Only a few decades ago, a computer could safely be described as a rather clunky, often beige machine. With the release of the personal computer (the PC), the look of computers has certainly changed to a more streamlined appearance. However, the basic components and functions of computers (tower, keyboard, monitor) have remained the same.
Technology is known to be a field that is rapidly changing and evolving. Many specialists have begun to speculate on the future of the computer’s appearance. Revolutionary changes are happening that will transform the appearance and the way we think of and interact with a computer. In 10 years, the computer will have a completely different look.
Death of the paper clips and scissors
Many of the design elements we see in modern computing are based on ordinary items found in the place it revolutionized: the office. Familiar office items such as a paper clip and a pair of scissors became synonymous with the functions attach and cut. Terms and functions such as folders, trash can and calculators are also remnants of the computer’s influence in the office. While office workers were the among the primary users of computers in the past, this is no longer true today. Computers have begun to reflect the change bringing about a new definition of the PC.
The look of future computers
If modern computers are based on the office metaphor, then what will computers look like in the next decade? The overwhelming idea is that computers will begin to reflect the individual and will be integrated into your everyday life. No longer will there be one central computer.
Computers will likely take on many different shapes sizes. Portability will be one of the major factors in the push for smaller devices. Computers will be small enough to be worn as a watch or even embedded into the skin. While these forms of computers are already present (such as the Apple Watch and various biomedical devices), they are expected to become much more common in the future.
As explained by Rana El-Kaliouby, chief strategy and science officer of Affectiva, computers will likely come equipped with many sensors, such as GPS and sensors design to read human emotions and facial expressions. The idea of a “personal” computer will become much more intimate. Charles M Lieber of Harvard University goes further, explaining that common computer peripherals (mouse, keyboard) may be replaced by a direct brain-to-computer interface. Even touch and voice interactions will begin to be changed into neural networks “talking” with computers directly through injections into the brain.
The PCs many people are used to won’t become totally obsolete in 10 years. Rather, it will look much more compact. RAM and storage will begin to be shifted into the CPU as the computer become more compact overall. An entire computer will be able to be stored on a single USB that can be inserted into a monitor or a smartphone.
The look of computers we’ve become accustomed to is likely going to be radically different in 10 years’ time. Our way of interacting with computers will certainly change as well as they become almost constant companions in our lives. The era of computing society will move into will see the rise of computers that are smaller, more compact and much more responsive to humans.