Tomorrowland

Have you heard about the new movie that is out, called Tomorrowland? I can’t tell you anything about the movie, but when I saw a commercial for it on the television the other night, the title Tomorrowland got me thinking. It left me wondering about the direction technology is leading us in. What kind of Tomorrowland are we heading full steam ahead to? Some technologies, when you think about them, are really pretty cool, and others, well… they can be downright scary.

More and more applications and services are being developed to run in the cloud. The way IT is managed is changing just as quickly, as more companies are embracing the migration to the cloud. Following that logic, can you foresee the idea that personal computers and/or personal devices might be developed to be more of a thin client? I do not think it would get to the point of being a completely virtual desktop, but rather more of a hybrid type of operating system and functionality. The functionality could be the central access point for personal wearable devices. Oh wait—we already have that with our smart phones.

Google came out with Google Glass, which did not really take off, but could that be because we are not quite ready for it, and something like VUFINE’s High Definition Wearable Display might be a better stepping stone into the world of Google Glass? I believe that something along the lines of what Google Glass offers will, at some point, be a popular accessory for our smart phones. For me personally, the idea that that I would never forget someone’s name when out and about falls in the category of “pretty cool,” as does the idea that wearable medical devices could detect a problem and send notice to our primary care physicians that would immediately start a course of action.

Of course, this means that there will be more access points to the individual that will allow us to be marketed to in more than one way. For example, if you spend any time on Facebook or Google, have you noticed all the personalized direct marketing? You are going to need to think about that concept exponentially. This is bringing us ever closer to the direct marketing billboards and such. Does the movie Minority Report come to mind? Really, you can substitute any of a number of movies that give us a glimpse into the world of direct marketing signs and billboards. This is a technology that I would put in the “unfortunate side effect of technology” category.

In case you are wondering what the really scary part of new technology might be (I would like to believe that we each have our own list in that category), it is that these devices we have become so dependent on allow us, “we the people,” to be tracked and spied on through them. Add on top of that things like the ePass prepaid toll devices that make it easy and quick to travel on toll roads. Take a look around and see how many other transponders you see around town that also talk to your ePass device. That is just one example; please share any other examples you can.

Switching directions from the outside world to the inside or virtual world, a technology that is coming very soon is that of virtual reality. Is The Matrix the future, where society lives more within virtual reality than in the outside world? Think about this: if you can dream it, you could really can do it and live the experience, whether it be walking beneath the northern lights in the Scandinavian night sky, hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite Park, or floating down the streets of Venice. You could explore the human heart. Walk through a building that hasn’t been built. Get inside “Minecraft,” or “Grand Theft Auto,” or really just about anything else you could possibly think of.

So, in closing, let me ask one more time: What kind of Tomorrowland are we heading full steam ahead to? Is this going to be a good or bad Tomorrowland? What are your thoughts, and where do you think we are headed?

 

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Steve Beaver
Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.
Steve Beaver

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Here is one timely perspective — http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-the-internets-collective-human-intelligence-could-outsmart-ai Collective Intelligence isn’t as invasive as it has the potential to be annoying in the short term, yes. However, you also identify areas where it will certainly save lives. The Pepper Robot that goes on sale for $2k (and $200/month for Pepper’s cloud connection) in Japan this month is an example of where both worlds collide: the personal, albeit narcissistic, robot pet. Crossing the Uncanny Valley will be scary for a lot of people. Pepper compares itself to the iPhone, which is perhaps highly accurate. My parents had a difficult time accustoming themselves… Read more »
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