Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Hype Cycle

Some devices can over promise, underwhelm, or completely take us by surprise. The Gartner group put together what they call the Hype Cycle.

Some years ago a number of analysts observed there was a pattern of new technology," says Laura Behrens, analyst at Gartner. "Something new would happen, there would be tremendous excitement, followed by disillusionment. Then some of those would eventually become well understood in their markets. "This happened with such regularity that they could do this model."

On a curve of development, the Hype Cycle tries to predict where technologies are heading: into our pockets and living rooms, or into the Betamax graveyard.

It starts with the "technology trigger", where a breakthrough or event generates publicity, exposing the gadget or technology to a wider audience. This is not a Middle Earth battle ground; it is where technology goes to wilt when it fails to deliver its promises. As people start to learn more about the technology, it starts to struggle up the slope of enlightenment. The final stage is the "plateau of productivity" when it becomes mainstream.

So I'm curious to add an LTDC Hype Cycle of our own that try to map where the technologies we so often hear about rest along the curve. To begin:
Solar panels
SMS for health
Micro lending/micro insurance
Telemedical Apps
Wireless for the Last Mile
Drug discovery guided by traditional remedies
and yes, the OLPC

What else?
Does anyone know of a cool Ajax or Flash app where people can mark up our curves?

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