Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Best Argument: No
Audience Favored: No (50%)
Morning, August 28, 2033
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Ack! It's morning again!
Time to wake up, check out of the hotel -- three right eye blinks to bring up the bill, tap on the table to pay it -- and get a taxi to LaGuardia -- double blinks and stick my thumb out in the old hitch-hiker's pose -- and I'm ready to go.
It's hard to think as the car automatically starts rolling from the Hotel Indigo to the airport that you used to have deal with taxi drivers. Now, the taxi automatically recognizes me and my reservation and we're on our way.
Oh well, I'd better get some work done. I reach out with my fingers, squeeze my eyes shut, reopen them, and my virtual keyboard "appears" on the laptop table in front of me. Funny how the name survives even though laptops are pretty much antiques. Of course, the keyboard isn't really there either. It's just the overlay my Google Lens displays on the surface for my convenience.
I could, of course, just start "writing" by speaking into the air, but I'm old-fashioned. I've been typing since I was a kid and there are some new tricks even an old tech dog doesn't want to learn.
This is going to happen, you know. Personal computing devices aren't science fiction. They're well on their way to being science fact.
I'm sure I have the details wrong. No one ever sees the future with 20-20 vision. But, in broad strokes, we're now on our way to a future where we'd no more go out without our integrated, networked computers than we would our pants.
Interesting times are ahead for us and I can't wait to see exactly how truly "personal" computing is going to turn out.
Smartphones: Where the real action is
Convergence is the path that all consumer electronics take, going from specialist devices (such as MP3 players, digital cameras, and in-car GPS receivers) to jack-of-all-trade devices that can carry out a myriad of tasks. And the king of the convergence devices is the smartphone.
The smartphone is king because it combines portability with the power to get work done. Sure, a PC or a notebook, or even a tablet is nice to have, but the best tool for any job is the tool you have on you.
And if you own a smartphone, I'll bet that it's rarely more than an arm's length away from you.
Also, the arbitrary line between smartphones and tablets is blurring. Samsung's Mega has a 6.3-inch screen, making it only a little bit smaller than the Nexus 7, a device that you can certainly do real work on.
Smartphones is where the real action is at.
- Mankind to machine: 13 computing devices you'll be wearing in the future
- Google Glass: Let the evil commence
- Cook affirms my best case scenario on Apple wearable computing
- Google Glass rival gestures to future of wearable computing
- Podcast: Wearable computing in the workplace
- Wearable computing's ROI: Measured in health care outcomes?
Market isn't ready yet
Wearable tech has been just about to breakthrough for at least a decade (and probably longer) but this time there is enough enthusiasm (from the supplier side at least) which means some of the products might be attractive to the mainstream, and Steven makes a compelling argument that the time is right from a technology point of view.
But I have to agree with Matt that the mass market isn't ready – yet. Wearable tech will be a huge, all encompassing market, probably within a decade, but the products available now and over the next two or three years are really betas as use cases need to be tightened up and privacy addressed. I'm giving this one to Matt.