Pulp and Paper Canada

New Technologies

March 1, 2003  By Pulp & Paper Canada

Computer agent personal shoppers2003:-Electronic notebook with display as good as paper-Battery can be printed on to paper or other flexible material-Chips in food package tell when it’s fresh-3D disp…

Computer agent personal shoppers



-Electronic notebook with display as good as paper

-Battery can be printed on to paper or other flexible material

-Chips in food package tell when it’s fresh

-3D display monitor needing no view glasses or software

-Wireless light switch that reduces wiring costs by 80%


-Real-time language translation

-AM and FM reception with CD-quality

-Wavefront coding converts fuzzy images to pin-sharp images

-More people access the Internet with portable wireless devices than PCs

-Cameras built into glasses record what we see

-Smart paint containing computer chips is available

-Emergence of Competitor-to-Competitor online exchanges


-Machine use of a common-sense interface

-Widespread use of virtual reality for education and recreation

-Growth of scientific environmentalism

-Full voice interaction with machines [a few years after HAL in 2001]

-80% of US homes have PCs


-First artificial electronic life form [visions of Star Trek]

-Clothes collect and store solar power


-People take payment in information products and entertainment to reduce tax liability

-Completely automated factories [your paper machine?]

-First Net war between cyber-criminals


-Multilayer solar cells with efficiency over 50%

-Increased automation at work leads to anti-technology subculture

-Affordable personal genome reading [the ultimate palm read]

-All government services delivered electronically


-Chips [not fries!] in packaging control cooking


-Virtual companies predominate

-95% of people in advanced nations are computer literate

-Electronic wallpaper responds to mood

-Computers surpass human learning and logic abilities

-Most software written by a machine

Other ideas getting attention:

Blue laser offers huge increases in storage and reading speed from DVDs. If the standards body can settle on industry-wide standards, then the much-delayed HDTV may take off with the ultimate picture quality.

A new Internet browser that reconfigures complex web pages to a column format so that it can be viewed on the small screen in hand-held wireless devices.

Ultra low-cost polymeric chips that could substitute for high-cost silicon and usher in the age of disposable computing. There is the potential to store over 6 gigabytes on one square centimeter of plastic. Imagine the implications of incorporating chips on to clothing and paper documents.

And the last word: someone is promoting the use of chicken feathers [very fine fibres] for inclusion into some paper products to save trees. They don’t say anything about the chickens!

Why is this important?

Future projections make an interesting reading diversion. However, if you read them with the thought “what might this mean for my business?” then extraordinary things can happen. In particular, look for potential secondary or tertiary impacts. Many of the items above represent “new spaces” for consumers’ attention to the debit of space for paper products. However, there is also potential opportunity in most of the items above.

Alan Procter provides consulting services to international clients in the fields of future-focused business strategy. He can be reached at futureviews@alanprocter.com#text2#

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