ZDnet recently ran a series of articles about the “Blade Runner” computer in homage to Ridley Scott’s 1982 vision of 2019.
- Project Blade Runner: The personal computer of 2019
- Project Blade Runner: The user experience of 2019
- Project Blade Runner: Putting it all together in 2019
I found this to be an interesting exercise in the issue of scarcity vs. abundance mentioned here before. What will be in abundance?
- CPU (16 times more powerful than today’s devices)
- Memory (even lower end devices will have double digit GB of RAM)
- Graphics processing
- Storage (easily in the double digits TB range)
- Networking (wired and wireless will be multiple times faster)
- Integration (is there really a PC or just one more module in your personal environment?)
What will remain scarce?
- Display – although you can count on much more 3D
- Human attention
- Useful form factors – there are only so many options that work (although there is always room for innovation here – like this example from a few years back)
Possible areas for significant innovation – overcoming scarcity?
- Integration (between devices and the environment as a whole) as well as in the hardware itself
- Screen real estate and capitalizing on the ambient displays nearby.
- User interface (those “thinking caps” are always out there)
- Sensing (in clothing and the environment around us)
Thinking about how business investments in devices and the systems required to support the employees of the future will be key for IT organizations. There are numerous competing visions, but by 2019, the early Millennials will be entering at their midpoint of their career when they start to make the major decisions about corporate investments. I use the term “mid-point” loosely though since the live span may have increased for these individuals.
One of the issues with exponential growth is that it looks so linear in the short term. Looking back about the same amount of time, we were just bouncing back from the .COM crash and many of the seeds of discontent that occupy planning today (virtualization and cloud, mobility) had just started to germinate and grow. We might want to look at those areas that are starting to make us worry.