For this week’s Focus Friday, we spoke to Petr Mára, a public speaker, content creator and digital trainer from Prague in Czechia. He leads workshops and presentations teaching others how to use the latest technologies in the most productive way. When he is not training others, he focuses on reviewing new technologies and sharing his thoughts on YouTube or Forbes. Petr says he is inspired by “smart people with new ideas”, and is grateful to be living in an “amazing” time where the pace of change gives him the opportunity to learn new things every day and where technology helps him design a life based on his own interests.
Growing up, what’s the very first gadget or piece of technology you were excited about?
My first 8bit computer was a Commodore 116 and it had a tape recorder for loading games. Gaming was what I enjoyed the most. But the basic operating system also presented challenges which I had to troubleshoot in order to keep playing. It was this experience of having to get to grips with how the technology worked that really taught me a lot. Sometimes I feel sorry for my kids: yes, they can turn on their tablets and start playing games straight away, but they are also missing the learning experience I had!
How has technology shaped how you work?
Technology is my work. That means it is integral to every part of my day and it means that every day looks different. I’m lucky enough to get the chance to test and review various operating systems, applications, and new digital solutions, and to share my experiences with a wide audience. There are new products to review every day, which means new concepts to explore. I never tire of technology – I find it endlessly fun and fascinating.
In your current job, what technologies or digital tools do you find most useful?
My iPhone is probably the most important tool I use every day. Microsoft Outlook helps me manage all my emails, while Tesla’s autopilot allows me to navigate Prague traffic and focus on things other than driving. I definitely couldn’t live without cloud storage services or my XBOX ONE X for gaming!
Beyond work, how does technology play a role in the rest of your life?
I am passionate about my health – and that all starts with a good night’s sleep. I rely on my Oura ring for this. It is a device that uses sensors to track the length or quality of sleep, as well as the body’s response to stress and relaxation exercises. It is a fantastic tool that has become integral to my life.
What one piece of advice do you have for people using technology every day? Learn how to control technology rather than being controlled by it. This is a key concept for the future. We all need to think about how we can use technology for creation, rather than just consumption.
What does the future of technology look like to you?
There are plenty of technological buzzwords flying around: AI, blockchain, autonomous cars, 5G, smart cities etc. As these technologies become ever more complex and integrated into our lives, it is important that we find a common language to talk about them and make sure that users are properly considered in the development process. Otherwise we risk leaving people behind.
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