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In the early 2000’s, I was bringing a body scanner to market. It took over 1,000 detailed measurements of a persons body, all you had to do was stand inside a booth for about a minute in your unmentionables. As the company I was with already provided customized clothing patterns for people who made their own clothes, the idea was to take the data and integrate it with the existing custom CAD software to print out patterns that would fit the person perfectly. We also promoted it to a women’s exercise franchise that was popular across North America at the…


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A technology is anything that harnesses some kind pf phenomena to solve a problem or do something for humans. A water pump ensures we can move water where we want it, such as in irrigation systems. As humans progressed, we’ve evolved our technologies alongside our own development. Today, we often hear the term digital technology, or digital transformation yet many aren’t entirely sure what digital technologies are and why they’re different.

Here I try to set out what digital technologies are in a quick blog post that could be a treatise, or a nice cure for insomnia. …


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It’s a question we get asked a fair bit. Perhaps in part because it seems like an oxymoron? Digital speaks to the future, computers, smartphones and social media. Anthropology seems to be about old bones and ancient societies, jungles, rain forests and strange rituals. Both are true, and both also come together in our digital world. Remember that saying, what is old is new again? So here’s what a digital anthropologist does. We think it’s kind of interesting and well, over 200 research projects later, so do a lot of our clients.

Anthropology is all about studying and understanding what…


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In 2009, in the early years of social media, I conducted a ground breaking netnographic study on teen mental health online. This was done with Dr. Stan Kutcher, now a Canadian senator and at the time the head of teen mental health at the world renowned IWK Children’s Hospital in Nova Scotia, Canada. Among the many findings was how teenagers at the time (Millennials) dealt with depression. The oft used term to describe their feelings of sadness or being depressed? “I’m feeling Bella today” a reference to the hit film series at the time The Twilight Saga, based on the…


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It’s a fairly regular thing with tech pundits and Apple enthusiasts and some who just complain that Apple isn’t innovative, either at all or not enough. That is to misunderstand both Apple’s approach to innovation and its business model. Apple is quite innovative but not in the way we sometimes think about innovation. It’s also important to understand that Apple is a business. It has a duty to provide its shareholders with value. That means being profitable.

Understanding Technology Evolution
When Apple launched the first iPhone it was seen as an incredible breakthrough and new technology. It was neither. Mobile phones…


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Our world is becoming increasingly digital and by that, I mean that we are turning information from analog into zeroes and ones and how we operate physical technologies, such as drones, autonomous vehicles, robots and 3D printing which are all driven by zeroes and ones…software. Information is how we operate and create these technologies. Even biotechnologies such as CRISPR for gene editing is fundamentally driven by zeroes and ones. Information is what informs how we structure our world, societies, cultures, politics and personal lives.

In a previous post, I discussed that based on the lived experience of our species and…


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Remember Google Glass, with the funky frames and that wee little camera that stuck out the side? They launched. They failed. Those wearing them were labelled “glassholes”. Google then found the niche where they’ve done quite well; industrial and manufacturing. Now, Mark Zuckerberg says they’re working on them but it’s a massive challenge. Some pundits speculate that Apple too is working on such Augmented Reality (AR) glasses.

Within a certain context, they’re pretty cool. There’s some very practical real-world use cases for them too. You could have more food labeling information on packages, we product reviews of an item on…


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We hear so much about the downsides of Artificial Intelligence; how it can be weaponized, how AI might overthrow humanity or try wipe us out entirely or suppress our free will. Those are plausible outcomes and they do need to be considered given the profound impact AI can and will have, on our species. Yet AI could also make us well, understand us, better. How?

Understanding Consciousness
Right now, we don’t really understand what consciousness is, how it comes about and how it evolves. We’re learning more, but we’ve yet to really get it. But we’re learning more precisely because of…


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No technology is perfect and all technologies are a double-edged sword. Blockchain is no exception. It’s not entirely secure and scammers in the cryptocurrency application of blockchain have made their mark…oh and that guy who lost the password to his hard drive with all his cryptocurrency worth about $300+ Million. Ouch, that’s really gotta hurt. The latest blockchain craze is NFT (Non-Fungible Transfer), which has proven to be quite profitable for some and is actually a very viable application of blockchain.

Blockchain can solve a lot of problems. It will and has solved. A lot of problems. So why hasn’t…


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Humanity and technology have been co-evolving since we first picked up rocks, sticks and bones and created tools. The technologies we have in our society today are components and mixes of previous technologies. The smartphone being a prime example. The camera already existed, as did digital music, sensors, telephone technology and software. The smartphone simply brings them all together. The same is for aeroplanes, cars, boats and well, so on.

The internet is the first technology that truly connected humanity on a global scale. It enabled the software that gave rise to social media, which simply amplified what humans have…

Giles Crouch

Digital Anthropologist | Featured in Wired | CIO | Polymath

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