We went from being plugged in and connected with the Internet, e-mail and cell phones to being plugged in and disconnected as we cut ourselves free from the wires that bound us to our devises.
Everything went Bluetooth and digital. It was the decade of the Blackberry, MP3 players and iPods, iPhones, WiFi and YouTube.
What will the next decade bring?
While the future is not ours to see, we can still make a few guesses based on innovations that are in development or are even now being implemented, if only on a limited basis.
In the very near term, we can expect to see:
The movie Avatar has wowed audiences and now has everyone talking about the potential for a wider distribution of 3-D movies and television. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, many of the top TV manufacturers announced 3-D-capable high definition TVs. Broadcasters were also getting in on the 3-D action. Discovery Communications, Sony, and IMAX plan a joint venture to develop the first U.S. television network dedicated to full-time 3-D programming, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Disney and ESPN are also planning to launch their own 3-D television networks.
This takes 3-D efforts another step forward, with an image that appears in three-dimensional space rather than on a two-dimensional flat screen. Breakthroughs in the science behind this technology could make holographic projection a reality sometime over the next decade.
While this technology is already in use, it may gain more widespread acceptance as companies look to control travel costs and as the technology itself improves. Cisco's high definition TelePresence videoconference system was introduced in 2006 and Cisco has announced that it will begin selling an affordable home version of its TelePresence system later this year. In an interview with Dow Jones in January, Cisco CEO John Chambers said that video sent over the Internet to televisions, smartphones and other devices would drive consumer electronics for the next decade.
Augmented Reality (AR).
Unlike virtual reality, which is completely digital, AR is more of a digital overlay onto the real world, according to the Washington Post. It enhances reality with digital data, giving it more appeal than a fabricated environment. One of the latest developments is Parrot AR.Drone, an AR gaming experience using a quadricopter piloted with an iPhone or iPod touch. Adults or kids can fly the drone in a real-world environment while simultaneously playing a video game from the device's screen.
Hands Free. Microsoft has filed for patents for technology to control computers and other devices by muscle movements, making the need for a mouse or a keyboard obsolete. Sensors could be attached to a user's forearm or become a wearable system of sensors on the head, chest or limbs.
These new technologies, like the ones before them, will change our lives and the way we do business. They also will bring with them the potential for new risks.
Over the last decade, privacy and data security were top issues for risk managers as they battled against cybercriminals seeking to infiltrate networks. In the next decade, new issues are bound to emerge along with the new technologies. The only difference is that the risks will have at least three dimensions.
has worked for national media outlets for more than 20 years.
February 1, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications