Ever since Internet's infancy, the question interested me - not that I've ever been particularly technical expert. What can IT do for me? Information technology, computers, fibers, networks, communication. In the early 90s - I understood that technology had a huge potential to change what we do in life. I became involved in different projects in Sweden, mainly to inspire and support culture and education to start using information technology. This was part of a revolution in how we communicate and get information. It took the world to my desk at home. Our ability to communicate and handle information has improved dramatically . The latest big step in that change is the smartphone. Now we do not have to sit by our machines any longer. The smartphone takes the possibilities to my pocket, when I'm on the move. The smartphone has allowed me to be mobile - and still have access. And that is where this blog will focus. My name is Alexander Rudenstam, I'm born in Colombia, lived in Sweden and I'm part of an interesting project in Vienna.
At the end of 2015 I met with Austrian Martin Gebauer in Medellin, Colombia. A meeting that led on to Vienna, and from June 2016, me being involved in a project. Martin had his own ideas about developing a mobile app and asked me if I wanted to be part of the team what is now Connectz.
Today, almost a year later, there is a first concrete answer to the challenge. But certainly not the final answer. Along with Martin and later a growing team of dedicated and talented people, we will soon present the first version of connectZ. A mobile app that wants to improve my ability to check out and connect with whatever is happening around me and to connect with others. Services both Martin and I would have needed in Medellin for example.
connectZ has been and is a journey where we constantly learn new things about people, communication and technology, combined with human behavior, financial constraints and the lacking knowledge about the future that we all have. The challenge in the 90s and now: is not to get caught up in the technology and how it is manifested today. They will, if nothing extraordinary happens, constantly evolve, offer more, be more, less, faster, smaller, larger, more expensive, stronger, cheaper... The smartphone, as the arena for connections and information, is constantly changing. And we as users are constantly learning. My old mother - long time ago - did not see why she could have use of a fax. Today she has a smartphone, iPad and two computers. This is because it's all about us humans wanting to take care of our needs. We are curious, want to know more, want to get good suggestions, meet people that feels good, be involved in things that are worth while, to communicate, eat, love, learn, enjoy, survive. We did that thousand years ago, we did it in the 90s when this change started and we do it now. It's basically the same things, it's just technology has opened up new possibilities and perspectives. And finding and connecting, are two crucial parts - no matter how the technology looks like.
Desktop computers and the Internet made the desk the most important area regarding connecting and finding. The desktop computers combined with services to keep you in front of the screen are still keeping us on the chair, at the desk and behind the screen. Even in connecting with other humans. But this last change will make us more mobile again and it opens up time for me to connect with my local surroundings. While being at work, being in school, in the forest, traveling, in party-mood or taking a walk in the park. In big parts of the world, the smartphone is the only device.
We don't not want to keep the user in our app - we want to help to find and after that encourage the connecting part. Our ideas are around the question: how can technology support us when we are mobile and have a smartphone and new answers come every day. There are millions of answers, and our aim is to explore around what you as the user want and connect with you with what you want and is in your local area.
For me, Connectz is an important part of answering my initial question: A mobile solution that will help me explore and develop opportunities in my immediate surroundings. ConnectZ has it's focus on finding and connecting me to whatever I need in the moment: Food, interesting persons, buyers, sellers, suggestions, events, groups that are about offering/doing something in real world (irl) right now - and the offerings are just around the corner - we will show you where.
An important difference between us and many others, as producers of an IT-service, is probably that we have some ideas that we want to support in life. Key words - beside connecting - are: sustainability, anonymity, local surroundings, social, respect, safety and active. We have already started to test how this could work out here in Vienna, and our first long term subject will be how can we raise awareness and consciousness around food? Food is something all of us deal with everyday and several times. Some even do it for a living. And since we know that we can do better, we want to challenge others who are in the food sector (eaters, producers, sellers, retailers, wasters, activists, researchers) in how we can use technology like connectZ to make our own surrounding a bit more sustainable and conscious. Who can we connect to make this happen? Saving food? Group deals? Reduce food waste? And there are other ideas in our pipeline - like the field of transportation.
This app is focusing things that has the potential to happen now, outside the app and that are relevant for you. Getting info or messages from someone who is on the other side of the planet is fine, but in most cases it can wait. We are focusing on NOW and live meetings. To learn, to eat, to create, to sell, to find, to ask, to buy, to meet.
In this blog you will be able to read:
- thoughts and ideas about humanity and technology,
- presentations of our mobile app connectZ and things related to it,
- about our events,
And we will also invite some guest bloggers, friends who has more in depth knowledge in specific areas - like food/technology.
In a few weeks you are welcome to be part of this when we launch connectZ 1.0 and take a new step in exploring the question: What can IT do for me?
If you are running a business and are thinking about ideas on how can I reach my local surroundings? Connect with us!
If you are part of a group who want to explore how IT can be used to improve your own personal part of the world? Connect with us!
Together with you and others we will explore the question: What can IT do for me?