There have been huge changes in the way we think of personal computing and social media. In the past 10 years alone things have changed from when those born as recently as the early 90s were growing up.
Everyone has a smartphone. Everyone. And if they don't, they are at a gross disadvantage.
If you have a child in school, you need a computer with nothing short of high speed Internet and an office suite. Trying to get around it or use the library is near impossible. Students who come from a household without a computer or internet have a tough time, regardless of outside resources. They are falling behind because a majority of the population has those tools available to them.
Technology is inexpensive and available.
We talk to each other in text form, and that is preferred over speech. Email, text, are the new letter writing. Instant conversation while maintaining ability to multitask. Fraught with emoticons to craft emotion better than some can with their face, all while keeping their face hidden. People are loving it.
So what's next?
Just about all phones are smartphones, the hub of our digital life. Extended beyond are more powerful devices like tablets and desktops. The point & click interface has been placed to the side as more natural touch controls are becoming typical in nearly all pieces of hardware, and the pc has been demoted from hub to device.
The digital world we knew is gone. The digital world we know is changing. So what comes next? In another decade or so consumers will have access to personal computing devices that we wouldn’t have thought possible. That’s how it always works.
What kind of new innovations can we be hopeful of? (besides flying cars and robots)...
Lets ditch the screen.
The keyboard was once the center of computing, then the mouse came along, the graphic interface, multi-touch. Its hard to think of anything changing much more in means of control, but the common denominator that hasn’t really shifted is the idea of the monitor. Sure, they’ve gotten brighter, prettier, more crisp, but they’ve always been the same thing. A bunch of pixels on a square that shows us data. By removing the limitation of the screen there could be an truly liberating freedom.
With development in hardware like Google’s Project Glass, we could be in for the start of a personal live desktop that could theoretically appear to be anywhere around us. Floating holograms might be a bit far off, but making a lens that allows the eyes to see a virtual collection of windows and apps while responding to outside gestures could really make the user feel as if they had a collection of floating data at their fingertips for there own private and infinite manipulating. At some point we might see projectors capable of creating screen-less collections of light and color without the need for a solid to catch the light, one that could be manipulated by making contact with the projection.
Only time will tell, and there will be another revolution. Standards for tech availability will rise as always. They’re certainly not showing any signs of slowing anytime soon.