BY PANOS PREVEDOUROS PHD – Earlier this year Consumer Reports published a small survey in a sidebar answering this question: Which of these innovations of the past few decades would be hardest to live without?
The results are summarized below. They are listed from high to low according to their Hawaii share. For six out of nine innovations, the USA and Hawaii results are very similar, i.e., within two percentage points (green cells.) However, the other three reveal a different pattern:
- USA folks are more focused on food and ready-to-eat meals. They chose the microwave oven as their top innovation!
- Hawaii folks are more focused on technology with personal computers and fast Internet connections being their top two choices.
We have to be cautious with this outcome because Hawaii respondents were contacted by email and Internet social media, thus my survey touched only a computer savvy Hawaii population sample. However, both surveys agree that four innovations based on Intelligent Technology (IT), namely PC, digital TV, Internet and cell phones get the lion’s share of the responses: 58% in the Consumer Reports USA survey, and 74% in my limited, computer-based Hawaii survey.