Tech marketers often scream that change is the only constant in the tech world. In other words, they claim that technology has been constantly changing while offering improved products to consumers.
However, there’s a marked difference between the rhetoric and reality. When I start looking at tech developments, I find that nothing much has changed in the past 20 years or so.
It’s the same old PC surrounded by a gaggle of wires, same software that can’t work without crashing, same mobile phone that has become such a humdrum commodity that now it looks like a potato, same web search that throws you in a jungle of irrelevant data, and so on.
Then where is the change? Instead of moving forward, technology is just stuck in the mud. The sluggish progress in the technology market suggests that it is being led by some primitives from the Stone Age.
Now, however, a transformation is needed to take technology to the modern age. What’s that? Let me explain my expectations from technology. Here are the 10 important areas in which technology needs some serious progress:
1. Thin Computer: I want a flab-free, thin computer instead of today’s PC or a laptop. This light-weight computer should come without any software on it and like a TV set it should boot up immediately when I switch it on. Software can stay at the backend and I should be able to pull out only that piece of software that I want. Today’s thin clients are not the answer to my expectation.
2. Flexible Mobile: I want a mobile phone that would never run out of battery and won’t need any recharging. It should come with flexible form factor. That means, I should have the option to expand its screen size depending on my application.
3. Global Positioning: I want to open a world map on my computer screen and when I point a device at a particular location on the map, I should be able to watch the actual video output on my screen as if I am present at that location in real life.
4. Universal Database: I want to have access to a digital database that has profiles of all the seven billion people of the world. I should be able to interact with all of them – may be by using digital or biological connectivity – in a common language to develop human relationships while giving a true meaning to the concept of social networking.
5. Expert Search: As opposed to today’s archaic search engines or encyclopedias, I should be able to ask any question in natural language to a tech interface that should give pointed replies to all my queries instead of throwing out a deluge of information junk.
6. Feel Interface: Using an interface on my computer or other such gadget, I should be able to smell and taste products advertized by companies. I should also be able to read others’ feelings.
7. Remote Watch: I should be able to remotely follow – watch, hear, feel – other people like I do in real life as if I am moving with them no matter how far they are from me.
8. Virtual World: Today’s online virtual worlds may be the crude forms of what I expect the new technology to do for me. Actually, taking the avatars concept further, I want to get my real body teleported at the location of my choice.
9. Automated Democracy: It’s not about e-governance. Rather, I expect people to use intelligent networks to regularly post their opinions on different issues that governments are supposed to handle. Then using an automated and empirical methodology, they should be able to choose and replace the entire governments or members of the government.
10. Interplanetary Contact: I want technology to provide me access to other planets like Moon, Mars and Jupiter so that I could watch those terrains and communicate there while sitting on Earth on my machine.
After carefully thinking about all the above areas, I strongly feel that it is possible to develop all of them sooner rather than later. Companies and R&D organizations must begin the work now. Will they?
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.