To immediately adapt innovation to our ways or not, a question for this land?

Reading last Tuesday’s opinion on our dismissal of some of what we used to read as futuristic fiction as just that, fiction, and how now it’s revealing itself as living reality, I laughed myself to bits.

Contrary to your suspicions, I have my faculties about me.

It’s only, I was thinking. If only the columnist knew what that reality is turning out to be, he’d be shocked out of his silver-headed skin!

Let’s put aside these drones and satellites being launched by this country in quick succession that are effecting transformative lifestyles. Let’s forget about all the unimaginable changes, some simple, some complex, that have hauled this country out of the grave to place her on the pedestal of respected nations of the world.

Yes, the changes, with their accompanying opportunities, have meant better lives and fortunes for everybody, some better than others. Not that all is hunky dory, far from it; there are still many challenges to tackle. But Singapore (forget about Rome!) was not built in a day.

Still, as a work in progress, this nation is on the up and up. That’s something to sing about.

All that aside, though, let’s take ‘Silver-head’ as being in the class of those on the better side of those fortunes. Now give him one of these driverless cars that are no longer fiction.

Imagine it. One evening he takes one tipple too many (on a Chivers Whisky that scares the daylights out of one of his buddies, for example!). Unlike the lady who ploughed through five of the beautiful palm trees that line our Kigali streets one evening during last year-end festivities, he won’t have the chance to move his car one inch.

Because the moment he opens the door and the car sniffs him, sirens will be blaring around him, shocking him into bewildered sobriety. His car will have called police!

Yes, that’s right. The futuristic fiction of your car being your master is upon us, so help us God! And, inebriated though Silver-head be, he won’t be alone in that scary cage, no sir.

No less than the most powerful country in the world, USA, which has been lording it over us all this time, is in a panicky spin. 5G is here, courtesy of….(of all loathed enemies) China!

Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant has beaten the whole of the West to G5. The innovation firsts that used to be the preserve of Silicon Valley are quickly shifting eastwards.

The West is in a quandary. It may have no alternative but to race after the East!

The tallest buildings, the fastest trains, the wisest cars and many other “-est” things have gone East. Before you imagine a futuristic impossibility, it’s already history.

However, if you ask me, may the race heat up more and more!

Because, personally, I see this as a godsend to us in our third-world neck of the woods. We are not going to be like grass in an elephants fight. Rather than suffer, we’ll pick up the spoils as these giants discard the new inventions to race for their next generations.

For instance, while they are racing to beat each other at capturing the G6 tech tricks and whatever follows, we in Rwanda can work on exhausting the benefits of G5.

Fitted to our desires, this latest generation of cellular mobile communications can do a lot to supplement benefits accruing from services of our drones and satellites. Or, come to think of it, we can latch the G5 innovations onto drones and satellites to stand us in even better stead.

It’s all beyond my puny and befuddled brain but these G5 high-speed data transfers can enable us to conjure up innumerable magical tricks.

If USA is scared of opening its whole brain to China by using a Huawei mobile phone, imagine the many uses we can put these G5 powers to.

We can use G5 elsewhere, not in cars or phones only, to alert authorities and emergencies to accidents wrought by reckless driving. Alerts can go off when suspicious people and objects are spotted.

Suspicious people like thieves and robbers; corrupt elements trying to pull a fast one on our government and our people; all sorts of outlaws and even enemy infiltrators daring to try their misadventure into this country. We can lick ’em all.

With our mobiles, we can see the ill-designs of unfriendly neighbouring countries, especially since many are loath to seeing anything mobile phone n their people’s hands.

At the airports and other ports, in open markets, in shopping malls, in banks, on the streets and in any other similarly security-sensitive areas, G5-carriers can be installed to assess facial expressions, gestures, speech and physiology to determine if an individual in the crowd is well- or ill-intentioned. After which, it sends out a signal for action.

Objects like weapons, drugs, others, will be espied and similarly swiftly reported for fitting action. So, whatever innovation any of them calls up, let’s jump on it in a jiffy.

After all, what we in the third-world don’t know: maybe by the time this story comes out, a different innovation will have sent G5 into the dustbin of history!

butapa@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are of the author.

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