Hello, person, of the year 1999. I am from the future, the year 2012. Let me tell you about all the amazing things humanity will invent in the next few years!
First. If I get my numbers right, there are only 250 million people currently connected to your internet. By the end of the decade, a massive 2 billion people will become connected. This scale is unprecedented! Next year, at the turn of the century, the Nokia 3210 and its successor 3310 will be released. These cellphones, together will sell almost 280 million units! This is only the tip of the iceberg.
I would suggest not investing in any technology companies right now. It is a bubble that will burst very soon! Buy Apple shares. And if you can, get involved with Google.
In 2002/2003, two websites will be launched called Friendster and MySpace. If you are young, you will probably go on it. Enjoy it while it lasts, because, it will overshadowed by a new online social network called Facebook (2004). What do these sites do? Well, you create a profile of yourself and connect with other people. Yes, it will be strange and weird at first. Facebook, however, comes from the premise of using your real name, online. And no, it won’t be weird at all. Most, if not everyone will be comfortable with that! But listen. Get this. By the end of 2011, 800 million will be on this website, connecting, interacting and sharing information. It will be much bigger than you can ever imagine!
The strangest part is yet to come. I bet you won’t believe me. In 2005, a website will be launched, called YouTube that will make it so easy to upload any videos online. Celebrities will be created through it, new revolutions will be sparked, and we will be able to see what is happening around the world through the eyes of others without having to rely on any of the current traditional media you have now. In the year 2012, a cat with a poptart for a body, flying through space will be viewed 70 million times! Look look!
There is even a 100 hour version that has been viewed 6 million times. I won’t even start on the other memes, and culture that developed around the internet. It is probably difficult to understand (some traditional media in 2012 still don’t understand concepts such as the global chaotic neutral collective called Anonymous). Okay, but lets get away from flying cats in space.
In 2006, a website called Twitter will be launched, that will allow people to stay in touch with short bursts of information. You can say anything, and people will follow you and read what you say. Once again, bear with me. It won’t be weird. You will want to have people following you! This short form information spreading will allow some amazing emergent behaviour! Using an add-on site called TwitPic, a guy will break the news that a plane landed in the Hudson River, before any of the mainstream media could break the news. Here is the tweet (yes, it is called a tweet).
http://twitpic.com/135xa – There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.
— Janis Krums (@jkrums) January 15, 2009
This will be a watershed (no pun intended) moment for the rise of real-time networks. What usually took a few hours to spread (bound by time and space), everyone is now a potential part in larger system for spreading news (instantly). This powerful way of sharing information (along with Facebook) will become an incredibly powerful for political use. The so-called Arab Spring will start at the end of 2010 and topple many authoritarian regimes. Be prepared!
Closer to the end of the decade, Apple will introduce, the iPhone (yes, a phone), that will spark a new trend. The latest version of the phone (the 4S) will have a dual-core 800mhz core, 512mb of RAM and can have up to 64gb of storage space (all in your hand). You know how I said you should look to get involved with Google as well? Well, they are rolling out their smartphone operating system called, Android (it’s not a real android). A massive 850 000 new android smartphones will be activated each day in the beginning of 2012, mostly being activated in territories that did not have any access to the internet!
I’d like to tell you another awesome thing! Google will drive around with cars taking pictures of popular places around the world. This will allow anyone (for free) to view what the world looks like. With some imagination, you can pretend you are a frenchman walking the streets of Paris!
Oh. Wait. It seems I have little time left! In 2012, we still can’t manage to use our time wisely. I just got an e-mail on my iPad. Look. These tablets will completely change how users interact with digital media. No longer will you have to resort to having that massive tower and heavy laptop. You can easily enjoy all the above I mentioned (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook) all in the palm of your hand. Remember. This new power you will achieve is incredible. Use it for good!
The e-mail is from the year 2022. This guy wants me to meet with him. He mentions self-driving cars, africa, mobile wallets, 3d printing, ambient awareness and augmented reality. The future sounds exciting!