Future of Money

Things have changed. Things have changed a lot. Never mind the first civilizations that took place centuries ago, but just consider 1950’s. (I think it is funny for a person born in 1986 to say that :), but let’s admit it, things have changed dramatically in most aspects of life since then.) So did the money, and the way we purchase.

In first civilizations, people used barter. They exchanged livestock or crops that had personal values for them. Then they started using shells for medium of exchange. Later metal coins came into stage. Then the banknotes and then the credit cards appeared.

We are not seeing that much of banknotes going around us in daily life any more. Most of the payments are made by credit cards or transferred digitally via banks. To speak for myself, I only use cash when I use taxi or buy a bottle of water from a store.

The future of money has been a hot topic. Although money’s form has changed a lot, it is expected to be changed more. (I think it is gonna vanish 🙂 ). With the rise of smart phones, tech and finance companies try to use the smart phones as a digital wallet which people can use for their purchases.

These smart mobile phones have been already doing a lot in terms of financial issues. For example, more than one third of smart phone users  in United States have used mobile banking services and 90% of them check account balances and recent transactions, 42% of them transfer funds and 12% of them have made payments such as paying bills online. Also according to a research from comScore 38% of smart phone owners have used their cell phone to make a purchase of some kind, with digital goods (such as music, e-books or movies), clothing and accessories, tickets and daily deals leading the way as the most popular mobile retail categories.1

Although digital wallets or mobile payments are not widespread yet, companies have already proposed some solutions. Google launched Google Wallet in partnership with CitiBank and Mastercard based on near field communication technology (NFC).  Another NFC based payment system called ISIS will be piloting in partnership between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Visa, American Express, Discover and MasterCard.1 This system works by tapping or taking  the smart phone closer to the point of purchase hardware in collaborated retails. Paypal and square applications offer mobile payment alternatives for retailers by embedding an extra hardware (plug-in) where customers can swipe their credit card and complete the payment. You can watch the videos below to understand how it actually works.

Google Wallet

 

Paypal

 

Square

 

I think all parties that are involved in mobile payment sector waits for Apple’s move, since they didn’t launch a dramatic application or hardware related to this topic. Since Apple has already credit card information of millions of users because of iTunes, a clever move of theirs can change the rules how this game is played.

Very recently Apple launched an application called Passbook, which collects all your store cards, gift cards and coupons(generated in related iOS apps) in one place, enables localized notifications for already bought tickets or owned loyalty cards and makes Apple approved way purchases available. It is not a digital wallet alternative right now but who knows if it is going to return into one soon? For more information on Passbook you can click here.

In my own opinion these mobile digital wallets have many advantages over the traditional one :). It does collect all your financial information in one place which saves you from carrying multiple cards and cash. It can use your location info for more convenient experience and track and save your purchasing behavior in order to use for customized promotions.

I am eagerly waiting for widespread adoption of mobile payment services. It will be much more comfortable and easy for costumers.

References:

1http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2012/PIP_Future_of_Money.pdf

55 Future Jobs that Don’t Exist Today

I just read an article about future jobs by Thomas Fray. Actually he has very broad insights about the future. You can find more information about him and his works from this link.

I totally agree that most of the jobs we see today will not exist in future. We improve technology so fast that i think most of us will witness this dramatic change. Thomas Fray listed 55 future jobs, and I took 10, which i thought was the most interesting.  Below I will detail most of the job titles in my own words, and you can access the original article from this link. For people seeking jobs, investing in one these areas can be a smart thing to do.

1. Augmented Reality Architects: As the online and offline worlds intertwine more than ever, in future most of the physical objects will have augmented reality function.

2. Business Colony Managers: “The average person that turns 30 years old in the U.S. today has worked 11 different jobs. In just 10 years, the average person who turns 30 will have worked 200-300 different projects. Business colonies are an evolving new kind of organizational structure designed around matching talent with pending work projects. ” More information on this link.

3. Avatar Designers: Soon Avatars will appear as visual beings start to walk around, carry out conversations and stand-in at meetings for us. More info on this link.

4. 3D Food-Printer Engineers: Soon we will be able to create the perfect food for us, 3D food printers are on the way. More info here.

5. Book-to-App Converters: “With both being information products that we interface with differently, we will begin to see a large scale effort to convert existing books and literature into an interactive app, similar to the current effort to convert popular literature from print to audio books.”

6. Social Education Specialists: People learn from each other and it will be more important to create circles of friends, that we heavily rely on for valuable information. It will be important to be in people’s circles.

7. Privacy Managers: If you think you already lost most of your privacy, I would like to tell you that this is just the beginning. Obtaining the perfect privacy-transparency balance will require professional help. More info on this link.

8. Data Hostage Specialists: As more valuable data can be collected by firms/organizations/people, people hostages will be replaced by data hostages. Data-hostage negotiators will rise.

9. Organ Agents: “The demand for transplantable organs is exploding and people who can track down and deliver healthy organs will be in hot demand.”

10. Elevated Tube Transport Engineers: “The next big infrastructure project on planet earth will be a human and cargo transport system designed around a network of vacuum tubes with maglev tracks. Operating at less than 2% of the cost of today’s car, truck, jet, ship, and train systems, this emerging tube transport system will be a massive undertaking that demands talented new-age thinkers for decades to come.” More details here.

