The Ozri plenary’s second keynote speech came from Dr Sohail Inayatullah – a world-famous ‘futurist’, who spoke of the ‘futures of location’. And from all the captivated looks in the audience and the animated chatter that followed his presentation – it is safe to say that Sohail was a hit with the Ozri crowd.
Sohail kicked his presentation off by discussing the importance of innovation – and how innovation is usually attacked until it becomes the norm. But he urged us to challenge normal assumptions – as it’s the only way to move forward and progress.
This set the scene to opening our imaginations to the possibilities and opportunities that lie in the future for our technology. Sohail looked at what lies in store for the future – and the important role that location based technology will have in that reality. He gave us futuristic scenarios – from being able to scan the suitability of your date (with something like a retina scanner in your iPhone), to using a ‘Melanoma App’ to scan yourself for skin cancer and monitor and track your skin health. Health and geomedicine was a common thread in Sohail’s presentation – and something that we geoprofessionals are no strangers too.
The idea of GeoMedicine is an area that we are becoming increasingly involved in – and Sohail says that in the future, GIS will enable us to use our smart phones as early warning detection devices for health problems. A very fascinating concept!