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8 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2021 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Continuous Improvement, Smart Processes In my column for SMT007 Magazine earli- er this month, I wrote about continuous im- provement and digitalization. My point was that "the future" is here in many ways: "When the 'future of digitalization' becomes part of our daily lives; when our grandparents are us- ing science fiction technology to maintain (or cultivate) closer relationships with their grand- children who might be across the continent or simply in lockdown across town; and when digital stops being a novelty and becomes au- tomatic, that is the tipping point." But what exactly is this new technology en- abling? The technology itself isn't changing anything specific; the technology isn't what's revolutionary. It's how we use it, how we build new processes around it. A West Coast friend recently told me about videoconferencing with their 3-year-old niece, who lives across the country. This friend described what it was like to be a handheld playmate. You see, my friend was treated just like a sentient favorite doll. They got a tour of the backyard, and spent time swinging on the swings from the nausea-inducing perspec- tive of a cellphone in the hands of a small child. My friend slid down the slide repeat- edly (the word they used to describe the ex- perience was "endlessly"), to the delight of their niece. At the end of the virtual play date, as my friend's sister took over the call once more (on a cellphone undoubtedly scuffed and scratched from all the fun), my friend's real- ization was that technology can bring us so

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