I was asked by a major IT magazine how I thought Information Technology would be different in the 2010. Bill Gates said in the Road Ahead, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.” He’s right, but this is on the cusp of being in between, it’s only 3 years away. I would actually prefer to describe further in the future with my promised write-up of the Davos Connected User in 2015 session.
Here are my prognostications:
- Storage and the network bandwidth to store and access information is growing much faster than computing causing an explosion in content creation. This will make content management one of the most important information technologies and new technologies will emerge to automatically find, organize, verify and visualize content.
- Content and content management will increasingly be delivered in two main forms – appliances and on-line services. Extremely simple, purpose-built physical appliances for household and office use will capture and organize documents, photos, music and video. Software appliances, configured as virtual machines for specific tasks, will be downloaded from the internet to generic hardware that will come in sizes Small, Medium or Large.
- On-line collaborative and content services will extend from Web 2.0 to the community developing sites and user experience with open source accelerating their rate of evolution. Mash-up technology will replace web services and will blur services as it blends internal and external services. Services will start to spill over into the physical world as shops and delivery become more integrated into requests from the internet.
- A new revolution in user interface design is just beginning as designers move from physical to soft design. Gesture control will make its way into handheld and notepad devices. User interfaces will move from 2D to 3D as gamers influence work habits and we may see the first holographic interfaces. Avatars will begin to replace dialogs as the request-response metaphor and we may see practical voice recognition and language understanding.
- Business computing will shift significantly from PCs to mobile devices as Blackberry-size devices capture more business activities and form factors improve. Ubiquitous internet access and informality espoused by blogs and instant messaging will lead to simpler forms of communication. Content will be consumed on something probably closer to a Playstation Portable and your very thin mobile phone.