Predicting the future is never an easy task. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it is fun to try. Let’s face it: wrong guesses are more entertaining than right ones. Like the Replicator in the original Book of the Future, a machine that can copy just about anything atom by atom. According to the Book of the Future we should have these by now, and I’m pretty doubtful we will see such a thing commercially available in the next fifty years (though I’d like to be wrong).
If you look much closer to the current day, it gets much easier to see the line that trends are taking. One thing is particularly clear to me at the moment: the smartphone will replace the PC as the centre of our digital worlds for the next twenty years.
That may sound like a safe bet but think about what it means: Firstly, that though the keyboard and mouse aren’t going anywhere soon, the form factor we know as a PC will soon be second fiddle. Apple’s iOS5 largely removes the need to have a PC to get the most out of a smartphone. Most of our access of digital and content will come through the small (probably touch) screen of a smartphone.
The smartphone will also be the arbiter of your identity. It will provide your access to your finances, friends, travel, media, entertainment and government services. Rather than syncing content from your PC to your phone as you do today; instead your phone will give your PC identity so that you it can access your services.
That’s a lot of faith to put in a single device, particularly one that is effectively leased to you by a corporation.