The truth is that we can already begin to glimpse the answers to many of today’s most perplexing technical questions. In many cases, scientists and researchers have been working for years to tackle the toughest problems in a wide range of technologies, from artificial intelligence to visual recognition, speech, robotics, and much, much more.The result is a series of significant technology trends across a wide range of disciplines that are creating the conditions for rapid progress and change. As these technology trends converge with important social and business trends, it will create the foundation for breakthroughs that will transform the role that technology plays throughout our lives. The computing ecosystem: The notion of what a computer is has changed as we live in a world where previously “unintelligent” objects are gaining intelligence, becoming connected, and joining the ecosystem of computing. We are entering the era of an “Internet of things” in which almost any object can be connected to the Internet and collect data that contributes to a global web of knowledge. Digital devices have gained the ability to sense the world — through cameras, GPS, accelerometers, microphones and many other kinds of sensors. Such sensors are now so cheap that they can be placed wherever the capture of real-time information offers value. Virtually every type of product is becoming part of the computing ecosystem — cars, phones, houses, , cameras, power meters, televisions, roads and even cities. Many of the computers you’ll interact with in the future will be in devices that we don’t think of as computers today. So in effect, computing is becoming invisible.The explosion of data: The immense amount of digital devices in our world is driving an explosion in data. Deep analysis of this vast amount of data is enabling computers to begin to understand the physical world and to behave in a more human way, anticipating our needs and understanding our intentions. Techniques such as machine learning are increasingly important to crunch and gain insight from this so called “big data” and a new profession of data scientists is emerging. Cloud computing: With its massive datacenters, cloud computing will deliver virtually infinite resources, providing the storage capacity and processing power to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems in healthcare, the environment, energy, scientific discovery, and many other fields. This computing power will enable anyone to see patterns in data that can make actionable intelligence more prevalent. A hub for all data and information, it will enable us to capture, store, index, parse and recall as much of our day-to-day lives as we choose to share. It will also provide a platform for orchestrating the flow of information and technology across our lives so that we always have instant access to the tools and information that we need – invisibly, without us ever needing to know what the cloud is, or where it is. Pervasive displays: New display technologies will give rise to displays that are light, portable, flexible and cheap. We’ll carry a screen around with us as easily as we carry a magazine today, and we’ll take for granted the fact that screens are embedded wherever they might be useful —at home, at work, on the move or in public spaces. Ubiquitous connectivity will automatically link our information to those screens when we want to use them, and 3-D display technology will be routine and possible without the need for cumbersome glasses. Advances in contact lens technology will also enable digital projection directly into the eye, opening up an entirely new way to augment our senses. Social computing: This has already changed how we create and maintain our connections with others. But the world of social computing remains highly fragmented — the lack of integration creates frustrating disconnects that are inevitable when we are forced to switch between services and applications to stay up to date. Social computing will undergo a dramatic transformation as technology advances make it possible to weave our social lives more deeply and more seamlessly into every aspect of our digital lives, so that information from our social networks can provide insights to guide us in the real world and online. Today we think of social computing as a destination on the web and increasingly we’ll use it as a source of decision making, with our friends, with experts and with the help of people we don’t know – just as we do in real life. Ubiquitous connectivity: Increasingly we will always be connected to people, information, services and applications without requiring any specific action on our part. Though challenges will remain with bandwidth and global coverage, this increased connectivity will liberate the information that we have created ourselves and unlock any information from any source that might be relevant to where we are and what we are trying to accomplish, bringing everything we need together seamlessly in the form that is most useful. Natural User Interfaces: More natural ways to interact with technology are rapidly emerging — multitouch, voice, vision, gestures and many more. This means that for the first time, computing will adapt to us and demonstrate some degree of “intelligence.” This trend will see computers shift from being tools to helpers — performing tasks on our behalf based on an awareness of the environments we are in and the context of our actions. Ultimately, this will enable computing interfaces that are far more natural and increasingly simple to use. Natural user interfaces will build upon and often require many of the trends mentioned above and this shift will help the next billion people to join the digital revolution as the technology learning curve disappears.
The great computer scientist and research Alan Kay once said: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” and we’re hard at work doing that. We believe that we’re entering a pivotal era in technology – one that will see a dramatic leap forward in capabilities unlike anything that has ever come before. This era will see computers that begin to understand us, anticipate our needs and work on our behalf. More and more, computers will become invisible and in doing so enable many more to reap the benefits of technology as the learning curve to engage drops dramatically. We also believe that our approach combined with deep investments in the trends listed above ensures we will play a central role in making the scenarios we’ve imagined possible.It’s this combination that has enabled us to deliver Kinect for Xbox 360, which is just the beginning of the kind of natural user interfaces that will become common in the near future; Bing, which has shown that search is more than ten blue links. It’s context-based, social, can provide results that are more relevant to our lives and able to help us accomplish tasks; Windows Phone that shows how a phone can be about people, rather than applications; Windows Azure, which is enabling scientists to solve global scales challenges and startups scale to hundreds of millions of customers instantly; and Windows which has enabled a billion people to participate on the world stage of technology. Although these products are delivering experiences and capabilities that we could only imagine even a few years ago, they really only hint at what will become possible a few years from now. Whatever comes next, the one thing we can say for certain is that even our biggest dreams are probably not large enough to encompass the exciting changes to come. But we are excited about turning things that can only be imagined today into products that will improve the lives of millions of people around the globe tomorrow. That fundamental belief that technology can change the world and improve people’s lives is why we do what we do.
Voorstelling MIC Vlaanderen
MIC Vlaanderen?Microsoft Innovation Center Vlaanderen VZW heeft als doelinnovatie en ondernemerschap op basis van informatie technologie testimuleren in de regio Vlaanderen.