View Full Version : Internet via Contact Lenses, as Computers Die Out...The Shape of the Future?

27th May 2011, 06:57
The Shape workplaces will take in 2030..?

Futurists predict new technology will have a huge impact on our work lives.

The Sydney Morning Herald - May 27, 2011

If the thought of change worries you, the following paragraphs might make you feel uncomfortable. The accelerating pace of progress means workplaces will be very different in the future. But precisely how different will they be? I asked some of the world’s most respected futurists for their forecasts on the shape workplaces will take in 2030.

Michio Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and the author of Physics of the Future. He’s convinced that computers will cease to exist. To access the internet, instead of jumping onto a PC or an iPad, contact lenses will be used. “You will blink and you will be online,” he says.

Contact lenses will also transform the way meetings are held. Say goodbye to sitting around a boardroom table, and say hello to teleconferences where virtual images of your co-workers will be viewed in 3D.

“Your contact lens will recognise people’s faces and display their bios next to their image,” he adds. “If they speak Chinese to you, your contact lens will translate it and give you subtitles beneath that person's image. So you will always know who you are talking to and what they are saying.”

His forecasts extend to PowerPoint presentations, which he says will also be in 3D animation. Plus, he predicts your car will drive itself to work, the wallpaper in your office “will be intelligent”, and activation of these technologies will simply require a wave of your hand.

Google is already working on the development of a driverless car. One vehicle in particular drove over 1000 miles autonomously. As a sign of optimism, Google is now actively lobbying legislators in Nevada to make self-driven cars legal. As the New York Times reported earlier this month: “the technology is now advancing so quickly that it is in danger of outstripping existing law".

Dr Ian Pearson, of British consulting company Futurizon, agrees with Michio Kaku that handheld devices, such as laptops and phones, will disappear.

“We will instead wear personal head displays,” he says. “These could be either lightweight glasses with inbuilt lasers that write the image directly onto the retina, or even contact lenses.”

Keyboards will become extinct too, he says, and be replaced with advanced voice recognition or technology that responds to gestures. “And computers themselves will be mostly cloud-based or in tiny bits of jewellery,” he adds.

All of this assumes you’ll actually have a workplace. Ray Hammond is an author of 16 books about the future, and his latest is The World in 2030.

He tells me that information workers – such as designers, investors, writers, and so on – will be able to work from wherever they choose. It’s already happening to some extent today. In the future, though, it’ll be commonplace. “And we’ll be having real-time complex conversations with all of our machines,” he says.

But with technologies infiltrating our heads and residing in our eyes, perhaps a bigger issue to ponder is whether we’re the ones turning into the machines.

Professor Jim Dator heads the Research Centre for Futures Studies at the University of Hawaii. He delivered a brilliant presentation in South Korea last year where he stated the global financial crisis was not over. He predicted the recession facing much of the world will be prolonged, and exacerbated by “the end of oil, environmental changes, and debt-bound governments".

He also outlined that having a job is a relatively recent phenomenon. “Many of us today find it hard to understand that for most of our history humans lived very well without working,” he said. “It would seem absurd to our hunting and gathering ancestors that we now waste so much precious time working, because they spent almost all of their time in leisure, but with more than enough food, clothing, shelter and material goods around them.”

And yet today we don’t just work - we overwork. And this could get worse unless the technology of the future allows us to return to a way of life where leisure is prized more than labour. Once upon a time, that was expected of email. The reality was different. Email revolutionised productivity, but that efficiency was created at the expense of addicted workers unable to unplug from a wired working world.

As Professor Dator said in his speech, perhaps the goal of the future’s technology shouldn’t be about the trendy concept of ‘smart work’. Perhaps the goal should be “100% Full UNemployment.”


PS - A Question for our Avalonian Thinkers & Futurists: What are your Predictions, no matter how Wild?

Lily de Cuir
27th May 2011, 07:27
Gee gotta be quick around here, lol, Jacko I was just about to post this!


Mad Hatter
27th May 2011, 17:22
Mad Hatter dons his cycnics cap...

Nothing like following myopic visionaries.

Instant subliminal programming upgrades...better hope there are no storms in the 'cloud'. :eek:

Potential future headline might read - "Today, due to a 15 year old hacker exploiting an undocumented feature (bug) in the latest operating system release 3,000,000 people where instantly blinded by the lightweight glasses with inbuilt lasers that write the image directly onto the retina"

Remember to err is human, to really screw things up requires a computer!! :p

Then again if team Ascension turns out to be be right then we will only require I human to interface with the machine (Aubrey?) and the rest of us get instant downloads telepathically.
Come to think of it telepathy gives a whole new meaning to the term 'hacking the collective subconcious'...shrooming good times ahead !?!!

But if team Disaster turns out to be right the points are moot as we'll be partying like the Amish in 1899.

Mad Hatter crawls back under his rock in search of his 'happy' pills...