mixing the real and the virtual
BT futurologist Lesley Gavin looks ahead, in a BBC News article, to a time when real and virtual worlds mix as easily as making a mobile phone call.

“In the future these environments [social networking sites, 3D virtual environments and real world mega-clubs that offer numerous different themed environments under one roof] are likely to merge. Interfaces will improve, and more specifically, personalised applications will be built on top of them.

Virtual worlds will also become integrated with real environments. Buildings or public spaces may offer virtual world counterparts.”

- Read full story
- Read a critique of this approach by Andy Polaine

Previous BBC News foresight articles on the future of technology include contributions by:

  • Charles Stross, science fiction writer, on a future in which all human experience is recorded on devices the size of a grain of sand;
  • Greg Papadopoulos, CTO of Sun Microsystems, who calls for technology and design to be married to people’s needs (see also here);
  • Bradley Horowitz, head of technology development at Yahoo! on the “internet of things”;
  • Dave Winer, software developer (blog, wikipedia) offering his personal view on technologies he would like to see in existence one day;
  • Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype and Joost, on how the collaborative aspect of the internet will shape the technologies of the future (see also here).

Meanwhile science-fiction novelist William Gibson (he coined the word “cyberspace”) has given up on trying to imagine the future, because he says “we have no idea at all now where we are going”. [via Lunch over IP]