It’s May 2021, where technology is slightly further than the present. Imagine yourself finishing work at 15:59 pm, your biometric id (or your next generation “smart device”) will notify you that you can catch the bus arriving just outside the office at 16:05, you enter the bus and take a seat where your id will guide you based on your “travel history”. You arrive just outside your place at 16:26 and you’re already inside your apartment at 16:28 where you can find warm food on the table, your favorite TV show based on your “TV history” is already downloaded for you and it’s ready to stream. Solar panels have already heated the water you need to relax under a shower right after, and again based on your log history only the amount of water you tend to spend will be heated, leaving the rest of the green energy on bypass for multi-use during the day. Lights will be switched on and off and adjusted according to spatial movement inside the house and the current hour of the day, always in compliance with your history.
Does that sound like a sci-fi movie? Well, cellular phones sounded like a sci-fi movie back in the 70’s and compact mobile phones sounded sci-fi until the mid 90’s, smartphones were not even mentioned in sci-fi movies due to our imagination stopped on Nokia 3310’s snake game. I won’t mention the technological advancement that’s taken place in the last decades and just focus on what we refer to as “now”.
According to Ericsson, technological advancement leads us to more than 20 billion devices including automobiles, next-generation smartphones, smart houses, smart transportation vehicles, just to mention a few cases will be connected to the IoT, or formally known as the “Internet of Things”.
Disruptive blockchain based technologies surrounding the financial, industrial, education, health and other major sectors are already developed and proven to work, will start to transform what we refer to as “Real life” into something made up out of a Stanley Kubrick film back in the 60’s.
Taking a closer view of NTT Docomo’s 2020 vision, early afrofuturists like Sun Ra, Gerald Donald a.o. indicate that what is about to happen is not only possible but designed and planned years ago. Gerald Donald under his moniker Heinrich Mueller is responsible for decades of mysterious musical projects that seemed to be ahead of its time, while just started to make clear sense. Arpanet, which is one of Mr. Donald’s main projects includes loud thoughts of Stephen Hawking in the track “The Analyst”, talking about “now” back in 2000 with extreme accuracy. Other musical projects like Der Zyklus, explain how a biometric id chipcard would work, all under a musical carpet that would fit only a sophisticated sci-fi movie.
IoT will serve as a huge network of machines that interfere with each other without mortal permission. That might sound like a “bad” Matrix scenario at the beginning but as you fit the pieces together, you will realize that it is not only unavoidable, but it is now our only option in order to maintain our ideology, crave for evolution and ever moving tendencies. 5G will replace GPRS based signals, telephone and mobile companies will merge into enormous telecommunication titans (except Vodafone and a few other major companies that are ahead of the game), in order to provide global coverage, minimum transaction and communication fees, instant (for human comprehension) internet speed at any time, anywhere. Sim cards will be replaced by a personal code linked to your biometric id card, one device per person will be more than enough to accomplish the tasks of 10 super smart devices and high-end computers today. Trends like having the latest iPhone will fade out since everyone will be obliged to have a device for free and while in the past we were paying to get one, in the near future we will be paying to get rid of the devices and their tracking behavior.
Having your device on your side would allow you to enter a train and a ticket will be automatically issued to you charged by the issuer company straight to the device, without mortal permission. The ticket will be canceled and the IoT based currency will be transferred back to your device if you get out of the train before it departs. Just consider how much time, effort, physical and emotional stress, components (paper, plastic card etc.) we use each time we want to travel and you will understand why sci-fi is just not the case here.
Social platforms will be merged and create “rooms” depending on the quality of the users. For example, if a teacher sends a message to your kid, the IoT will automatically know if he has any relation to your kid, what is his official social status and if he has history interfering with your kid, other kids etc. If a stranger attempts to send a message to your kid, the IoT will simply not allow the message to be delivered until you manually grant access to the user. In extreme cases, based on log history the IoT will be clarified to notify the Police, without even considering your thoughts on the matter.
IBM, BMW, Microsoft, Samsung, Volkswagen, Cisco, Fujitsu, Bosch are just a tiny fracture of the industrial colossus’ that are investing financially, practically and ideologically into IoT. Blockchain-like platforms like IOTA are already developing a digital currency that would be spent between machines for everyday tasks. Internet speed will exceed our imagination and you will be charged based on the size, file type, publisher among many other aspects to be considered automatically by the IoT, instead of a monthly fee regardless of the number of hours, size etc. you used that month.
What we can do, is not sit and wait until the new wave of technological advancement hits us, but we shall educate ourselves, our family, friends, and affiliates as much as we can and be ready to accept and integrate with the new technology as soon as it arrives.
Historically when we first introduced electricity to the public, only a handful of people had access to its benefits in the first years. Later it was spread, even if some said “I wanna live with candles, I don’t wanna pay you thieves!” it eventually became so standard, that today we don’t even mention it. A similar ideological change occurred later with the introduction of the computers and again back then those who had access to electricity were also those to engage in this new technology first. Later on, we get internet and those who access it first was obviously those who had already access to electricity plus a personal computer. In short, according to Moor’s law, technological advancement has such a unique and fast pace of evolving that human comprehension is simply not near enough capable of following up.
We live in an era were elder generations already fail to keep up with reality and later generations visualize them as old and not intelligent. As a matter of fact, they passed through everything we experience with the internet 4 or 5 times including world wars, the industrial revolution, introduction of automobiles, public telecom., electricity, computers, internet, smartphones, e-banking and more. The difference is that 10 years ago, those we refer to as elderly people were around 80 years old, not because they where physically or biologically elder, but because they couldn’t keep up with “real time” after so many significant changes or “updates” in what we refer to as “real life”. Today, exactly the same thing happens to people at their 50’s and if technology keeps evolving at that speed, a human being will be considered to be “elder” at his 20’s, simply because technology will change so much, so fast in a matter of years, that history of 20 years past will be considered as alien if not mythology to newer generations. We are all responsible for spreading our knowledge collectively and help our elders understand what is really taking place.
It’s funny because humans are still after “cheating time”, but we already achieved that. We have quantum computers that can now answer any question, solve any problem, provide any kind of information about anything in any detail in less than a second. We can’t doubt the computer because it has no emotions, personal interests, feelings, organic processing patterns to lie or to take time to think. We can now have the answers to questions we would need tens or even hundreds of years to answer just a decade ago. We still believe we organically die at our 80’s but as a matter of fact, we learn everything that happened the last hundreds of years in the first 6 classes at school, meaning that we carry intelligence that required that time to be achieved and now we have more time to spend on whatever we choose to or whatever we are instructed to, if that isn’t cheating time, what is?
Ancient Greeks trusted blindly the Delphi Oracle which was a sacred place that could instantly provide accurate information about anything you would ask. Today we have IBM Watson, Oracle, Rand Corp and more to do the same job, yet we are convinced it’s not “mythology” but “real life”.