Back to the Future IV

Scott Kisloski
Jan 6, 2014

Well…it’s 2014. For a kid born in the early seventies, 2014 was the future. If you think about it though, this really is the future…with talking computers like HAL (or Siri); with electronic books like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (or the Kindle); with robotic fabricators like the machines on the Jetsons (or MakerBot); and with communicator watches like the ones in Dick Tracy (or the Pebble). Hell, we even have jetpacks and flying cars (but, sadly, not those hoverboards from Back to the Future II).

Yes, we live in a world where our wildest dreams of the future have been actualized. Cyborgs? Most of us have an electronic brain on our bodies at all times, in the form of smartphones and tablets. A Blade Runner cityscape? Look at the digital billboards in Tokyo and Manhattan and just about every big city in the world. Telepresence? FaceTime and Skype and Google Hangouts are allowing us to communicate just like on the USS Enterprise. Artificial Intelligence? Think about all the apps and websites that are making decisions and performing tasks for us everyday.

How did we end up in the future? Did we just turn the Carousel of Progress and all of a sudden advance years ahead? It was a little bit more involved than that. We taught entrepreneurship and engineering. We built ecosystems and communities. We arranged funding and work paradigms. We conceived methodologies and processes to allow for innovation. And in the end, we created a world where the future was possible.

At Spire, we’re lucky enough to be a part of that world. Each day, we help individuals and companies develop products, many of them ideas that were never thought imaginable until the future. We walk our clients through the process of innovation, allowing a revolutionary concept to become an app or a website or a device that actually exists. And, we build the software and the interfaces that make these products accessible and usable.

In 2013, we built a wearable computer, an engine for deciding what to read, a tool for virtually transferring money, a bot to help make educational decisions, and a method for sharing visuals. I’m excited to see what futuristic inventions we’ll be building in 2014.

What’s next? I don’t know, but I can tell you that in a year, in five years, in ten years, more of the cool stuff we once imagined would exist in the future will exist in the now. I’m just waiting for one of those hoverboards!

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