Vint Cerf: Nobody's too old for tech
Father of the Internet reminds CES crowd that people now with gray hair 'invented this stuff'
Computerworld - LAS VEGAS -- Vint Cerf, known as the father of the Internet, says technology has not only changed the way we communicate but it's changing the way we live our lives.
"Some people think that silver surfers don't know how to use this technology," said Cerf, who is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. "I have news for you. Some of us invented this stuff."
Cerf, who will be 70 this year and made several references to his graying hair, was cheered when he said gadgets, apps and the Internet aren't just for teens and twenty-somethings.
In an interview after his speech, Cerf told Computerworld that technologies such as smartphones and social networks are changing the way people of all ages, not just young users, communicate and manage their day-to-day lives.
"First, think how we use computers to mediate our conversations," he said. "Now the computers are participants in it. We actually get help from machines in our communications. Take Google Alerts, for example. It tells us when there is something we are interested in."
Social networks, he added, keep people connected to far-flung family and friends with whom they might otherwise have lost contact.
"As part of our interactions, machines have become integral," said Cerf. "This is pretty powerful. It changes the way we discover things. It changes how we think about communications. It changes how we communicate and who we communicate with."
A Japanese-built, Internet-enabled bathroom scale, for example, can automatically send a user's weight directly to his doctor. In the future, the scale could be connected to the refrigerator, which might provide healthy recipes or mention the fresh fruit stored inside.
Cerf said he also imagines a future where even clothes go digital.
"Can you imagine if our clothes were Internet-enabled?" he asked. "Can you imagine if you lost a sock? You could send out a search and sock No. 3117 would respond that it's under the couch in the living room. But maybe that's not a good idea because you could tell your wife you're at work but then she texts you to say your shirt says it's down at the bar."
Cerf also pictures a not-so-distant future where a visitor walks into a hotel room and his smartphone communicates with the TV screen so he can read email or text on a bigger screen.
Smartphones will become even smarter, he said, and will know where we are and what we should be doing. "Our phones could tell us to adapt our plans according to conditions that might have changed since we made those plans," he said.
Want more on CES? See our Complete coverage of CES 2013 .
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dude, we're gonna need more wireless
- Is CES a thieves' paradise?
- Tablets, smartphones and TVs upstage PCs at CES
- IPv6 can boost mobile performance, battery life, proponents say
- HomePlug moving beyond adapters to built-in networking
- GoPro, iON cameras turn your life into a movie
- CES crowd likes FCC's Wi-Fi expansion plans
- Micron unveils its first 1TB SSD -- for under $600
- Video gallery: 2013 CES
- Augmented reality mobile app brings inanimate objects to life
Read more about IT Leadership in Computerworld's IT Leadership Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- IDC Report: The Future of eMail is Social This paper discusses the changing nature of collaboration and work fueled by the social Web by examining current email trends and the emergence...
- The Business of Social Business Social business represents a significant transformational opportunity for organizations. Read this whitepaper to learn more.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Supercharge Your Web and Mobile App Development with High-Productivity Hybrid Cloud Webinar: Hear from industry experts about the amazing power at the intersection of next-generation web and mobile application development and cloud platforms.
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have. All Internet White Papers | Webcasts