G’ Day Mates! With a brand new president being sworn in not too long ago, the world collectively enters a new chapter of society. When Barrack Obama, first president from the X-Generation took office 8 years ago, many of the adults of today were just children and teenagers, so how long is it going to be before a new generation of people starts to be born, radically different from the generation prior, and what can we expect from them? If you know anything about predicting the future, you know one thing: you have to start with the past. So, where do we start?
After doing a ton of research, I’ve found that the aforementioned Generation X is where most of the action starts, and where humanity began a long trend into a future where art and technology may become one in the same. So, who (or what) exactly is Generation X?
The X-Generation is often considered to include those born in the 60’s and 70s’ with the new teenage demographic coming to age in the 80s. However for this article, I won’t be focusing on who falls into the generation, but more on what it stands for. The new generation had tons of media at their disposal by this point: movies, radio, tv, and the soon to be cable tv are all well developed by this point, and it’s time for a 100 year old dream to come to fruition: the computer. Never had the world seen such a technological marvel before, and with companies like IBM, Apple, and Commodore bringing the invention to the average consumer, Generation X would become the founding fathers of the internet as we know it, which would go on to influence their progeny –
The Millennials, a direct product of Generation X, this so called Generation Y would go on to be the smartest generation in human history, and would go on to enter the next phase of computer technology: the internet. We had the hardware, now what we needed was the software, which was largely brought on by the new network of information floating around on servers. They had the computers popularized by their parents, just as their parents had the media to popularize such an idea for the in the first place, so it wasn’t long before websites like Google, Facebook, and YouTube started to show up, becoming three of the most trafficked places in the world.
It’s at this point that we can start to consider what’s going to go down in the future, because we’ve reached an impasse: time. We’re currently living in the millennials world, and the next generation of people, Generation Z, are still pretty young by comparison, clocking in at no older than 20 or so, but probably closer to 9 and 10. When Generation Z grows up, they’ll be able to make full use of their parents and grandparents computer technology.
Now that we have an understanding of the three generations we’ll be focusing on, we can finally get on to answering the title question. This article was originally going to be about three times as long (in fact, I already had most of it typed out), but upon further inspection, I decided that what have above was sufficient to understanding the theme we need to explore next: the evolution of entertainment. You see, computers and the internet are not just business machined anymore; they have become vessels for the modern consumer to interact with art and media, sort of like all in one machine. If you don’t want to go out to see a movie, you can buy or rent the DVD to play on your PC, and if that wasn’t good enough, you could stream it online. If you wanted to listen to your favorite music, you would just buy the CD, and if that wasn’t good enough, you could just stream it online. Following in this trend, what comes after online? Fans of this series will recall the article I did on VR a while back, that is, Virtual Reality.
However, if you believe that this technology is the next step, you’re probably wrong. As we learned in the article, VR is most likely just a buffer point in technology, and what comes after it is the real contender: augmented reality. While the tech is cool, I sort of unintentionally romanticized it a bit, considering it has the potential to put every entertainer (including myself) out of a job. Since the whole point of augmented reality is to create a virtual world to the exact specifications of the user that is so real, it’s impossible to tell the difference between what is real and fake; it becomes apparent that a lot of people may never want to leave such a place. If you need a movie to watch, you dream up one. Music? Video Games? It’s all the same.
Predicting Tech through the Next Generation
Now that we know the generations, the techs they helped to bring to life, and what that tech is going to likely be, when can we be expecting this to happen? In my original post, I don’t believe I gave a time estimate, but I'll be nonetheless doing one here; this is where the generations come in. A social generation usually has birth dates with a 20 year range, usually beginning at one decade and ending at another, usually with some overlap. The X’ers were born in the 60’s and 70’s, most reaching adulthood by the 80’s. The millennials were born from the 80’s to 90’s, most reaching adulthood by the 00’s. Finally, the Z Generation’s birth dates are loose, but range from the 00’s to the 10’s, and will mostly be coming to age in the 20’s. Using what we know about the generations innovation from the first part of this article, computers rose in popularity during the hay day of X, the internet rose in popularity during the adulthood of the millennials, and with AR as our next technology, does that mean we can expect it to be coming to life by the time the Z’s head off to college in the 20’s? I think it’s fair to say that. Most of the worlds next huge innovations are already heating up: the internet of things, 5G communication, gene therapy, hyper trains, AI, and even AR are all being worked on as we speak. Once a new workforce gets into that market, it could be simply a matter of time before all those things get released into the world for us to use.
So, in short
Using the principle that most major technological innovations come out around the adulthood of the social generations, we can predict that the next said innovation will be around the 2020’s, maybe the 2030’s when the next generations leaves college. This includes augmented reality, which I believe will be one of the key innovations of the time.
Thanks for reading everyone! If you liked the article, or thought it was interesting, please feel free to give me a like, or a comment to help show your support. If you want to help add to my research, I’d be open to that (just don’t forget to leave a comment down below!). If you’re interested in this kind of stuff, you can check out this website here. It has all sorts of predictions for the near and far future, and is a good resource if you want to start exploring some of these complex ideas. Once again, thanks for reading! There’ll be more posts coming out this week, so don’t touch that dial!
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