Monday, April 29, 2013

In the future this will all be...

Ever wondered what is going to happen in the next few years or beyond that? Well, with my digital crystal ball I’ve come up with a thought or two on where things are headed.

1. The future is going to contain more technology.
It’s going to be faster in its processing (and therefore seemingly more ‘clever’), more usable and even more ubiquitous than it currently is. However (because of this and other factors) it is also going to be more complicated and connected, meaning that even the word we live in now will seem like a pre-industrial medieval state in just a decade or two.
From clothing embedded with NFC chips costing only a few pence that tell you they’ve been at the bottom of the washing basket for over a week, all the way through to comparison websites that automatically compare the information from that telematics insurance box now built into your hybrid electric car.

2. Data is going to be the most valuable currency
We already know that the huge valuations of online services such as Google and Facebook are not just because they have great functionality (such as to link us to our friends & old colleagues) or a great way of finding stuff…  but because they collect, use and continue to build up data on individuals and their habits, preferences, friends and what they had for breakfast. Amplify this fact by an increased population which is online more often via more devices, collecting even more data and you really start to understand how (after water and  perhaps actual currency) data is going to be the most valuable commodity there is.
I’m not suggesting you will always be able to pay for a bottle of water in a street cafĂ© by giving them your date of birth… but is it that hard to imagine a time when you will be able to use your Starbucks loyalty card to get a free bottle of water in return for signing-up for their new improved reward programme, which just needs to know one piece of information…. Your birthday??

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