Business Unusual

The world in 10 years time

Can you even remember a time before mobile phones? It was over 20 years ago.

What about no Facebook or Google, that would be 10 and 20 years ago too.

So what might seem crazy now that'll be commonplace by 2026?

The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society mapped out six megatrends that would follow the advances to software and services.

They then surveyed over 800 ICT sector experts to determine when they thought each of 21 tipping points might be reached relating to the megatrends.

The findings were published in September 2016 and this is what they found.

The 6 megatrends

People and the Internet - how we will connect and use wearable and even implantable devices to connect to the internet and what sort of presence we would have on the net.

Computing, communications and storage - the power and size of the devices we use to connect and where we store our data.

The Internet of Things - the increase in sensors connected to us, our homes and the internet, to transport modes, factories and even whole cities.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data - the increase in sensors and our digital presence will see a significant increase in data. Making sense of it and taking decisions based on it will become something only sophisticated machines could manage.

The sharing economy and distributed trust - what will you own and what will you only rent in the future and what role will blockchain play in securing it all.

The digitisation of matter - what will be manufactured and what might simply be printed.

The interaction of the 21 elements within the larger trends would also have an impact on other sections of society.

There are implications for jobs and the nature of work, transparency, privacy and security. It will profoundly affect the economy, organisations and governments.

Here are some of the tipping points that are predicted to occur.

Mass storage; this slot looked at cloud storage recently and noted that as we shift to more powerful devices and a larger digital presence our need for storage has increased too. Multiple devices makes cloud storage the best option and the dramatic reduction in cost from $100 000 per gigabyte in 1980 to $0.10 in 2009. At that cost a significant amount - if not an unlimited amount - could be made available free with ad-supported options.

Wearable devices and fitness devices are already common, but this tipping point considers what you see as a means of accessing the internet. Smart glasses may not have been an overnight hit for Google, but the arrival of VR and the Snapchat video capture glasses and Microsoft’s hololens suggest a company will find a way to make the glasses work well and look good.

The WEF timeline of when each of the tipping points are likely to occur


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