So here's my takeaway list of bullet-points for 2034:
- It's going to superficially resemble 2014.
- However, every object in the real world is going to be providing a constant stream of metadata about its environment — and I mean every object.
- The frameworks used for channeling this firehose of environment data are going to be insecure and ramshackle, with foundations built on decades-old design errors.
- The commercial internet funding model of 1994 — advertising — is still influential, and its blind-spots underpin the attitude of the internet of things to our privacy and security.
- How physical products are manufactured and distributed may be quite different from 2014. In particular, expect more 3D printing at end-points and less long-range shipment of centrally manufactured products. But in many cases, how we use the products may be the same.
- The continuing trend towards fewer people being employed in manufacturing, and greater automation of service jobs, will continue: our current societal model, whereby we work to earn money with which to buy the goods and services we need may not be sustainable in the face of a continuing squeeze on employment. But since when has consistency or coherency or even humanity been a prerequisite of any human civilization in history? We'll muddle on, even when an objective observer might look at us and shake her head in despair.