Later this week the extended Hazard Family will congregate for Thanksgiving. The group includes my parents, 3 sisters & 3 brothers-in-law and the 13 kids we have between us that range in age from 8 to 19. I am exhausted just writing about the long weekend!
One of the last times we were all together we had an interesting conversation sparked by my father on all the technologies that did not exist when he started his work career in 1953. It is an fascinating set of technologies to think about including cell phones, fax machines, personal computers, pacemakers, ATM machines, and the Internet. A common denominator of this list is that they all benefited from the staggering advances e have seen over the last 50 years in semiconductors and networking technologies.
This led to an even more interesting conversation, which was unfortunately cut short in our last evening together, about what technologies and trends would our kids look back on 50 years from now and say they had the same kind of profound impact on their lives, and society in general, as the advances of the last 50 years. A few ideas that did surface were:
- Cures for diabetes and other diseases based on advances in stem cell research
- The advent of personalized medicine, specifically therapeutic courses of action that are modified based on a person's specific genetic make-up, based on the ability to sequence genomes at a very ow cost
- The vast majority of energy production coming from sources other than oil, coal and natural gas based on the tremendous advances in "clean" energy
- The majority of defense technologies will be based on unmanned, remotely controlled, vehicles, planes and and other robots
- The advent of real telepresence applications that truly can replace face to face meetings (one of the favorites of the kids, perhaps the impact of watching too much Star Trek)
- Another favorite of my kids: high-speed mag-lev superhighways connecting major metropolitan cities
So in preparation for this Thanksgiving's conversation, what ideas do you have that we missed? Or are the Hazard Family's ideas crazy and far fetched and we should instead stick to watching football?
On demand information, everywhere. I can already see this with my kids – when they want to know something, they’ll be looking for the answer to immediately appear, be it from a computer or from a cell phone. The notion of that information not being available to them right away would strike them as inconceivable.
This stretches to all content. CD’s were dominant for 30 years or so. I figure mp3’s and their ilk will last about 15, tops, at which point you won’t really be storing content locally for any reason.
Your kids have the right idea – the big investment will be in the back-end that enables on-demand information. On demand information will require two critical components – a unique identifier (this will be an RFID tag and EPC#) and database storage/analytics (BI). Apple is putting significant investment into embedding RFID readers into iPhones so that consumers will be able to tap everything from payment and price comparisons to location and Facebook-friend proximity. In 10-15 years there will be more RFID readers than servers in most corporations for the automated info feeds they provide.
Chip – pass this uTube video (a bit long) on nanotechnology along to the Hazard “baker’s dozen” for some additinal conversation! My 13 year old wants his now… 🙂
Thanks Lori. Very cool and lots of food for thought!
How about the general area of cloud computing, SaaS, etc.? People are going to wonder when they ever needed to use their own hard drives, software, etc.
Or even cash? There are probably lots of people these days who use a credit card, PayPal, or other electronic payment services 90% of the time and pull out cash only to pay the food truck guy!
Ultimately, we’re moving (and having been moving) away from the tangible / concrete to the intangible / unseen.
Eternal “life” via uploading of memory/essence/personality (soul?) into silicon-based platforms
Thanks. Now that is an idea we did not come up with, but you could well be right!