Last week I upgraded my ‘smart phone’ to an Android phone. As I sat there playing with my phone it occurred to me that I was living in an age that would have seemed unimaginable even ten years ago. I spoke into my phone and asked what the weather would be later in the day and a very polite voice responded to my request. Wow.
When I go to the airport I simply type in a code and magically print a boarding pass to get on a plane. I swipe a credit card and push a button to have a Redbox video dispensed. I wave my cell phone over a barcode to get information on a product in my favorite magazine. I stand on my Wii-Fit balance board and a pleasant voice says, “Welcome back Juli, it’s been four days since you last checked in.”
The wave of the future is here and we are now living what many of us Baby Boomer’s saw on the Saturday Cartoon, The Jetson’s. As we head into the second decade of the new millennium, the products that we don’t know that we can’t live without haven’t been invented yet. Who will be the next Steve Jobs to bring previously- unheard-of- but- now- indispensable items into our lives?
How will the future of the Smart Grid impact our energy use and our water use? The new developments also come with risks. In an article in the New York Times this morning warns of the new terrorist attacks on our internet and infrastructure citing a report by the National Intelligence Council. The report warns of small radicalized groups now gaining the ability to impact and disable our everyday lives with cyber weapons and the growing need for the world’s superpowers China and the United States to be able to work together.
As we get used to the “coolness” of being able to access everything and anything via the internet could we be creating our own demise in a ‘David and Goliath-esque’ manner? It will take global cooperation on a massive scale and hopefully cooler heads will prevail. Perhaps the fiscal cliff is merely a training exercise in learning how to compromise and play nice in the sandbox on a broader, more global scale.