Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies

Every technology that is embraced by the world goes through a process of adoption. Gartner instituted this as the hype cycle.

What is the Hype Cycle?

The hype cycle talks about how any technology goes through the process of being talked about, being heralded, being written off and finally being adopted in mainstream businesses.

The graph you see above you shows the x-axis as the different stages of technology adoption, starting from the trigger or the invention of that technology, to the expectations of that technology by the enthusiasts, to the stage where it is discarded by early adopters to being finally understood and put to good use by smart users.

Obviously on the y-axis you have the expectations of the world.

Gartner brings in a third dimension to this graph by indicating a time period on when the technology will be a mainstream one. In this graph for example, the Cloud Computing technology is supposed to go mainstream within the next 2 to 5 years. This was made in 2012, so to interpret it correctly we should say that Cloud Computing will be embraced by all around 2014. People who are following the news of Cloud Computing can relate to the Trough of Disillusionment!

How do you interpret the Hype Cycle?

The hype cycle represents the time when a certain technology gets adopted by businesses. So, it has different implications for different people.

Software Developer

Learn to work with this technology early on, preferably in the Slope of Enlightenment phase. It will open up doors to many career pathways. Learn technology while everyone else is learning and learn it fast!

CTO of a start-up

Basing your product on a certain technology base will help your start-up catch the eyes of an investor. Your organization needs money and making the smart move to get the market talking about your technology adoption can get you that added PR. Keep an eye out for technologies lying in that Trough of Disillusionment phase, see how they can mesh with your product/services. Try a few prototypes, it’s well worth the efforts.

CTO of a mature organization

More often than not, you would be in charge of the operations team as well. In some few cases, you would also be the visionary of the organization (this should actually be your role). Try to find technologies which are about to hit the Plateau of Productivity and see which ones suit your requirements. It will bring efficiencies in your operations.

Keep in mind, that for most of these cases the idea would be to beat the competition in adopting a certain technology, so the focus would be on adopting the technology before it becomes mainstream.

At the end of the day, it is all Hype

Hype is after all extensive publicity. It is used to get the attention of people.

Bear in mind that if you do not want undue attention and if it is not broken, then you do not need to fix it.

However, some times you do get cues on possible disruptive technologies, be on top of those, since they have the potential to change your world. For e.g the way aeroplanes changed the shipping industry.

Sometimes all talk is still action!

Personal Lift custom made for you

King Henry VIII had come into power in the 15th century. Now being a ruler who commands (and demands) respect, he also participated in jousting matches. In one such jousting match he was heavily injured and had almost lost the ability to climb stairs. In order to continue functioning as a ruler, he had a special system of blocks and tackles made, wherein his servants could lift him up and down the stairs. One would wonder why not simply lift him on four shoulders and carry him … to those I say, you need to know how heavy he was … 30 stone, that’s 190 kgs!

The same principle is used in stair lifts these days. A stair lift is a device used to transport wheelchairs and people up and down a flight of stairs. The lift is attached to a rail which either runs along the ground or along the wall, and it is strong enough to bear the weight of one person. Here’s a brief schematic of how it works … simple and yet ingenious. The system involves a chair attached to a rail (which goes along the stair case), in most cases the rail is taking the support of the wall, however it can also be running parallel to the ground. The individual has to sit on the chair, and he is transported along the stairway.

This device shows great promise … especially in nations where the average age is on the other side of 30. A device that can help the disabled, the elderly to easily navigate stairs. Now this is an interesting device. Technology that not only enables, but also aids the needy.

This is not a new technology, there are companies out there like this one for example, who have the capabilities to fully customize a stairlift in your home. Not only will they make a custom design for you, but also deploy it at your home. This device seems to bring joy to so many people.

Kudos to Henry VIII for coming up with this solution, and thanks for modern manufacturing, this device is not just meant for the royalty anymore!

Scheming the Schema: An Introduction to Structured Data

One of the major traffic sources for personal websites and blogs is Organic Traffic, i.e traffic originating from search engines. People working on the web would quickly realize that search traffic can also be bought through Pay Per Click (PPC) Programs such as Google Adwords and Bing Search Advertising. However, for those of us who do not have Venture Capital funded blogs to run, we still do things the old fashioned way … we write good content.


