What’s It All Going to Look Like in Five Years?

I wonder how many of us will be getting our news from a local newspaper. How many local tv stations will be producing nightly newscasts in five years? Will most of us even use a desktop computer? Or is it possible that we’ll think a laptop computer is too bulky?

Surely not. We won’t be all that different from today will we?

Maybe.

But how far away does the year 2014 sound to you? That’s five years. The same distance from today that 2004 is.

And look how far technology has come since then. Few people had blogs. Only a few students at Harvard had heard about Facebook which was being developed by another student. Social Media wasn’t even a word or phrase. Twitter was impossible to fathom.  Cellphones mostly did calls. Few people even used texting.

Mark Cuban asked on his blog the other day whether our phones will replace laptops in the future. Nah, I thought. As much as I love my iPhone’s ability to scan the internet, check e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, take on-the-spot photos and keep my calendar in order, I still need my desktop or laptop.

But what if your iPhone/Blackberry/Gphone could connect to a monitor where you could have the screen space to do all you need to do? What if you came home, connected (wireless of course) to a monitor and keyboard? Or maybe your LCD flatscreen tv? And if you had a 3G or 4G network would you even pay for cable broadband or DSL?

Creative types who edit video, or do heavy processor graphics work would want their desktops of course. But for everyone else? Why would we need it?

This all popped in my head tonight because of a story I read about how the Japanese hate the iPhone. Not just because it’s a western produced device, but because the monthly subscriptions cost too much. Also the cameras resolution is too low, there’s no videocamera, and there’s no TV tuner either. In Japan, iPhone providers are giving them away for free to anyone who’ll pay the $60 per month for a plan.

And then I saw this: “A large portion of Japanese citizens live with only a cellphone as their computing device, not a personal computer”

Generally, the Japanese are far far ahead of Americans when it comes to technology, and already to them, an iPhone looks like a cellular phone with a long chord used by yuppies in the early 90s.

How much will things change in the next five years?

In 2004 I don’t imagine many of us could envision the things we’re already taking for granted today. So I cannot even begin to imagine how different things are going to be in 2014.

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