Our technological capabilities are gaining momentum that is hard to comprehend. They’re growing exponentially. Bear that in mind if you think some of my predictions sound rather futuristic. And now: onwards to 2030, mask off, fasten seat belts and go!
You can keep your seat belt on, but actually it’s no longer necessary. At least, not anymore in the self-driving cars that are now whizzing throughout the country in large numbers. They are connected to the super-fast and mega-reliable 6G network. There is virtually no delay - latency - on this network, so that self-driving cars respond to their environment within a fraction of a millisecond. Traffic accidents are almost a thing of the past.
Surgeon by your side
There are even more reasons as to why you will be able leave the house more carefree in 2030. If something happens to you, the surgeon will be with you in a few minutes. Not in person, but digitally via the robot arm in an ambulance. This robotic arm allows remote emergency operations, again thanks to the low latency of the 6G network. The surgical robotic arm in the ambulance simultaneously simulates every movement of the surgeon in the hospital.
Keys, debit card and phone all in one
In 2030, you move your mobile phone along the lock of your front door or past the payment terminal in a store. The door opens, your groceries are paid for. How? The NFC chip is programmed in such a way that it’s your key ring and debit card all in one. And probably a lot more than that, ranging from your gym membership to passport and more.
Really everything, looking everywhere
Star Wars 10 or Max Verstappen's 100th Grand Prix victory. In 2030, you can really see them wherever you want. In a remote holiday home, on the beach or on the train. Again thanks to the 6G network. This network is even faster and at the same time sends even more data with the highest security. You have good coverage everywhere. Moreover, VodafoneZiggo will become an important gathering place for programmes, series and films by 2030. If you search via the VodafoneZiggo app, you’ll find it and you can watch immediately.
What is a row?
In 2030 you will live in (or near) a smart city. Artificial intelligence guides you - whether you are in your car, walking or cycling - via your smartphone along the fastest route to your destination. This way there will never be traffic jams and overcrowded shopping streets again. If you just passed a shop that sells something you want, you’ll receive an ad on your phone. The way that ad fits you is incredible, and that's because you've chosen to share your information with certain companies.
An answer to everything
The chance that you’ll be in the middle of a pandemic in 2030 is much smaller. Quantum computers - super-fast computers with enormous brainpower - help us with complex social challenges. For example, in developing vaccines or predicting pandemics. And the computing power of quantum computers also makes the difference for something like climate change. Green living has become the standard. Moreover, these computers can assist people of all ages in keeping up with the advances in technology: no one is left behind – virtual help is always close at hand.
An agreement is an agreement
We record important agreements in smart contracts: an agreement in the blockchain. You can see that as a super secure digital safe, guarded by millions of computers connected by a reliable network. No individual can restrict such an agreement. And we automatically link consequences to it. An example: a municipality agrees with a contractor that he works on dry days. The payout to that party is linked to a weather app. If the contractor does not keep to the agreement, the system automatically ensures that he is not paid. And because this process is fully automated, it saves a lot of human work.
Back in 2020
Do you maybe feel some resistance with this vision of the future? That’s understandable. We humans don't usually like big changes. But as long as we prevent technology from taking over our lives, it can strengthen us and our world. From safer cities and smart solutions for the climate issue to a much more comfortable life for you personally. Does this sound seemingly impossible? I think we can certainly do this even if it seems a long way off.
I speak from experience as a climber of Mount Everest: many think that this climb borders on the impossible. But if you dare to step out of your comfort zone, follow your passion and visualize the end goal, a journey will follow that makes the seemingly impossible come true!
As a climber of Mount Everest and VodafoneZiggo’s Technology Strategy Manager, Wilco Dekker explores the boundaries of people and technology.