I Live in the Future

For most of my professional life the saying has been “Five years from now”, as in:

  • “Five years from now bandwidth will be fast enough we’ll be able to stream HD video.”
  • “Five years from now computers will be fast enough to render video in real time.”
  • “We need another five years until a small hand held computer is actually a useful thing”
  • “We’re still five years out from having a computer that can go all day on a battery charge.”
  • We’re about five years away from not needing all of these wires.
  • In five years I’ll be able to take a credit card from anywhere.

I don’t know when it happened, but five years from now is here.

I watch HD YouTube streams on my 55″ TV all the time, I beam my desktop from my Mac to that same HDTV without the need of wires.  My wireless internet connection is as fast as I need it all the time.  I carry around the equivalent computing power to my desktop computer from 1999…in my pocket!  I regularly use a tablet that can do 90% of the things I need to do in a day, and which yields me about 8 hours of battery life easily.  My laptop gets me a good 5-7 hours of battery life most days.  I don’t worry about my data anymore because it’s all around me in the ubiquitous “cloud”.  I still carry a USB key on my keychain, but I barely ever use it.  I have an elaborate backup system at home, that failed me recently…and which “the cloud” saved me from without me ever knowing that I was in peril.

I get comics, magazines and books digitally, and when I want to read something, I can do so without ever leaving my chair.  We don’t have video stores anymore, if you want to watch a movie you rent and download it (either through a device like AppleTV, or your cable box), but more often than not I stream it from a streaming service like Netflix, where for about the cost of a couple rentals a month, I get a firehose of content.

That’s the thing about the future, it kind of sneaks up on you.

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By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.