I stumbled on an article posted last week that talked about the top ten technologies that would be in place by 2013, and the top five technologies that would be gone by the same time. "Wow!" I thought, "I love these kinds of articles, they really stretch the mind and make you wonder what’s possible!" So off I went and spent the next 15 minutes reading a multi-page article that seems to regurgitate information from a number of other sources, many of which themselves highlight stuff that’s already in place, and those that don’t are "finger in the air" kind of statements.
If you want to see the article, here’s the link: The Digital Home of 2013
Now, a quick summary of what I think of the author’s points (including direct links to each page):
- High-speed telecommunications
I’m not so sure about this one – we could be even better off than what he’s saying here… oh, hang on, let me rephrase. The US could be even better off – Australia’s probably not. :)
- It’s an HD world
Yep, it is. Already.
- Gaming gets real
What’s wrong with Metal Gear Solid 4? I don’t really get his point, and he seemed to just take a cheap shot at gamers for no reason. In fact, if anything, he’s hurting his own point in doing so.
- Reach out and touch something
Yes, I’ll pay this one.
- Automated home control
Yeah, ok. It’s been a long time coming, but this one is probably true.
- Green goes mainstream
Huge discussions already going on, and the public knows it too – why else would GE report such huge increases in sales.
- Welcome to the cloud
Google Docs has already been going on for a while, Microsoft’s Live Mesh is now upon us, and other various bits and pieces are here. Don’t need to wait another five years thanks.
- The rise of streaming media
This is growing every year, and it takes very little thought to throw this in to a list such as this one.
- Online distribution of TV, movies
By his own admission, this is already happening. As in, now. But further to that, it’s just a sub-point of point 8.
- Collaborating across town, and across the world
Dunno about him, but I already work in a company that depends on this. Now. Again, already happening. And using Photoshop Express as an example of good collaborative software? Please!
And the five destined to die technologies:
- Blu-ray - huh? I don’t know about that. His argument is kind of the same as saying CDs won’t take off because of the truckloads of cassettes (or vinyl) out there – oh…snap. With HD comes consumables capable of storing HD. I can already dump an hour of video off my $200 handycam and have it nowhere near small enough to fit on a DVD. If I had an affordable Blu-ray burner and consumables, I’d be on it.
- Desktop PCs - Yeah, but I don’t see a huge difference between the way most people use laptops and desktops, and I would have liked the author to actually state reasons for why this might happen as opposed to saying it’s based on sales (although that would require actual prediction rather than following existing stats).
- Slow mobile networks - well, duh. If we’re talking WiMAX and 4G in Point 1, then it’s a no-brainer to say the corollary.
- Locally stored files - I disagree with this, although I suspect that people like Mitch are going to disagree with me in turn. :) What’s the benefit of having your data up on the web? If you’re a traveller then sure, maybe. But for the average home (which this article is supposed to be talking about), I see it as unlikely. Most people will prefer to keep a hold of their data where they can get to it easily, and regardless of how quick your internet access is, it’s still slower than a local network.
- Desktop Operating Systems - I don’t get how this can work. What does the browser run on?
*sigh* How about some imagination!? Some creativity!? Maybe even some magic!? Pretty much everything mentioned is either already upon us or will likely be realised in only a year or two – not five. How about for the home:
- In-built video conferencing in your TV so you can video chat to your relatives overseas (through your gaming console of choice)
- Live collaborative video editing so you can dump the video of your child’s soccer game on the laptop, and have your wife help you edit it from home.
- Pet management tools. Feeding, yard care, health monitoring for conditions such as worms, ticks, etc.
- Health monitoring for your family. Warning signs for the elderly or the infant. Blood pressure monitoring for the highly stressed worker. Automatically dispensing appropriate medication as part of your daily diet.
- Community Grid Computing and Community Networks. that somehow shares the load of water/electricity/gas consumption. Also, maybe better Neighbourhood Watch that keeps the streets a little bit safer.
- GPS-everything with more up to date maps and intelligent software that reroutes based on traffic, weather, important dates in your life, etc. Imagine, you’re creating a route to go pick up that amazing tri-level snooker table you picked up for a steal on eBay and the device pops up that it’s also your wedding anniversary and along the way is a place that stocks that brand of handbag your wife loves, so provides an additional routing to incorporate that if you choose to. And then, while you’re out – the Home Automation system kicks in, transmits to your GPS that you’re out of dog food and the GPS pops up a suggested diversion to get it from a pet shop that’s in the vicinity, and promises to get you home on time because it’s found a better path around the peak hour traffic.
- Integrated kitchen technology. Have the freezer automatically deliver the frozen meal to your microwave, have the microwave cook it to the right level by reading the info off the pack and then deliver it to your serving area. Oh, and have it initiated remotely, so when you’re 10 minutes from home you can kick it off and have it ready when you walk in the door.
Sure, OK… none of these things may happen, but wouldn’t it be kinda cool if they did?
I’m tired… this will probably look completely wrong in the morning… :)