Monday, November 11, 2013

Futurology: The real Superman is coming

Let's take a look into the future.  If the image you think of when someone mentions Superman is the muscular body with a yellow and red diamond shaped crest in the chest, red Speedo, boots and cape over a tight blue suit, perfect hairdo and angel face, you may be disappointed.  The real Superman that will be around us soon will be everything but that, at least in most cases.  In fact, you will likely be part of the new Supermen and Superwomen army coming up.

Don’t expect a being from outer space either, who was lucky to land in a place where his natural power became super in comparison to normal humans.  The new Supermen will be technology made.  Driven by the human impatience with the lagging interaction with technology caused by an unfit “middleman”.  This middleman which is completely inadequate to handle the speed demanded by the virtual, lightning fast world is, well, your body!  Have you noticed lately that the devices we carry today are capable of unimaginable things and that the biggest issue we have making them more effective is the fact we still need to touch or talk to them to make something happen?

Did you ever remember you had to send a message or needed some information while in the middle of something else, let’s say driving or taking a shower or in a business meeting?  You had to make the unacceptable decision to give up and let the opportunity pass.  In some other cases you tried to reach to the phone while driving to eventually decide it was not a good idea after almost hitting the car in front of you?  Well, you are ready to become Superman and accept the implications.

If our body is not fit to what is required in this new world, what is the rational decision to make?  You may say retire the body, which as we saw in the movie Matrix it is a possible concept that may be developed overtime.  However, I believe there will be a short-term solution that will bridge us to that future.  Connecting the device directly to our brain.  Bypassing and upgrading the human body instead of retiring it will be the intermediate stage.

You will become our 21st century version of the Man of Steel.  Not as colorful and romantic.  Instead, a more realistic version of the comic books.  You will be able to multitask without the annoying interruption of reaching to a device.  Think and it happens!  Need to instant message during the meeting to get the latest update?  Done.  Need to make a calculation that would be impossible without a calculator?  Done.  Need to call or text someone while driving without losing sight of the road?  Done.  Research the internet for knowledge, play an interactive game, read a book, send a message, order pizza, get the latest football scores?  Done, done, done.  Nothing else needed other than to think about it.

Along with that there will come the interface with bionic arms, legs, exo-skeletons, etc.  You have become Superman.  However, anywhere there is one, there is also kryptonite.  In our case our internet bills.  Don’t pay them and you’ll get dumb and weak, and you may find yourself frozen in the middle of the street trapped in your shiny Superman suit begging for help.

This transformation will open all sorts of business possibilities.  Imagine the possibility of marketing on the spot directly to someone’s brain!  How about all the data that can be collected.  Today’s Big Data concept will pale in comparison to what is coming, so much so we should call it Not Really that Big of a Data.  But this is content enough for a whole new blog!

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