n 2019, when you look back at the social media landscape ten years earlier, you might laugh at how hard you had to work. You had to type things into forms (ha! remember those?), type URLs in the address bar (how archaic!), and put up with irritating communications about irrelevant products. Social media in the future will be effortless and everywhere. Here’s a look at some of the new technologies in store for us over the next 10 years that will make our social (media) lives easier.
1. The Arduino – One Tough Little Italian
2. RFID Tags & Transponders
For a number of years RFID tags have been used in passports, ID cards, travel cards and credit cards as a means to identify us when scanned, and they are used commercially for inventory tracking. Brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Levis and Kleenex have experimented with RFID tags to track their inventory at an item-level. Transponders can be made as small as a grain of sand and can be produced very cheaply. So it is widely thought that they may one day be installed in everything from a packet of biscuits to a pair of underpants.
3. Geomagnetic Sensors in Mobile Devices
But the real world applications are many. For example, let’s say that you’ve just come out of a subway at a roundabout, and the first thing you do is take out your GPS-enabled phone’s mapping application to see where you need to walk to get to your friends waiting for you at a bar. In order to orientate yourself correctly, you’ll need to find street names. But if you happen to be in London, where I live, you know that street names are rarely in convenient places, they’re usually hidden behind trees and other signs (where’s the fun otherwise?). So a compass heading is a perfect way to let you know which direction you roughly need to walk in. Likewise, if you want to scan an area at a certain location for a great place to eat, your device is going to need a heading in order to overlay information over the top of your screen.
4. Optical Pattern Recognition & Augmented Reality
That scenario is pretty far-fetched, but it’s one potential promise of Biometric Face Recognition technology that is already used by police and security services to help identify known criminals. 3 years ago Google acquired Neven Vision, a company that provides such technology. Google reported that it is using this technology in its Picasa product to help keep your personal photos organized without you needing to do any of the actual organizing.
5. OpenID, OAuth, and the Identity Graph
OpenID is an open authentication protocol that lets users use a single set of login credentials for every site they visit. It’s already in use at hundreds of smaller websites and large sites like Facebook are starting to accept OpenID accounts. Once you’ve authenticated, a second open protocol called OAuth will help you share data about yourself with other sites you use. OAuth lets your grant authorization to sites to collect data from other places you participate online, which ultimately could eliminate the need to fill in redundant information about your profile and who your friends are at each new site you use.
Together, these technologies could essentially eliminate the need to fill out forms and register for sites all together.
6. Mind Reading
The idea of being able to control an interface without the use of your fine motor skills has massive implications for human computer interaction. Consider the ability to tweet what you’re thinking without having to pull your phone out of your pocket, type your message and hit send. Imagine being able to think ‘Facebook’ and your screen presents you with an overview of your friend’s activity stream. This method of interaction is at a very experimental stage but there are proofs-of-concept that exist. Most of this kind of innovation is currently intended to help people with limited motor skills, and not lazy social media addicts, however.
7. Natural Language Processing
Firefox’s Ubiquity is one project that’s attempting to change the way we interact with the web by allowing people to use natural language commands. Further, in the future, applications might exist that could analyze your tweets or comments with NLP, and suggest people or brands for you to follow.