There was a time, not so long ago, when each year was filled with the promise of a brand new entertaining product.
A phone, an MP3 player, a camcorder a laptop, or everything combined.
In the few past years, a lot of industries have focused on how to bring the most entertaining things in the pocket of everyone.
The story is known by all of us, and that’s how we jumped in the space of 10 years from a society of fragmented entertainment to an age of permanent and ultra-connected entertainment.
The era of miniaturisation at the service of human instigated by Steve Jobs had seemingly reached its end two years ago, when the firm (and its concurrents) were unable to release something really fresh, new, and exciting. At least on the surface.
What all those guys did during the last decade was to propose a better life experience to the masses. They tried, and succeeded (for better and worst), in creating a new way of life, and some levels of interaction that were not thinkable before.
Now, as the possibilities of evolution in entertainment seem smaller, what could be a real revolution ?
What’s the next revolution ?
IBM has started the reflection some times ago and the fruits of their work will surely give the kickstart to a whole bunch of new tools as you can read it in that interesting article : http://www.fastcompany.com/3028157/most-innovative-companies-2014/how-ibm-is-using-nanotechnology-to-tackle-mrsa-and-hiv
So, this is not a surprise if the rumours of Apple working on some medical projects are amplifying.
The body is the zeitgeist. It’s the key of the future, and the battlefield of tech industries for the next years.
Because the amelioration of everyday life is not only a matter of entertainment.
You can listen your music everywhere or be able to communicate with someone at the opposite side of the world without trouble, but what if everything that bothers you on a day to day basis is still a pain in the arse to manage ?
The main question now is : How you’ll bring tools that would eventually prevent or cure diseases in the way that is less constraining than the actual ones ?
How will you help people with a disease in a more human and elegant way that it was done before ?
If you think of the number of people suffering from diseases requiring a constant monitoring or a day to day treatment (diabete, HIV, asthma, etc…), it’s easy to imagine the size of the room that is left for improvement.
Imagine for one second some everyday life equipments as discrete as were iPhones and iPods.
Some equipments that will help you forgetting the sickness by making some of its inherent annoyances less present.
It’s obvious that we will see that kind of things emerge in a very near future.
And it will not only concern people stroke by a sickness, but also “healthy” people.
With a constant crave for datas, the potential is also enormous on that field.
See how many apps and systems have emerged since the two last years (FuelBand, FitBit, etc..) that allow you to track your sleep, your calories, your steps, etc ?
All of that datas, correctly exploited could help us to live better lives by regulating our bad habits or in the best case scenario, our environment (for example, what could be make in an area with a lot of people suffering from the same type of allergia ?).
The downside, however will still reside in the privacy and in some ethical questions as well as in the price of such innovations.
It’s not necessary to say that giving your tastes, your address or your credit card number to a company will be a small leap of faith comparing to the act of giving them more personal datas concerning your health troubles or stats.
Questions like, where those datas will be stored, and by whom will they be exploited will be at the center of the debate. Not as an option, but as a cornerstone of the development of that kind of tools.
And if the future is going that way, I trully hope that some improvements will be made in terms of privacy.
For the last parameter, the price, we still have to hope that those tools will be accessible to the masses.
And those for the most evident reason : sickness is not (only) a matter of health, age, or region. However, in a society build upon an economic system far to be fair, an limited access is something that can be feared.
The results of a such politic could be a disaster. With a fracture between some classes becoming more prominent than they are today, in an area where we should be treated equally.
Anyway, I’m more than excited by these new perspectives and promises, and what they could bring to many of us.
I’m firmly convinced that nanotechnologies and tech industries could show us a way to a better life and future.
Let’s hope that this promises will not be sacrificed on the altar of profit.