Do you have a hot hand when it comes to new technology or do you play it cool until the kinks are fixed?
Kick the habit of risky investments in technology too early in the game.
Gartner’s Technology Hype Cycle is a great way to know when to snatch your share of new technology. The cycle represents the stages most technologies go through before they become useful while educating consumers about promising emerging markets in technology and potential risks of investing too early.
The Hype Cycle is illustrated in five simple steps:
1. Technology Trigger
A technology is invented that gets the attention of the media — and the hype begins!
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations
Early media attention reports successes — and failures. Some companies may take the bait, while some may not.
3. Trough of Disillusionment
Interest wanes as the technology fails to deliver on some of its promises. To survive, providers and producers of the technology must satisfy early adopters and improve the technology. If this happens the technology starts to climb the slope of enlightenment.
4. Slope of Enlightenment
Additional ways the technology can benefit organizations become more widely understood. Second and third-generation products appear.
5. Plateau of Productivity
Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing legitimate providers are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applications and relevance are understood.
Machines are becoming better at understanding humans and the environment — for example, recognizing the emotion in a person’s voice — and humans are becoming better at understanding machines — for example, through the Internet of things. At the same time, machines and humans are getting smarter by working together.
Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2013