My World: A Personal Blog About Everything

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Future of Communication

So I'm sure most readers know about my love for technology that stems from a passion for pushing creativity to the limits and seeing what people can do. We are at a truly unique intersection between the ubiquity of computers today and the prevalence of the Internet as a common means for communication. We've never seen this before. Now for not much money you can get a pretty decent small laptop than can do everything you need it to do, and at the same time more and more people are getting Internet on their cell phones, and almost everyone has a portable device of some kind with them at all times. We are at the point where telephone, internet, and traditional computers are being merged into a single device, or more accurately a single "persona". What do I mean by "persona"? So to backtrack for a second, Silicon Valley has been trying for years to create a single device that can do everything... and has failed and will continue to fail because this is not what people want. We don't want one device that does everything we want our phone, our laptop, and our TV for different occasions. What I mean by persona is that now that the internet can link all our devices together wherever we are (or almost there) there is no longer a need to have different expectations for each device. Let me clarify, what I'm saying is that you as a person has preferences, characteristics, etc... and each device you have has a little portion of you in it, be it through your music catalog, you photo album, your documents, etc... Each device has a different aspect of "you". Whereas I see the next few years as uniting those aspects into a single "persona", or a single digital version of you. This means all your preferences, tastes, emails, phone numbers, everything, is stored in one central place where the interface can be whichever device you choose. Here are some examples to further clarify my point. So I use my iPod to listen to music, my iPod knows the music I like. Now image if when I was on the internet Yahoo! music also knew exactly what I liked based on what's on my iPod, no separate accounts to login to or anything. Take it one step further so that when I'm on my cell phone, it automatically chooses ringtones that also happen to be songs from my iPod that are common between me and my contacts. Also, one could say your credit card company knows what I like to buy and where I shop, so imagine I go to the mall and my cell phone links to these buying habits and notifies me of sales at my favourite stores. Now to tie this all into The Future of Communication, rather than having a separate facebook account, msn account, phone number, and email address, all of these will be tied to your online persona and accessible through any means, be it TV, cell phone, whatever you prefer, no longer will your identify be split up across so many sources.  Communicating with others won't be restricted to the type of interface (i.e. desktop vs cell phone vs school computer) but to the type of communication (i.e. video vs phone call vs instant message ) that's appropriate for the people involved and their location. So those are my thoughts, gotta go -Michael

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