Innovation Perspectives – Future of Digital Relationships

by Steve Todd

This is the second of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘Thinking about the future: what big innovation do you expect within 10 years?’. Here is the next perspective in the series:

by Steve Todd

Innovation Perspectives - Future of Digital RelationshipsI believe that the biggest innovation coming in the next 10 years will be “how we relate to digital information”. If you believe this IDC report, the pace of digital information growth will not slow between now and 2020.

You can choose the bank that you put your money in, but do you know where the actual bits that represent your money are physically located? And do you know how well protected those bits actually are? If you did, would you choose to bank somewhere else? Does any of this matter?

How about the explosive amount of personal information you will be forced to administer? Where will you put all of your pictures, videos, and tax records? Will you have control over your health records? How can you effectively search your personal information to find what you are looking for? (hint: Google is not the answer)

Will corporations start tracking their information as a monetary asset? Will they be audited on where there information is and report on who has looked at it? Will they need to make sure that their digital bits never “cross the border” into another country?

Many different universities, corporations, and individuals are starting to suggest innovation in this interesting area. For example:

  1. MIT Media Lab: Take a look at the information ecology group at the Media Lab, and read about the great ideas they come up with when considering ways to “connect our physical environments with information resources”. Perhaps my favorite is the proverbial wallet, which contains a hinge that tightens when the balance in your electronic bank account drops!
  2. Corporate Intrapreneurs: some of the most interesting research on personal information search is occurring at EMC Research Beijing. These intrapreneurs have recognized that private, locally-owned personal information cannot be effectively searched using Google-style page rank algorithms. They are claiming that the best way to search vast amounts of information would be to use associative memory techniques. Read the paper to learn more.
  3. High Profile Tech Bloggers: one of the top bloggers in the area of high-tech information is Chuck Hollis. He theorizes that information may become an asset like gold, or diamonds. The big difference, of course, is that we know the physical location of our gold and our diamonds, but not necessarily our information. We may see the rise of new, innovative tools that can be used by an informationist.

Over the next 10 years, the amount of innovation that will occur in the area of information management and interfaces will be huge. If you want to watch many of these innovations develop, consider subscribing to the MIT Media Lab RSS Feed.

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You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles from the different contributing authors on ‘Thinking about the future: what big innovation do you expect within 10 years?’ by clicking the link in this sentence.


Steve ToddSteve Todd is a high-tech inventor and author of the book “Innovate With Influence“. An EMC Intrapreneur with over 150 patent applications and billions in product revenue, he writes about innovation on his personal blog, the Information Playground.

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  1. Nice blog and a very important topic, one we have been working on for the last 1.5 years – take a look at http://www.aboutone.com
    Steve – do you want to give your feedback if I show you a demo?
    Joanne

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