Proctele apps in the App Store

Proctele apps in the App Store
Click the picture to see Proctele apps in Apple's App Store

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What might happen in next 30 years?

Hi technology trenders! On April 29th I blogged about the last 30 years in information technology and I promised to come back and try to predict the next 30 years. Here's my attempt.

Underlying trends
The underlying hardware trends are one of the enablers that push technology forwards. They are the easiest of the enablers to identify. Software will take an increased part in the technology push, but those trends are more difficult to identify. Here are the hardware trends that have been important and will continue to be:
  • Miniaturization continues. 
  • Computing power and memory increases. 
  • Battery capacity improves. 
Current trends extrapolated
Extrapolating current trends is the most common way to make predictions. Linear extrapolations quite often lead to predictions that after a few years look ridiculous. The reason linear extrapolations usually don't work is that people influence each other strongly and different technologies influence each other. That leads to most changes being according to exponential curves, not linear curves. I will try to base my predictions on the underlying drivers listed above instead of extrapolating.

The predictions
Fixed phones will become rare devices. Most of those remaining will be wireless.
Fixed Internet will continue, due to increased bandwidth. It will take more than 30 years to accommodate all the needed bandwidth without wires.

Most powered home devices will be battery driven, but the most power-hungry devices will not.
Power without cords will catch on, because people will find cords increasingly unacceptable.
2D-printing will almost disappear, due to the superiority of electronic screens.
3D-printing will make customization of many things possible. 3D-printing will first be done by professionals and later in the home.
Cashless payments will gain popularity, because it's quicker, more reliable, 
safer and more hygienic. At least 99.9% of payments will be cashless.
Broadcast TV will disappear. Broadcast radio will continue.
Mail services will be mostly for goods and prices will drop. However, mailing a paper document (letter) will cost about the same as mailing, say a bicycle.
Antennas continue to improve. That will contribute to the change in appearance of mobile phones beyond recognition. Necklaces with voice communication capability will become popular. Of course the usual mobile phone capabilities will be included in the necklace, like audio player and camera, and it will be voice controlled.
Batteries can deliver more power than the electric plug, but in short power pulses. This will be put to use somehow. Possible use: cleaning, medical treatment.
Projection displays will become very popular, because they show larger pictures. Projectors will be built into cameras (already done) and devices similar to the iPad. Of course touch control will be included.
Cars will be s
elf-driving. Self-driving cars will be exempted from speed limits on high-capacity roads, because of their superior safety.
All books will be released electronically. For those who insist on paper, there will be E-paper and printing services. Book reading capability will be present in many devices, like clock radios.
Voice command everywhere and it will work as well as human communication. 
Very small loudspeakers will generate good sound quality. Earplugs will be used for privacy reasons and enhanced sound quality.
Electronic navigation within large buildings like trade fairs and hospitals will be common.
Gaming will be even more popular than today. The reason is 3D display technology. The virtual amusement park through immersive game technology will see the day. The border between gaming and film viewing will blur and the division will seem increasingly artificial.
Many people will move to attractive places, because communications technology will enable them to work from anywhere. Some will prefer to live on enormous apartment ships cruising on the oceans. The reason is their superior service and that they tend to cruise in tropical waters and offer the chance to see the world.

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