Re: A Future Timeline from Interactive Week
Tue, 20 Apr 1999 16:18:42 -0700

Dana writes:

> For the interested I refer you to this little tidbit:
> Realistic? Woefully pathetic? Comments?

Taking the first ten or so years from that page:

: 2000 One megabyte of storage costs one cent.
: 2001 Real-time "smart" videocassette recorders
: 2002 True desktop computer, where 3-inch-by-3-inch desktop is screen
: 2002 Intelligent global positioning systems
: 2003 Chameleon devices
: 2004 Handheld or smaller computers as ubiquitous as personal computers
: 2005 Software that learns by doing
: 2006 E-mail without digital signatures is automatically trashed.
: 2006 Medical kiosks in shopping malls
: 2007 Computing wallpaper; voice-controlled, keyboardless computers
: 2008 Computers that take notes
: 2009 Built-in speech interfaces;
: majority of U.S. households have high-speed 24x7 Net access.

This seems to be a badly organized effort. Are we to assume that these are major breakthrough technologies for the years shown? There is no sense of continuity, no sense of building on itself. The various innovations have little connection to one another.

Many of the items are not defined. What is intelligent GPS? Smart VCRs? Chameleon devices? What does it mean to have a 3-inch-by-3-inch desktop, and have that be the screen? Are we going to go back to peering at a tiny 3-inch screen, like the first TVs?

If you want a better-organized future timeline, take a look at, where the British Telecom's resident futurist makes predictions for the next few decades. This has separate categories for business, biotech, robotics, etc., so you get a sense of flow, of breakthroughs and improvements accumulating.

It's also a few years old, so you can see that we're already starting to slip the schedule a bit...