Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The next big thing - let's look into the future

At Nokia Research Center in Tampere I gave a talk with the title "Computing Beyond Ubicomp - Mobile Communication changed the world - what else do we need?". My main argument is that the next big thing is a device that allows us to predict the future - on a system as well as on a personal level. This is obviously very tricking as we have a free will and hence the future is not completely predictable - but extrapolating from the technologies we see now it seems not farfetched to create a device that enables predictions of the future in various contexts.

My argument goes as follows: the following points are technologically feasible in the near future:
  1. each car, bus, train, truck, …, object is tracked in real-time
  2. each person is tracked (location, activity, …, food intake, eye-gaze) in real-time
  3. environmental conditions are continuously sensed - globally and locally sensed
  4. with have a complete (3D) model of our world (e.g. buildings, street surface, …)
Having this information we can use data mining, learning, statistics, and models (e.g. a physics engine) to predict the future. If you wonder if I forget to thing about privacy - I did not (but it takes longer to explain - in short: the set of people who have a benefit or who do not care is large enough).

Considering this it becomes very clear that in medium term there is a great potential in having control over the access terminal to the virtual world, e.g. a phone... just thing how rich your profile in facebook/xing/linkedin can be if it takes all the information you implicitly generate on the phone into account.

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