Technology Predictions for 2020

This time of year everyone starts making technology predictions. So rather than making my own predictions for 2012 I thought it would be more fun to predict what 2020 could look like. Don’t worry even the Mayan’s don’t believe in the “End of the World” 2012 prophecy so I am fairly confident humans will still be inhabiting the earth. If you put it into perspective the Mayan calendar has cycled three times already and will do again. The earth is over 4Billion years old so any disruption would be a microscopic blip on the historical radar. So what could we expect in 2020?

Anyone remember 8-track tapes, vinyl albums or cassettes? This generation doesn’t. They don’t remember life without instant messaging. Every pre-teen has a cell phone and pre-schoolers have tablets. So, eight years from now how will they further the technology evolution?

Social Media is not an option anymore it is the way we communicate. So communication will change drastically. E-mail won’t exist in 2012 and neither will print publications. Communication will be based on online community interaction and will travel with us where ever we go.

Mobile devices we know today will become stylish intelligent fashion. Think of a pair of sunglasses that accompany an outfit but also stream multi-media communication. Or maybe communication becomes a nano-graph on our wrist like a tattoo. We can show off our unique designs all while our personal information is just a scan away from being granted access to bank accounts, express lanes or TSA security lines.

Geo-location will know everywhere we go and in combination with behavioral computer models will be able to predict our needs before we think we need. Humans are creatures of habit and slaves to routine. We like certain foods, have certain tastes and predictable patterns of movement. You can walk by a vending machine today and receive a text message asking you if you are thirsty. The “Net” will know us better than we know ourselves. We won’t have to create shopping lists because we will receive communication that we should buy more milk based on our pattern of consumption. Marketing will be so targeted that we won’t have to think anymore what we might like; the “Net” will anticipate and remind us when it is time.

Personal data will be the new currency. There will be no more privacy but charges and income based on sharing your medical, historical, personal information with the “Net”. Fraud will become useless because everyone’s information will be available to anyone. Unfortunately, poverty and the impoverished will still exist and likely increase because their personal information won’t be as valuable.

Sounds scary similar to “Big Brother is Watching” doesn’t it? The one wild card in this scenario is “Free Will”. As humans we are as unpredictable as we are creatures of habit. And just when we begin to believe that we can anticipate and accurately predict the future free will and or the thoughts of one can change the outcome. Look at the “Occupy” movement, banking fee credit petitions or the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. Do you think these events were in anyone’s predictability models? Maybe… However, all it took was the free will and independent thought and power of one to set these change of events in motion.

 What are your thoughts?

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