Just 20 years ago, everything was about beanie babies, Tamagotchis and weird color combinations. Flip phones and audio cassettes were the coolest things around. Pay phones were at almost all of the places that people hung out at such as movie theaters and shopping malls. Depending on how old you were at this time, you may have had all of these things. If you were into electronics back then you may have had a computer, boombox, Walkman, Super Nintendo, camera, VCR or maybe even a portable CD player! When you think about it, it is crazy what has happened with technology in the last twenty years. In 2014, most of these things are carried in your pocket on one small device. Smartphones now include most of these technologies right out of the box. You can take digital pictures, record video, play music, watch videos, play games and browse the internet among many other things on a tiny device that is smaller than the Walkman you may have used in the 90’s!
If all these things became one device over just 20 years, and that one device is about the size of an audio cassette, what will we see over the next 20 years? What else would we really want to carry with us that we don’t have already? Maybe we won’t be carrying anything in our pocket at all (afterall, they are working on storing data in DNA). Imagine the internet 20 years ago when you couldn’t Google the answer to almost any question you ever wanted to know the answer to.
There are some downsides to this consolidation however as we are becoming more and more reliant on technology and the data stored in those little devices. Could you imagine a day without your smartphone, or life without Google? If email or the internet goes down for a few minutes at the workplace, internal help desk’s phones will ring off the hook. If a remote employee’s laptop or phone takes a fall or a swim they could be unable to work for days and lose crucial company data. Thankfully, we have the ability to back up our data, and password protect and encrypt our mobile devices just in case they are lost or stolen. Companies such as Kroll Ontrack are able to recover data from some of the worst possible situations as well. We are already heading in the direction of carrying our laptop in our pockets with today’s tablets and accessories. Even with the potential cons, bettering technology makes all of our lives easier and I for one am excited to see where the next 20 years brings us. Where do you see technology going in the next 20 years?