What will desktop macs look like in 10 years?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 007bond, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. 007bond macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #1
    i was just thinking what do u think the specs and the look of the iMac and mac mini be in 2019? anybody have some photoshop concepts to share or any ideas. just being curious today lol:D
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    I doubt the Mac Mini is here.

    Ask Tallest Skill.

    But seriously, this is not the census, we can stop doing polling threads. But Ask Tallest Skill.
     
  3. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #3
    They wont.

    The desktop as we know it wont be around. The way we interface with electronics will be completely different as they become more engrained into our lives at levels we never imagined before.
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #4
    I'm bookmarking this thread. It's too late and I'm too tired to type up my theory tonight, but I'll do it tomorrow. :)

    Preview: "Desktop computer" will have a completely different definition 10 years from now than it does today. They won't look at all the same.

    Oh, by the way; thanks for broaching this topic. I've never collected my thoughts on this in one place before, so it'll be nice to do so.
     
  5. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #5
    This man has some very interesting (and logical) ideas. He is completely right though.
     
  6. freesonwang macrumors member

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    #6
    I think at some point, we're going to evolve into 3D GUIs and it'll actually make sense. Touch motions will be integrated and taken for granted at some point - it'll be the standard way to rotate pictures and whatnot, and we'll get rid of "rotate left" "rotate right" buttons.

    I don't think it will change super drastically however. A lot of people assume that somehow just because something is old that it needs to be updated - that is not true. A physical keyboard was, is, and will probably always be the fastest way for text entry, and there's no shame in that; after all, cars still have steering wheels after a century right? Some dashboard modifications aside, the controls of a Ford from 1930 would still be recognizable to someone who owns a car now.
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #7
    DISCLAIMER: I have been known not to be completely right. :D

    My future tech predictions are based on what has been shown to be possible from tech today and trends from the past; NEVER shameless "Yeah, that would be awesome"-ing.
     
  8. Decrepit macrumors 65816

    Decrepit

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    #8
    I think the key to understanding the future is to understand how computers are used now, and why they would still have to have a similar form in the future.

    If we separate this into home and business, you could get two very different possibilities.

    From the business standpoint, why do people *go* to work? It's so they can collaborate together, using shared resources, which reduces the cost to management so they can produce a product in a more efficient manner.

    You have more instant communication, you have access to your firm's data in a secure manner, you have conference areas as well as more private spaces for working.

    Can notebooks replace the majority of this? Yes. Can something else? Sure. It's not inconceivable that tablets with secure wireless connections to shared data will be the way things are done in a few years.

    Go to work, and your tablet can tell it's inside a secure facility. It can unlock itself to provide additional access that you can't elsewhere.

    Outside of the office, it might be able to detect your level of privacy and provide or deny access to more secure data depending on if the tablet can hear people nearby, etc.

    I can't imagine a more efficient way to interact with a computer than a combination of keyboard/mouse/touch, so I think that will remain. You can't give voice commands in the airport. Or in a meeting.

    As far as desktops go, there are few compelling reasons to have a physical device at your desk that you can't take with you. I think the majority of them will go to a virtual PC hosted by the IT department. Your tablet is able to work remotely in that virtualized environment and that way if you're in engineering you get a virtual machine that is 8 GHz with 32 GB of memory. Your handheld device only needs a fraction of that to work on that data remotely.

    Putting everything on virtual PCs in the server room allows for much higher density computing, higher uptime, a more robust disaster recovery, far cheaper cooling, etc. Look at a common office, every desk has 150-1000W of electricity (and therefore heat) being used for common desktop tasks. Move that stuff in the back and keep 50W in your hand, and you really cut down on cooling costs for the facility.

    I think the secure connections to the datacenter from around the world will help as well because the local device will no longer have any corporate data on it and so if it's stolen, that data is not.

    So that's my thoughts from what I've read, and what I'm working on right now. :D
     
  9. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #9
    psh... Tallest is always right. His words are like gospel!:p
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Pst.. He's a human as well I think, everyone can be wrong (remember laptop updates at WWDC). I'm not saying he is but he's not God, just Jesus
     
  11. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #11
    I agree with Decrepit. Voice recognition isn't going to work in a LOT of environments.

    As for touch/multitouch UIs, you're not going to see touchscreen become the primary input device (on non-handhelds) for a loooong time. The ideal screen is vertical or near vertical. The ideal input device is horizontal, or near horizontal. Combining them would be a recipe for RSI. 10 years isn't going to change the human body or the ergonomics of the computing devices we require.

    In 10 years, we'll still be using keyboards & mice/trackpads, but probably with the other input methods for occasional/niche uses.
     
  12. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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  13. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #13
    I think we'll have just 2 main categories, the nettop style of computer, and ultra fast rigs, with mid range PCs being the minority.


    Laptops (and if they're done well enough, tablets) will be the big sellers.
     
  14. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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  15. Jackintosh macrumors 6502a

    Jackintosh

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    #15
    Unless in 10 years we'll have chips impanted in our heads, there'll always be a need for a physical interface to a computing environment. You'd have thought the QWERTY keyboard would have long disappeared by now, but it's still the primary way to non-verbally express our thoughts after more than 100 years since invention.

    I don't think laptops will kill off desktops. Portability of computing hardware will be irrelevant, as people will no longer be dragging around processors, displays, and keyboards with them in the current sense. When away from home, you'll connect to a remote computing environment with a small, lightweight, and very modest interconnect device.
     
