The near future…

26 September 2007, by: Dineke Tuinhof

What will the future be like, given the current rapid developments in the world of internet? I shall try to sketch my ideas here. In all times there have been people that have said: “the time we are in now is so important, so different from the past. Things are happening, things will change!” Not only in the sixties, you can read similar opinions dating back to even the old greeks. And at the moment I think the same about our time:  the last twenty years have been full of so many inventions that have indeed changed our lives completely: mobile phones, internet. How will this continue?

In a decade from now, people will probably be online all the time, using portable devices, like pdas, probably with a video camera. With wireless access to the net you can retrieve all your documents everywhere. And the same goes for companies and the government. At this moment you can use an e-ticket. The same could apply to all other forms and formalities such as passports, credit cards, membership cards and so on. The wallet will disappear. Keys will disappear.

Supplies and demands will be better taken care of: grocery lists can be automatically generated when chips or tags are attached to consumer goods. And if that is the case, you will never have to pay in a store, because the store registers what articles you take. Oh, did I say store? These will all be online, backed by huge warehouses shipping goods to the place where they are needed. And what goods are these? No longer cds, books, computers, photo cameras…


Houses can become smaller because of the absence of books, people will be using less paper, traveling is no longer necessary when you can do

videoconferences 24/7. Society will change from physical to wireless, floating… So we could become more environmentally friendly.

The technical possibilities of these things are there already. It is just a case of scaling the techniques that have already been invented. But the question is if we want to do without all these things that can become unnecessary. I like shopping in real life more than shopping online. I prefer reading a ‘real’ book. I like it to have cds and records in my house, even though I know I could just as well burn them onto my computer. And do we want to be online 24/7? Who has responsibility for the data in cyberspace? When my virtual money is stolen will I blame the bank? the provider? the place that provides the storage? myself? These developments make as more connected, which lso makes us more fragile. I am really curious to what is going to happen….

I  posted this message to myself (using futureme), and it will be delivered in 2017. If email still exists in that time I will be able to compare this story to the truth… If this blog still exists I will… repost this message


Dineke Tuinhof


2 comments to “The near future…”

  1. arjan says:

    Nice posting! Our own actions as developers surely have a lot of consequences.


    A lot of these things we already see happening around us. Where did the traditional bank went to? Thanks to the ATM and Internet banking, modern banks are more like offices or even like cafes these days.


    Btw, we talked about this earlier, but you mention "I prefer reading a ‘real’ book." Of course reading an ebook from a (computer) screen is a very bad experience. However, a product called ePaper will make it possible to have electronic books that are ‘virtually’ (no pun intended) indistinguishable from real books. The material will look and feel just as regular paper and readers can be made to even look like a real book.

  2. kizito says:

    Yes, Indeed something I think about sometimes too.

    Do we have more interesting things happening than before? And have these things more impact? I don’t know. Remember you grandmother who saw a car for the fist time. Who found a box in her house with sounds coming out of a speaker. I think because more is happening you can handle more and you will have more capabilities to adapt to them. If this is true you will experience them as less interesting because there are so many. One thing that will have an influence is your age; if you are +/- 30 years you experience much more and realize what effects changes of the system can have on people and systems.



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