this technology has been commercialized is truly amazing. It is a tribute to all those entrepreneurs who had the vision to create these applications.
There are some applications that have the potential to go mainstream, such as collision avoidance, but it does not seem as obvious as needing directions. Those who do come up with a consumer app just might hit a homer.