Intel World Mural project - just what will the next 40 years bring?

Summary:Intel is turning 40 and while most of us by fast cars, take up motorcycling, or go bungee-jumping to deal with our mid-life crises, Intel asked 500 kids in 21 countries what they expected the next 40 years of computing to bring us.It's actually a great question.

Intel is turning 40 and while most of us by fast cars, take up motorcycling, or go bungee-jumping to deal with our mid-life crises, Intel asked 500 kids in 21 countries what they expected the next 40 years of computing to bring us.

It's actually a great question. We take for granted the notebooks sitting on our laps and complain when they run a little hot, forgetting the monstrous, room-sized computers of yesteryear that had only a tiny fraction of a modern laptop's computing power. The strides that have been made in computing in only 40 years (a remarkably short period of time in the grand scheme of things) are somewhat mind-boggling if we take the time to think about it.

ENIAC 1ENIAC was only turned on 62 years ago. Heck, the Renaissance lasted almost 300 years. So what can 40 more years of the Digital Age bring us? Who better to ask than kids?

Their answers are collected in Intel's World Mural Project, where the youths involved submitted both a picture and completed the statement, "In 40 years, computers will empower us to..." The mural itself is a Flash application that allows users to select a continent and then view the responses generated by students in the region.

The responses range from the whimsical to the sophisticated. According to Intel spokesperson Agnes Kwan,

Some of the themes that the kids have expressed are: having multi-function, wearable computers, achieving a greener environment on Earth, greatly improved healthcare, vastly improving our brain power, experiencing virtual education, communicating through holograms, teletransport, living more relaxed, peaceful lives, and living on Mars.

Of course, I remember thinking that by the new millennium we'd be driving flying cars and living on the moon when I was a kid. Obviously we're not there yet, but just being able to use technology to avoid destroying the earth is probably a bit nobler goal than flying to work like George Jetson. More importantly, we're already seeing some of the hopes these kids have expressed come to fruition. Telemedicine is a reality bringing serious medicine to very rural areas. Plenty of schools have a presence in Second Life. What's next?

Check out the Mural for some more possibilities and surf the rest of the site for information on the "Computer Clubhouses" that helped involve kids with this project.

Topics: CXO, Hardware, Intel

About

Christopher Dawson grew up in Seattle, back in the days of pre-antitrust Microsoft, coffeeshops owned by something other than Starbucks, and really loud, inarticulate music. He escaped to the right coast in the early 90's and received a degree in Information Systems from Johns Hopkins University. While there, he began a career in health a... Full Bio

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