The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050
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The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050

Qualcomm lately took an in-depth look again on the historical past of the cell phone, which it was largely liable for creating. This turned out to be a private retrospect as a result of my household owned an electronics firm within the Sixties, which was once I used my first cell phone in my father’s Studebaker Avanti.

On the time, I believed it was probably the most superb factor to have the ability to make a name from a automobile. What was humorous is that telephone had a dial and buttons, which largely did not appear to do something, and it labored extra like a radio on a ship or aircraft than an precise telephone. However it was cool.

As we advance 50 years to the current, our smartphones do extra issues than our PCs as a result of they’re extra transportable, extra prone to be with us, and deal with telephony.

Cisco final week launched its desktop telephone substitute, the Webex Desk Hub. Whereas this gadget initially solely merges your desktop telephone and smartphone, it might rapidly evolve to exchange your PC as properly.

Since we’re approaching the top of 2020, let’s speculate a bit about how the smartphone and the PC will doubtless evolve over the following three a long time, and construct as much as what which means for private communications expertise in 2050.

We’ll shut with my product of the week, the aforementioned Webex Desk Hub, which is arguably probably the most evolutionary innovation to the desk telephone since its invention.

The track “” is all of a sudden taking part in again and again in my head.


Ten years from now we ought to be at vital mass with autonomous vehicles. Digital assistants will lastly be dwelling as much as their potential, and renewable power ought to be the default, however we’ll nonetheless be dwelling via the outcomes of local weather change.

We’ll nonetheless have wired networks (recall how lengthy the fax machine hung in there), however the brand new growth ought to be wi-fi. Anticipated cyberattacks could have already crippled a number of governments, transportation methods, and firms, so a centered and funded worldwide regulation enforcement group chasing cybercriminals is probably going.

We’ll be properly into robotics and may have some superior man-machine interfaces, doubtless initially within the army. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless too quickly for expertise to be embedded into civilians exterior prosthetics to handle extreme accidents.

This future means that no less than the innovative and high-end smartphones might be head-mounted and wearable, and less-expensive options could have linked head-mounted shows. These shows will will let you immediately video convention and use photorealilstic avatars to appear to be you might be within the digital area. Relying on what number of extra pandemics we’ve got by that point, workplaces as we knew them are in danger of changing into out of date, making it no less than doubtless that your workplace might be wherever you might be.

These head-mounted telephones won’t solely have biometric interfaces to permit third events to watch your well being and supply well timed assist, however to guarantee you might be who you say you might be, and to advise you on choices to supply probably the most profitable outcomes.

A lot of the facility of these now-worn units might be within the cloud, and most of how we interface with them might be utilizing voice. Normal capabilities will embody instantaneous translation and alerting of individuals nereby who could also be sick or put you in danger.


This decade is getting near when many assume we’ll be approaching and the merger of people and expertise. We’ll have points with individuals who have aggressively embraced this merger of man and machine conflicting with purists who imagine in a mix of battle with their faith.

Those that have embedded expertise could have important benefits each bodily and mentally and have important issues with id and ethics. Misuse of this functionality will doubtless be frequent as regulation enforcement and governments battle with balancing innovation and social unrest and discrimination. It’s possible that very similar to we’ve got discrimination based mostly on race now, we’ll have discrimination based mostly on expertise/human blends then.

We should always have superior private robotics, superior autonomous drones, vehicles, and autonomous army and safety methods which might be anticipated to go rogue every now and then — usually as a consequence of being hacked. We should always see the start of an embedded communication system, most probably to look within the army, intelligence, and a few superior regulation enforcement items. We in all probability could have rather a lot of sophisticated legal guidelines to implement surrounding the use of these applied sciences.

By this time, PCs are completely digital, voice communications are completely blended with all different communications sorts and AI filtered to optimize your time. Many of the conversations you may have, and other people have with you, might be with AIs emulating individuals after which summarizing what was mentioned. These AIs might be totally skilled to emulate who you might be and might do many, if not most, of the repetitive duties you presently carry out.


This decade takes us to the place many of us imagine the singularity could have primarily occurred. We’ll nonetheless have pure people that reside in outlined areas or off-planet preventing the change. Nonetheless, most individuals might be linked to their computing assets surgically and name on these companies mentally to boost efficiency.

Digital immortality turns into much more frequent — although it has been accessible to the wealthy for a while at this level — and your digital assistant can morph into family and friends (even deceased household) that you may interface with all through your life. By this time, individuals who need to reside in a digital world can, and the necessity for human staff might be vastly diminished provided that robots and AIs might be totally capable of take your concepts and translate them into motion.

Your potential to multitask might be massively enhanced. A service will primarily regulate your physique, and your psychological angle might be remotely regulated. This consequence will create important issues in regards to the willpower of what’s human and what’s a robotic, given there might be rather a lot of variation within the depth of the mix between the 2 ideas. You typically will not inform or care in case you are speaking to an actual individual or an AI, and far of your interplay will now happen with digital AI proxies.

Right here the smartphone not exists as a result of communication is inherent along with your embedded expertise answer. This consequence will considerably broaden the divide between these that may afford and settle for these technological adjustments and people who do not. I count on there might be many conflicts that can resolve poorly for the pure people on this decade. Briefly, within the 2050s, you grow to be the smartphone.

Wrapping Up

Whereas I am offering a really centered outlook, I’m leaving out a number of issues:

– The obsolescence of transportation: as a result of when you can go anyplace nearly and really feel like you might be there, do you could journey?

– Adjustments to the nuclear household: as a result of I count on many will select a digital mate over a human, given they are often custom-built for you. Will you need to elevate a baby or have a everlasting digital little one — or an clever digital or robotic pet that’s your good match?

I count on that someday within the 2030s PCs and telephones will merge, in the event that they hadn’t already. Within the 2040s individuals and private expertise will merge as people and robotics evolve into hybrids of each. We’ll have many political, social, and non secular hurdles to beat — some of that are prone to end in warfare each inside of and between international locations earlier than reaching the 2060s.

This consequence may very well be a utopia — or hell on Earth — relying on how properly we handle these adjustments, and the one positive factor is we aren’t anyplace close to prepared for them.

The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050

The Cisco Webex Desk Hub

I began working for IBM’s telephony division and finally made it over to aggressive evaluation engaged on desktop {hardware}. Final week, when Cisco showcased its , I bought excited as a result of it embodies many of the issues we have been engaged on again within the Eighties that by no means made it to market: embracing the blends of workplace and private smartphones, voice and video communications; and the complete mix of texting, social media, and extra conventional communications strategies. This certainly is a future-facing providing.

Bodily it’s a wi-fi charging dock, a dock to your linked headphones (which Cisco additionally introduced), a show that enhances the one in your smartphone, and an interface for video communications when linked with the brand new Cisco digital camera.

The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050

Webex Desk Hub

It’ll additionally auto-configure your workspace if your organization is in step with most others — and eliminates everlasting workplace areas in favor of shared hoteling assets. You dock your smartphone, and area will configure itself to you relying on how sensible the workplace is. Although I believe it will create an elevated danger that you’re going to go away your telephone behind whenever you go away your workplace, I count on it to be addressed with a future accent or app.

As a result of the Cisco Webex Hub is a giant step into the long run that many of us foresaw a pair of a long time in the past, and a bridge to our post-COVID-19 world, it’s my product of the week.
The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050

The opinions expressed on this article are these of the creator and don’t essentially mirror the views of ECT Information Community.

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