The 50-year horizon: what will personal computing look like?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Easttime, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Easttime macrumors 6502

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    #1
    What will/should personal computing look like in 50 years? Will we still be futzing with multiple operating systems, clutzy mice, rigid screens, non-reusable hardware, phones that need pockets, hardware that needs replacing every couple of years, malware? Today's devices are miraculous, but people in the future will look back at our gear as quaint. So what will theirs look like?
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #2
    I think we are about to the end of major improvements and it will be like other new technologies, rapid advances for the first few decades and then much slower improvements over time. So in 50 years I expect them to be pretty similar to now.
     
  3. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #3
    I don't care. I just don't want to be old and not understand technology. Losing one's faculties or being unable to learn something new because it's too "futuristic" is terrible. I'm always overjoyed when I see people in their 70s and 80s, sometimes 90s, using laptops or smartphones with such ease and are capable of texting like younger generations. Though they're not typical of the age group anyway.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    The pace of change has already slowed, electronics, and more specifically computers are not mature products, and the pace of change has slowed dramatically.
     
  5. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Agree with the others. There might be some new options and features here and there, but I think most entertainment technology has kind of hit its peak.

    TV has been around for decades and is largely still the same. I have a 40" 1080 tv from 2004 in my bedroom. That's still the standard. Still use the same remotes for the most part that we used in the 80s.

    Computing is similar. There have been a few advancements in speed and port options, but there's nothing mindblowingly different in the past many years. I don't even watch iPhone announcements any more because there's nothing really new.

    Brig out a touchscreen Mac, and then I will be excited.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6
    Don't really care. I'll be worm food long before that.
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #7
    Your Facebook brain implant now makes sure only your most important thoughts are allowed to consciously manifest (don't worry they've been perfecting their ThoughtRank algorithm for at least 10 years now). And you may occasionally come back from the store with products you do not recall needing, wanting, or even purchasing. But FB knew better and debited the price from you account, and it's less annoying that those banner ads, right?
     
  8. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #8
    But, don't worry! It will all be in a completely non-sensical order as determined by Facebook's importance algorithm.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Given my aversion to FB, I would have been one of the last few holding out against joining it and would, therefore, have been subjected to the compulsory implantation of the FB chip in the human cerebral cortex, as legislated for by the USWG in 2064.

    On a more serious level, the revolutionary and transformational features of technological change may have already happened and what may lie ahead could be tweaking designed to further enhance the user experience, rather than fundamentally alter the form and function of what is on offer.

    As a number of others have already pointed out, once the initial burst - or bursts - of innovation has become exhausted, and the pace of technological change slows down, the focus tends to be on further refinements, rather than innovation.

    However, some other entirely different area of activity or endeavour - an as yet unrealised area, ripe for invention and transformation - will, in turn, become the focus of technological - and thus, economic and societal - change.
     
  10. Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #10
    That's a tough one...

    It's hard to image computers will be the same as they are now.. I dread the day all of us will have RFID implants under our skin... Switzerland already has that now....

    The privacy scene will be officially dead once and for all.. At least now currently, no one is forcing u.

    [​IMG]

    I can imagine doing this..
     
  11. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #11
    Well, I hope to be alive fifty years from now.

    I expect that many people old and young will continue to use keyboards, and that QWERTY will continue to be the norm for languages such as ours.

    Time to reflect. Tomorrow's World began just over fifty years ago (1965), here's a gem from 1969: Office of the Future

    "… My office. The perfect office. … No in tray, no out tray, no 'phone, no filing cabinet, no clutter. Quiet. Cool. …"

    Fast forward to 2016: multiple inboxes; a dizzying array of electronic outgoings; filing systems and cloud storage here, there and everywhere; so much electronic clutter that the person immersed therein may think of it as 'optimal' to have the least-touched of the clutter automatically taken away and stored in iCloud and pay dearly for the privilege of clutter in the cloud; noisy; and hot to the point where something as light and carefree as a tablet can burst into flames.

    Fast forward to 2066: will we, should we allow ourselves to be taken, by technologies, so far away from what we now imagine to be an optimal vision of the future?
     
  12. monokakata, Sep 10, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016

    monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #12
    I'll be long gone by then (b. 1943) but am planning on seeing what happens in the next 20 years (my mom lived to 97).

    Here's what strikes me. Back in the late 80s (almost 30 years ago) I was working with another guy, writing FORTRAN for VMS machines, working entirely with the command line, and doing well. My programming partner's younger brother was immersed in the Windows environment, with databases, etc. and just getting into doing back end internet stuff.

    We were sitting around once talking about the new Intel processors and how fast they were getting, and I asked the PC guy what he thought all those cycles were going to be used for. He didn't hesitate: "the GUI," he said, "the GUI."

    What I'd like to see before I can't see anything any more would be an extremely advanced UI. Voice commands would be good, gestures (in the air) nice too. But more than anything, I'd like a UI that easily learns how I work, how I use my computer, what I like to see displayed, and so on. Sure, we can set those things up ourselves, now, but they don't adjust themselves automatically or responsively.

