If you were a big CEO where would you take system designs go in five years?

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
11,910
238
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Q: "If you were a big CEO where would you take system designs go in five years?"

A: "..."


I think that we'll head towards our wondertoy mobile phones being the key of our office day, with portable tablet-sized personal-SANs being our data centers. The size of the phone will look more like a flat stick about the length of a ballpoint pen, far smaller than anything in use today, with the ability to transmit audio and video signals to mobile wireless dockingstations called personal-SANs, a SAN being a storage area network.

Our PC's will all be connected by high frequency, short range wireless USB 2.x data links, to make it quick and easy to transfer data back and forth from one person's personal-SAN to another's personal-SAN, or from a personal-SAN to a WAN node. The WAN will be more for long-range data transfers and file sharing, the two chores that WAN's do. WAN access will be via VPN and secured by response-only SecurID token generators in our phones, making it a true key to open the door to the network resources. (You keep a PIN number and the token changes once per minute, making individual WAN access very highly secure.) The personal-SAN will follow us around and be connectable to an array of devices, from portable laptop terminals to huge flatpanel-equipped desktop displays, using a multi-gigabit serial cable or gigabit-rated 3GHz+ wireless data links. The portable-SAN will be able to transmit a "virtual desktop" to either laptop or desktop, and even will have its own 6-inch by 4-inch 1024x768 LCD panel for use also with the phone.

The work of five or more current managers will be pared down to one or two and middle management will largely shrink. Corporate offices will incorporate distributed computing tricks to handle much of the parrallel computing around the office. Every CPU will have its own unique ID for a packet-based DC project, much like many DC projects currently run. Idle machines will be quickly identified for sharing the workload, which means just about every machine (i.e. phone and personal-SAN) will be able to do DC for 95% of the day! Data transfers will be at unthinkable speeds by today's standards, and the wireless and serial connections will be as fast, if not faster, than the fsb on current machines.

The phone will be critical. Not only will wondertoy phones carry out the everyday tasks of phoneline communications, and act as a pager complete with text messaging, they will also be super-PDA's. The phone will have its own mini-CPU giving it power to both send and recieve DIVX-style video complete with CD-quality sound, and as a standalone sound recorder/playback device. (All the DIVX/MP3 stuff for purely work, of course!) Did I mention the POTS phone service will largely be replaces with video-VoIP? Furthermore, the phone's CPU will be powerful enough to complete meaningful work on DC projects. The phones will also act as remote controls for out Personal-SAN devices; voice command, programmable push buttons, and macro-recorded rythmic movements will all be acceptable input. CPU's will shrink considerably in size and power, but will be far more energy efficient than today's CPU's in mobile devices. Battery life will be several weeks per fuel cell battery.

Anyone else have their own grand vision?
 

UlricT

Golden Member
Jul 21, 2002
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I fugging HATE small phones... and having it in the form-factor of a pen is a nightmare scenario for me!
 

RaynorWolfcastle

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
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Not that your ideas are bad, but that's not happening in five years, you're requiring too much infrastructure investment for it to happen.

IMHO, the near-term (5 year future) belongs to notebooks and tablet PCs. With the cost of LCDs dropping rapidly and computing power more than sufficient for all but a few users, corporations should be migrating everyone to laptops in the next couple of years. In the next upgrade cycle, tablet PCs become the norm. The notebooks in use will be low voltage, low power laptops even at the expense of some power to maximize battery time. Hopefully, fuel cells and advances in battery technology will allow for all day operation without being tethered to a wall, using low power technologies.

Wireless will continue to grow, replacing wired ethernet for most apps, using VPNs for security.

The pen-phone/voice-recorder is a good idea but I think it's too small to be of any practical use beyond PDA-replacement features. I can see the PDA being squeezed out of being a valid form factor by pen-phones and tablet PCs.

I think that if I were in the hardware business, I'd push for Tablet PC and wireless development. A well executed, wireless, power-efficient, highly-portable Tablet PC would replace a lot of the traditional pen and paper tasks. I'd push for that in the 3-5 year time frame.
 

Peng

Member
Feb 19, 2004
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Apparently you do not work in telecom. Ubiquitous data exchange across multi-mediums and carriers is not in the next 5 years. PS landlines will always be faster and secure. USB two is not the protocol of the future. i.e. Voip does not use USB2.

ADSL2 and the migration to xdsl (26-50Meg/sec over a copper pair) will start to become a widespread offering by telecoms (500m loops will be built). In 5 years will be able to have 3 TV's with HDTV and Dolby sound video will become a reality over the cable pair as opposed to today?s 2 separate TV's (just under satellite quality) over the cable pair to the home - at least it is here in Canada for the last 2 years.

Voip starts in 4 months as a widespread offering with kinda crappy video. In 5 years whoooee - will be wild. The cell will be the key device but crappy data rates will plague progress so this will bolster in large city areas only wireless wan's. Security concerns will plague progress but will eventually be acceptable for all but doctor?s lawyers and engineers.

oh yea and Cisco will finally build a switch processor that can handle more than 4000 stinken vlans
 

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
11,910
238
106
I was thinking more along the lines of what a CEO of a design firm would authorize to be developed, not necessarily what is available in 5 years. Bad choice of wording up there. :)

As far as the wireless ideas, I was thinking just 2 layers of wireless. The mobile phone does not have to be a "cell phone" per se, but it would need to be fully functional in the office. The pager function probably implied "cell phone", which would be cool if they could get that much into a small phone. The phone would only need to be able to link to the personal-SAN to drive cell phone communications if the personal-SAN held the transmitter/reciever functions. (Hmmm, even more plausible if someone wants to shrink the phone... Good idea!) The top layers of wireless was intended to drive the office transfers between WAN and personal-SAN, with a short-range wireless for phone to personal-SAN connection as the second layer. I didn't see the "shared" top layer of wireless in the office as being capable of high performance for everyone, even though when activity is light 1 gigabit is plenty for many people, so I also put in the serial cable idea for serious transfer speeds. If the personal-SAN held cell phone functionality, which is more than plausible, that would add a third level of wireless - the slowest but longest range.
 

Peng

Member
Feb 19, 2004
26
0
0
Ok yes that is more realistic. Good ideas or/forward thinking.

When I say cell I mean portable comm device - voice or data - reason I say cell is because I believe that device will mirgrate to take over functionality liek teh PDA's - driven by the current wirless infrastucture. Look at Japan you will see the future thye had copy problems with bootlegged media 5 years before NorthAmerica - they started reality tv 10 years ago.