Dictionaries are becoming a bit like the Guinness Book of Records. The content varies according to which version you are using. Did you know that since 2000 the Oxford English Dictionary is updated four times a year? In June this year new words like ‘glamp’ and ‘starchitect’ were added and there were revisions to around 2000 other words.
I find it interesting how the way we use different words changes as society evolves. Take the word ‘remote’. When someone used the term to refer to a location, ‘remote’ usually meant a far and distant land or island. If someone was ‘a bit remote’ they were either rather detached or a distant relative as in a third cousin twice removed. When I was growing up remote control was used to operate a toy car, or, if you were really lucky, an aeroplane or boat. If you wanted to change the television channel then you got up from your armchair, walked to the TV set and pressed a button. Even ‘couch potatoes’ were mobile in those days. Now, of course, whenever someone says ‘pass the remote’ we all know what they mean. The idea of controlling a TV remotely is not a new one, being attributed to a gentleman named Eugene Polley who developed the idea in 1955, but the technology has only been in common use for the past twenty to thirty years.
In the 21st century technology enables us to do all sorts of things ‘remotely’ and the benefits of doing so go far beyond lessening the strain on your legs. I was recently talking to some colleagues in Australia about the issues raised by the introduction of new bank notes. For those of you who don’t follow these matters closely, Australia, like many other countries and indeed the Eurozone, is in the process of introducing a new generation of bank notes with additional security features. In Australia, the process will take five years and begins with the introduction of new $5 bills on 1 September this year. When you think of all the machines used to count, recycle and dispense cash then this will have significant implications for banks and retailers throughout the country. Each time a new note is introduced the currency patternset software will need to be upgraded to recognise the new design. If that involves a visit from an engineer then we are looking at time, cost and potential disruption.
As with so many areas of life, the internet and more specifically connected devices, have opened up opportunities for a better approach. Upgrading software remotely online reduce the costs, increases the speed of deployment and lessens the inconvenience by scheduling upgrades at a time to suit the bank or retailer. At Glory, our software management solutions make this opportunity real.
It is clear that there are compelling financial and operational benefits to upgrading software remotely. So does this change our definition of ‘remote’? In the context of remote management of devices there remains an element of ‘distant’ but far from being ‘detached’ we’re talking about being connected which equates to quick, convenient and lower cost.