I've always thought that Moore's Law was really just an early illusion like the flat earth theory was for early explorers and that computers would soon make the jump to something significantly beyond what we currently perceive. A group of Australian scientists
have brought it that much closer with a wire a few atoms thick using similar techniques to what IBM and others are using to build chips.
Moore's Law is in for a bit of a shock, not defeated as some have predicted, but accelerated to the absolute limit of what is possible within terrestrial physics. There are quite a few scientists working on some new mini switches which could be used as memory
or processors. The size difference to what is currently available means that it will be possible to store every word every spoken by every man who ever lived on your phone. Of course then it's probably all over for Moore's Law because we can't really expect
to go sub-atomic.
If you think the 'one small step' on the moon was a giant leap for mankind then you are about to see that leap become a superman type launch into an astonishing future.
In the 1980's I was interested in the search for 'atomicro' or atomic size memory and quickly realised that it was possible to make a single 'bit' of memory as small as 3 atoms wide. Switches were next. Building a lattice of 3 types of atoms with a fourth 'flip-flop-able'
atom suspended within the crystal-like structure was possible. Memory, one bit. All you would need would be some way to make a stable 'wire' to connect them together and you would be able to build tiny computers which require almost no external power source
apart from radiant heat from a human body or ambient light from a lamp or the sun.
The near future will see these mini super computers delivered by scientists, probably within the next 5 to 10 years. When we make the next leap in storage it will revolutionise computing and the way we use, store and exchange information enabling portable storage
beyond even Google's current capacity. I remember my first hard-drive held 5mb and you would have had a hard time telling me then that I would casually buy terrabyte drives for my laptop now.
Wireless networks will disapear as we currently know them and each person will have the potential to become a mobile 'node' on a vast new internet where everyone carries almost all the world's information in their device. When we meet or even pass by other
people we will immediately 'sinc-up' and receive any new movies, news or other information they have which we don't yet have and visa versa. The new technologies and materials are fabulous for building microwave transmitters and receivers. They make it really
easy to have multi-frequency recievers in your device which could receive data on hundreds of frequencies simultaneously, and will be able to do it with any device in range at blazing speeds.
You'll have public and a personal 'domains' and let your friends into some and your clients into others.
One of your public domains will be an open channel into a giant data-store capable of holding every single piece of information available publicly and it will be constantly updated by every other data source you come into contact with.
You'll also be able to open a secure 'channel' to any other person provided you are both within range of at least one other person in a chain to a fixed 'supernode'. When you are within range of a 'supernode' you will automatically receive every piece of information
currently available and then automatically update everyone who comes within your range. When within range of a supernode your mobile device might carry hundreds of other people's conversations the 'last block' to the supernode for transmission across the world
to other supernodes and on to the recipients.
The person beside you on the bus may be getting the movie just released in London from the drivers of cars traveling down the highway in the opposite direction, either directly or with the assistance of the other passenger's devices. The bus or train may be
an 'intermediate node' carrying the latest news broadcast and handing it to passengers, homes and other vehicles as it travels along. An 'intermediate node' is always in range of a 'supernode' with it's more powerful receiver and transmitter.
While you are at a business meeting doing a presentation, the participants might not only store your presentation for further consideration or dissemination, and they might also download the you-tube movies you picked up from someone in the street minutes
before. While catching the bus you might receive news that those people picked up, such as a special offer at a store near where they caught the bus.
This will lead to telco networks becoming 'supernode' providers, delivering masses of information to anyone who'll take (and pass it to others) and participating in the income when a person eventually watches the movie and makes a small payment when they do
so. Even though the person might carry the movie for years without actually watching it.
This will present incredible opportunities for content owners and producers to get their product out to billions of people who may only pay 50c to watch the movie, but will happily pay such a small fee when they do watch it.
There will be many forms of payment, and consumers may even choose to pay over the asking price if they really like the product, and may receive a credit towards the creator's next product. This would be a way of encouraging the creators to produce more, by
investing in the continuance of their creative endeavours, another version of tipping for good food or service. Other artists may offer a subscription.
Payment for creative content will always have issues, and even when the means to pay easily is available, there will be issues in identifying the actual original thinker. The most constructive step we can take is to make distribution more free and individual
usage fees lower and more easy to pay. We need to make those fees micro-payments. Rather than a few people paying a lot to see a movie or hear a song, a whole lot of people will pay very little.
The environmental benefits of such technologies are earth changing.
We won't need as much power to run our devices, the most will be to get sound to our ear-piece or the vision to our eyes, and we'll make use of screens and facilities around us. We won't need as many resources to make the gadgets and when we do update them
we'll be able to recycle the materials we use.
We are also having a revolution in energy storage and low energy lighting which will further reduce our energy usage.
You may want to do some serious number crunching, and even though your device makes the latest Roadrunner look tame, the sequence you need to plot to help that patient at work could be done quicker with a little borrowed processing power from fellow passengers
on your train and even thousands of others along the route. This sort of distributed computing and massively scalable processing will rapidly open the doors to endless scientific knowledge. Knowledge will of course be more readily shared, with anyone anywhere
able to participate in education which may be more like a game show than current teaching, complete with cash prizes. Let anyone become a scientist or a doctor. Distance learning will be completely enabled.
Trust is another important part of a better environment. Before too long I'll just pay a fee to drive a 'blue' car. It'll actually be a 'green' car but I have subscribed to the blue car service. I can just get in and drive any blue car I see parked anywhere
if it isn't reserved and being paid for by someone else. I'll punch in my destination into my mobile and it'll direct me to the nearest one. My mobile will also tell me if anyone else wants a ride to where I'm going, or even to somewhere along the way.
The car will direct me to pick them up on my way past and the charge for the journey will be shared, according to who is in charge and who is driving and going further. I might even get out at my destination and a passenger could continue on at the wheel
to their destination.
The more passengers I share with, the more priority I get on the road with preferential lanes and even 'sensitive' traffic lights which allocate priority to the most occupied stream of vehicles.
I once worked in robotics, mainly assembling cars, and realised that soon the cars will be made by a manufacturer and provided directly to end users, no sales. The manufacturer will make them as reliable and long lasting as possible, with modular designs to
make refurbishment easy (and more profitable). They won't actually sell the blue models to anyone, so that there is never any market in stolen 'blue green' cars or parts. No-one steals them, they just use them. China and India could lead the way here.
None of that will work without identity and accountability, enabling trust.
We need a revolution in the payment space and we also need trust, then we'll really be able to take advantage of the leaps and bounds scientists are enabling. Today and tomorrow.
The science for the payments and trust is already here and the rest isn't very far behind.