Keynote: You Haven't Seen Anything Yet!…… presented at First 2007

by Graham Whitehead,

Summary : The human race has always been fascinated by numbers and computing. Recently I have been challenged that Moore's Law (created by Gordon Moore in 1968 that predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double every two years and the price would halve in the same time) will not only cease being true but will saturate and flatten off. I do not believe this to be the case -I see in the next few years greater and greater computing power being available.
The advent of Broadband connections, originally by ADSL, and new networks like BT’s 21CN will bring an era of AORT A (Always On Real Time Access). The human will be abstracted from the complexity of searching for information. Artificial Intelligent Agents will wander around this new information maze looking for information that might be of interest to you and push it towards you. These agents will have faces, voices, will hear and understand what you say, and might even have personalities! The whole process will get very conversational.
But we will go further than just artificial people, we will start immersing ourselves in virtual environments. Imagine a virtual High Street where you can wander and visit the shops of your choice. These establishments will be "peopled" by avatars which look and behave just like the real people in the real shops -but there will be no queues.
With the advent of the SmartCard we will be carrying enormous amounts of personal information and exchanging it in public places. One SmartCard could carry all your personal details from your ID card and passport to driving licence and medical history .I see everything having SmartCard readers (computers, phones, mobiles, TVs) and the appropriate information will be exchanged without the extreme efforts that are required of the human today -re-typing the same details on every web-page. I also see the security hologram on the card still being a visual security device, but also becoming a thumb print reader. The SmartCard becomes a "This is me -honestly it really is me" security token. With the advent of Web Services on the AORTA network, I could be at an electronic point-of-sale machine and the insertion of the token automatically brings all my relevant data (including current picture) to that point in the network.
In the near future everything is going mobile. We will all have personal communicators (yes just like Star Trek!) which will connect us to voice communications and information. You will start asking your mobile phone questions and receive information that is pertinent to you at this time and at this location. Soon, with 3G type systems, we will be able to send and receive moving pictures. In fact in the very near future we will as carelessly pass images and moving images over these devices as we just talk to them today.
And as we enter this new information age, we must look at how we will trade with our customers. It is vitally important that we target each individual customer and personalise our communication with him or her. Gone are the days when a simple advertisement was good enough, and we expected our customers to come and find us. Now we have to build a bridge and an interactive, proactive experience for our customers.
Technology is changing very fast indeed. I predict that you will see more change in the next 10 years than has been experienced in the past 150 years. Technology is changing -the question is " Are you changing as fast" because if you do not you and your organisation might not be trading in the next few years!