Predicting the Future of Technology
Howdy! My name is Joseph Elandary, and I have been a Business Development Intern at JBKnowledge, Inc. for just over a year. This internship has been unlike any other, simply because I have had to use several high-level disciplines from my education as a Business Finance and Entrepreneurship Major at Texas A&M University. Even though the main chunk of this internship deals with lead generation and sales, I am constantly learning how this affects other aspects of the technology business. I have also had the unique opportunity to take part in the research and development of a new product through JBK Labs. Working with our Research & Development Team was an incredible experience and I would like to share what I have learned.
Standing in our shoes today, it is extremely difficult to predict what the future will look like. What will tomorrow look like? What about a week from now? A year? Ten years? Back to the Future Part II depicted the year 2015 as a place with hoverboards, hydration ovens for food, Lady Gaga styled clothing and flying cars that you need special glasses to drive. As a present day adult in 2015, I can attest that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even though some of those things do in fact exist, it is not part of our current culture and trends. I have never hovered on a skateboard (though I have, painfully, flown off a skateboard), I don’t wear leopard print clothing or have tattoos on my face, and my Jeep Wrangler definitely doesn’t fly. Even though the writers and directors of the movie may have humorously predicted that 2015 would look like this back in 1989, there are huge differences from where we actually are. Forecasting the future was also the big issue for us in JBK Labs – where will construction technology be in the future? Unfortunately we didn’t have a time traveling Delorean to help us figure this out.
Our launch team started with one vision, a way to capture images on jobsites that is seamless with current on-site activity, simple to use and integrated with iBeacons. We talked to several construction leaders who are currently in the field, involved with technology, or were once in the field. These interviews were the basis for the development of our product – i.e. what we thought the future would look like. We wanted to know what construction professionals wish they could see and track on the jobsite, what their biggest problems are and how we can provide value to them. Once we got the initial idea down for pictures and data tracking, we started creating a brand. Eventually we nailed down BuildStream, a solution that provides unprecedented insight to construction jobsite conditions, progress and employees.
After this, we thought we were done. We had created a product that added value to the construction world. JBKnowledge tends to push the limits on technology though. We were asked the question, what problems do construction workers have that they do not know about? How can we change the construction world, through tech, in order to make it safer and more efficient? These questions became the basis for our second round of work on BuildStream. Again we went out to construction professionals to learn more about their issues and what we could track. After these interviews, we discussed internally different use cases for specific tech that could be utilized to combat the source of these issues – not just the issue itself. We tried to imagine a new construction world when determining use cases. A construction world where tech could be used today, but also had the potential to grow so that it would not be considered irrelevant in two years.
Buildstream is still being tweaked to fit this future construction world we envision. We constantly push the boundaries here and ask ourselves these questions in order to provide the best in construction technology. So – what do you think? What will construction look like in the year 2041?