  16. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    #16
    I think Desktops will be killed by laptops. 'True' desktops will be more like the Mac Pro and less like the Mac Mini, as in highly powerful, specialized computers for specific tasks. However, I don't think they will be useful to the majority of consumers (as is the case today).

    Laptops are 'good enough' now, that the portability wins.

    If the cloud thing catches on, then even laptops may be in trouble, as 'the computer' shifts to be merely something accesses all the latent server power. Then, an iPod touch form factor makes a lot of sense.

    Expect: Storage to cost nothing. Bandwidth to cost nothing. Processing power to cost nothing. With those all close enough to 'nothing' to be essentially free, we will come up with all sorts of new and innovative ways to combine, view and interact with the power.
     
  17. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #17
    10 years, hmmm....

    I suspect brain implants will be hitting the FCC as we get tired of wearing our PipBoy 3000s. :D
     
  18. Edensuko macrumors member

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    #18
    I see the "last gen" of consumer desktop computers.
    After that, "regular" consumers will go mobile, while niche consumers will have to buy powerful desktops for their needs. Im not talking about 600 dlls desktop sistems, but around 800-1000 dlls bases systems that go all the way up to 7k dlls. From math processing to the most intense 3d animation this new desktopt will be the only choice, the power of this will be far far superior to the best notebooks, like a Macbook vs an octo core macpro nowadays.

    "normal" people will buy laptops or smaller "cloud access devices", with lots of connectivity (Wireless) maybe even satellite so it can be online always, anywhere. The files and horsepower needed will be in server racks from service providers (google comes to mind, mobile me does too).
     
  19. avidmacuser macrumors regular

    avidmacuser

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    #19
    I doubt...

    I doubt that in 10 years we will be using more of our bodies as an input interface. Unless you want to be swinging around your arms and hands and maybe legs / torso etc. to end up looking like you have popeye's forearms after many days spent in the office or at home. Think ergonomics. Wearing your computer is probably not going to become the mainstream use of your personal computer, slapping your pockets to click, wiggle your left shoe for contextual menus? - (perhaps for special needs purposes and applications as it is being developed nowdays)... using implants to think your clicks or eye blinking may be, so you might just find a familiar icon in your system preferences hypercube thats fitted to the cross eyed people and folks with with facial twitches labled 'universal access'. No disrespect intended.
     
  20. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #20
    Ten years is a bit much. I'd say 6 years is a better timeframe as that extends beyond most roadmaps today.

    Had you asked people a decade ago what computers would be like I doubt many would have gotten close. They would have talked about 20Ghz computers at the size of a calculator.

    Though feel free to prognosticate ...it should be a fun and creative endeavour.
     
  21. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #21
    i thought Tallest was going to come back and collect his thoughts?
     
  22. 007bond thread starter macrumors 6502a

    007bond

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    #22
    ok cool. another question, what will be the future of the GUI?
     
  23. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #23
    Is this some sort of odd homework assignment? :p
     
  24. crackbookpro macrumors 65816

    crackbookpro

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    #24
    Your TV will be a TV/Computer, and your iPhone will be an iPhone/wallet... :p

    ...been preaching this for years. One day, our phones will be everything for us. We will just need one thing in our pockets :eek: And our TV's will run off internet for cable and streaming...

    The internet is/has changed the world!

    CrackBookPro:cool:
     
  25. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #25
    Well, I see one of two things happening within that ten years timeframe.

    1) Things stay about the way they are, but evolved. We have kind of hit a wall in terms of scaling up processor power, and we have all seen the multicore trend take off. By 2019 I see large corporations like Apple, Google, AT&T, etc. making a heavy push towards cloud computing (to take best advantage of the power available; when you think about it, individual CPU's are a lot of wasted potential), in an attempt to further control every aspect of the tech experience, for better or worse. Most common consumer "computers" will have plenty of horsepower by today's standards, but by then will be pretty "weak", and will have focus on crazy bandwidth so all sorts of HD media can be piped to the device smoothly.

    2) There is a is a massive leap forward in computing technology, and all focus stays with consumer-end power. I will not say which technology specifically, but I am thinking things like Universal Memory (non-volatile storage drives as fast as RAM = instant boot), some leap in CPU design akin to quantum computing, etc. One way or another, there will be such a crazy amount of power available for low enough prices that cloud computers will look truly silly when bandwidth limitations make them look like crippled messes in the face of new über-fast computers.

    Personally, I see #2 being the most likely. I really just don't see cloud computing taking off, at least not here in the states. Simple reason being that we lack the ability to upgrade our infrastructure fast enough. Sure, by 2019, wideband (yes, wideband, that ain't a typo, look it up) internet will be start to be the norm, bringing speeds of ~50mb/s into the norm, and ~100mbps at the higher end. But still, we simply cannot keep up with the rest of the world. When infrastructure upgrades take a "large" European country 1-5 years to complete compared to the better part of 10 years for the U.S., we face a problem for the clouds. European customers will see greatly improved cloud experience vs. those across the pond, and in a global economy, developing things specifically for certain markets due to bandwidth limitations is not great business.

    Anyway, no fancy photoshop jobs here. Mostly because I am not that good to be able to make one, but also simply because predicting that far out is just too hard to nail in any way shape or form...
     

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