We’re all familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance.
Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. Clothes are 3D-printed on demand, completely customized. Buildings are digitally designed by the end user and digitally constructed by robot.
Food is nothing but IT converted to cuisine by bioprinters and autochefs. You can subscribe to CloudEats for access to an almost infinite number of ‘recipes’ which are actually digital programs for the automated kitchen. MyChef is even easier – it’s an app that will scan what’s available in your home, and offer a choice of menus for the week, filtered by nutrition, taste, calories or whatever.
Of course, food became IT way back in 2016 or thereabouts, with the launch of UberEats. By simply tapping on your smartphone screen, you could have any one of a number of meals delivered to your door. A virtual restaurant, if there ever was one.
Adidas started the trend toward personalized footwear five years ago, with customized 3D-printed sports shoes in selected markets. Now you can have a range of clothing items, designed with augmented reality, and printed on demand. It’s digital fashion, for sure!
And as for buildings, it was a simple matter to go from CAD drawings, to drone scans of the terrain, to the RoboBuilder ‘full monty’, with real-time site progress on your mobile.
The breakthrough for the energy internet wasn’t solar, although that was a catalyst. No, it was the Ether blockchain that made net debits and credits among neighbours and between power producers/consumers an affordable system, without costly banking intermediaries or human accountants.
Now that food, clothes, buildings and electricity are all digitalized, what’s next for IT? Perhaps life itself!