Image via WikipediaThe way we talk to technology and the way we talk to each other is changing at a pace that I can only describe as frightening.
You understand, the ‘f’ word is coming from a life-long technocrat.
Right now, we type on mobile keypads to retrieve or dial a number. We sit, fingers crashing down on nasty, analogue keys or dragging mice around in order to instruct our machines to do stuff or to send text to each other. But innovations afoot today are going to change the entire nature of our relationship with enabling technologies.
The keyboard will be a thing of the past in a few years’ time – we’ll use voice and hand movements to manipulate systems and objects on screens, walls or other surfaces. We’ll be able to take our ‘stuff’ and deposit it wherever we want – on walls, products, bulletin boards or public places (‘digital graffiti’ will become a problem) or add stuff from those places to our stuff if we want. We’ll be able to interface to systems and query them about products in supermarkets or people, to send messages or update friends or special interest groups which we belong to with new information. We’ll get used to a world where everyone, potentially, knows everything – and where consumers can access peer reviews, scientific information, manufacturer claims and third party viewpoints at any time.
We’re going to share video and voice more than text – we’re going to become digitally tactile and our world is going to be based on streams of information served up to us through ‘real-world’ interfaces to information networks. We’ll likely access all of that through one ‘network device’ which will be camera, credit card, database access tool, megaphone and information system all in one.
It’ll be smaller than today’s mobile phones.
The totally empowered consumer will be a result – a process that is also evident in the way today’s markets are changing. The game is about putting the right information in people’s hands when they want it – reliable, believable, credible information. Even today, as we look at this brave new future world, consumers are increasingly information-centric.
And they’re already buying the steak, not the sizzle.
This piece originally appeared as one of the chucklesomely named 'A Moment with McNabb' columns in Campaign Middle East magazine. I have to put it here ‘cos they haven’t got a website yet and don’t post these on their own damn blog.