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NZTech Update – Real barriers to tech uptake

Tomorrow I am in Rotorua speaking at the Woodflow WoodTech Conference. My brief is to provide a holistic view of how rapidly changing technology is changing the way we do business. As I dusted off an exponential technology presentation that I delivered two years ago, it was quite amazing to review the predictions.

In 2016, a quarter of the world had a smartphone and it was predicted that by 2020 half the world would have one.  However in 2018, smartphone penetration hit 66 percent.  The average smartphone is now at least a million times faster than the computer that put man on the moon!

Genome sequencing cost thousands of dollars in 2016, but this is now as low as $450.  Solar power is now equivalent to gas and coal power in the USA.  At the same time, while robotic surgery was underway in 2016, its mass uptake has been slow as doctors struggle to access training.  Recently, driverless cars got a bad rap for two crashes that resulted in deaths in the USA.  However, in the months between the two crashes, over 40,000 Americans crashed their cars and died.

Updating this presentation reminded me that we still struggle to comprehend how fast technology is changing the world we live in.  It appears that many of the challenges are not related to the technology, but to our laws and human expectations.

I certainly don’t know what the future will bring, but what I do know, is that it is better to embrace and help shape it, rather than simply pretend it isn’t happening.

In addition to this week’s WoodTech event, I will be attending the IoT Alliance board meeting, a cybersecurity workshop, the NZBio special general meeting and the ICT Grad school board meeting.  Keeping busy trying to help New Zealand become more prosperous underpinned by technology.

Have a great week

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller

Join the EdTech Summit in July

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Join Canterbury Tech on 3 July and meet visiting speaker Dr Vivienne Ming of think tank Socos.  Or meet Dr Vivienne Ming on 4 July in Auckland for The Future of Work: Human/AI Potential.

Attend the IoT Waikato Future Tech meetup tomorrow in Hamilton.  Join Tech Marketers on 27 June in Auckland and 28 June in Wellington.  Register for NZTE’s Export Essentials Workshop hosted nationwide.

Join EdTechNZ on 25 July in Wellington for The Future of Education is Now panel discussion and a tour of Te Papa’s H?n?tore Learning Lab.   Join FinTechNZ on the Trans-Tasman Business Circle’s cyber delegation to Melbourne on 29 July.


Network for Learning is helping bridge the digital divide and enabling continued learning at home in Lower Hutt, where it is estimated half the students don’t have online access outside school.  Enspiral Dev Academy is also offering Pasifika and Maori scholarships.

Wondering about your organisation’s data capabilities?  Data has become ubiquitous and most organisations are trying to harness data to help achieve their objectives.  Participate in Victoria University of Wellington’s Organisational Data Capabilities academic research project.

Join the Call for Code Global Initiative bringing together people and organisations to build global solutions for disaster preparedness including preventing, responding to and recovering from natural disasters.  Learn about the 2018 challenge here.


The AI Forum’s New Zealand AI ecosystem map now includes 142 organisations.  HMI Technologies has signed a $20 million investment deal with Chinese city, Heshan.  Congratulations also to Soul Machines for their selection in the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers Cohort 2018.

Student internships – do you, don’t you, will you, won’t you? Internships can help students become the experienced workers you want to hire. The Digital Skills Forum wants to know how you work with digital tech interns. Please complete this quick survey to help us determine how to better connect studying and work through internships.

Entries are now open for the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards (NZSEA). There’s still time to have your say in the NCEA reviewEHF is accepting new applications.  Applications for MAHUKI close on 4 July.  Save the date for NZGDC18 in Auckland 1-3 August.  Also, the 2018 AmCham DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards on 16 August in Auckland.

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