Yesterday, my wife and I were talking from Sonoma to friends of ours, a couple in NYC. We were using ichat on my wife’s Mac. Their kids, four and two came in and started talking with us. Of course we could also all see each other via the cameras on each computer. The kids were clearly use to this. I realized when they grow up they will think of today’s phone (especially the ones connected with wire) like most of us think of typewriters. Communications with others that are not in the same physical space will be just a capability of whatever it is that they use to connect to the net. It made me think of what will come after this.
I have always been speculating on the future of technology as you can see by this photo of my first mobile phone. As a young child, my heroes were Albert Einstein and Flash Gordon. Einstein still is my hero and as I get older, I get to look more like him. I never really looked like Flash Gordon but when I was young, I would have preferred to be him than Albert (Flash got the girls). My nick name was Flash when I was in my early teens but I think that came about because I moved so quickly and also because I was so thin that if I turned sides ways I would disappear.
So here is a prediction for 2050. People will be able to communicate with other people in a way that will come close to the experience of being actually with them, in other words, it will be immersive. This will include touch and yes, you can have sex this way but incidentally, some people do this via the phone. I probably will not be around at the time although it is possible I guess and I am not predicting communications with the dead by 2050 (and we will not go into the sex thing which is really icky).