How will we communicate in 2023? Who will we work with?
Smart Public Transport/Smart People
Today we can share our calendars and locations with friends, track buses via GPS, and check the train timetable with smart phones. These technologies let us make use of public transport and our own time much more efficiently than we could previously. What if, in 2023, you shared your electronic calendar for the week with the bus company? The bus company could schedule services based on people’s calendars. They could charge a small premium for guaranteeing to fit in with your calendar, while charging less to those who have more flexibility. You wouldn’t need to check the timetable, your phone would tell you when to get to the bus stop or let you know when the bus is about to pull up in front of your house.
Making Large-Scale, Complex Calculations Very Quickly
A Quantum computer uses quantum mechanics to make calculations. It has the potential to solve complex problems much faster than the digital computers we are familiar with today. Quantum computers have the potential to be really good at doing certain calculations, from large scale, complex logistics to cracking passwords (though they aren’t great for things like gaming). Quantum computing is currently at the equivalent state that digital computing was in the 1920’s. At the moment, quantum computing doesn’t exist outside laboratories. In 2023, quantum computing will provide the ability to manage things like large, distributed energy grids and calculating optimal traffic flow routes through congested systems that challenge current computers. Quantum computers have the power to be much, much more powerful than digital computers, but writing code for quantum computers will demand a much deeper mathematical knowledge than today’s digital coding does. What could this powerful computational power be used to do in 2023? What could we co-ordinate and organise with it?
Shared Access To High Powered Telescopes
Today, some astronomical institutions are putting data out for crowdsourcing and amateur astronomers are making big discoveries like seeing and finding new asteroids. In 2023, with a combination of improved telescope technology and a much more embedded culture of crowdsourcing, might we vastly increase our capacity for discovering whether there are Earth-like planets around our nearest stars? If more people are contributing to analysing the data from big telescopes, will they also want more of a say about where the telescopes point?
Currently, wireless technology coverage is only comprehensive in the highest urbanised areas in New Zealand. Where it is available, 3G has given many remote users unfettered access to information, culture and knowledge from the globe they have never had access to before. However, it is far from equally distributed. Many people in New Zealand rural communities and lower socio-economic groups don’t have this access currently. India, China and some other countries are currently investing in technologies to make Wifi permanently available in remote rural areas. Some of these areas are larger than the New Zealand land mass. Over the next 10 years, the cost of technology to provide Wifi will decrease. What if, in 2023, it was no longer possible to go ‘beyond the grid’ on mainland New Zealand? All communities, including the poorer and rural communities that don’t have Wifi would have access to information and data. What if you really could run your high-tech world-leading business ANYWHERE in New Zealand, no matter how remote? What would this mean for our current concept of business? What would this mean for the viability of our poorer and more remote communities? What would it take to get this technology in New Zealand?
Future Uses For Magnetic Sensors
Today we have magnetic sensors in smartphones able to work as simple metal detectors or compasses for navigating using the Earth’s magnetic field. In 2023, we will embed low power, high sensitivity magnetic sensors all over our cities to monitor and transmit many useful pieces of information such as the amount and type of traffic on roads, whether a car park is empty or not, or whether the steel supports on a bridge have cracked and need repair.