I was reading PC Magazine’s 25th anniversary issue in which they have the evergreen “what will the future bring?” essays. I was struck by how much talk of medical stuff (nanobots, non-invasive diagnosis, ubiquitous this-and-that) there was. And then it struck me:
Just as they do with every damn thing, boomers define the mainstream concern as “What does this mean to me?” In the past 25 years (to take PC Mag’s benchmark) it went from work (what is technology about? Business productivity!) to family (what is technology about? HDTVs, Internet predators, and bluetooth-enabled minivans!) and now, of course, it will shift again.
What will technology be about for the 25 years? Getting old.
Just as you wish you’d written a spreadsheet program 25 years ago or Facebook 10 years ago (well, you would have been flushed away in the dot-com bust, but aside from that…), the thing to think about now are the killer applications for aging, whether that’s medical support, post-retirement money management, or Am I Wrinkly Or Not?