The next big thing that will transform the way we live is the fifth wave of computing. What’s so surprising about the fifth wave? And why is it so important?
We have lived through four waves of computing to date - mainframes, microcomputers, personal computers, and mobile. Many people assume the next big thing is information technology. It’s not. As you will see in today's article, inspired by Dan Kaufman, the next big thing in tech is actually… everyday things. These things will be powered by technology that makes them smart and more helpful to our lives but that disappears completely and doesn’t impact the intended use case of the objects. A smart jacket will keep you warm and dry while also providing an interface to your digital life, for example.
Just to create the context for you, Dan Kaufman was one of our international speakers and industry leaders that had to join us at GoTech World 2021, your go-to technology & business event here in Romania. His keynote speech revolved around AI, IoT, and 5G hat will soon become more widespread and noticeable in everyday life, known as the 5th wave of computing.
The development of information systems substantially improved the transactional environment with new communication methods and more efficient forms of management of production and distribution systems. This spawned new industries related to personal computing devices, mainly computer manufacturing and software programming, but more recently, e-commerce platforms.
Moreover, it created space for the key technologies that are likely to be the drivers of the 6th wave, that are already in place and mainly include robotics, automation, digitalization, and sustainability. Digitalization implies a high level of information technologies in goods and services as well as for their management and operations.
The first and most important question is how this impacts our life.
Let’s just take some examples of tech ideas and solutions, developed by Google ATAP and determined by the 5th wave technology. Sleep Sensing, for example, can help you better understand the things that keep you from a more restful sleep and what you can do to wake up feeling refreshed. Another ATAP technology, Jacquard—which turns fabric into a touch-sensitive surface so items such as jean jackets and backpacks can sport user interfaces – and, if we were to stay in the sports area, a collaboration between Google, Adidas, and EA, powered a new smart insole for soccer enthusiasts that can convert real-world soccer kicks into rewards inside EA’s FIFA Mobile game.
It makes our lives easier, and this technology also improves the quality of life for people with disabilities. The 5th wave made it possible for Jacquard technology to create a soft, interactive patch or sleeve that allows people to access digital, health, and security services with simple gestures. This woven technology can be worn or positioned on a variety of surfaces and locations, adjusting to the needs of each individual.
Okay, what’s the catch though?
We are so absorbed by the idea of Metaverse and creating these virtual perfect lives. But what if it is actually about something else? A massive switch to things, to the material & tangible world, but not how we used to see it. Not in a manner of accumulation, but rather in a manner of meaning. Not in a manner of absolute productivity, but rather in a manner of utility and accessibility. As Sergey Brin and Larry Page said, “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
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