Today we continue our Predictions of the Future series, in which we ask a number of experts what they see for the year 2023, just ten years out.
Predicting the future isn’t simply difficult, it’s damn-near impossible. There’s always a curve ball about to be thrown that will change everything. Maybe it’s a natural disaster, act of war/terror, or a disease outbreak.
See the rest of the series
• TotalFarkers Futurist Comments
• Jordan Andersen, Sr. Programmer
• Rex Talionis, Web Expert
• Danny Saunders, Marketing Manager
• Dean Chambers, Statistician (coming soon)
Today’s installation comes from Brian K. White, editor of GlossyNews.com. He has also worked as a webmaster and web designer, as well as chief technology officer of two media companies.
Here are the predictions:
Displays will be flexible and available in shapes other than rectangles. They will also be available as texture-shifting surfaces, so when you put your display in keyboard mode, it will have rigid lines surrounding each key that you can feel.
TVs will be big, cheap and beautiful. The new 4k models will be standard and sets up to 120″ will be under $1,800. The limit to screen size will be more a function of shipping practicalities than technological shortcomings.
My mom will still have an analog TV, and no, she still won’t date you, but she will be alive.
TV Networks will only exist as a pale shadow of what they are today. With the rising cost and lackluster quality of cable coupled with the falling costs and amazing quality available via web delivery, the networks will have to re-imagine or face extinction. NFL, NBA or MLB broadcast rights will be bought by a non-television broadcaster like YouTube or NetFlix.
RedBox will no longer be in the business of exclusively renting DVDs, assuming they’re around at all.
Cell Phones will change little. The battery life will improve, they will become significantly thinner and more powerful, but they’ll basically be computers of ever-greater indispensibility carried by virtually everyone. Cell phones will have a cauterizing app that will come pre-installed.
Computers will be all but gone. Your micro device, like your phone or tablet, will have all the power you need, and will effortlessly connect with input devices (mouse, keyboard, etc) and display devices (TVs, monitors, projectors.) There will be no need for a bulky, power-hungry box on your desk or floor. Even your applications and files will be stored, and in some cases operated, remotely.
Storage will be all new. Hard drives will be a thing of the past, giving way instead to solid state devices (SD cards, chips, etc.) capable of holding many terabytes of data, but it won’t matter too much, since all your actual storage will be in the cloud at companies like Apple, Amazon and Google. There will be very few instances of losing data due to physical reasons like a hard drive crash, stolen device or dropping your camera in a toilet.
Ebay will sell its first country, baby, spy satellite and virus. The buyers will still complain about shipping charges.
Housing prices will double, but unlikely triple from today’s values. It’s rock bottom now and the recovery has already started. Once banks return to mid-90s level lending practices the market will double in 5-6 years.
Pirates will still be able to share illegal material with near impunity. There will always be broke, brilliant college students, and they’ll always hack the unhackable and in ways that will increasingly be untraceable. High-budget blockbuster films will remain common, but the days of television shows with a $10 million per episode budget will be gone.
The president will be a Democrat. Obama’s second term will be regarded as a success leading to a fairly easy election for his democratic successor, fueled largely by the strength of Obama’s Organizing For America powerhouse. Whoever replaces Obama should be sufficiently competent to be in the midst of his or her second term in 2023.
Newspapers will no longer be on death’s doorstep, but will communicate largely via mediums and Oija boards from beyond the grave. There will be a number of survivors, namely NYTimes, NYPost, Chicago Tribune and the LA Times, but smaller market papers will continue their trend of paring back staff, paring back content and paring back circulation. There is a minimum floor to survival and within 5-years, many will cross that threshold.
Typing will no longer be taught as a neccessity, but rather as a courtesy. So much of communication and data entry will be done by voice or other methods that typing, while still helpful, will only be essential to a certain class of employees working extensively with hands-on text.
Translation tools will not only be ubiquitous, but effective. Holding up a cell phone to look at a street sign in Greek or Chinese would show the sign translated to your language right on the screen rendered in real time.
Book stores will be a thing of the past. They won’t even exist as an extension of Internet Cafes because those will also be gone. Everyone will have all the computing power and literature they already need. Coffee shops will be fine though.
Food prices will spike in price to at least double fueled by devastated crops caused by Climate Change. Extreme weather will be the norm, rather than the exception. Cities will frequently report record high and low temperatures. Flooding will become more common and the Southwest will experience a true water epidemic, running virtually, if not completely dry.
Nintendo will release two amazing, unique, ground-breaking, well engineered products, and they will be commercial flops.
Your home stereo will not have any external wires. It will connect to your DVD player, XBox and other devices via bluetooth, your speakers via RF, and your digital devices via WiFi. It will not cost more than it does today.
Moore’s Law will remain unbroken.
China will put a man on the moon, and they too will operate a rover, which they will drive slowly, with the blinker on, and promptly crash. China will also be the world’s dominant economy. Several Chinese brands will be household names.
India will become the fourth nation to put a man in space (fifth if you count the USSR and Russia as two separate countries, as you should.)
Star Wars will see three new films, one of which will be okay while the other two will generally suck. Critics will not appreciate these films but they will still reign at the box office. Jar-Jar Binks will not make an appearance.
Hybrid cars will not have caught on due to high cost of acquisition, availability of electric cars, and the exceptional economy offered by even the least expensive combustion engine vehicles.
HIV will have a low-cost, widely available, effective vaccine. Obesity will also be cured but the cost will remain high because, you know, rich fatties and all.