Even our pockets are about to be Digitally Disrupted.
Read time: 5min-16seconds-ish.
Successful entrepreneurs seem to possess an uncanny knack of seeing opportunities and inventing solutions before everyone else. Which makes me wonder, is this sixth-sense for predicting the future uniquely exclusive to entrepreneurs, or can anyone do it? I’m not sure, but here is what I observe, (which is entirely ‘take-it-or-leave-it-able’):
Before looking forward towards the future, first I tend to look back. To my mind, what a difference five years make. What follows may not be chronologically / historically accurate, but it’s how my memory plots the Digital Economy journey:
2000 to 2005 the birth of the Digital Economy got traction:
The first dotcom boom and bust happened
The world discovered it needed ‘search’. Google landed
Sat-nav became normal
2005 to 2010 the UK witnessed a number of fundamental transitions:
From dumb-phones to smart-phones
From dial-up to broadband (and wifi)
From being undiscoverable to being networked. Globally people discovered they wanted to be socially-networked. Facebook and Twitter landed
From individual ownership to a ‘sharing economy’. We discovered the benefits of sharing our idle-assets and enjoyed the idea of collaborative consumption. AirBnB and car-sharing landed
2010 to 2014 witnessed yet more traction:
Tesla IPO’ed – electric cars became a mass-produced reality, available globally
TV consumption flipped from terrestrial live broadcast to VOD and streaming. It transformed my family’s viewing behaviour. My kids can no-longer remember the last television commercial they saw. In the UK,Blockbuster and HMV went bust. DVD’s are becoming obsolete globally.
Smart phones reached nearly 2bn users. Apple achieved $16bn profit in one quarter
Crowdfunding broke the £1bn lending milestone in the UK
In the UK lots of people stopped going to big supermarkets. Internet shopping and home-delivery became normal
Extrapolating these past innovations in order to look ahead, it is important to acknowledge that the technological advances that are most likely to find their way into our lives in the next five years, have probably already been invented.
My observation of the repeat behaviour common to successful entrepreneurs is that they see the successful introduction of the product/service that they are pioneering to be utterly inevitable. Unless they are completely deluded, that usually means that their business is underpinned on a technology that fundamentally already exists.
What’s in-store for 2015 to 2020? What seems inevitable to me is:
Today no-one leaves their house without ‘keys-wallet-phone’ - soon wearable technology will have the capability to bring an end to all three, (hence the photo of my keys, wallet, phone)
Contactless payment technology will become universal
What Nest has done to digitise domestic thermostats, the same digital transformation is going to happen to our front door locks. “Smart-locks” will become mainstream, especially for residential front doors. In the future I will control the lock on my door (and who I allow into my house) via an app, not by handing out keys. Smart-locks will become as ubiquitous as smart-phones. This will require an army of ‘smart-lock-installers’; accreditation of trusted providers; possible regulation regarding the encryption technology and operating protocols (eg. do we want Google to be able to unlock our front doors?). Checkout what Cocoon are doing to make home security ‘smart’.
In London, Cross-Rail will have arrived.
Driverless cars will be in active testing across the world (not just in the USA)
According to tech-blogs: IoT (the Internet of Things) will have evolved into IoE (the Internet of Everything).‘The Cloud’ will have evolved into ‘The Fog’ with literally everything talking to everything. The air will be rich in data (hence the ‘fog’ metaphor)
Just imagine what breakthroughs, advances, and progress is going to be delivered by 2029:
Med-tech / health-tech will be massive.
Its not hard to imagine the the majority of new cars sold in London will be electric.
Driverless cars may well be in widespread use provided that removing human drivers does not get bogged down with bureaucracy. I believe that the transition to driverless cars is inevitable for two reasons:
That the fundamental technology for driver automation already exists.
The economic benefit. The positive financial impact of increased productivity and also passenger safety will over-ride objection. The colossal cost of fatalities and injury caused by human error will make increasing driver-automation mandatory. Here’s a link to the blog-post I wrote on driverless cars in January 2013 (ie. more than two years ago).
Economics play a vitally important role in pushing through transformational change. Interestingly, last week the Society of Motor Manufacturers published a report written by KPMG that estimates the positive impact of driverless car technology in the UK to be worth £51billion annually (by 2030) - which is nice. Here’s a link to the report.
I’ve not estimated the value of the smart-lock industry (which I predict is about to happen). But for the purpose of illustration: if a smart-lock cost c. €350 each and 10% of UK households installed one, that would equate to an industry worth more than €1bn. Multiply that internationally and you have a very big business indeed. Incidentally, I believe that people are prepared to pay a lot more for smart-lock technology than they are prepared to pay for smart-thermostat technology.
If you’re interested to acquire more foresight into what’s coming, you can find a ton of inspiring content on-line regarding tech; futurology; and trend-watching. One of my favourites for example is Springwise.
It’s also worth reading the tech press to see which digital start-ups are getting funding / bought. Equally, accelerators provide a really meaningful glimpse of what businesses of tomorrow look like. Take a look at the cohorts going through accelerator programmes as they are a good indicator of themes / trends, for example ‘fin-tech’ is especially popular right now.
Whilst no-one can accurately predict the future (yet) one thing is clear - the next bit is going to be one hell of a ride. I do wish the BBC would bring back Tomorrow’s World.
I’m looking forward to eliminating the inconvenience of filling my pockets with keys, cards and cash. I’m also looking forward to the enhanced functionality and capability that their new digital versions will enable.
Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?
An anonymous reader writes: We’ve been in a malware arms race since the 1990s. Malicious hackers keep building new viruses, worms, and trojan horses, while security vendors keep building better detection and removal algorithms to stop them. Botnets are becoming more powerful, and phishing techniques are always improving — but so are the mitigation strategies. There’s been some back and forth, but it seems like the arms race has been pretty balanced, so far. My question: will the balance continue, or is one side likely to take the upper hand over the next decade or two? Which side is going to win? Do you imagine an internet, 20 years from now, where we don’t have to worry about what links we click or what attachments we open? Or is it the other way around, with threats so hard to block and DDoS attacks so rampant that the internet of the future is not as useful as it is now?
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About this blog:
my name is Travis and I’m a marketer and scratch developer from Winston Salem, NC. I work with many advanced tools to make marketing easier and more manageable for businesses, organizations, individuals and agencies. hire me or learn more
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