Fearless Technology Predictions for the decade and 2020

6 Feb

I’m a bit late for post like this. It’s been a whole month already of 2010, only 119 months to go until 2020! But I thought I’d offer my opinions about what the technology landscape will (might) look like in coming decade.

Technology of course, especially on the web, moves very fast and is hard if not impossible to predict more than a few years out.  We are still only about 15 years into the mainstream use of the Internet.  I’ve read that historically it takes 30 years for a brand new technology to fully integrate into a culture.  If I look back to 2000, there is only one website I still use regularly in 2010 my.yahoo, or maybe two if I count craigslist which I use a litte).  And of course, I’ve bought many new computers and mobile devices in that time.  I now spend the majority of my computing time on a laptop instead of a desktop.  My desktop has a large HDTV monitor connected to it instead of a small CRT display from ten years ago.

Web based social networking didn’t really exist yet in 2000. Neither did video sharing, nor blogging even.

And it also needs to observed that many important killer apps in the 1980’s and 90’s didn’t change that much last decade.  Word processors and spreadsheet applications are quite similar to their 2000 versions.  The web browser itself has only marginally improved in the last decade.  My Windows desktop interface shows only minor changes beyond the window style and 64-bit functionality.

So here are my 9 fearless and maybe somewhat obvious predictions for 2020.

1.)  WhiteFi — This is new freed up bandwidth spectrum that allows much wider coverage for broadband wireless Internet connectivity.  I believe most all computer devices will be connected wirelessly to the web at all times and your other owned devices, like smart phones, cameras, HDTVs.  Wired connections will be largely only for electricity and charging.

2.) Beyond HDTV — Much bigger is much better. 1080p video is nice but 4K format (4096×2304) is better for very large displays.  I foresee a proliferation of inexpensive, large 80+ inch (2+ meter) displays by the end of this decade.  This size of display will demand an much higher resolution to maintain a HD look.

3.) Television/Internet Integration — Your video will all come through your broadband connection and your TV will have most PC functionality of course tailored to a living room environment.  You are already seeing this become a standard for most Blu-ray players being able to play Hulu and YouTube videos. The Xbox 360 has Netflix streaming.  I see this integration becoming virtually seamless and subscription based.  With your smart phone being your TV remote control for complex interface interaction commands to your TV.  Maybe even using voice commands for basic things.
  
4.) Video Proliferation — Everything will have an high quality camera on it.  This is almost already true for phones and laptops now. This goes hand in hand with all three previous prediction. Though I don’t see video conferencing replacing most telephone conversations for two reasons.  Proper eye contact is fundamentally difficult and off putting and people don’t have to be presentable while on a traditional voice call.
  
5.) Cyber-Terrorism — As the world’s infrastructure is more ubiquitously tied to the Internet, the more ripe of a target it is to terrorists and organized crime.  The current infrastructure is largely unprepared to guard against a coordinated attack to do damage to key pieces of infrastructure or a mass attack causing damage to user PCs.

6.) Internet Regulation/Censorship — Since the web largely has and will become the dominate medium of communication, I think there will be a strong push to regulate and ultimately censor web usage.  You already see this with China’s great firewall. I think a cyber attack would make this much easier for governments to justify and corporate interests are keen on limiting user freedoms. This would include freedoms to subvert copyright protections or hurt government or corporate public opinion. This might create a system to reduce the opportunity for user anonymity on the web.

7.) Effects of Multi-core Computing — With the proliferation many dozen or more multi-CPU cores in a single device has the potential to have a transformative effect on all aspects of user computer interaction.  Possibly making robust speech recognition a primary method for human-computer interaction.  Photo-real real-time render graphics and games become possible that combine with motion capture data taken real-time from the user’s video cameras that steam directly into online MMO avatars as a possible example in 10 years.

8.) DNA/genetic Software — With the acceleration of gene sequencing technologies, it will be common for all people have their entire genome sequenced in the coming decade.  This will open the door for an explosion of genetic related applications from health, to heredity, to genetic genealogy maps. We are intensely interested in finding out things about ourselves and people we are close to, few things are as personal and hidden as our genomic information.

9.) Dynamic Social Networking — Human beings of course love to socialize and the Internet enables the scope of our social nature to be wider than ever though possible. Maybe the biggest story in technology in the last decade was the proliferation of social networking based websites.  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogTV just to name a few.  These networks are largely text and still image based.  With the proliferation of video recording devices and constant Internet connectivity, I believe you could see a much richer and real-time feed of information generated by people in your social network. A website enriched by real-time video or recorded video updates is maybe only the tip.  The only limitation is desire for personal privacy.  But I think you are going to continue to see the desire yield some of that privacy because openness and intimacy is rewarded by attention from others.  As our social networks expand, I think data mining will be desirable to connect to new people and collect the ever growing pieces of content generated by our social networks/friends.  Sadly, it’s maybe impossible to envision the shape of the next big thing in social networking but all forms of media (video, audio, text, portability, connectivity) are now in play on the web and ready to mix and evolve.

    What are your fearless predictions for the next decade? I want to hear them. =)

    Annonser

    3 svar to “Fearless Technology Predictions for the decade and 2020”

    1. Brosis februari 7, 2010 den 12:37 f m #

      What? no robot apocalypse? 😛

    2. Rebecka februari 7, 2010 den 9:57 f m #

      du kan vara en robot!

    3. Jon februari 7, 2010 den 9:51 e m #

      The robot apocalypse will happen in 2021, just outside this decade. 😀

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