At the Pitney Bowes Insights Conference (#InsightsCon) this week in New Orleans, MSNBC commentator and "Futurist-in-Residence" at The New York Times, Mike Rogers, gave his thoughts on what the future of technology might hold for the average person.
He said that if you look back eight years ago to 2004, there was no iPhone, a 24" LCD TV cost about $3000 and Facebook existed only at Harvard. Now, iPhones are driving an explosion of mobile apps, 24" LCD TVs cost about $200, and Facebook has nearly 900 Million users.
Rogers said that two primary things will make progress faster in the next eight years. Moore's Law will continue to impact the speed of data processing and people will adopt technology faster than they used to. He also said that three things will become more pervasive:
- Connectivity to the Internet through a variety of devices will be assumed and we'll be connected all the time.
- There will be broadband for everyone.
- There will be a rise of the "digital personality."
The last item is most interesting. Essentially, Rogers believes that we will all develop "digital personalities" that will "carry us as we move through the virtual world." Digital personalities, he said, are the derivatives of social networks. So, how we represent ourselves in the future may depend on a digital persona. While I'm not sure that differs tremendously from our online profiles on Facebook or LinkedIn, the social networks today seem to be more static. That is, your personal information doesn't change unless you change it. I believe he is suggesting that there will be more dynamic interaction with the virtual world.
Lastly, he believes that our mobile devices will become more intelligent and the they will be personal concierges ... a more advanced version of Apple's Siri. The devices will not only tell us when we have our next appointment but will capture the frequency with which we visit places and make recommendations based on past personal preferences. For example, let's say you arrive late to work three times in the past week. Your mobile device might suggest to you that you rise earlier or take a different route to work. To me, this sounds less like "big brother" and more like "nagging mom."