This, today, from Pew Research:
“One positive effect of ‘ubiquitous computing,’ as it used to be called, will be much faster, more convenient, and lower-cost medical diagnostics. This will be essential if we are to meet the health care needs of a rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation. The Internet of Things will also improve safety in cities, as cars, networked to one another and their environment, will better avoid collisions, coordinate speed, etc. We will all be able to bring much more situational intelligence to bear on the act of planning our day, avoiding delays (or unfortunate encounters), and meeting our personal goals. We are entering the telemetric age—an age where we create information in everything that we do. As computation continues to grow less costly, we will incorporate more data-collecting devices into our lives.”
If you’re scoring at home, 2025 — the projected date by which this could be a day-to-day thing — is only 11 years away right now. That’s a long time, sure — but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really that long. I graduated from college 11 years ago Saturday, and it feels like maybe 50 minutes sometimes. Plus: some versions of “The Internet Of Things” are already here (Example A, Example B).
This means a lot for health, probably more than anything — your devices can give you real-time input on what you’re doing, and your refrigerator can tell you “No, don’t make pasta again.” But it also has major implications for the day-to-day of living your life, although one essential question in all this becomes: who’s going to communicate these ideas to “average citizens?” By “average” in that case, I mean people that don’t read Internet-savvy publications and whatnot. Who’s taking the lead on communication here? Is it the content marketing arms of the companies making these products? Is it the media? Is it social media / word of mouth? Is it doctors and repairmen and plumbers and the like? Or will it happen organically, over another decade, by osmosis? How people get the information about what’s available to them is going to be crucial here, but in the meantime, get ready — within 11 years, you could be fully networked in terms of home, car, gym, office, etc, etc. Terrifying in some aspects? For certain. Potentially very productive in others? Also. Everything’s a trade-off, ultimately.