The 100 new computers that will be in your life

Look around you right now and count up all the computing devices you have. What did you come up with? Is it more than your PC and smartphone?

Within the next five years individuals will have 20 computing items with them. If you think that’s scary, society is working its way towards 100 new computers that will be in your life in the not too distance future.

This new ultra thin computing era has not only produced pints-size netbooks, but also a toothbrush with wifi capability. The German company Braun under its Oral B brand has produced the Triumph 9900 Smartguide toothbrush with wifi. The toothbrush is used with an remote display unit that sections off your mouth into four areas and informs you that each one will need 30 seconds of thorough brushing. What makes the intelligent toothbrush attractive to buyers is that parents no longer have to needle their children to brush their teeth. For example, the toothbrush can update your child’s Facebook page indicating that little Tommy or Sara didn’t brush this morning.

Jay McBain, speaking as parent, said that there is no better motivator for kids than peer pressure. “Can you imagine going to school knowing your friends will know you skipped brushing your teeth?”

McBain, who is also the director of small and medium size business for Lenovo Americas, said this new era of ultra thin computing devices with low voltage chips is a positive step for pervasive computing. He believes that people will have 20 to 30 maybe even 40 new computers in their future. “This is all-day computing and you’ll need an all-day type of battery and low voltage makes you get thinner and it allows the technology to go into different devices,” he said.

McBain wrote a paper outlining the 20 computers that you may have in the future. For a complete list click here.

McBain believes that everything that has a battery or can be run off of electricity will be smarter with a Web connection. And, it starts with your dull clock radio.

The clock radio could contain a dedicated package of news, weather and traffic for your awakening. That news package can be carried with you to your car with In-Car Computing.

With safety compliance issues with cars and smartphones today your In-Car computer can act as a smart device receiving and submiting text messages while you drive keeping your hands on the wheel. McBain sees drivers talking to the car radio that will have an Internet connection with heads-up display and GPS. Car computers such as Microsoft’s Sync in-car digital system will give you email and be able to convert voice messages to text.

If you are planning a fishing trip in the future the boat may contain something called FishFinder. This waterproof device with video and audio capability won’t disturb the fish, but by using Google you’ll be able to find some along with Doppler radar for sea conditions and weather reports.

Currently at the retailer Costco there is an Internet-enabled treadmill that will also be driven by social media.

For example, a runner using this machine could plan a run on Google Earth and broadcast it via Twitter or Facebook. Now his or her friends can run the route together. “When it’s posted all your friends can trash talk you or egg each other on because they too are connected,” McBain said.

This treadmill using Google Earth will enable runners to look and see their friends in an Avatar format on the display.

“Everyday items you never think of can be a computing device in the future,” McBain said.

Lenovo is not necessarily building the next high tech toothbrush or treadmill, but they are testing out many ideas for everyday computing such as its slate notebook the U1 which is expected to be made available in 2011. Or the company’s integrated All-in-One desktops.

Lenovo in China has entered the mobile space. There are no plans as of yet for the Canadian market, McBain said, but he believes that 80 per cent of devices will be connected and Lenovo will be playing in this mobile world.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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