Content is still King

The good thing with this idea is that search engines such as Google do give more weight to things such as meta descriptions, meta keywords, and other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) wizardry which was erstwhile known to a few. Web applications like Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT) and Bing Webmaster Tools (BWMT) are making it easier for website owners to recognize these things and highlight important data to search engines.

Content is KingThis move gives the power back to the people, instead of focusing on complex discussions such as Information Architecture, Content Taxonomy, Tagging and Keyword Optimization, you just have to worry about one thing, and one thing only. Good quality original content!

How do these search engines make sense out of this content? Well, they look for patterns within the page. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, one of my classmates (who went on to become an ethical hacker) had written a similar piece of code for his final year engineering project. It’s a decade since he wrote the code, we can assume without a shadow of doubt that the search engine algorithms would be a lot smarter now to extract the right content. Smart enough to discern between the signal and the noise.

So how do site owners help search engines find important data?

One method is to use the tools that they provide us – the WMTs. However, each search engine has it’s separate nuance, and hence there was a need felt for a common standard … a standard which we, the content creators can use to signal to the search engines … that hey … this piece right here … yes this bold sentence … is meant to be special. It might mean something special to the person searching for it … it’s a beacon … a beacon of data.


Defining Schemas for better results

This is where structured data comes into picture. In early January of 2011, the major search engines came together and helped define the format of this structured data via schemas. You can see these formats on An excerpt from their home page –

Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.

Many sites are generated from structured data, which is often stored in databases. When this data is formatted into HTML, it becomes very difficult to recover the original structured data. Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web.

What this means for us, is that if we use the mark-up defined for each of the individual schemas in our content, then the search engines will display this data in interesting manners to the people searching for that very piece of information. Wan’t to see an example at work? Here is one

Schema Display

Last week, I instructed my developers at EduPristine to start making use of certain schemas in our mark-up. It’s less than a week, and we can already start seeing them pop-up all over our search engine results.


Why Should You Bother

It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that in the game of organic traffic acquisition, the more interesting and relevant your search engine listing, the higher the chances of getting a click on your listing. Thus, marking of your content is bound to increase your organic Click Through Rates (CTRs). You can get this data in Google Webmaster Tools, better to check your current set of keywords (and their CTRs along with average ranks) and then compare the change when you start including schemas in your content.

If you have not heard about structured data or implemented before then I can guarantee you an increase in your CTRs and in your organic traffic.

Car Customization

In India, the moment you say the words car customization, the name Deepak Chhabria automatically crops up. DC used to be the pioneer of car tuning and modding in India. Back then, changing the looks of your car was not considered as the “in thing”, and people almost always made do with the factory settings.

With the successful launch of the Need for Speed series, the Indian market has slowly warmed to the idea that even cars can be customized and do not have to be kept in their pristine form in which they had been shipped from the factory.

Yes, we have finally started tearing away that smelly plastic from the upholstery and consider sticking on cute little dog stickers on our bumpers as well!!

The really elite ones do the smart thing and get a better looking car from abroad, and then go ahead and get customizations which are worth that car! In the digital era, almost everything that you purchase has a little CPU of it’s own … yes, even the fridge knows when to milk goes bad! Then it comes hardly a surprise that most cars are also smart cars. And smart cars require smarter customizations and mods.

This is where brabus comes into picture. Brabus is a German company which absolutely rocks the customization scene. Especially if you own a Mercedes. In fact, in the past the BBC has covered the brabus in their automobile show, Top Gear. An excerpt from one of their episodes,

It’s unlikely, but should you find the standard Mercedes SL600 wanting in the power department, mentalist German tuning firm Brabus may have the answer. By throwing away most of the standard Merc’s motor, adding new turbochargers and fiddling with the many onboard computers, it’s created the most powerful convertible car ever.

