I spend way too much time looking around the Web at technology sites. One of my favourites is “This Week in Technology” (TWiT). I work from home most of the time and all the time I am sitting in my office—about 12 hours a day—I am usually listening to either a TWiT audio cast or video cast. I am currently listening to, and half watching, the latest TWiT video cast. Here is a picture of the screen to prove it.
I even have a separate computer and screen set up for streaming the audio and video casts so the video casts can be running without interfering with my ‘work’ computer. In the picture at right you can see TWiT streaming on the right hand screen and my work, which right now is keying up this post, on the main screen.
But anyway, none of that is what I was going to mention in this post. What I was going to post is that, according to the technology press, we can expect to experience 10 times the technology advances in the next ten years that we experienced in the last 10 years.
It seems there is a truck load (lorry load for my UK readers, if I have any) of new technology banked up from the last three years waiting to be packaged and released to the market. While much of this technology is ‘under the covers’ and will creep in without us really seeing it, there is also a lot of new technology that we will see.
Cell (mobile) phones: There will be about 10 times the cell phones (mobile phone for my Australian readers) released. Just this year (2010) alone it is forecast that 150 new models of cell (mobile) phones will be released. This is how many cell phone models were released in the last three years.
Hard disk capacities: It is expected that hard disk capacities, which are more or less at 2TB now, will increase three fold before the end of 2011—which is only about 18 months away. If this happens this means we will have 6TB hard disks by Xmas 2011. Just to put this into perspective this means that if you converted your DVD library to high-quality DivX or MKV files you could store about 5,300 movies on a single disk.
One problem I see is that the only way you could back up a 6TB disk up is to another 6TB disk. Using dual layer DVDs or even Blu-ray disks would take forever.
SSDs bigger and cheaper: Solid state disks (SSDs) will get bigger and cheaper. SSDs are much faster than normal hard disks and much less likely to fail. Computers work much faster if the operating system is installed on an SSD rather than a standard hard disk.
Cloud computing: They tell us, like it or not, cloud computing is the future. I am not a fan of cloud computing but I can see why it sounds good. Being able to use your applications from any computer anywhere and being able to access your data as well, because it is all ‘in the cloud’—which means on the Internet somewhere.
The current view is that cloud computing will be the norm within five years. Personally I don’t see it. I do not see myself using Microsoft Word over the Internet, or Adobe PhotoShop, or keeping my accounts on an Internet version of MYOB. But people far wiser and knowledgeable than me are saying that it is going to happen and I guess if it does, and I am still working in the computing industry, then I will just have to go with it.
Tablet computing: Almost as a companion to cloud computing is tablet computing. The story here is that over the next five years the tablet computer will take over from both the desktop and the notebook. We will use our tablets sitting watching TV, or travelling in a car, or going to visit friends, or having coffee somewhere, and so on. And because all our ‘stuff’ is in the Internet cloud we will be able to access everything from everywhere using our tablet computers.
One forecast I read even went as far as to predict that within five years people will consume more media content using a tablet PC than they currently do from TV, newspapers, and magazines combined. That will be interesting if it comes true.
I guess Apple have kicked this off with the release of the iPad tablet which has sold an unbelievable 1.6 million units in its first six weeks of release, and it is only available in the USA so far.
There is a lot more but in the interests of ‘shorter’ posts I will end this list here and make a note to post the other items in another follow-up post.