At times, it seems as though innovative technologies outpace our ability to conceive their transformative effect. Take, for instance, the iPod and the iPhone. The iPod, while remarkable in its ability to store, catalog and organize music and other audio files, was in many ways simply an iterative improvement on portable cassette players and mix tapes. By contrast, the iPhone, when launched in 2007, was hailed as a revolutionary turning point in personal technology. In a single device, it combined functions that had only been found on mobile devices marketed to businesses with the entertainment capabilities of leisure phones and devices, and added a Web browser to connect users with anything available on the Internet. Though priced much higher than other mobile phones on the market at the time, it quickly gained marketshare simply because consumers could see it would transform their lives in ways that a traditional mobile phone could not.
Disruptive technologies do not only exist in personal computing technology. Closer to home, in this issue of Process Cooling, two well-known water experts propose a new field test for bacteria and Legionella. Paul R. Puckorius of Puckorius & Associates Inc., and John E. Dresty of Dresty Non-Chemical Water Treatment make a case that in many ways flies in the face of years of water treatment research.