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2016: The year technology took center stage

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22:  Actor Paul Scheer attends Funny Or Die World Premiere of the first-ever virtual reality comedy short,
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actor Paul Scheer attends Funny Or Die World Premiere of the first-ever virtual reality comedy short, "Interrogation", featuring comedians Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel at The Samsung Studio during The Sundance Festival 2016 on January 22, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Samsung)
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Samsung

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Tech has had quite a year in 2016. From exploding smartphones to self driving cars, virtual reality gear for the home, and a presidential election dominated by twitter and email hacks. In 2016, technology become more influential than ever before. 

For a look back at tech in 2016, Take Two's Sanden Totten spoke with Larry Magid. He's a technology analyst for CBS Radio News and author of a syndicated column about tech for the San Jose Mercury News.


Tech and the 2016 presidential election

Donald Trump, I have to say, did an amazing job in how he used Twitter to reach out to his supporters and have a direct relationship with his supporters. Sometimes in the middle of the night and sometimes in ways that infuriated some people and... obviously inspired others. But you have to give him credit. He was able to bypass the media in this case, reach out directly through Twitter, and still get the media because it made news. So every time, Donald Trump would tweet something that was at all out of the ordinary... the media would pick it up... it was a big part of the election story.

We also have the other side of things, the Hillary Clinton emails which became an issue. And then, the hack of both the DNC (the Democratic National Commitee) and of course, John Podesta and other Hillary Clinton aids, which all came out on Wikileaks. So, I think if you add all that together... I wouldn't be surprised if that could have swung the election... a lot of votes could have been affected by those two phenomena. 

Virtual and augmented reality 

A virtual reality headset takes over your entire field of vision. It's essentially opaque. What you're looking at when you're wearing it is two computer screen in front of each eye and it's able to create sort of a stereoscopic three-dimensional view of the world. 

With augmented reality, these lenses are transparent and the computer images are superimposed in the lens. The example I like to use is, imagine you're standing in Lafayette Park... and you're looking at the White House but instead of just looking at the facade, you're looking directly into the Oval Office... You wouldn't be looking at that in real time, but maybe you would be looking at Abraham Lincoln walking around the White House or maybe getting a tour from the First Lady. These have implications not just for tourism, but for training and education.

Pokemon Go is a very good introduction to augmented reality. Just imagine if you were taking that to a higher level with really quality imaging. It has all sorts of implications. 

Automated home technology

My house is a good example. I have an electronic door lock which not only can I remotely lock and unlock, but also when someone rings my doorbell, I can see who they are. I can have a conversation with them assuming it all works. It doesn't always. Sometimes it has delays and by the time I'm notified somebody's at the door, they've already left. And in one case, it turned out to be a repair person who go to the house before I did, so I let him in right from my phone. 

And then the Amazon Echo which is my favorite product. It's that cylindrical shaped digital music player and home automation system that starts at about $50 for the Echo Dot and goes up to about $180. It's connected to my home automation system so when I'm lying in bed and it's time to turn the lights off, I just say, ‘Alexa, turn off the light.’  

Quotes edited for clarity 

To hear the interview, click the Blue Media Player above.