The world of technology has gotten so technical that even the tech geeks have trouble keeping up. Have you heard some buzzwords flying around recently – terms that you aren’t quite sure of their meaning but naturally, you don’t want to show your ignorance on your search history? It’s cool, we can help.
1. Augmented Reality
Since so much of the information we have is digital, instead of physical, augmented reality is a way to transpose the digital information over the actual physical world so that you can see both. Okay, that’s hard to picture. Try this: a builder is working from digital plans to build a new skyscraper. Augmented reality could be used to overlay the digital blueprints and schematics over the real building in progress so he could see both what is happening and what’s supposed to happen.
2. Big Data
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a good definition for this one, because even the industry’s top experts don’t exactly agree. What’s helpful in picturing big data is that it’s not only unimaginably massive, it’s also quite varied. Think about it this way: big data is like all of the posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all day every day. It consists of text, photos, videos, links, and more. Big data is useless, however, until it’s analyzed to produce useful results. Okay, bad example, but trust us, most of the insight gleaned from big data is actually useful.
3. Deep Learning
Deep learning is a trending topic in the even trendier topic of machine learning, also called artificial intelligence or AI. Deep learning usually involves developing better algorithms to hopefully produce AI. Though there’s no time to go deeper into it here, suffice it to say, no, AI isn’t as close as you think, and no, machines aren’t going to take over the world anytime soon.
4. Digital Darkness
Digital darkness is the concept of the horror of losing access to all our beloved digital technology. Kind of like the hit TV show Revolution where all the power went out. This is the point at which those who grew up before Google and selfies actually have an advantage.
Gamification is just what the name kind of sort of indicates: it’s the concept of turning something that isn’t game-like at all (such as the ITSM software or IT training) into a game-like version. Picture it like making learning fun by making your HTML5 class more like Donkey Kong and less like high school physics.
Hadoop is an open source software platform that is used to store, process, analyze, and deliver that valuable insight from big data. What makes Hadoop different from ordinary databases is that it stores information in clusters, which can be distributed across machines and even into the cloud. That makes big data storage more scalable, because adding more stuff doesn’t mean offloading to a newer, bigger, faster, machine. Hadoop allows big data folks to simply add new clusters as the data grows in size and complexity.
7. Internet of Things or IoT
The IoT is really just a fancy name for the new devices that are coming out. The concept is that the Internet is no longer limited to computers, but extends to all devices. The IoT includes wearable tech (aka, the smart watch), as well as connected cars, smart homes (like when your smartphone can change your thermostat or set your alarm system), and other connected devices not typically associated with connectivity and the Internet.
8. Net Neutrality
This is the concept that Internet providers should treat all Internet traffic the same. It bans the idea of throttling. It doesn’t allow service providers to supply a better bandwidth to streaming services like Netflix than it does for traffic that is less sensitive to latency, such as late-night text messages involving information on lots of pizza and really bad TV shows. There are arguments on both pro and con sides of net neutrality.
Now when you hear these trending terms, you can keep up your end of the conversation!