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Spring – A Time for Something New

Tech - by David Neubert - updated on 4/4/2014

According to the "Diffusion of Innovation" theory, as popularized in a book by Everett Rogers, there are 5 categories of adopters that we all fall into: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Which one are you?

Diffusion of Innovation Model; Innovators 2.5%, Early Adopters 13.5%, Early Majority 34%, Late Majority 34%, Laggards 16%

These days, with so many channels of communication to acquire fresh information, the ability to broaden our personal horizons has never been so vast or accessible. Likewise, with innovation in technology happening all around us, it's never been easier to adopt and acquire the latest devices that incorporate these advancements. From smart phones to smart cars to smart home systems, how soon will you adopt these new technologies and purchase the gadgets that use them? Here are some incredible new innovations that we will all have the chance to adopt … sooner or later.

Google Glass and Smart Watches – Made famous by James Bond, wearable technology is now a reality. Allowing you to surf the web, access GPS, take and send photos and videos, and communicate with your contacts by voice or text, these devices are both functional and fashionable.

Vehicle Fuel Efficiency/Self-driving cars – Audi's Sport Quattro LaserlightV8 hybrid concept car can get 90 miles per gallon, has a self-driving mode and its laser headlights are three times stronger than standard LEDs. Not to mention, cars are now being built for mobile device connection, with Android's operating system becoming available in vehicles sometime this year. Furthermore, with the advancement of battery capacity and electric cars, Tesla and other manufacturers will continue to rise in popularity.

Pair of Google glass

Solar Power – For the first time, solar power is becoming a plausible energy source for the masses. With advancements in semiconductor technology, the photovoltaic cells that make up solar panels and convert sunlight into usable electricity are able to be produced at a size and rate that makes them affordable and practical for almost anyone. Two applications growing in popularity are solar-powered landscape lights and solar-powered battery chargers.

Graphene supercapacitors and batteries – By creating a highly porous form of Graphene, supercapacitors are now able to replicate power storage that will last ten times longer and charge ten times faster than conventional Lithium-ion batteries. The implications of this will be felt across numerous industries, from mobile devices to electric vehicles. With commercialization on the horizon for this technology, the hang-ups surrounding frequent battery charging will all but be eliminated in these revolutionized applications.

LED light bulbs – Many researchers are surprised at the rapidness at which LED technology has evolved. Always considered a wise investment recent legislation has helped to make these light bulb types more affordable for all consumers. Now, the previous objections to these bulbs – price and color temperature familiarity – are all but gone due to the tremendous strides made in LED technology over the past few years.

an led light bulb opened showing 4 pieces

Smart Home Systems – Everywhere you turn, it seems like just about everyone is jumping on board with smart home technology. That's because it really makes sense. With wireless capabilities and remote accessibility that we're able to achieve with our numerous smart devices, we can control our temperature, lighting and water efficiently whether at home or away. Utilizing these Convenient smart home systems makes for a more convenient lifestyle while also conserving energy and saving money.

There are so many ways that innovation in technology is shaping our lives on a daily basis. Often it enhances our lives, making tasks easier or more efficient, and many times it actually makes us healthier and conserves the environment and its resources. Still, change can be a strong deterrent for many of us, and ultimately, it's up to each one of us to personally decide when we're ready to try something new. Are you ready?