One day, not right away but eventually, the trend toward personal information devices – the future editions of the IPhone – will start to move inward. As technology improves it will become fashionable, and then de rigeur, to implant the various components directly within ourselves – including earpieces in the ears, speaker in the mouth, touch sensors in the fingertips and displays in the eyes. I know it seems weird now, but in several decades it will all be perfectly normal, like going from New York to Beijing in a matter of hours, strolling down the street while talking to someone half way around the world, and watching people walk on the moon.
I’m reminded of these changes to come when I plug in my laptop computer. We now take for granted wireless communication everywhere – cell networks, WiFi, and whatever comes next. But we still have to plug in for power, which continues to limit our information mobility. And it occurs to me that this will change.
In the future, the batteries that power the equivalent of your laptop or IPhone will be the food you eat. Your information technology will share your metabolism. This won’t be a burden because power requirements per unit of computation, storage and transmission will be a small fraction of they are now – just as those costs are now a small fraction of what they were several decades ago.
So the question comes up – will we merge our economy of food production and consumption with our economy of information technology? Will we start to build backup systems into ourselves to make sure the system doesn’t go down?
I mean, you wouldn’t want to lose valuable files because you couldn’t find a decent place to get a sandwich, would you?