According to a recent article on Singularity Hub, the CTO of Cisco recently quoted that the upcoming Internet of Everything (IoE) will be a $1.9 Trillion opportunity over the next decade.
At CES 2015 Keynote speech, Samsung announced that by 2020, all of their products will be Internet of Things (IOT) capable. Since they currently manufacture around 20 products per second, that means in 5 years (or sooner) there will be millions of IOT devices, all connected and gathering data about us.
And Samsung is just one of many…
TVs, mobile devices, toothbrushes, refrigerators, thermostats, lightbulbs, electrical outlets, vibrators, the clothes we wear, the vehicles that will drive us, the vehicles that will deliver our stuff, the lamp posts, the public utilities, the paint on the walls, our pets, our plants, our kids, and even the invisible wifi spectrum that floats around us, all will be gathering data.
Most of them already are.
Every aspect of our lives is being recorded and analyzed. Our needs, our desires, our health, where we go, how we feel, who we like, who we don’t like, what we do, what we say, what we buy, what we don’t buy, all will be analyzed by systems that will process our data and attempt to deliver targeted & contextual experiences back to us.
Privacy is a thing of the past. There will be no secrets. Everyone will be naked on someone’s TV. Lying will be impossible.
The Internet Will Come to You
With so much context gathering tech surrounding our daily lives, the role of a website as a destination will no longer be relevant. Arguably, it already has.
In the future, we won’t need to search Google because contextually relevant content will come to us. The internet will fade into the background as an omnipotent, invisible layer, just as electricity or running water did in the past.
For a while, we can assume that it will be insanely spammy. Combined with augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D holograms, things will start to become an overwhelming hallucination of multimedia ads and notifications injected into all aspects of our lives.
Media will be projected everywhere. 3D avatars and monsters will jump out of your burger, follow you down the street, be your companions and/or sell you insurance.
(This video below of a 7D cinema experience in Dubai might give you some idea of what that world could look like.)
Quiet Filters & Digital Prozac
The need for filters will become necessary for survival. Simple, daily tasks like walking down a busy street will become overwhelming. We will need Digital Prozac.
Luxury services will appear that filter only the “organic” healthy data to protect us from the “junk food” data that will fly out from all directions. We will pay a premium for the silence we currently take for granted.
Pop culture fashion & lifestyle choices will be based on which data filter you pick.
Over time, the systems will evolve and be so dialed in, that every action we take will have the most desired contextual reaction delivered to us. The systems will become so smart that they will predict things that we didn’t know yet. We will allow the system to have more and more control because without automation, we could lose our ability to function.
Our brain chemistry will permanently be rewired for constant distraction and constant entertainment. (it already is…) Turning it off will create withdrawals similar to quitting smoking or kicking heroin.
Getting hacked could make you insane or physically harm you. We will pay higher insurance premiums to insure we stay normal, healthy and alive, not just as a means to get paid when something happens.
Autonomous Vehicles, Transportation & Shipping
Autonomous driving will become a huge opportunity for relaxing and hands free media consumption. As we sit back in these robot cars and consume content, (rolling movie theaters, offices, hotels, restaurants, brothels) the drones will take us to work, remind us of tasks, deliver our food, watch our children, clean our streets, care for the sick and injured and hunt down criminals.
They will make life or death decisions based on who pays the highest insurance. Drivers licenses, traffic accidents & parking violations will become a thing of the past.
Swarms of autonomous vehicles run by a central, corporate transit system will chain together like freight trains or break off into small personal taxis.
Automotive manufacturers as well as the transportation, travel, postal and shipping industries (any industry involving robot cars, trains, airplanes cargo ships, tractors, trucks, buses, etc) will at some point all be disrupted and forced to merge to become one, giant, autonomous shipping industry, focussing on transporting people and things.
(At least anything organic that can’t yet be 3D printed on location.)
Branded Neighborhoods & Cities
In the short term, there will be a chaotic mess of aggregating devices and software that all attempt to capture the data and compete for who owns the core experience. There will be a lot of broken, fragmented experiences, hype and a lot of money will be spent and wasted.
As the systems evolve, the big player data platforms (GAFA – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) will buy up the most successful companies, and continue to evolve into mega, lifestyle based, entities that will eventually control entire communities, economies and could influence political structures.
Based on copyrights and digital rights management, your neighborhoods and cities will be determined by your choice of Apple or Google. They will own the homes, the devices, the transportation, the entertainment and the utilities. All will be reliant on being logged in to some larger platform and system, all controlled by GAFA.
Because of DRM, you will own nothing. Nobody will need to (or be able to) own a car or a home, only rent it. Your whole life will be one big subscription plan.
With so much monopolization and automation of every aspect of culture & civilization, the only areas left for control will be real estate, both in the wifi / communication spectrum as well as physical land and natural resources.
Jobs & Business of the Future
Since many of our jobs will be replaced with automation, our earning potential will be based on our ability to do creative or humanist tasks that can’t easily be replicated with artificial intelligence or robots. Our activity will generate both income and energy that can be sold or traded back into the system.
Everything we do will have the potential to be gamified and income earned from these gamified actions will replace our salaries. Every action we take will be collecting points that can be exchanged for goods and services, both physical and digital, in sub layers of micro economic marketplaces, where modern paper currency is replaced with a multitude of virtual currencies.
Where do we go from here?
For now I am going to stop and use this point as a launching pad for later discussions on more specific topics.
I can honestly say that, based on all that I have seen and experienced, the future looks both exciting and incredibly bleak. Many major disruptive changes will occur in the next few years that could change life as we know it for better and worse. Lots of opportunities, lots of unknowns. In many ways, we are on the verge of a major evolutionary shift.
In contrast to the present, admittedly, the future does seem overwhelmingly negative. I also think that there will be plenty of amazing & positive things on the horizon as well, so I also plan to touch on these things too.
I’ll share more as it comes to me. In the meantime, please comment and let me know your thoughts. If you have suggestions on particular topics related to the future that you would like me to touch on, I would love to hear them.
See you in the future.