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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2021 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 X = X c — 1 A Year of Continuous Improvement The conversation took place over a video teleconference, as do most conversations dur- ing 2020. I may not live in a Seattle Space Needle-shaped high rise, nor do I have my flying car of the future (yet), but there is plenty of "The Jetsons" in our lives these days, isn't there? My housecleaning robot may not look like Rosie (the Jetson's domestic automaton), but my Roomba has a name and responds to my voice commands; that's a close approxi- mation. I talk to a popular home automation system to get the news, select the con- tent on my television monitor, track my calendar, control the lighting in my home, do my shopping, pay my bills, and fill my home with music. So, what about the video call that I'm thinking about right now? I would guess that video tele- conferencing has c h a n g e d y o u r life during 2020. While pandemic re s t r i c t i o n s m ay have restricted our ability to enjoy face-to- face interaction down to our respective "COVID bub- bles," video conferencing has leapt into the mainstream as a substi- tute. To deliver their programs, tradeshows are moving to what amounts to massive video tele- conferences. Professional groups, government agencies, clubs, friends and families are all turning to online videoconferencing. My mom, bless her heart, has become a video call expert. She's in her 80s (living under strict social dis- tancing guidelines, as you might expect), and when she calls me, I know to double-check my background before I accept her video call. One time, I accidentally had the sun over my shoul- der as I answered, surprising her with a screen full of camera glare. Now, when the call con- nects, she squints a little to protect her eyes, just in case I come onto the screen in a similarly jarring manner. My point is that, when the "future of digitaliza- tion" becomes part of our daily lives; when our grandparents are using science fiction technology to maintain (or cultivate) closer r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their grand- c h i l d re n w h o might be across the continent or s i m p l y i n l o c k - down across town; a n d w h e n d i g i t a l stops being a novelty and becomes automatic, that is the tipping point. I-Connect007 has been work- ing virtually for a number of years, mak- ing use of video teleconference technology at the center of our corporate culture. Even still, our team tended to leave cameras turned off—

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