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A Personal View of the Future of Personal Computing

Drummond Ltd. Systems engineer Carlos A. Brewer R.

The future of computers is given (like many things in life) by a conjunction of several key aspects of technology--these aspects model and shape the ideas and prospects of what will happen to computers within few years. Some of these key factors are described below.

The first aspect is computer technology, which is one of the fastest evolving fields of human knowledge. In less than 30 years computers evolved from dull machines with punched cards to the modern and slim smartphones of today. This technology follows Moore’s law, which states that, on average, every 18 months the number of transistors in an integrated circuit duplicates its quantity.

The second aspect is software evolution, which is firmly tied to computer processors (CP) evolution in several ways: first, there are cases of highly advanced machines that require specialized software in order to squeeze the machine’s full potential; second, such powerful software is being created that CP must evolve and increase their power if only to be able to run the program; third, CP technology incorporates new or different specs, and software must change in order to run with the new chip specs.

Communications is the third aspect. It has evolved in an amazing way since those days where dozens of switchboard operators exchanged pins from one socket to another, trying to connect with the number you requested, to actual and comfortable cell phones and Internet communications.

The final aspect is the dawn of a new and massive flow of data that never before existed; this situation has forced a full set of new tools to handle this cascade of data and make it possible for humans to handle and understand the data. This is the reason our age is called the “information age.”

Once you set together all these pieces you can create a scenario of what it will be the future of computers and its related technology. A future where computers will evolve to smaller, smarter, integrated and modular devices with a full range of software and capabilities that will allow corporate, home, and student users to handle and process all the information they need in a fluid and easy way.

In other words:

Smaller computers: computers will definitively be smaller, however, there are limitations in terms of human usability; this means that size can became an obstacle if a normal user found it difficult to interact with the machine. Gesture and voice recognition might help in this interaction, virtual screens, and a whole new range of alerts will help, too. Summarizing, computers must be able to interact with humans in deeper ways than they do now.

Smarter computers: a computer must be able to provide and recognize what a user wants in terms of searches, suggestions, usage patterns, security, and privacy. Actually, these options require a lot of configuration menus and complicated choices. For example, a powerful and smart computer must identify a pattern of Internet usage and then set its security settings to match user behavior and protect the user's privacy, warning him or her when detecting an attack.

Integrated and modular: Internet, calls, agenda, and more must be standardized in each computer as video, sound cards, and constat connectivity must be achieved with low costs and decent connection speeds--all of this in conjunction with wearable computers that will track your health, food requirements, and lifestyle.


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