How will our lives be different in ten years? We’ll be older, sure, but what technological breakthroughs will drastically change the way we do things? It seems to me that we are reasonably good at predicting incremental change. When I tell folks bandwidth demands will increase, security needs will be more complex and reliability will be more important, I’m simply projecting longstanding trends. Electronics get smaller, pixel density gets larger and processors get faster. Change is gradual… until it’s not. Although I’m afraid I may not be visionary enough, here are some thoughts of what may be coming.
- Windowless cars. As our vehicles start to drive themselves and talk to other vehicles, traffic will speed-up and the need to stop (or even slow down) at intersections diminishes. In general, watching this as a hapless passenger is going to be scary, so why not replace the windshield with a screen so we don’t have to watch. These windowless cars would rely on artificial intelligence to account for old-school human-driven vehicles, and will be connected to a resilient, low latency, highly reliable sensor mesh.
- Implantable reality manipulation. Sounds scary, but tapping into the optic, auditory, olfactory and even haptic nerves may be an elegant solution to our society’s hand-held glass pane habit. Imagine walking the Champs Elysees on an early spring morning. The crisp air gives you goose bumps as you approach the Arc de Triomphe while you hear the birds chirp, smell the blooming trees. Except, it’s all in your head (literally). You could visit before you go. You could walk on the moon. You could explore an ant colony from their perspective.
- Flying cars. Can we have flying cars already? I thought they’d be here by now. Make them driverless so I don’t have to worry about a bozo landing on my roof -and avoid lengthy driver certification programs. Have a windowless option for folks afraid of heights. Why aren’t we there yet?
- 3D printed food. Have any dish you want, assembled molecule-by-molecule in the convenience of your home. From artichoke dip to zucchini soup; baked Alaska to frozen custard –and, why not, donuts!
Speaking of, I also have a near-term projection: You are about to grab one. I am traveling back to Denver this morning, so Ashley Button was kind enough to order a dozen donuts which should be arriving around 8:30 AM. Thanks Ash!