In the Year 2020, Part I: Cloud Computing

carousel-cloud-computing

Check out Part II and Part III in our series about life in the year 2020.

It’s Friday afternoon. Andy’s had a long, tiring week, and he’s thinking this would be a great time to shed the shackles of his job and kick back with a good friend over a couple of beers and a juicy steak. One problem: Andy’s best buddy is off in Europe and he’s stuck in downtown Cleveland.

Somewhere in New England, meanwhile, Jody and her young daughter take a leisurely drive through the countryside. It’s a gorgeous fall afternoon. The weather is crisp but sunny, and the trees are ablaze with colors. Jody’s daughter looks up at her from the passenger seat and says she thinks daddy would love it. Sadly, daddy’s working all afternoon.

The colors aren’t quite so dazzling in the hot Nevada desert, where Aaron comes to an epiphany of sorts. The ongoing saga of his divorce has taken its toll, and he’s come to the realization that he needs to put his life back in order. If only there was more time in each day. If only Aaron had someone or something that could help him with the paperwork, the bills, the emotions, and all the excruciating minutiae he must conquer before he can soldier into the future.

If only it were the future.

Welcome to Part I of a three-part series here at Digital Trends on life and technology in the year 2020. We’ve enlisted the help of a few experts who make it their business to know where technology is moving and how it will impact us, in order to peek into the future. We’ll look at the ups and the downs of the digital world a decade hence as it applies to real people, and perhaps even bewilder you occasionally with a forecast or two of what we may see.

In Part II of our series, we’ll deal with biotechnology, genetics and engineering. In our final installment, we’ll tackle urban planning, transportation, and the probable immediate future of our congested cities. But here in Part I, we’ll get our collective heads in the clouds. Or, more appropriately, the cloud.

If you haven’t heard about cloud computing, you will. Because cloud computing is, in admittedly simplistic terms, a far better, far more evolved information highway. With it, there will be a quantum shift in what we currently know as the Internet, and, ultimately, an equally massive shift in the way we interact with it, with each other, and with just about everything else too. We’ll also look at the cloud-based devices we’ll likely use – or not use – to get online and get connected to what will be, in a decade, the super-duper-ultra-information highway.

Dan Burrus
Dan Burrus

Extraordinary Solutions to Ordinary Problems

And that brings us back around to our introduction, where we met three normal, everyday people in three normal, everyday predicaments that, in 2020, may not be predicaments at all. That is, if Dan Burrus can be believed. And he usually can.

Burrus, noted futurist, keynote speaker, and founder of tech-oriented research and consulting firm Burrus Research envisions that a decade or so from now, all three of our test subjects will have options they simply do not have today.

Andy and his buddy, for example, will likely get together virtually – he in Cleveland and his good friend somewhere in Europe. They’ll each walk into a video restaurant, where massive high-definition screens await at one end. They’ll take seats at what for all intents and purposes is the same table, converse and interact with one another as if they were physically side-by-side, and order those yummy steaks from the same waiter.

Our man in the desert, meanwhile, will find a little help through his tough times. And although that help won’t actually be human, it’ll be the next best thing – and in some ways better. Burrus calls it an “ultra-intelligent agent,” an Internet-enabled, artificially intelligent entity that Aaron will customize to his own needs. He may even fashion it to take the appearance of something or someone he finds particularly pleasing. Say, the 2020 facsimile of Jessica Alba, for instance.

Aaron will wake up, saunter over to his TV or display, and come face to face with his own personal Alba. In fact, Aaron may not even need a traditional display in order to see and interact with her. She may well appear in front of him holographically, in full three-dimensional glory.

In any case, she’ll offer an appropriate greeting before alerting him to all that’s occurred since their last meeting. About midnight, Aaron’s flight to Boston had been canceled. A few hours later, the stock he’d been eyeballing for the past few months finally hit his buy-in price. And while Aaron slumbered, she’d taken care of everything for him, booking him a bargain seat with a competing airline and purchasing several hundred shares of that elusive stock. And now, his “agent” will entice Aaron downstairs to his gym, where she’ll meet him once again to coach him through a variety of custom-designed exercises.

