This post from Sphere Founder and CEO Charles Armstrong was first published by VentureBeat for its 2013 Mobile Summit…
Running a mobile–centric platform, I'm completely inspired by technology's present metamorphosis. More than ever, our devices are becoming human, tailored to our lives and empowering us with new opportunities to connect and learn. So where will this leave us after today's tweeters and Angry Birds have left the nest? Here's a look at my vision through the eyes of a twenty–something in the year 2020.
The brief tune of Marimba. Not “a marimba,” but “Marimba.” It should be pleasant. It was pleasant at one point, but now it just signals a daily transition for Lucy. A connecting of flights between her dreams and reality.
Alarm off. Facebook open. Last night, Lucy posted much of her recent trip to Greece. She’d had a great time. Athens was almost obligatory, but her favorite leg was hopping among the Aegean Islands. While in Thasos, she was able to partake in the annual carnival. Later, while reliving the moment, she concluded that the festivity’s jubilant music and colors best epitomize the richness of Greece. She marked that moment as a cover for the entire Greece chapter of her lifepath.
Like nearly everyone in this not too distant future, Lucy records a copy of the world just about everywhere she goes. “Copy” is an appropriate term because unlike photos or video, her saved moments are complete. The spheres she records capture every detail, in all directions, at once. They capture other things too, like the time, location, and various forms of contextual personal, chronological and social data. Seemingly overnight, we found ourselves with access to an endless volume of recorded lifepaths, defying the cardinal rules of space and time by giving mankind the ability to re–navigate the world and events, on demand.
So what did Lucy’s friends say about Greece? Well, she got a lot of Likes. Mom and Dad relived every moment she shared. A dozen of her friends had a Hangout in one of her moments — a beautiful sunset from the roof of her Panagia hotel. And Becky says Lucy “should just ditch the whole admin thing and be the next Anthony Bourdain.” lol.
Lucy moves onto the next content stream in her morning lineup …Wait, what’s this? SeoulMama09. A couple of taps later, and Lucy is enamored. This woman has a particularly interesting view of Korea — one that surprises Lucy. Seoul… hmmm. She decides to load up the most popular sphere from SeoulMama’s lifepath. Instantly, Lucy’s tablet is transformed into a window — like a periscope — through space time. As she points her device up/down/left/right, its screen reveals a corresponding angle from SeoulMama’s view. It’s as if she has joined SeoulMama in experiencing the city.
The area looks a bit like Shibuya, Lucy observes. At this moment she is standing in the middle of an X-shaped crosswalk. Tall buildings surround her on all sides. Bright lights are everywhere, some flashing. Instead of feeling overwhelmed though, Lucy gets swept up in the moment. She enjoys the cacophony of foreign voices. Everyone is rushing somewhere, even at this dark hour. Somehow, they’re all very stylish — much more than what she’s used to at home.
Lucy is easily influenced by vibrant shopping districts at night. In fact, some analysis engines have already recognized that this disproportionately influences her travel decisions. But beyond travel, this technology influences Lucy’s fashion preferences too. So, it enriches her appreciation of foods, further immerses her in many forms of entertainment, and deepens her appreciation of many things on both local and global scales.
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