Top 10 Forecasts for 2012

I have been into futurism, more than ever before. It is just so exciting to see the latest improvements in technology and its side or direct effects on our daily lives. When I think about the old civilizations that took place thousands of years ago, I cant help but feel grateful for living in 2000ths. By then you would be lucky to live 30 years, finding food was a big issue, and there were a lot of threats to your life. There was no light, no heater, nothing to read and learn. For me it sounds very boring.

When I think about of 50 years ago, still it sounds very boring. By then, it was not that easy to travel to other parts of the world, meeting people from other cultures, listening the music you wanted, watching the movies you liked. Or still if you get a severe disease, you were not very likely to survive easily.

And just think about the moment we live in. You don’t have to wait for the radio to play your favorite song. It is just a few clicks away. Even Youtube can suggest music according to your taste, and you can discover new songs. You can watch your favorite movie online any time you like. You can access a tremendous amount of information anytime. Everything is in abundance. (We hope to use renewable energy more in the future of course, so that we don’t run out of resources)

And when I imagine the future, it gets more and more exciting. Everything will be much easier. Probably there will be no schools, no sick or blind people, no traffic and I imagine there will be no airplane crushes or people dying because of collapsing buildings in earthquakes 🙂 (I am sure they can find a solution to some of the problems we face currently)

I came across this amazing video on internet. It is prepared by World Future Society. I think it is an incredible source. I encourage everyone to follow it.

According to the video;

  1. Learning will become more social and game based, and online social gaming will soon replace textbooks in schools.
  2. Commercial space tourism will grow significantly the coming decade.
  3. Nanotechnology and biomimicry offer hope for restoring sight. (Can you believe this? People will not have to live blind for whole their lives.)
  4. Future buildings may be more responsive to weather fluctuations.
  5. The end of identity as we know it: It will be easier than ever to create a new identity or identities for ourselves.
  6. Robotic earthworms will gobble up our garbage.
  7. Lunar based solar power production may be the best way to meet future energy demands.
  8. Machine vision will become available in the next 5 to 15 years and grow more sophisticated over time.
  9. The dust bowls of 21th century will dwarf those seen in twentieths. (This is not a good news of course)
  10. Advances in fuel cells will enable deep-sea habitation.

You can watch the video below for more details or you can visit Ray Kurzweil website. There are very valuable information.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Futurist David Passig has shared his thoughts about the coming technologies in near future. The article is based on the the changes we will face from 2012 to 2050, and he asserts many of these technological changes will take place very soon,  such as 2012. The original article can be accessed from this link (It is in Turkish). The article lists 25 foresight, and I decided to write a post about every item in detail.

Today I will talk about Near Field Communication. Basically it is the wireless communication between two devices located very near to each other, like a few centimeters. It enables simple and secure interactions and allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with a single touch. When compared to Wi-Fi or BlueTooth, it is operating on a very short range and it is much slower than the other two technologies but what is magical about NFC is that when two NFC supported devices come together, they are setting up a connection  immediately, without a need to discovery ( as in Wi-Fi), to pair up or to enter passwords. It can also contact to passive targets, such as stickers or posters, that have chips embedded inside.

I think best way to describe NFC is to give examples from the possible uses of this technology. Altough some of these examples are available currently, I think it will be much more common in the future. It takes some time for consumers to adapt changes.

Possible uses of near field communication;

  • You can transfer the video you are watching from your phone to TV just by bringing close.
  • Peer to Peer interactions, such as playing multi-player games.
  • You can use your phone as your credit card and make purchases.
  • Buy tickets of your favorite concert from it’s NFC enabled poster.
  • Use your phone instead of tickets for public transportation.
  • Use phone as your key to your car and house.
  • Access immediate information on a NFC tagged object.

You can access articles about the examples of  NFC usages from here and here. Also you can watch the videos that demonstrate the possible uses of NFC below.

 

 

How the future will come?

I have encountered many futuristic videos since last year. As the introduction of touch screens and mobile technologies, the scenarios of how the future will be became a hot topic. The ability to seize gestures, or being able to respond to various sounds and eye movements seem to be the next big thing coming.

We already have some examples for these technologies. Siri in iPhone 4S is an example of how we can control a software with voice commands. I am sure currently there are products that depicts the other technologies I mentioned, but I haven’t used any of them.

So in below, there is the video of a future smart phone by Nokia based on invisibility and intuition.

In 25 years

Amplify’d from www.guardian.co.uk
Video screens are getting so cheap and disposable that they’ll be plastered everywhere we go. And they’ll have enough intelligence and connectivity that they’ll see our faces, do a quick search on Facebook to find out who we are and direct a message at us based on our purchasing history.

Read more at www.guardian.co.uk

6 Web Predictions for 2011

Ross Dawson, a leading technology futurist and entrepreneur, is giving his predictions for web in 2011 on bluewiremedia. You can access to the original source here.

This is how I summarized.

-Web is becoming more and more central on where we find information also for products and services, suppliers.
-Our reputation will become aggregate and much more visible. It will be easier for us to whom we want to do business with.
-We will move towards mobile. We will be all connected from where we sit.
-Cloud services will be fundemental for businesses. Rightnow: Googledocs, Dropbox
-Android will rise.
– Crowdsourcing: accessing workers to aggregate ideas, running competitions will be more and more common.