    I'd like to say, "I need to look around on the NAS," and be asked "which volume," and say, "I don't know . . . show them all," and look, and then say, "Just Saddle Road Press, and I want to see stuff from 2014 or 2015, no poetry just fiction, just the InDesign files, put the front matter up for me, I'll tell you when I want the next one . . . ."

    So that's a wish rather than a prediction. If I have a prediction, it's that the kind of thing I'm talking about will show up before I die. Or can't work, whichever comes first (here's hoping death precedes being unable to work).
     
  13. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Don't worry, the EMP of 2035 will take care of that.
     
  14. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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  15. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #15
    I think keyboards and mice will disappear, and voice input will be the norm.
     
  16. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    Brain implants for communicating, networking and memory augmentation.
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    Actually, I think that attempts to predict the future are all about fantasies of the present. Futures do not turn out as dreamed, envisaged, guessed at, or planned for.

    My mother used to remark on those science fiction (and technology) dreams of the 60s - how everyone needed to learn to enjoy leisure because 'robots' would do the work. Even at the time, she recalled that she thought this didn't make sense.

    That is not how it worked out, as we know. While the nature of work may well have changed, the nature of leisure is not what was fantasied about half a century ago.

    In the absence of some sort of defining ethical principles, advances in technology - whether in computing or elsewhere - may not be of benefit to all, or even a majority.
     
  18. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #18
    I'm sure we will have some surprises in store for us.
     
  19. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Curious if you thought about how that would work in an office setting?
     
  20. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #20
    I think the movie "Her" has some of that in a somewhat "realistic" fashion.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 11, 2016 ---
    That said, there are actually people who do this kind of thing in a more academic/scientific/social way: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurist
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #21
    I think the robot thing is still a work in progress. It's just those dreams were a bit premature from a timing standpoint. I'm still aggravated we don't have a moon base. We could easily have one if we wanted to pay for it. ;)
     
  22. Easttime thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Science fiction writers have drawn some prescient pictures for us though. Star Trek communicators before cellphones. iPads. Touch screens. We haven't seen consumer holography yet. Or handkerchief screens. Siri is a hint at the technology suggested in Star Trek. Driver getting into car: "Car, take me to work".
     
  23. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    Yes, I remember the original ST.

    We have seen some of the technology in advance, yes, but what we cannot predict is, firstly, the (cumulative) social, cultural, economic and political effects of these changes: Who would have thought that a portable music player would end up transforming the model of the music industry for example?

    And, secondly, I honestly think that while we may be able to predict some of the forms of technology - I suspect that the actual startling or transformational technological changes have already taken place. That means that revolutionary technical - or technological - changes will - most likely - happen in a different field entirely.

    And, in turn, this also means that whatever is the source of - the engine of, the driver of - huge change in 50 years time is unknown to us, or, equally likely, its potential and possible significance has not yet been recognised.
     
  24. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    #24
    In 50 years, most of us are probably dead to even care to predict it.

    I'm more fascinated in robots. Time travel and teleportation probably won't happen in probably a couple hundred years if ever or if society or our species still exist. I am bored with smartphones and will probably stop using multiple ones in five years. Maybe just one or two but won't upgrade for another five years instead of 1-3 years.

    Stop visiting forums dealing with tech. As much as the Note7 or iPhone 7 look cool, I really am not that excited by either compared to say 3-5 years ago. Just a time-killer for another couple years. Then another upgrade after but all seem hollow like the likes people gain at Facebook.

    Probably in just 20 years, I will probably be less enthused with technology and more into life experiences like traveling and keeping my body healthy. Write a bucket list and start doing them. Watching over my family. Life is a series of moments and that's the area I want to fulfill before I kick the bucket. Gadgets can only fill up a certain glass for me before it starts to become hollow. Kinda like sports, gambling, or going to bars for drinks.

    I don't want to be part of this hedonistic , planned obsolescence cycle forever. Loving people and them loving you back is something computing can never fulfill in your heart and soul. Technology is just a temporary hobby for me. *yawn* Beautiful, sub-40 women? Can love them for a lifetime! That never gets outdated for me! Just like good food, music, books, TV shows, and movies! ;)

    Too busy thinking about the next 5-10 years with technology where my age is probably still into it. Like if VR will take off in five years? Driver-less cars? Besides, why bother predicting it? Isn't our own imaginations always greater than whatever current technology that presents itself? The human mind is the most component for it all. Who needs to predict the future when we have the most tool for it all inside all of us? The rest is just for hedonism. *shrugs at material things* Can't take them to our grave.

    Best Buddhist movie of all-time - Groundhog Day

    Bill Murray's character Phil figured it out later he wanted to do good with his life like ice sculpting, being a pianist, helping people in need, and so on and so on. He was stuck at February 2 for 10,000 years!
     
  25. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

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    #25
    Ha, good point made on the moon base. The child in me is revolting!! But on the other hand: I have no clue what we would do up there that one couldn't down here. (although that doesn't mean a lot :D )
     

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