We are seeing a shift away from mass consumption towards mass communication. Whatever can become digital will become digitized. The contents of entire rooms (libraries, offices, etc.) have been condensed into a footprint the size of a single laptop. Expect major changes in the consumption patterns of today’s youth – particularly in America and Europe. Younger generations are becoming less interested in accumulating debt for the purchase of cars and housing. Renting and sharing are becoming more common arrangements for large physical assets. Economics is becoming less about ownership and more about access.
In 1900, an American civil engineer called John Elfreth Watkins made a number of predictions about what the world would be like in 2000…. read more via the BBC. I just ran across this image of Watkins’ predictions from 1900, and thought they would make a very good 2013 kick-off / happy new year post. Some of my favs: Hot and cold air from spigots Ready-cooked meals will be bought Automobiles will be cheaper than horses Areal war-ships Found via buzzfeed How res download
The machines he envisioned will have the power to become vastly more user-friendly than today’s PC’s. They will probably be able to take voice instructions, and read commands written by hand or an electronic notepad, or right on the screen. None of this is science fiction — it’s just around the corner.