The most recent issue of PC World takes a look at The Next 25 Years in Tech, covering such on-the-near-horizon technologies as gesture-based interfaces, ambient sensors, and geolocation networks.
I spoke with the author of the piece a month or so ago, and that hour-long conversation had its inevitable result -- a couple of sentences that mostly, but not entirely, match what I said.
The part about the participatory panopticon is mostly on-target:
We have met Big Brother, and he is us. Tiny cameras and wireless connections may herald an era of "sous-veillance" -- observation from below -- says Jamais Cascio of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology. Cameras and microphones in your glasses or shirt buttons will record every moment, upload it, and let you replay the good bits. . .
"Imagine recording every conversation you've ever had with your spouse," Cascio says. "That kind of enhanced, easily searchable memory will change what it means to be a person in a way that most technology doesn't."
The part about fabrication, however, is a bit off:
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology predicts that personal nanofactories will be in operation by 2020. Jamais Cascio, founder of Open the Future and a director at CRN, says nanofactories will have a huge impact: "If it becomes cheaper and more efficient to have something printed out locally instead of made in China, it will have a big effect on things like trade balances, international labor, and ... our national economy."
To be clear: CRN does not predict that personal nanofactories will be in operation by 2020. In fact, as we've noted recently, the timing question remains the key uncertainty for determining what set of policies and strategies would be best to embrace today.
That said, I am pleased that the "..if it becomes cheaper and more efficient..." idea got included -- it's a nice reminder that the future remains unwritten.
Director of Impacts Analysis