…is that unexpected.
Predicting about anything is a difficult task. This is often fraught with problems and is complicated by two factors: too many variables and too many people.
Making predictions in the world of technology is as difficult as it gets. You see a trend, a fad, or a new fad, jump on it, extrapolate, and then go and get it completely wrong.
As an example, at the turn of the 20th century, it was predicted that passenger air balloon travel – pioneered by the likes of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin – would be commoditized and become the dominant mode of mass transit. In fact, it would be so popular, by the 1980s, that people would have their own personal air balloons as their primary mode of transportation.
Obviously, this gaze into the future did not take into account the airplane that perished that pearl of foresight.
The main problem with looking ahead is that people tend to do it in such painfully straight lines, as the previous example shows. The telephone is another useful example; Who could have predicted the mobile phone at the time when Alexander Graham Bell was walking around with the technical equivalent of paper cups and wet strings?
Nobody could have. Also, how can one predict that these mobile telephones will one day have cameras? Or can you send a written message to them? You only have to go back 10 years, and it would be foolish to ridicule such ideas.
The future is a winding thing, and in the wonderful world of information technology, the driving force behind most confusion is convergence.
Now that’s a buzzword if I ever heard. And with predicting future trends in technology it becomes the next big problem: Let’s get down to two really cool gizmos and merge them; People will love it!
Oh no! Whether that drives desire is anyone’s guess. What drives are needed Utility: Two different parts of the brain are being used, here, one more than the other!
If an item does not serve a practical purpose, it is neither a use nor an ornament.
It’s even harder these days to predict the future, but in a way, even the strangest theory can have its day. Things are changing so fast that new technologies are emerging literally overnight. And given that people’s needs are also changing, evolving and emerging, who knows?
Going further back, desire, need – whatever you want to call it – is a common source. The engines of change are people, societies, lifestyles, and the need to manage, re-route and/or hand over all of this data and information, if necessary.
The Apple Newton was far ahead of its time. A group of clever guys ‘n’ girls sat in a room and made a remarkable prediction about how people would “consume” the data and information, and they were right on the money – the only problem was that they had been there for 10 years. More were earlier!
Now people are moving. People work on the go, strain long distance relationships, work with coworkers across time zones, and manage bank accounts at a cafe while sipping a cup of tea.
The only certainty that has been sanctified from time immemorial: things change. Things often come together in intriguing, mysterious, and extremely useful ways.
So here’s my prediction: Things will never be small enough, big enough, fast enough, cold enough, or cheap enough! am I wrong?