Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In French, the expression veille technologique means the act of following the current trends in technology. Is there such a phrase in English?

I can only think of expressions like keeping up to date or keeping current with technology, but find them too wordy and colloquial.

share|improve this question
    
There's also being in the vanguard of technology. –  Cerberus Feb 4 '13 at 19:21
    
In France, "veille technologique" is often used in the sense of "new emerging technologies," but does not translate always that way. The expression alone does not imply "watching" or "monitoring." One might hear that a company works on "veille technologique" while referring to producing "new technologies," not monitoring. Often we might also say that a product is "pointu" (i.e. on the bleeding edge) or is "a la veille de la technologie." –  user42297 Apr 12 '13 at 2:55

6 Answers 6

The term appears to be technology watch:

Known as "technology watch", this essentially means gathering and analyzing technological information and using it to help grow your business. Technology watch also costs 5 to 25 times less than intensive internal research, especially when acquiring new equipment.

Originally applied only to technology, this practice (also called "competitive watch", "strategic watch" and "technology and standards watch") now also includes commercial and competitive environments, finance, and applicable laws and regulations. By using technology watch, you can keep an eye on markets and new innovations, both of which are critical to your company's success.

The ITU publishes technology watch reports. French sites using the term "veille technologique" appear to consider "technology watch" as the equivalent term in English.

share|improve this answer

The term cutting edge is regularly used to indicate being attuned to the most advanced form of technology.

at the latest or most advanced stage of development; innovative or pioneering: cutting-edge technology

A related term, bleeding edge is often used to refer to technology that is even more advanced

the very forefront of technological development: [as modifier]: an architecture that many people believe is still too bleeding edge for large mission-critical systems

This may be used to describe technology that is innovative to the point that it is not fully refined or developed. The "injury" metaphor suggests that the adopter may suffer, either because she or he invest time, money in the trend that may not take firm root, or that the use is somewhat painful because it is being used before "the rough edges" have been polished off.

share|improve this answer

Wikipedia translates to

Technology forecasting

but following the current trends is also understandable

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, had seen that but found it inadequate, as forecasting entails prediction, whereas following trends doesn't. From the Wikipedia article: Technology forecasting attempts to predict the future characteristics of useful technological... –  lostforwords Feb 4 '13 at 18:24

The direct translation of OP's expression is eve of technology (the implication being that technology isn't quite here yet in the fully developed form expected soon (tomorrow?).

I don't know any English expressions to convey that nuance, but a common term for someone who enthusiatically embraces such technology as has already arrived (and by implication, will be an early adopter of any new developments) is...

technophile - a person who loves or is enthusiastic about advanced technology.

share|improve this answer
    
Veille also means a wake -- a watching over of something. I think that is the meaning intended here. –  JAM Feb 4 '13 at 19:56
    
@JAM: My French isn't that good. I thought veille in the sense of "watching" was always associated with things like a vigil over a corpse, or keeping a watchful eye on things that might/are expected to go wrong. Preventative health screening, watching to see if the dam is going to break, etc. –  FumbleFingers Feb 4 '13 at 20:05
    
let's see if someone more fluent than either of us weighs in :) –  JAM Feb 4 '13 at 20:10

Consider trendsetting, after trendsetter, “someone who starts a trend, or makes one more popular”, and early adopting, after early adopter. Per wikipedia,

An early adopter or lighthouse customer is an early customer of a given company, product, or technology; in politics, fashion, art, and other fields, this person would be referred to as a trendsetter. The term originates from Everett M. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations (1962).

Note, an innovator is “someone who innovates; a creator of new ideas”. Innovators typically get on the bandwagon before early adopters / lighthouse customers / trendsetters, and indeed often create the things that others later pick up on.

share|improve this answer

The examples you give, "keeping up to date" and "keeping current with new technology", are the conventional phrases for expressing this idea. They are not inappropriate for formal writing. As to being wordy, well, that's just how it is, I don't know of any more concise phrases.

If you mean the very latest technology, we refer to that as the "leading edge". In this context, you might say someone is "staying on the leading edge".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.