05-Sep-12 Tomorrow’s world?

In Blog, Personal on September 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm

As it’s Wednesday, it’s time for my weekly update on all things relating to technology and what’s caught my attention this week.

There was an interesting article that I received in my inbox this morning from IDG tomorrow’s tech cities. The article claims that by the middle of this century, the majority of people will be leaving in cities. I’m guessing because of urban sprawl and the simple growth of people on this planet.


It’s an interesting article that paints a very futuristic view on our cities with the focus on technology enabling how we live our lives. For those older blog readers out there, this article reminds me of a television programme called Tomorrow’s World, which was on in the 70’s (for the record, it was actually first aired in 1965, the year I was born and ran until 2003). It painted a very similar view of the future, where we would all have robots and travel about in flying cars!

Of course the reality is that our roads are gridlocked and robots have been introduced in limited supply, albeit dressed up as traffic wardens (well, no one else would do this job would they)?


Not the greatest photo, but yet another robot appears!

At work this week, we have now really started to define some key work we have to do with our Microsoft technical environment over the next 12 months. Due to restrictions around what I can release, I can only share that we need to migrate a number of Active Directory Forests and Domains to native environments over this period and the hard work in doing that is now being completely scoped out so we have the platform to deliver the latest and greatest corporate Microsoft products.

With all my active involvement in consumerisation type technologies and with the advent of cloud, the more technical of you out there must be wondering why we are following this route, but I can assure you this is more of a tactical development now before exploiting the newer opportunities in the future. Unfortunately you learn very quickly in IT that the ideal scenario is not always what you have to deliver in the short to medium term!

  1. Flying cars? Can you picture the chaos? And don’t get me started on how the traffic lights would work …

    A majority of the world’s population are today living in urban environments (the IDG report was rather confused on the dates), however most of them are in small towns. Mega-cities of the type you’re talking about remain home to relatively few of us (we, as Londoners, are exceptions). The reason for urbanisation is not to do with population growth or sprawl, as human habitation occupies only a tiny percentage of the land mass (less than 8% in a “densely-populated” country like the UK). It’s economic necessity: you won’t get rich as a farm labourer, so you move to town.

    As for robots, they’re everywhere. You need to remember that a robot is just an autonomous machine (i.e. it runs on its own rather than needing mechanical input), so every computer, fridge, digital TV etc is a robot. The picture above perpetuates the idea that all robots are androids, i.e. they look like people. At about the time the picture was taken, tea-making robots (e.g. the Teasmade) were to be found in many UK homes.

    Thc cities of the future will look much like the cities of today, because change is incremental and gradual. Next time you take a walk between station and home, check out how much of the visible environment was built more than 30 years ago (i.e. before the Web and mobile phones). In Central London, you can do the same exercise with a 100-year threshold and find relatively little that is new. There will be fibre-optic cables under the ground, a funky new bus shelter and perhaps digital parking meters, but most of the built environment is antique.

    In 50 years time we’ll still have most of the same houses, which means no space to park that flying car.

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