A USB Drive Is All We NeedThe future will look increasingly like this ----No more bulky laptops, no more desktops and no more larger than life CPUs. More iPod-likedigital devices for storage, music playing, video watching, and security.Realistically, we are not there yet.But dont bet on it.Hypothethically, all we really need is storage space for the files (documents, music, photos, videos,whatever you can think of) we create and need and use. Add to that computing power that willallow us to use various applications but basically its a storage space for everything we do.In the future, companies like IBM and service providers like AOL (if they are still around) willprovide us all our computing needs for a fee. Imagine network cables to our homes where weconnect a USB like device, or simpler yet, all are connected through WI-FI. The physical hardwareis no longer in our house but is located across the globe in locations where these companies keeptheir servers (and they increasingly back up our files for us for a fee again depending on thenumber of times we want to backed it up). This backing up will be done every few minutes.All we really need is a touchscreen monitor, a USB drive, a virtual keyboard. All our storage,computing and Internet needs will be serviced by one provider or a network of providers. The USBdrive itself can potentially become all the WI-FI network we need.Offices, deparment stores, malls, restaurants, everywhere we go will have these network sockets(with USB WI-FI we wont need this) and monitors where we just plug our “USB” drive and get toaccess our files, documents, email and surf the web.This will come about as a result of the following: 1. Very cheap storage space. As technologies for storage space advance, it will become increasingly very cheap for storage devices to manufacture. You can also fit a 1,000,000 GB disk space into a USB drive or a 1,000,000,000 GB for that matter. 2. Ubiquitous Web connection. As everyone needs to be connected to the Internet (businesses, individuals and governments), whole countries will be enveloped in a web of WI-FI connections. As technologies advance on this front, it will also become increasingly cheaper for governments to provide free WI-FI connection to all citizens. Productivity and knowledge will increase. One major drawback? Terrorists will find it easier to connect with their sinister comrades around the globe. 3. Very flat touchscreen monitors. The ubiquitous mouse will eventually die due to the proliferation of touch-screen devices. The keyboard will likely stay as some people would probably still prefer typing than dictating through advanced speech recognition artificial intelligence systems. As technologies advance, touchscreen monitors will also become a lot cheaper and you will see public libraries full of them. 4. Mobile Lifestyle. Everybody wants to carry less and do more. The mobile lifestyle is here to stay. Workers will only need their “USB” drive device to access their office buildings, pay for mass-transportation or pay for fuel, pay for their latte-on-the-go and pay for groceries. Workers just need to plug in these devices in network sockets around the office. Offices will only sport touchscreen monitors and virtual keyboards. People who need to draw and sketch will have their own specialized devices to thinker with. One drawback? The government can use this “USB” drive device in a national ID system.
5. The death of TV. The TV as we know it will also die. TV programs and cable programs will increasingly be accessed or viewed from the web through these touchscreen monitors which will allow limited participation by the viewers. This doesnt mean the couch potato phenomenon may die though, people will still buy large screens for viewing. Advertising as new media pundits say will die but consumer marketing will be revolutionized as products and services will increasingly become dialogues (or parts) in the programs or movies. Viewers can instantly purchase any book, movie, digital device, or whatever product you can think of that is highlighted in the programs they are watching or endorsed by public figures, authors, writers, celebrities or singers/bands that appears on screen. 6. The Creative Class. They have actually landed. In Richard Floridas The Rise of the Creative Class, he outlines that a new emerging class of creative people are beginning to take over our worlds. This class is responsible for every major innovation we see today – iPod, Amazon Kindle, Toyota Prius, and others which will revolutionize the way we live, the way we work and the way we simply enjoy our lives. I think the lay-off scourges that are happening these days are only the beginning of a larger societal reorganization where creativity will be prized above all else. Manual labor and even Information is increasingly becoming commoditized. 7. The Experience Factor. Connected with the rise of the creative class is the need for businesses to change their orientation towards “experiences.” People will be increasingly drawn towards products and services that provide them an “experience.” Preferably that experience is something enjoyable, pleasurable and adventurous. Mobile and creative people want creativity in how products are delivered to them and how they can use them respectively. Services will also need to conform to these standards. It would not be shocking to hear people talking about living the Apple lifestyle or the Starbuck way of life.There you go.You can see these emerging trends now.Stop.Look.Listen.The Future is Here...