We will become Harry Potters

Writes Jakob Nielsen in an article entitled “In the Future, We’ll All Be Harry Potter”, stating:

The world of magic is a world where inanimate objects come alive; it’s as if they had computational power, sensors, awareness, and connectivity.

By saying that we’ll one day be like Harry Potter, I don’t mean that we’ll fly around on broomsticks or play three-dimensional ballgames (though virtual reality will let enthusiasts play Quidditch matches). What I do mean is that we’re about to experience a world where spirit inhabits formerly inanimate objects.

Much of the Harry Potter books’ charm comes from the quirky magic objects that surround Harry and his friends. Rather than being solid and static, these objects embody initiative and activity. This is precisely the shift we’ll experience as computational power moves beyond the desktop into everyday objects.

Edge Power

Writes Arnod Kling:

The Internet lowers the cost of the tools of communication and creativity, making them affordable to individuals and small businesses. This phenomenon might be called Edge Power, because it increases power around the “edges” of the network, in contrast with broadcast media, where power is centralized.

There is a striking generation gap between media empires that were built before the Internet and those that grew up as Web businesses. Companies that were formed on the Internet treat Edge Power as a feature. Traditional media companies treat Edge Power as a bug.

Think of Emergic, which plans to make computing affordable for the next generation of users – especially those in the emerging markets, as an Edge Power. Emergic empowers today’s Edges, and brings them to the Centre.


Scott Rosenberg’s comment:

The phenomena [Supernova] focused on, a grab bag of new technologies that have bubbled up from the humbled high-tech world in the post-crash era, are mostly geek driven and grassroots spread: Wi-Fi (802.11b), the wireless high-speed Net access method; blogs; and “Web services,” a fuzzy term to describe new methods of directly and quickly connecting software applications and data across the Net.

These disparate boomlets share an “end to end” design: They rely on the power of individual users’ computers — there’s no big, centrally operated piece of software or hardware mediating. The users connect across an open, “stupid” network — the Internet itself, today — that simply moves information without worrying about what it is. The resulting software is ad hoc, impromptu, flexible, “lightweight.” Empowered individuals at the ends of the network try out new ideas and build myriad new services. It’s geek heaven.

What’s missing from this picture? Dollars and cents. That’s not to say there are no business models in the land of decentralization.

Am not sure about the “no business models” part – I think we’ve probably just not discovered them yet.