2016 & Beyond. In My Lifetime….

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2016 ++ and the ever-changing world around me. Happy New Y’era!

The great invention of the light bulb, the aeroplane and the internet have left us peeking over into the edge of tomorrow saying, “What’s Next ?” 

 

Star Wars – The Force Awakens” was easily 2015’s greatest parting gift and stepping stone into the future; the embodiment of George Lucas’s dream world, a world of robots, droids, lightsabers, stealth, teleportation that sprung about in 1977. That period marked the time I watched in amazement as I turned the head of a battery operated aluminium torch to see it light up, my light saber. I was barely eight when I was gifted my first mechanical toy from an aunt who had just returned from United States – a 3 inch mechanical toy with a winding screw that walked a foot before toppling over.

 

Today George’s vision of the future is a reality on many fronts with robots as receptionists, vacuum cleaners, home companions, and it hardly stops there. His cloudy city mirrors that of ours, with our telecoms industry rapidly progressing towards a hyperviser based virtualised world.

At our company’s annual event last year, people were asked, “what’s the one thing you would do if you had a magic wand?” 73% wanted to get from point A to B faster (essentially, turn into the Flash) or/and become invisible (and that’s Sue Storm). That’s 73% of people with a continued childhood fascination for superpowers.

 

The future shows us a different story, one that belongs to George’s dreams. We will watch the future unfold at an accelerated pace, like never before, over the next 3-5 years. Industrial Revolution 4.0 is here, and in my lifetime.

 

Humanoid, Bionic Robots & the Internet of Everything

It’s 6 am, peace not to be broken with my wife deep in slumber. My brain is attatched to a wireless, wearable device of Virtual Reality (VR), or maybe an implant I can’t see, that wakes me up to the sound of birds chirping. My toothbrush can now speak to me as videos flash up on my bathroom mirror. A robomaid who has my tea and eggs even warns me – “Rajesh, you don’t have your tie on today. Perhaps a blue one would go well , that is if you smile…

 

Here’s a taste of reality.

 

A team at Stanford continues to study swans in hopes to stabilize drones in flight. Lentink, the senior author on the study says, “This simple mechanism is a remarkable finding considering the daunting complexity of avian neck morphology with about 20 vertebrae and more than 200 muscles on each side.” Then there’s Star Trek’s “Communicator,” which is on it’s way to becoming a reality according to Google’s Amit Singhal. There’s even the Cicret bracelet that turns your arm into a touch screen phone.

 

With 7 billion people connected today as an effect of the space-time convergence, according to CISCO, there are 1.5 devices for every human, which equates to 11 billion devices today. Five years hence, there is a possibility of 50 billion or more! Fathom that with the gargatuan volumes of data traversing through the hyperviser cloud city looming over our planet – virtual data centers, Google’s project loon.

 

Transportation.

Hyperloops claim to be the next mode of transportation that will shift people and goods inexpensively, safely, and at speeds like never before. Hyperloop’s chief operating officer, Bibop Gabriele Gresta, explains to Dezeen during an event titled Transport to the Future sayin that, “It is the closest thing to teletransportation,“.

 

Meanwhile Elon Musk talks of hyperloops and space travel as does Richard Branson, and it’s not just talk.

 

Why do I believe ? Today we already have internet enabled, self navigating /driving electric cars. We are but one step from levitating and flying cars. Yes, Back To The Future style.

 

Health & Education

On this front, we stand by the biggest gainers enabled by IOT/IOE and robotics. When we couple this with advancements in research , diagnosis and treatement, we begin to look at a flatter world in terms of access and reach to places and people you never had before. As seen in the field of medicine, there will always be the few experts/specialists who can’t travel and be everywhere physically or clone themselves in multitudes great enough to attend to every patient’s needs.

 

Hence, the possibility remains that we reach a point where a patient checks into a surgery kiosk, where a bionic arm/robot performs the surgery. Controlled and guided by the remote human “specialist” via a super low latency network, it allows for real time video, communication and command.

 

Huge advances in the area of seminconductors, carbon composites and Graphene will enable all of the above and become more of a possibility that just an ideology. The world of the cloud is here with NFV being driven by x86 processors that are becoming as powerful as the proprietary hardware that Network Equipment Vendors have built for years, colluding with the Network Operators. It is a time for massive changes with new and dynamic services. The era of the Network Software and Services providers and NOT the cliché “equipment vendors.”

 

Per Gartner the world handled 51.8 million terabytes of mobile data traffic in 2015. Contrast this with 2016 and a potential 79.5 million terabytes, hence a 53% increase in 1 year? The shift is immense!

 

Hence, we are presented with a hyperbolic world of data growth and insinuating complexity.

 

The ever-changing world shifting before my very eyes. Will the rich get richer and poor poorer? or is it driven by the imbalances of an ageing society?

 

The walls of ideology and reality are closing in on us, the gap is shrinking. The question is, are we ready for it?

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