What next…?Posted: August 13, 2003
So the question is, where is technology headed? Folks who have been around for more than 20 years or so, no offence to those who have not, will vouch for the fact that life has not changed much. We still drive the same cars, on the same roads, climb the same stairs and wear the same hats when the day is really Sunny. However, the same group will also scream, that if you open the bonnet of your car your bound to find an embedded chip. Cell phones, digital cameras, mp3 players, flash drives, its all out there and cheap.
In an earlier blog I mentioned how Wi-fi was changing the work environment. Be it the coffee shop or your work place, you can be connected if you wanted to. Just the other day, I managed to access my email over the Mobitex Pager network using a Blackberry. My internet is powered by Satellite. A decade ago that would probably have been prohibitively expensive. Now it is no longer the case.
Now that your connected everywhere, methinks that its now the turn for the humble toaster, or your modest fridge to get onto the same network and talk to you. I Imagine they will use the mediums most commonly used today (hint!!) and that eventually, being on vacation and forgetting to turn the lights off, will be a thing of the past. Computers will be everywhere, I suppose all these tiny invisible machines will be on a 802.11 network and will talk to your PC. Your PC in turn will be your gateway to your home.
Now the technology is already out there and manufacturers of household devices are cognizant of the emergence. However, right now its only for the Gates’ to own such devices and the technology to network them.
This in turn will give a boost to the software programmers and embedded systems experts out there who moan the demise of innovation in technology in favour of bean counters and reliability. For those who have had faith in technology, I would like to affirm, twenty years down the road, things WILL be drastically different from today.
The other objects that I am willing to bet on, include the Open Source development model and Research communities. That completes the trio that form the underlying base of technology today. Open Source is the youngest of the three and rivals the industry in terms of viability. Now with the Industry and Open Source joining hands (analogy: IBM & Linux) Innovation in Open Source will also be possible.
I hope the next few years will be more exciting than the last few. There will be toys to play with and work to do, ideas to fund and implement.