Earl Butz was the US Secretary of Agriculture who shifted domestic policy to support large-scale farm production. As a man who grew up through the Great Depression, poverty and hunger no doubt influenced his view on food policy. People in his youth couldn’t afford to eat and his policy in many ways fixed that. When he was asked about the unintended consequences of this policy, he almost looked perplexed. Read On…
This post was originally posted on the Adaptive Path blog.
Touch screen installations are by no means new. We have been using them in airports and ATMs for years now. With the advances in computing and gestural touch interfaces, we are starting to see them even be considered at the local Ann Taylor. This trend has often times made processes more streamlined and allowed people to interact with information and services in ways that were impossible a few years back. There is a downside to this however, germs. New studies have shown that our touchscreen devices, most notably our iPads are germ magnets. So while we should not be running back to our caves in fear, we need to understand the implications of touch-based interfaces — especially in the context of public environments. One place in particular where touch-based interactions pose a serious hazard are hospitals. The CDC estimates that 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, or Nosocomial infections occur each year with 99,000 resulting in death. When germs are a deadly issue, the last thing you want is to have thousands of people touching the same thing.
Sharing ideas, work and knowledge used to be an extremely novel concept. It is now increasingly accepted as vital for community recognition and distinction for businesses. We publish all types of information online, but the sharing of ideas, thoughts and insights is arguably the most fundamental and imperative form. With the pervasiveness of sharing, its current manifestation is quickly becoming the lowest common denominator. Our standard methods of sharing are quite old (in internet years) and improvements upon them are yielding diminishing returns. The thought leaders and evangelists of ideas who fostered the sharing environment will likely push sharing to its next step. I believe the focus of this next step needs to be on behavioral and technological improvements allowing shared ideas to more easily grow beyond their initial form and also empowers communities to participate in the process.