2015. Sounds far away, doesn't it? But it's not, and we already live with a little taste of what that future will be like. How so, you ask?
Consider: The rise of mobile computing, the proliferation of social networking, and the cloudification and appification of our entire technological lives. All of which is laid out in this superb infographic video, "Digital Life: Today and Tomorrow," created by NeoLabels, with a script by Inés Leopoldo of Mitsue Venture.
What's most interesting aren't the trends themselves, but the sheer magnitude of them. For instance, we all know that mobile computing is on the rise. But the proportion of people who access the Internet only through mobile devices will grow from 14 million in 2010 to 788 million by 2015. Meanwhile, the number of smartphones will rise from about 500 million today to 2.5 billion.
And this whole cloud computing fad? According to these rather astonishing projections, we can expect the sector to become a $173 billion industry, on yearly growth of 21%:
It's hard to even grasp what all of that will mean to how technology weaves its way into our lives. You can readily imagine a future where the Internet feels less like a "thing" that you plug into at your desk, and more like the air you breathe — a ubiquitous flow of information, connecting a tiny device in your pocket to the entire world.
But perhaps the most surprising stat of all comes courtesy of the current day. We already spend 16% of our time online at social networking sites — and you can be sure that figure will grow, as Facebook puts more and more effort into making its service less of a reflection of your social life, than your actual social life:
All of which is to say, science fiction is upon us. But it's all happening in ways that are both imperceptibly gradual and shockingly fast. The future somehow doesn't feel like the future anymore, because the present is just changing too damn quickly.