Is this really 2015? What would your Scenario be?

November 11, 2009

in Scenarios & Futures, Strategic Foresight, Wireless

Just imagine you woke up in 2015. What would you be doing? How would you be interacting with technology? “Nokia – life in 2015” When I think out six years to 2015 I expect my interactions with technology will be different, I expect we will be describing different types of behaviors. I also find single point descriptions concerning for they are most likely wrong. There’s the planned future (it will never happen), the plausible futures, and the preferred future. Yet scenarios should be challenging, forcing us to think about how the systemic underpinnings may change and upset the applecart. Sometimes scenarios are as important for what they leave out as what they leave in.

So I’m a little confused by this Nokia Scenario or explanation perhaps of what their world will be like in 2015. Listen to it. Pause and reflect and then share your notes with me. (Afterwards you may have to read this post to broaden your perspective) I think this one was live (nokia one here)

First I don’t really buy it. I’m not even sure I want to be a part of it (which should be really concerning). This doesn’t stretch my thinking. I have almost all of these features today. I’m also very concerned by the description that suggests my cloud will be a Nokia cloud. I don’t want that from Nokia, Apple or anyone who may manage to sell me a handset (if I still need one!). I do expect that I’ll have a lot more “streaming” to my handset. I don’t think I’ll use my handset provider to determine what I want. Re time horizon the slight enhancements discussed should be mine well before 2011 kicks in. While the whole world might not have the broadband to make this available that’s fine. Fast n slow mean we will go at different rates and different solutions will emerge.

I’d encourage budding scenarist’s and strategists to never produce just one view of the future. People will say that is wrong. What we need is a set of “Life Challenges” for 2015. Some I might consider “Identity”, “Trading Information”, quasi-cash, real-time, bio-metrics and health, 3D commerce… who knows? I don’t have a focal issue. However if it was “the future of the mobile phone” the first thing we’d discover is it won’t be a mobile phone.

I originally read the above on Nokia Conversations and only then got pointed to Slashgear. Here’s a link to their post about contagious content which nicely sums up the problem for me. There are no plans to address this in the short-term. Yet in a few months it will be a reality and by this time next year there will be many apps that exist to handle it. The concern I have about the “solutions” approach is it doesn’t encourage an active developer community. The preferred future is one we encourage people to go towards and want. I see value in Contagious Content. The rest… well it will take more to motivate and achieve hundreds of millions in sales from this. Here’s another one on SymbianUI apparently not part of the roadmap but needed yesterday and certainly not in 2015.

If you bother to look at the  YouTube  comments they are generally negative.

Nokia in 2015 – The Way We Live Next | Nokia Conversations – The official Nokia Blog

A few snips: nokia data cloud – knowledge sharing – intelligence will make connections between data – jean francois – located to USA fm France. Keeps up with news, business stories, and keep in touch also with bank accounts. can see friends on screen when watching a match.  maria – barcelona student. meeting folks at parties – can touch screen and pull up friends pics. share data streams with boyfriend. Amar – fisherman – projects films at home that he download. tag locations of good catch – so other fishermen can see where it is. also can get weather reports. helps him earn data on fishing trips to a Univ in USA. pay into Nokia online account.

  • Good analysis, Stuart.

    Another problem is that they assume the world revolves around a single mobile phone-like device. Understandable (they’re Nokia after all) but the future world will be more diverse, not less diverse. Wearable computing, Kindle-like tablets, headsup displays, not to mention evolved versions of desktop PCs…

  • Richard,

    Thanks for the comment and great adds. I fully expect wearable long before 2015 (some of it is here already!). Kindle.. well it will be obsolete; perhaps it already is. Desktops? Really must we have desktops (surfaces)? Kidding! I find these type of scenarios and write about them because I personally like the fun and helping to create the challenges that we are likely to face when we really begin to look upstream. I also know that no one person can do that. It’s the wisdom of the crowds type factor. You need to broaden the group – some internal and external input… and really take some trips upstream and into other industries. Then find ways to present those challenges. The key I think is curiosity.

    BTW… sorry about the snow in Beijing and get well soon!

  • Stuart, you are too correct with your analysis.
    For me, the part of the “Nokia cloud” was the one that made the least amount of sense. I don’t see any single company being able to provide the amount of information and services that people are already consuming on their mobile handsets today. And Nokia is a bit far from providing a cloud service as it is.

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