Tomorrow’s World

Dan Farber excerpts comments made by Paul Saffo, director and Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for the Future, Craig Mundie, CTO, Microsoft, Farzad Nazem, CTO, Yahoo!, and Phil Wiser, vice president and CTO, Sony Corporation of America, at a Churchill Club panel:

Saffo: There is a shift from information to media and from mass media to personal media. The old media order really is collapsing.

Mundie: There will be some fundamental changes but they wont happen overnight. New technology wont arrive deus ex machinamost things needed to create change are already here and now its about reaching scale (e.g., high speed access). Planet-wide there are enough connected people and a young population to reach a tipping point. The biggest missing piece is the fact that the missing piece is not the same all over the world and the lack of cost effective broadband in the U.S. is frustrating.

Nazem: Grandma and the teenager should not see the same page in the same way. Personalization and relevance are key as people move their lives on-line. The missing pieces is low-cost broadband in the U.S. and the fact the Yahoos new music service doesnt work on all devices (iPod).

Wiser: The enterainment business, especially for consumer electronics, is about the quality of the experience. Personalization has to look at individuals interests and predict what they would want to do, which is not what traditional enterainment companies are good at. People who predict what would work well for consumers in the 25 hours a week they typically devote to entertainment will be winners. Some technologies, such as WiMax, may be disruptive to the content experience, and going into homes and delivering something out of band will change dynamics of entertainment market. Improved display technology is the next big driver for video content. Over the course of the next ten years, there will be an explosion of new brands. An open wireless broadband connectivity is needed for entertainmenta combination of wireless technologies and silicon so you can roam seamlessly.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.