Five Years From Now
From Usable Help, we find Seth Godin, marketing guru and (apparently) futurist, makes some heady predictions about what will happen in the next five years:
Hard drive space is free
Wifi-like connections are everywhere
Connections speeds are 10 to 100 times faster
Everyone has a digital camera
Everyone carries a device that is sort of like a laptop, but cheap and tiny
He’s probably right about WiFi and the digital cameras, but I can’t see connection speeds increasing in the next five years–the infrastructure isn’t there. As for everyone carrying a laptop-type device (maybe like this one?), that’s unlikely. The US government projects that by 2007, only about 80% of homes will have any kind of computer. That number is increasing by about 2% a year, so the likelihood of everyone owning a laptop-type device is pretty low. In fact, I’ll be impressed if half the population of the US has a Palm or laptop-type device by then.
The last one in the the list is the most important, and the likeliest to be true: “Your current profession will either be gone or totally different.” Well, it will be true in IT. I think store clerks and longshoremen and the majority of the popuation will still do pretty much what they did five years ago. I might use my RFID-enabled key fob to buy my khakis from the Gap, but the retail role will remain the same.