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The Future of Technology

Those of you from my generation viewed the 21st century with awe back in the 1960s and 1970s. There were many children's TV programmes that tried to offer a peak into the future. As a child it all seemed so exciting but now as an adult, it is evident that we humans are not great at predicting the future.

We are not all travelling around in clean electric cars that fly through plastic tubes at 300 miles per hour and neither are our cars flying. However, some things have come to pass and some things have turned out to be even more amazing than predicted.

Back then, we may have rightly viewed these children's TV programmes with much skepticism but I think we all had a vision of what things might be like in the future. For example, I remember watching a TV programme back in the 1970s which predicted that one day, each family would have a computer in the home. It seemed a remarkable idea but we couldn't really see the point. What on earth would we need the computer for?

Not only did that vision come true, it went far further. Not only do the majority of households have at least one computer, many of us now have personal telephones that can access the Internet. In other words, we have a small handheld device that can access information on just about any subject you can think of.

Can we really predict the future?

I remember when CDs were becoming popular. I am interested in technology and I was discussing CDs with a friend of mine and I remember saying to him "mark my words, one day one the future, they will be able to fit a whole album on something the size of a credit card". Well I was partly right. What I hadn't realised is that we would be able to fit our whole album collection on something not much bigger than a credit card!

So what is the next big thing?

The whole reason for this article is to share my prediction for where the future is going. This is only my opinion by the way. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps what I am about to say is obvious, I don't know. But it is my opinion and I believe it to be true.

Watch out for the cloud

Much is being discussed about the cloud right now and I believe this is the direction we have started to take and I believe we are on a one way street towards it now. Google recently announced that they were releasing a device similar to the iPad. However, rather than the device itself running software and applications, it would merely be a conduit to the Internet and it is there that all the applications will run. They already have services like Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar and more. But I believe this is about to get very big indeed. The days of better and faster PCs is going to start disappearing and instead, all our devices will simply be interfaces to the Internet where we will run our software and store all of our data.

I am talking about a wholesale change in the way in which we buy our technology. In a funny sort of a way it is a reversal of a few years ago. In the 1980s, computing in the office was usually a VDU which connected to one large computer. The VDU acted as nothing but an interface to the technology. I believe we are heading back in that direction and in a very big way.

I am writing this on 10 June 2011 and I think it will be interesting to look back on this article and see if I was right. There, I've said it now and gone public. In a few years time I am either going to appear very clever or very stupid! Time will tell.

Fri 10 June 2011 11:10:31

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