What will the world be like in the year 2050? While for most people, this question is the preserve of science fiction writers and filmmakers, for technology specialists it is a very practical concern. Enterprises that aim to continue to grow in the years to come know that peeking into the future is of invaluable use. Correctly predicting the direction tech is taking us in the coming decades could potentially make or break your business.
Although for many 2050 sounds like the distant future, some experts are already trying to make forecasts about the year, including one of tech’s leading lights Kevin Kelly, the co-founding executive editor of Wired magazine. In his recent New York Times bestseller The Inevitable, Kelly speaks of a number of key technological forces that will shape the future by the year 2050.
And if Kelly’s predictions are accurate, businesses aiming for longevity in the years to come would do well to partner with companies who help them ease into a future that will be radically different from the world we live in today.
Screens of the Future
One of Kelly’s key predictions for the decades to come is what he calls “Screening,” namely the transformation of all surfaces into screens. If this prediction comes true, it will surely usher in a golden era for touchscreens, which would play an even bigger part than before in the world of tomorrow.
In the printing world, the “Screening” era has already begun. In place of outdated button-operated printer UI panels, Samsung’s range of multi-function printers (MFPs) feature the Smart UX Center, a touchscreen interface customizable with a range of downloadable Android-based apps and widgets.
This innovation is helping transform the office printer into a hub for the smart office. The Smart UX Center offers a way to potentially bridge the remaining gaps that separate mobile and computer programs with printers, potentially clearing the path for a more seamless future.
In many cases, the gaps are already closing fast. The Smart UX Center’s touchscreen interface has allowed developers to create version of apps such as Hancom’s Office 2014 suite and ALZip’s file management tools that can be accessed on a Samsung MFP just as one might use them on a PC, a tablet or a mobile phone.
Thanks to the Smart UX Center, the printer has become as smart as the telephone, and just as essential – and armed with its own screen surface, it is as ready for the “Screening” revolution that Kelly predicts.
The Importance of Cooperation
Collaboration is also key in the future that Kelly portrays. In The Inevitable, he forecasts a world where “Sharing” is a key factor in modern work, and where mass-cooperation is the norm, rather than the exception. As he explains, “Anything that can be shared will be shared. We’re only at the beginning.”
The problem with mass-collaboration is that security is so often a major sticking point. When dealing with the kind of cloud-based solutions that are needed for large-scale collaborative projects, security matters are a necessary consideration. As many cloud providers cannot firmly assure watertight security, skeptics might pour scorn on Kelly’s notion.
However, Samsung has already started making moves to address such security issues in its cloud services provision – as well as its mobile printing operations. These include solutions such as PrinterOn’s services, which help bolster security in cases of this sort. With wide-ranging, thorough and comprehensive end-to-end encryption, your company’s most sensitive materials stay out of the glare of prying eyes. This allows you to work on collaborative projects with people on the other side of the planet if needs be – in safety and security.
“Unstoppable” Flows of Data
“Flowing,” as described in Kelly’s book, is the forthcoming dependence on unstoppable real-time streams in every walk of life – including the business world.
For many companies, creating and managing streams of digital data sounds quite daunting, especially when many industries continue to use printouts for a large portion of their work. In a world like Kelly describes, with data flowing in and out from everywhere, effective document management will become essential. If your company wishes to produce real-time streams, it must be capable of converting paper-based information to a digital form in an instant.
Again, Samsung Printing Solutions has a future-compatible solution in the form of the Smart UX Center’s Scan and Send app, which lets you send scans to multiple destinations in the blink of an eye – email your files, send them directly to a computer or deliver them directly to an FTP location.
Another handy bit of tech for digitalizing large amounts of data comes in the form of OCR, or optical character recognition. OCR lets you scan printed documents and books and create digital documentations without manual typing, and is a feature on a range of Samsung MFPs. In fact, Samsung has recently successfully used OCR in efforts to create braille books for the visually impaired, yet another helpful use for this innovation.
With such a wealth of information at our fingertips via the “flowing” data feeds Kelly describes, printing also needs to move into a new era, with advanced document management solutions. Samsung’s Copy Builder app, for instance, allows you to make fast, customized printouts directly from your printer – ideal for anyone who needs to deal with vast amounts of digital text, images and graphics.
Harnessing the Powers of Change
The world is changing fast, and so is the business landscape. Companies that move fast to embrace the change that experts like Kelly and his like forecast will find themselves at the forefront when the “inevitable” becomes an everyday reality.
Partnering with a future-proof printing solutions provider like Samsung could provide the kind of impetus that your company needs in order to thrive in the business world to come.
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