As for Jody and her daughter, they’ll have little trouble getting daddy in on the family’s fun day in the country. Like we use a telephone to experience another person’s voice even though we’re physically disconnected, Jody will utilize a technology such as “telepresence” to both see and sense those beautiful autumn trees. In essence, he’ll be there.

Dr. James Canton
Dr. James Canton

And there’s more. According to Dr. James Canton, futurist, business advisor, and author of The Extreme Future: The Top Trends that will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10, and 20 Years, we’ll see by 2020 or thereabouts the emergence of super-intelligence – computers and digital devices that equal or surpass the level of human intelligence. We’ll have wearable digital devices of profound power, or even devices implanted in our skin. In fact, say both Burrus and Canton, some of us may be completely device-free – relying instead on cloud access points and self-replicating nodes that will exist virtually everywhere within our ecosystem.





Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Movies & TV

The best Black Mirror episodes are disturbing, mesmerizing, and provocative

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one movie, we selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Computing

Lenovo Legion, IdeaPad gaming laptops sport 9th-gen CPUs and 16-series graphics

Lenovo is expanding its gaming laptop range with a line of new Legion and IdeaPad notebooks that sport Intel's latest, ninth-generation Core CPUs up to an i7 and a choice of Nvidia graphics with options for everything up to an RTX 2080…
Computing

Asus launches a fleet of ROG gaming laptops with 240Hz screens and 9th-gen CPUs

Asus launched updates to nearly every gaming laptop line they have, ranging from the high-end Zephyrus to the budget-level TUF Gaming. The naming schemes might be hard to parse, but there are some impressive options in Asus' new lineup.
Product Review

Without 4K or Core i9, the new Razer Blade Pro trades features for polish

Razer hasn’t updated its 17-inch gaming laptop for a couple of years, while showering most of its attention on the smaller sibling. The new Razer Blade Pro takes a lot of cues from the 15-inch model, stretching it out for the big screen.
Computing

Nvidia’s new GTX 1660 Ti and 1650 graphics cards for laptops start at $799

Nvidia announced the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1650, two new mobile graphics cards to flesh out the Turing lineup for laptops. These GPUs don't have the ray tracing capabilities of the RTX 20 series, but start at much lower prices.
Computing

Microsoft reverses decision and extends lifeline to MS Paint for Windows 10

Microsoft reversed its decision to deprecate the classic MS Paint software on Windows 10. Microsoft announced on Twitter that the mainstay free image editor that comes pre-installed with Windows will live on for now.
Computing

Acer gives Predator, Nitro gaming notebooks CPU and GPU upgrades

Acer's latest gaming notebooks will be getting a processor and graphics boost. The company announced that Intel's ninth-generation mobile CPU and Nvidia's GTX 1660 Ti will land on the Predator Helios 300, Nitro 7, and Nitro 5 laptops.
Computing

Dell’s XPS 15 steps up its game with next-gen Intel, Nvidia chips

Dell announced a redesigned XPS 15 with a webcam positioned up top, and the internals make this Ultrabook an even better gaming laptop. The XPS 15 can be configured with Intel's 9th-Gen processors and Nvidia's GTX 16-Series GPU.
Computing

From simple work tools to high-end gaming peripherals, these are the best mice

If you're looking to buy the best mouse for you, whether it's for gaming or work, we have something for you. We've put together a list of our favorite mice, all of which have great features and sell at a great price.
Computing

Amazon drops deals on Razer, Netgear, and Western Digital PC accessories

Grab these deals while you can: As part of their Deal of the Day promotion, Amazon is offering deep discounts on a wide variety of PC accessories including premium gaming mice, external hard drives, and even Wi-Fi routers.
Apple

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…
1 of 3