Looking to the Future of Technology

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...Image by luc legay via Flickr

As the blogging idol contest fades into the sunset (actually rainhere in Toronto) I thought I might try to peek into the future (not toowell as my glasses are foggy and rose-coloured), at least as far as ITand Communications is concerned.  Off-the-cuff personal opinions only,please!

1.  Our options for connecting and communicatingwill only get more diverse – we’ll be able to pick and choose just howwe wish to contact others (one-on-one, small or large group, public orprivate, broadcast or interactive or store-and-forward).  We’ll alsoneed to be able to cross over from one mode to another – much likeunified communications allows voice to be stored as an email and textmessages to be played back as voice.  I haven’t even tried to contactold school friends on Facebook – I’m afraid of information overload(that’s even happening just with Pedro’s posts :-).  Ever try googlingyourself (yes, admit it!) – no doubt you are there somewhere.

2.   Our options for collecting information will only get more diverse – Pedro (afellow blogging idoller) talks about scanning 4,000 or more blog itemsa month, I must amass hundreds of white papers per month, and how manypeople now rely on uTube – how many different ways can we accessinformation these days?  We certainly need “automated assistants” tohelp us sort, file and retrieve this mass of data.  We also need a“universal personal warehouse” for our data and perhaps even datamining – I have no idea how I would keep track even of the blog postsin this contest, much less . 

3.  Our options for disseminating informationwill only get more diverse – it ranges from broadcasting our location(allowing ourselves to be tracked) to small message like Tweets, toemails, to Facebook posts, text messaging (or event sexting), topersonal blogs and web sites, to videos of ourselves (with or withoutclothes :-)……and so on.  Many many choices now, and no doubt more tocome in the near future – but also likely some changes andconsolidation – we may not recognize the landscape in 5 years.

4.  Our options for processing informationwill only get more diverse – this ranges from really intelligentpersonal digital assistants to personal workflow systems, sophisticatedfinancial systems (what about automated tax returns that collect allyour T4s, track your deductibles, know the laws and interface directlyto CRA – no more April 30 madness), real personal scheduling systems,and so on.

5.  Our options for interfacing to systemswill only get more diverse – many of the Star Trek gadgets may cometrue – certainly communicators have.  How about the holodeck?  Voiceinput/output is pretty much here but has to await more unifiedsystems.  3D projection and television is coming, as are tabletopdisplays, touchy-feely devices, smelly systems, and so on.  And nodoubt there will be many types of iPhone, Pre, Netbook, etc. etc.  Keyis that all of these have to be capable of working in standard ways soas to reduce confusion and make life easier for all of us.  Can youimagine growing up in a world where every telephone was different andevery car had to be driven differently?

6.  Our options for becoming more agilewill only get more diverse  - at many levels – as users we need toadapt to new devices and systems almost daily (2 months ago I had neverheard of Twitter – now I follow Britney Spears in her every move :-). As developers, change is the name of the game, and the faster thebetter.  How the heck did they get signed off user requirements forTwitter, anyway!!

Enough said……the future will be exciting.  I’m sure some of thesetopics will be subjects for next year’s Blogging Idollers to debate. And in the meantime, I’m signing off for now since there’s only 2 hoursleft in this year’s contest.  Good luck to everyone, and we all wonagain!

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