However, while further advances in digital computing, like augmented and virtual reality, will continue apace, there are serious cracks appearing in our cyber utopia.
- Business and government leaders alike are rightly concluding that no digital system connected to the internet is secure and that all communications risk becoming public knowledge.
- Even consumers are beginning to notice that computerization, à la the "Internet of Things," is making their lives more complex and less secure without corresponding benefits.
- Digital entertainment has become so commonplace that high-end consumers are seeking out richer and more realistic experiences, like London's high-end music listening clubs, which play Hi-Fi records.
This growing disenchantment with digital technology will create--indeed, is already creating--a demand for technology that is simple, secure, and authentic. Analog rather than digital, in other words.
With that in mind here are five product categories that, IMHO, are potential billionaire-makers:
- SmartCar 3.0 -- This car has almost no electronics, has parts that are easily replaced, costs about half the cost of an average car, and can be maintained by an average person with reasonable mechanical skills. When traveling in this car without a trackable digital phone, your movements can only be easily traced visually.
- SmartPhone 3.0 -- A device that uses analog circuitry to broadcast an analog (i.e. non-digital) signal to another analog phone. It has a series of dials that allow a choice of frequency and scrambling; the dials must match on each phone for communications to take place. Such a phone cannot be easily tapped by governments or competitors.
- SmartDocuments 3.0 -- This medium can store text or photos of any kind. Such documents are created manually or with a simple, non-digital mechanical device. They can be read anywhere there is light; even regular sunlight is sufficient. As a bonus, the documents can be easily transferred from person to person, and can last for centuries without a recharge.
- SmartEntertainment 3.0 -- Rather than viewing entertainment that's been created at a different time and/or in a different place, the consumer experiences the entertainment in "real time" and in "real space." For example, if the entertainment is a musical performance, the consumer listens (sitting, standing, or dancing) in the same general area as the performer.
- SmartCommunity 3.0 -- As people become jaded with social media and the rudeness of the anonymous Web, they'll naturally want to make connections based upon physical proximity. Such communities will likely build based upon shared political and religious interests, and even include non-virtual educational centers, such a schools and colleges.
OK, by now you've probably figured out that I'm doing a bit of leg-pulling, but only to make a point, which is that people are souring on cyberspace and starting to crave solidity and security of the real world.
You see it in the desire for locally grown foods, you see it in the "artisan" movement, and you see it in the way people flock in ever-increasing numbers to political rallies.
So while the product ideas probably won't create billionaires (except for the car, which I think a lot of people would buy in a heartbeat), there will be plenty of money to be made catering to those of us who want to return to the real world.