We're entering a new digital age
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

After having the dreaded writer's block for weeks, I finally got out of that stupid slum. So here's my topic for today.

I think we're entering a new digital age.

Since I proclaim to be the LordofGeek, I realize I should write something about the change at hand. Let me give you a short summary of the past.

The 1st era, is probably when digital electronics first came out. It was hard to use and not common.
The 2nd era, is when digital products became common and became more user friendly.
The 3rd era, internet came to consumers, p0rn became accessible.
The 4th era, search and web services became important.

Throughout all the eras, speed has always been doubling according to the Moore's Law. In fact, every single year, pushing the boundaries of the speed has always been a priority. The internet speed & computing speed mainly.

I would say that up until 2005, we have been really focused on bringing the fastest possible to the market. The user interface has been designed in making things easier to use, beauty is part of their consideration, but it's not the main concern.

From then onwards, ushered the next 5th era.

The 5th era, mobile. mobile. mobile!

Speed and portability became the main concern. And it pushed everything forward at a ridiculous pace. Or rather, technology has moved at a ridiculous pace. Can you imagine monochrome flip phones are 2003?

All, which lead us to this moment.
The tipping point in the tech world.

Maybe we've reached that point a while ago, but I'm pretty sure it's this year. Here's my reasons for it.
  1. Everyone dares to dream about things that no one has dared to dream before.
  2. Mobile phones are catching up to computers in speed.
  3. Internet has gotten ridiculously fast.
  4. Beauty became an important aspect of UI design.

1. Everyone dares to dream about things that no one has dared to dream before.

I'm quite literally talking about thinking out of the box. Let me show you a few videos to convince you about the reality of the world.

There are a lot of other stuffs, but they're just research papers and you probably won't want to read them. And the rest of the videos are not from 2011. Things that you can find in 2011 is probably invented like 3~4 years ago. But it takes time for them to commercialize it.

Things like, gesture based interface. Using Microsoft kinect. (1 year ago) Or if you look really hard for the first idea, it'll date back to more than 3 years ago. Or mind control, or eye control, or breath control. Ridiculous ideas that actually get conceptualized, prototyped and tested out.

Think about it, when you were a kid, will you have ever imagined that you would hold the power of the internet in your hands, flicking through media with your finger, lying on the bed?

No don't tell me that you do. Because you didn't. It didn't exist. Nothing we had right now existed 5, or even 10 years ago. That's how amazing it is.

2. Mobile phones are catching up to computers in speed.

To put it in perspective, the phone you're holding right now, is probably more powerful than your computer from 8 years ago. Yes, I know it's not that AMAZING. But just think about it for a second.

The top of the lines phones, is probably as powerful as a normal desktop from.. 6years ago? Trust me, it IS impressive. I'm talking about the raw processing power. Just think about your desktop from 6 years ago, shrunken down to the size of your phone that could fit in your pocket.

3. Internet has gotten ridiculously fast.

To put it into perspective again, 8 years ago. I had a 1mbps connection. Hell yeah that was really fast at that time. Then it got upgraded to 2mbps in the following year.

It steady got faster and about 3~4 years ago. I had a 10mbps connection. Now? I'm rocking a 16mbps connection. Which translates to 2MB/s downloads. (on a bright sunny day)

Fiber connection is right around the corner. Easily boosting my internet speed to 100, 200mbps. 200X speed increase in 8 years.

4. Beauty became an important aspect of UI design.

Just look at MAC OS X, iOS, Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, Android. You get the idea. The beauty of the UI just keeps getting redefined. Except for iOS of course.

If you've taken a look at Windows 8 and Android 4.0.1 the enhancement in UI is definitely noticeable and welcomed.

What does all of these mean?

For beauty in UI, it just means that we have gotten to the point where we already have the required speed to complete our tasks, not only that, we have that spare resource to make things more beautiful while you're doing your stuffs.

Phones will quadruple in speed or more next year.

1gbps internet is around the corner.

40gbps internet is not too far off.

Concepts are being churned out faster than your ass.

I said that this is the tipping point. Because this is where we already have all the speed that we want. (at least for consumers). I mean, do you really need any extra speed from the computer that you bought within Ithese 2 years? (unless you're a gamer, then it's a different story)  I realize this because when I was younger, I tried desperately to increase my computer's speed through anyway I could. But recently I did nothing, only maintain to keep it running perfectly.

But for all daily/productive tasks, it already fulfills all the requirements.

I said it's a tipping point because we're still pushing it to go ever faster than ever before.
Faster, and faster, and FASTER.

Thing is, what are we going to do with all the extra speed?

We can't really do what we do any faster than this. There is a limit to what a human body can do. So there will certain be people who'll think of new ways to make use of the extra speed from your computer, and the internet.

HOW we're gonna use it, is the question.

I'm pretty sure that everything will be different in 5 year's time.
How different will it be? I really don't know. But I sure as hell am looking forward to it.

So long as we don't die next year.

I hope this gave you some insight in the progression of the world. I hope this give you some mental preparation when you realize one day that you just don't know what's going on anymore. I hope this will prompt people to start noticing the changes around them.

And as usual,
Fare well my minions.

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