In my RSS feed of Digg stories I ran across this story of 8 bits of everyday tech we won’t use in a decade. Some things are probably correct, others are so far off the mark that I don’t see it happening. Their items that I disagree with are as follows:
1. Keyboard and Mouse
3. Optical Discs
4. Operating Systems
(To see what else the article had to say please read it)
Let’s go through the items I’m disgruntled with one by one:
The keyboard and mouse – the mouse I can understand, touch screen devices may replace the mouse actions for the normal user. Keyboards on the other hand will not go away. You can not do data entry with just hand writing recognition as fast as you can with a qwerty entry device. Now the keyboard may go digital into the touch screen device, but it will still be there – a keyboard waiting for your input. Before someone states what about voice recognition, there are quite a few people that can type much faster then they can talk.
Landlines and the analog devices that love them will be around still. They won’t be as prevalent, but until the telecommunication industry has the US completely wired, analog modems will still exist. They state they believe smart phones will eventually win out, my rebuttal is there will always be dead zones. People actually live in those dead zones and they will still need a communication link that a landline will supply. I should be arguing for them – I’ve kept a landline in theory for the last 7 years and have made less then 1% of my calls on it. I haven’t had an analog phone hooked up for the last two years. Still when my in-laws can’t et anything other then dialup (no cell coverage either) and my old band director still uses webTV – I don’t have high hopes for that to change for all Americans in the next decade. In this lump falls optical discs. Until broadband is really everywhere and content can be downloaded by all, optical discs will still exist.
Operating systems are a tricky one to argue, but I don’t think everything will turn into a browser unless the browser becomes the OS and runs applets inside of it. Browsers are terrible for multi-tasking. Yes you can run multiple browser windows, but some things are quicker to run outside of the browser – this is coming from someone who believes in heavy webification of applications and in the dream of the cloud. I can’t think we would take a huge step backwards like this – this also leads to the argument that the telecommunication industry will have complete internet coverage. Until the Internet is ubiquitous there always will at least be Linux (which will probably be the shim OS that runs the browser).
Finally blogging, I guess they should just pack their bags now and close the doors. By their own predictions they won’t even be around in ten years. Yes real time web will become more important, yes more people will post short micro-blogs, but longer form writing will never go away. There will always be some historical data you can search on that will be archived. As long as this happens there will be blogging of some fashion.
They are quite optimistic, and though they state that they dig deep into tech, it seems to just gloss over actual human hurdles and dream for dreams sake.