Remember when a CD was required to listen to music? I still have a large stack sitting at my parent's house, untouched for many years. These days I listen to music on Spotify, iTunes, or YouTube. Film is heading in the same direction. DVDs are still quite popular, but it won't be long before the majority of what we watch is through services like Netflix or Hulu. And what about gaming? Steam is leading the charge in this medium.
So what else will be going digital in the future?
This question is more misleading than it first appears. Honestly, what few things won't be going digital in the future? Here are a few things I own that won't make the transition:
- Supplies for hygiene and health.
- Seating and tables.
- Vehicles for transportation.
And... that's about it. As augmented reality becomes more practical and mainstream, it will be possible to turn most physical objects into digital ones. Just looking at my desk, I see a number of examples.
- My computer. A lot of things I do on my computer will no longer be managed on a screen. Files are much easier to work with when I can move and sort with my hands or voice commands. The entire file system on my computer may end up looking more like a stack of folders, photos, and documents on my desk. The keyboard will be displayed on the desk surface.
- Pictures in frames. Pictures will no longer require frames, since they'll be digital images mapped out to the desk. They can float, turn into video, or even a chat window to talk with someone else through.
- Notebook and pen. I know. I wrote a whole post about how I prefer writing over any digital alternative. This was because of the Digital Disconnect, and I believe augmented reality would remove this barrier.
- A container for coupons and other documents. These are all going digital already. Check out retailmenot.com. I pay most of my bills online, and many other documents are located there, as well. I can print them off if I need to, but in the future I doubt this will be necessary.
In the end, a normal person's apartment will appear quite bare to the naked eye. Even the objects that will be there (couch, refrigerator, bed) will seem very plain and simple, because they can be given a 'skin' of sorts through augmented reality.
What do you think? Are there other objects you use that can't be converted to the digital world?