The computers of the future are expected to be smaller, faster and smarter. For the
past 20 years, CPU performance has doubled about every 18 months. The PowerPC
will stay close to this pace for the next 10 years–a nearly 100-fold improvement in that
time.The storage capacities of hard drives will continue to expand, they are currently
growing at a rate of about 60 percent per year. Today, Intel’s Pentium II has 7.5 million
transistors. If the trend continues, Intel processors should contain 50 million to 100 million
transistors in the first decade of the next century. In 5 years, computers will have 16 times
the memory capacity they do now. “One big challenge is the time for the processor to acc-
ess the memory. One solution is that the processor might be on the same chip as memo-
ry. Every time you buy memory, you get a processor.”
Actual voice input will become a reality, but it may not be widely employed in offices
because of privacy and environmental issues. According to Gates. He predicts that within
ten years, “every computer will have speech and linguistics built into it. Instead of typing
or clicking, you’ll tell your PC to launch this application or print that document. At the off-
ice, your e-mail message is just as likely to be a video clip. At home it probably means that
your PC takes control of the lights, temperature, and appliances.When you have a prob-
lem, software will look for conflicts, make sure drivers are up to date, when a fix is neces-
sary, ask if you want to go online and get a patch. Later on, it will search for the medicine
it needs with no intervention from you. Even later, software will watch what you are doing
and step in when you’re having trouble.In ten years there will be better input systems;
handwriting, speech, visual recognition. As much as 90 percent of the operating-system
code will go to these new capabilities. Predictable hardware improvements and unpre-
dictable software advances have been a signature of the personal computer industry, this
Technologies That Will Change the World
Digital Money-Disposable Money Cards, inspired by the success of prepaid phone
cards. Web sites will be quick to accept the prepaid cards. Many items that have been free
on the internet, such as downloads and plug-ins can be priced at fees of $1 or $2. This will
allow opening up a new market to children, who previously could not make Internet pur-
Monitors – Displays may be flexible, and you’ll unfold them from your pocket.
Other ideas, in the works, are monitors the size of poster boards you will hang on your
Spherical Shaped Computer Display-A spherical display will have unique applica-
tions for computer users who need to observe the surface of the earth or other planets.
Travel agents and Meteorologists will have a better global view.
Personal Security- Your finger print, voice even your facial features will serve as a
secure, virtually foolproof way of verifying your identity. In use for many years for high-
level security in government agencies, biometric security devices will be common. ”
Voice recognition won’t replace keyboards and mice. Why? Because of privacy. A com-
puter you can talk to will be a dead giveaway.
Personality Services for Computers – We will be able to hold intelligent conversa-
tions with our computers. This will give birth to a new industry; computers equipped with
personality services. Most people will subscibe to more than one online personality service
If you were to subscibe to a comedian personality service, your computer voice would
start sounding like Jim Carry. As machines and computers become more intelligent, they
will also take on personalities. Computers are already beginning to take on identities, for
examples take the Furby and intelligent agents in software. Machines will become so
human-like there will be man-machine marriages.
Wearable Computers- Tomorrow’s computer-human interface will be wearable.
Computers worn on smart glasses will broadcast information into a person’s eyes. Applic-
ations for smart glasses might start in an industrial area like car repair shops, where the
goggles would allow a mechanic to see a diagram of a car with all of its parts identified.
This would allow a bedridden, retired person with a lot of experience to direct a younger
person without experience, and the two would act as a single entity to perform a job, by
using a wearable computing device and a wireless connection
Way Out There-Evolving from the wearable computer.Thinkers at the MIT
Media Lab are working on a system where you and the backplane are one. They figure
you can deliver about 100,000 bits per second through your skeletal and nerve structure.
Implantable and Injectable Computers- In a recent experiment at Atlanta’s Emory
University, a tiny device designed to amplify brain signals and send them to special comp-
uters through a small antenna implanted in the skull of a stroke victim who was both para-
lized and mute. The procedure gave the patient the ability to communicate by moving a
cursor across a computer screen using just his thoughts. A direct brain-to-computer con-
nection (sans surgery) maybe possible in the next 10 years.
In the future, when you look back at today’s personal computers, your grandchildren will
hear the stories about your computer that “couldn’t listen, couldn’t talk, or couldn’t see.”