Report Forecasts a World of Ambient Communications
by Jean Hagan
A report from Institute for the Future explores what technology holds in the coming decade and details a world where the convergence of the Internet of Things, immersive media and advances in network speed will envelop us in a continual stream of information, seamlessly merging our digital and physical worlds. The report, When Everything is Media, describes a future of “ambient communications” that will create an information-rich media environment extending well beyond television, smartphones, and computers to include objects, our bodies and other living things.
“As billions of objects such as toys, speakers and food packaging come online, our world is becoming increasingly programmable,” said Rod Falcon, Program Director of Institute for the Future’s Technology Horizons program. “We’re moving into a world in which every interaction can be captured, stored, displayed, and mediated by digital communications—a world in which everything is media.”
The report lays out nine possible applications of this future tech and the current technology that is leading us there, including:
The report also details how our emotional responses will change as as these new technologies emerge and mature.
“Social media is a huge part of nearly everyone’s life now. But what comes next?” Falcon said. “The technologies of the next decade will evolve into an all-encompassing communications infrastructure combining wireless networks, embedded sensors, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to add layers of meaning and responsiveness to our world. We’ll be completely enveloped in technology, where everything around us is gathering and processing data and feeding it back to us.”
View the full report at: www.iftf.org/wheneverythingismedia
About Jean Hagan:
As IFTF's Executive Producer, Jean is the creative lead for IFTF. For more than a decade, she has overseen the translation of research ideas into visual media of all kinds such as maps, books, artifacts of the future, digital stories, immersive videos, games, the IFTF web face and live meeting experiences. Jean is skilled in mobilizing networks to engage with IFTF in everything from games to topical summits. She also manages our ongoing media and press relationships ranging from releases to gatherings to local civic activities.
About Bob Johansen:
Bob Johansen is a distinguished fellow with the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley. For more than 30 years, Bob has helped organizations around the world prepare for and shape the future, including corporations such as P&G, Walmart, McKinsey, United Rentals, and Syngenta, as well as major universities and nonprofits.
The author or co-author of ten books, Bob is a frequent keynote speaker. His best-selling book Get There Early: Sensing the Future to Compete in the Present was selected as one of the top business books of 2007. His latest book is The New Leadership Literacies: Thriving in a Future of Extreme Disruption and Distributed Everything discusses five new leadership literacies—combinations of disciplines, practices, and worldviews—that will be needed to thrive in a VUCA world of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
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