What’s Green, exciting, and then (hopefully) unnoticed?

In science fiction, we’ve long assumed that distance would disappear.  We do it with FTL travel so we can take our characters between planets the way we now travel between cities, we do it with instant communication devices, and we use teleportation.  We wave our science fictional hands at the challenges of communicating over great distances so regularly it’s a standard trope, and no longer needs to be explained.

Well, it’s also becoming more real.  Ever since a breakfast conversation I had at last summer’s Future in Review conference, I’ve been mulling telepresence (think of it as a video meeting done so well the technology disappears and you are simply talking to the individual.  The sounds are right, the feel and size and completeness are right, movement is natural).  There are high end telepresence tools out there now — and I think the market conditions are perfect for the prices to drop far and fast and the technology to become more ubiquitous.   Today’s best systems are really only in reach of big companies, but within a year or three the same quality may be available to much smaller businesses and to startups.

For my complete article on this topic, see my Today’s Tomorrows column at Futurismic.


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