apster in 1999. MySpace in 2004. YouTube in 2006. Experts from the tech community look ahead to the innovations that will change how we work, play and communicate in 2007...
All computing, all the time
John Brockman is publisher and editor of Edge (edge.org)
WE WILL SEE migration of social applications as user-generated content moves to the WiFi environment. YouTube, MySpace and multi-user games will be available on hand-held devices, wherever you go. People will carry their digital assets much like their bacteria. Israeli tech guru Yossi Vardi calls it "continuous computing."
The nanotechnology world foreseen by K. Eric Drexler arrives in the form of MEMS, or microelectronic mechanical systems. Very inexpensive moving parts will be mass-produced like a semiconductor. But unlike semiconductors, they move. Useful for anything that employs moving parts.
Synthetic Biology pioneer George Church of Harvard University expects $3,000 personal genomics kits in stores.
"Pop Atheism" might include popular atheist TV and movie characters, professional athletes, political figures, etc. Look for the first billion-dollar IPO for the Web service that gets atheists together for "rituals," dating and political and business networking.
Rod Brooks, director of MIT's computer lab, is looking at new Web services aimed at the baby boomer age group, who realize that, in terms of IT use, they've been passed by, missing out on IM, text-messaging, MySpace, etc.
But don't put much stock in predictions. Consider that YouTube/ /MySpace/ Napster didn't change the real world for most people very much. MySpace became TheirSpace and YouTube became TheirTube faster than you can say "2006."