The beginning of April is almost as important a date as the beginning of January for many: a new financial year has arrived, a clean slate, new budgets and new plans made. We thought we’d take the opportunity to consider how things might change in the future, so here are four—deliberately quite vague—medium-term predictions for change. No personal jetpacks in sight, unfortunately.
- Remote, shared offices will open across the country
- Increased focus on green tech
- More, sometimes major, data breaches
- New views are arriving
It’s easy to look back almost patronisingly at the days of CFCs in fridges and lead in petrol (both ideas, astonishingly, were developed by the same man), or doctors recommending cigarette brands. Perhaps in time people will look back at the tech boom of the early 21st century in a similar way. “Did they really use all that electricity?” … “They actually used gold in their phones?”. The vast, and ever-increasing, amounts of processing power and storage we use daily for everything from web searches and YouTube videos (YouTube in 2016 had a similar carbon footprint to the whole of Glasgow) through to file storage, archiving, email and, well, everything else you do on a computer or phone.
And then there’s disposal: buying a new phone every year or two years is great for the industry, but bad for the world. Just as we’ve seen increasing concern around carbon footprints, household & food waste and cleaner air, so too will tech be thrown into the mix.
Framework are launching a new laptop this year which will be easier to repair and upgrade, increasing lifespans and reducing waste. A similar trend is happening with mobiles, Fairphone for example, with other companies also making plans. ‘Right to repair’ legislation, should also go a long way to rightly extend the lifespands of products.
Consequence & risk: initially, niches will continue to spring up within the tech industry: green web design, carbon footprint offsetting & consultancies etc., which will gradually filter through into everyday life. Be prepared to be left behind if you don’t address issues early.