Episode IV: A new hope

So it begins, after spending most of my adult life working in international development - 8.5 at an amazing place called the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, I have now started Interactive Tech. In order to mark the occasion, I have chosen to make my first blog an origin story. I should have titled this blog 'Why Interactive Tech?' but pleaseindulge my Star Wars reference until the end. Let me tell you the origin story of why Interactive Tech Ltd was, is and will always be about web and mobile apps, gamification and the internet of things!

Young whipper snappers and dial up with no electricty....

The idea of an Interactive Tech was kindled many moons ago when I was knee deep in initiatives and projects that sought to solve development challenges with technology in my home country of Zimbabwe.It was called 'ICT for Development' in those days and

the typical project i was involved in the year 2000 with the legendary Dr Gary Brooking was the World Bank World Links programme. Wewere setting up the first computer networks in the remotest parts of the country and providing them with internet access.

The idea was to implement hundreds of computers schools as they had the infrastructure. During day school children would benefit and the community at night. I learnt so much and developed a belief in the transformative potential of technology, even in the most remote and marginalised areas. Then i moved to other jobs and sectors but the passion for technology and development was still in me. This passion got me in trouble sometimes as I was sometimes accused of being the young whippersnapper blabbering on about technology when "people have real problems out", "you're out of touch city boy", "How can you talk about ecomerce, when there's no electricity?", "What do people in rural areas need computers for?"to paraphrase some feedback i received in those days. So how did all of this lead to Interactive Tech? Read on ....

The appiverse of mobile and web apps

Over time the world has changed. Now internet access, and affordable technology i was struggling to get funding for is now in the pockets and hands of those same people we struggled to set up compute access and dial up internet for those many years ago! The world has seen the transformative power technology in the lives of people, business and development. Some things didnt change though, Im still a young (at heart) whippersnapper now blabbering on about technology. Dont believe me read on ....

Mobile technology has led the charge in this transformation. Many countries and communities have taken giant leaps in their development,and the welfare of their people due to mobile. Im not exagerating when i say that in some places Facebook access is more reliable than electricty or running water. The developing world is leading in some areas because of mobile - for example mobile money was first succesfully commercialised in Kenya over a decade ago ad bought 80% of the unbanked into the mainstream economy. Now mobile bank is an offered by every self respecting bank on the planet.

I have watched mobile technology's adoption and pervasiveness explode over the last few years. This has grown my passion and belief in how it can enhance people's lives, their work, interactions and relationships. I want Interactive Tech to contribute to contribute to shaping how mobile technology and the appiverse influence this.

Appiverse i hear you say! Yes appiverse is my word for the ecosystem of apps, connected devices and services that is changing our lives and interactions with others and business. For example as I write this blog i am watching a dot moving across a map on my phone telling me where the delivery man is with my parcel.I also have no food and need to go to buy some, but i dare not leave whilst his dot is hovering near my house. He might be here in 5 minutes or in 5 hours but the app is influeincing meme to not go anywhere!

Gamification and how it has enhanced our interaction

I have over the years also been engaged in how technology has enhanced our motivation, interaction with others and engagement. This interest is shaping Interactive Tech's work in the area of gamification. Here's why:

Our lives and experiences have been gamified by technology in ways we see and ways we dont. We see the content gamification that influences and teaches us through games, apps and other interactive experiences. We are also gamified structurally in ways we dont see through processes, platforms and activities that engage us, motivate us and make us loyal by introducing points, badges and leaderboards subtly on us. Dont believe - why do you fret so much about choosing one airline over another is it the ponts you'll score (aka frequent flyer miles), how anout Facebook how many likes was that last post, i bet you know exactly how many likes is your all time record.Gamification is longer just what young people play on their consoles or what Marketing Directors want to do to their customer. Its for all us now. The appiverse, social media and the internet are were turning all of us into gamers of life and work. Interactive Tech wants to make that experience better for you and the businesses that gamify you.

Interactive objects and the internet of things?

This excites me no end. The possibilities of an ever connected world and how it will enhancing our lives, businesses, societies and the challenges we face is truly inspiring. This new world of interactive objects - objects that are interconnected, that hear, tat sense, smell, measure, feel and yes ... watch! This so called Internet of Things (IoT). It's exciting, and also potentially frightening if we dont safeguard ourselves too. Interactive Tech will provide innovative solutions for business and everyday people in harnessing, benefitting from and securing the IoT.

Why Interactive Tech?

In conclusion, after reading my origin story - might make into a gamified experience one day - this is why Interactive Tech! For the reasons you've just read and also because i want you to see the world of technology through the eyes of a young whippersnapper! I have decided to take the time to pursue my passion and innovate in the areas of web and mobile apps, gamification and the internet of things. Welcome to Interactive Tech and thank you for your future support and custom.

Farai

PS: Ok so the corny heading. Yes i am a Star Wars fan boy ... I even have some love for for those Episodes 1-3! However we all know the real origin story was Episode IV! So my origin story is Episode IV not just copying George Lucas but because Interactive Tech is also my fouth start up. My first startup existed for a year and a half before hyper inflation and the billion percent inflation killed it. Two others existed as side projects and in my imagination in between but they never really lived. Finally this one, this Interactive Tech, well its alive ... yes, say it, its interactive! A new hope indeed!