Now, why would I recommend that you definitely get this for your Mercedes? Well, if you can afford to get a custom made car through customs, then it has to be either a Mercedes, a Ferrari or better yet, a Maybach. Interestingly enough, Brabus do tuning for all these brands. So the next time you are thinking of car tuning, don’t say DC … say Brabus :)

Using Bugzilla

At Pristine, the team I am leading has a gargantuan task at hand. We are creating a custom Learning Management System (LMS) in addition with a completely overhauled new website for the international audience. This entire process of planning and detailing the products feature-wise has taken roughly 2 months, but it is well worth it. Continue reading “Using Bugzilla”


Back in 2006, When I had joined TechMahindra, we had the opportunity to meet the then British Telecom’s top brass. One of the major fears that BT’s top management conveyed to us was that Google could move in on BT’s business. There was always some talk about convergence and voice and data networks to come together. All such terms seemed weird and for us this was all new and difficult to digest.

It has been 6 years now, and I can see BT’s fears being realized. The top guys have long since moved on to more greener pastures, voice services have started emerging over data oriented plans. Things such as Virtual PBX, which used to be a voice based product is now being offered over the network. Using the fundamentals of VoIP, suddenly all the previously voice based products, which used to be the stronghold of telecom operators have suddenly started being offered on the internet/network. If you are confused about VoIP, here’s a great article by Chris Pirillo about the same.

The benefits of turning a voice based service into a data service is two-fold.

  1. Anyone can launch voice based services – sites such as Skype, Jahjah, etc have taken the market by storm. It’s cheaper for the end-user and the entry barriers for service providers has dropped down
  2. Accessibility to the internet is far more widespread as compared to access to a particular telecom network. This means that I do not have to worry about getting access to Vodafone or 3 network in order to use a particular voice based service. As long as I am connected to the internet, I am good. This increases the ease of convenience for end users, and multiplies the target market size for the service provider.

With convergence, the only major loser are the retail arms of the major telecom operators. With most voice based services now easily available over the internet, an individual customer need not look at purchasing the telephone line. What earlier used to be a necessity in each household, the telephone has slowly lost footing in most houses nowadays … to the point of being relegated to a corner in the household.

With convergence comes a change in way different services are being offered, a change in consumer behaviour and finally it serves as an usher to new technologies.

Asus Nvidia GeForce 550X TI

Yep. I just bought this monster of a graphics card.

Yes. Another navel gazing post, but I think it’s worth the trouble.

After I bought Diablo 3 and started playing the game, I noticed major lags with this game on my desktop. I was not able to diagnose the problem initially, and was relegated to my laptop. I cleared the Normal mode, but the graphics were a bit lost on the minimum requirements .. and something felt missing. I went back to diagnosing the problem and turns out that my video card was overheating for the past 3 months, causing the PCI Express bus to shutdown and thus stopping all PCI devices (including my wireless card!).

The main reason of this, was that the video card’s fan was gone. This was the point when I started delving in the world of gaming hardware … and I followed the white rabbit.

The way I came to this conclusion was by using a software called MSI Afterburner, a software which works with most graphics cards. What it does is that it provides you real-time information about the metrics of your card such as temperature, GPU usage, Fan Speed (of the Graphics card) and Fan RPM. What’s more, with the right hardware, it also allows you to change most of these values. So I tried overclocking the fan to run at full throttle, but to no avail, the fan just would not start!

Now, the hardware used in gaming is all about performance, about driving the hardware to higher and higher … to get that extra bit of richness for all your pixels. With performance, comes a host of problems – heat for instance, where do you transmit all that excess heat? Power wattage is another, the energy required to deliver this performance requires higher wattage. A normal desktop computer requires 115W of power, a gaming computer on the other hand can demand as high as 400+W of power … higher than that of a server!

Asus Nvidia GeForce 550X TI

So, when I purchased this card, I was suddenly in a flux … a new SMPS … a new cabinet perhaps? Where does this stop? Fortunately, I had a 400W SMPS, which meant that this card runs perfectly on my system. I fired up Diablo, and voila … the GPU usage hit 100%, temperature went from 40% to 80% … and stayed. Stable for the entire while.

Finally, a card which cools faster than it heats up! Added to the sheer beauty of each and every game … things are looking good!