Ever wonder what the next-gen productivity apps will have in store for us?
I battle with this question often. What sort of features and capabilities can we expect from apps after we’ll pass the next technological barrier?
Seeing into the future requires breaking down the existing barriers between us and the next technological step. I see two categories of barriers:
- Man to machine: our technology is not connected to us physically thus less effective in predicting our needs and making adjustments. We have begun overcoming these barriers in several fields; allowing us to measure the human condition in order to take certain automatic actions (check out the biomed industry to learn more).
- Machine to machine: this perhaps is the barrier that will be overcome very shortly. We can already see this with the influx of API’s. API’s is ‘tech-speak’ for communication between apps. There are over 100 new API’s developed per week. Today, if you have the money, you connect your phone to many other household devices such as your TV, refrigerator, and car remotely.
Technology is only as limited as our imagination (just ask Jules Verne). What we can imagine, we’ll eventually create!
So I gave my brain juices a whirl and tried to imagine the future of productivity apps. Here’s what my humble imagination came up with:
1# Smart Productivity Apps, Smart Task-Lists
In my futuristic scenario, action items will be more than just text with entries. A “grocery shopping list” task will auto-link to the grocery store and add my items to the virtual shopping cart. All I’ll need to do is sign-in to the lower vendor (again automatically done for me by my apps) and pay!
Sounds cool? The funny thing is that you can actually do that easily today; we just need someone to build it. Anyone want to pick the glove?
2# From App to Physical Task
The future as I see it is like the Jetsons! Who can forget that cool futuristic cartoon? We’ll just jot down that various tasks, e.g., wash floors every other day, run dishwasher when it’s full, the washing machine and dryer will be one and will automatically run and empty into a clean laundry basket when done.
If the cartoon example if not real enough, we just need to take a look at Back to the Future and Doc Emmett’s automated breakfast routine.
3# Automating Tasks, Socially
Social networks today connect us to our friends. In the future (near future), they can serve as a platform to help us (collectively) complete tasks. We often miss tasks because we’re not in the right place; we have an emergency, etc. BUT! We might know someone who can help…
What if someone in our connected circle can help? Maybe they can pick up medicine since they are already in the pharmacy. They’d get a quick alert to bring Children’s Advil to their neighbor. It’s the future, so I could pay for the meds on my phone and they just have to pick it up at the register!
Another example for the parents amongst us: geo location capabilities could potentially send close-by friends a notification that we need their help in picking up the kids out of kindergarten.
Yet another example, we may have task on our list – “research great hotels in Paris”; we can immediately be connected with a friend who recently mentioned his trip to Paris. The sky’s the limit here!
4# “Tech” it With You Everywhere
Today, we rely on devices that we have to pick up and carry. What about not having to take anything with us? Maybe they can become part of us. Sounds farfetched? Think again. Grafted technology, such as prostatic arms and legs, are already available today; helping people to widen the spectrum of movements they’ve lost. In the future, we’ll probably see tech add-ons that will allow us to connect physically to the devices without the need to carry them. Just imagine how getting a notification to your brain feels like?
Was that ok, or did I take it too far? :)
Share below your thought and the way you see productivity improved in the future.
Until next time.