The new thing is going to be watches that let us view messages enjoy stereophonic Bluetooth connections and wireless talking as Samsung, Sony, Apple and Qualcomm and numerous others introduce the latest versions of this new product. We are about to give new meaning to the word wrist watch and a whole new era is about to be born. Google glasses are the other new toy about to come to a store near you and so we are headed to the age of seamless always connected era in a rush. Miniature screens with high resolution will bring the world to us; no matter where we are, long as the internet can support us. We will be talking to these devices, as if they were an extension of our personality; and eventually they will become our personality as they will know more about our preferences and with algorithms built in, and become the purveyors of all that is available out there and offer up the results of searches on things we may like. . The build out of the core infrastructure like power plants, transmission capabilities memory and storage, miniaturization and display capabilities are about to take a gigantic leap forward.
That brings us to the question as to whose data warehouses will provide the content for all these always connected millions. In cloud computing Amazon leads the way with Google, Microsoft and numerous others continuing to build out the huge server farms that house the increasing data needed by each of us. The TV industry and the deliverer of news and entertainment as known today will continue to deliver content over the airways and cable to residents but the mobile consumer may well choose another path. Netflix, You Tube, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are all vying for our online time; and content creation, storage and delivery are the next big thing. From MIT videos on education, to the sluttiest porn; it will all be there at our voice command, and we will pick and choose at our leisure. A digital smart grid will provide energy, content, connectivity, social media and countless other things, in ways we cannot imagine today. We will be limited only by our imagination; on what to do with those free minutes, we have at our disposal.
Today the cost of these build outs are being paid out in the developed world and the digital divide continues to grow. The citizens of the developing world are not to be left behind and are demanding the same delivery and the rush to reduce costs and improve the devices so that they just sip energy continues. Advertising and commerce pay for the new frontier and the consumers benefit from the build out, by the Governments of infrastructure and research. The path is not sustainable and the resources required although enormous are still limited, and taking away from other life’s non digital necessities. Mothers and children continue to die and diseases that are curable still kill millions across the globe. Food security, potable drinking water, medical health supplies, decent housing are still dreams for billions; as the elite consume the new universe. He buys a $ 35,000 handbag for his trophy girlfriend, while it could feed thousand starving children with that same money.
So what will our priorities be in the future is the question; and I am not a Luddite and against progress, or the new frontier. We need to be seamlessly connected, as it will help make a better world. Education and knowledge are the destroyers of ignorance; and we have the greatest opportunity, to lift millions into the new age. The problem is not this new age that we want to build, but how we will build it. Will it be one filled with compassion and love for our fellow beings, or will it be one where divisions and exclusions rule and whole species are destroyed to make room for our ever expanding needs. Can we make a more sustainable future for our coming generations, while still making progress in tackling some of our toughest problems? The politicians have no clue; and are mired in their daily wrangling, power sharing secrets, and backward visions. They are solving yesterday’s problems, and not too successfully at that, and only for their deemed constituents. Statesmen are a rare breed and getting rarer as sectarian and cult considerations are more important for them to sustain their identity than a universal approach. We are doomed to live in a world of violence and hate propagated by the extreme left or right wings, and the middle will continue to suffer.
I look forward to looking at my wrist and finding not just the time but my whole social world there, or wear those glasses and watch the world literally go around me. Toys have always fascinated me, and these will be par excellence as far as Christmas gifts are concerned. We may not make love any more, but at least we will be digitally connected. ‘I see you’ will take a whole new meaning as holographic images will project versions of you that you want others to see, and avatars will become a blurring of reality and fact. We will be able to be whatever we want to be in our digital life, but at the beginning of the morning when we look into the mirror who will we find there? Take a closer look, as we may be the next extinct species.
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