How will the “New Age of Data” change the way we live and work? This is the question that Shawn DuBravac addresses in his excellent new book Digital Destiny, in which he examines the potential impact of digitization on pretty much all the key aspects of our daily lives ranging from politics and business to entertainment and education.
Not surprisingly, the author makes some headline-grabbing predictions, claiming that the digitization of everyday objects will lead to driverless cars by the middle of the century and provide a solution for world hunger by eliminating supply chain inefficiencies. But fortunately he keeps his feet firmly on the ground for most of the book as he describes how the instant capture and processing of sensory data will make it easier for us to manage our daily lives.
The author’s vision of the smart home of the future provides an excellent case in point. Rather than being populated by robots carrying out menial tasks for the human masters, it will be filled with all manner of intelligent objects and appliances that will make our lives a little more convenient and comfortable. Who wouldn’t want a shower that delivers water at exactly the temperature you want it based on biometric and atmospheric data? And who could possibly resist a pre-warning system that alerts you that your spouse is in a foul mood judging by their blood pressure and other vital signs?
Indeed, the author is at his best when he describes how the digitization of physical objects and spaces will remove mundane but irritating problems such as avoiding traffic jams or even making sure we choose the right clothes to wear at meeting. The brave “New Age of Data” is not a single big bang revolution; it’s more a relentless process of using freshly picked and processed data to remove the everyday pain points from people’s daily lives.
Digital Destiny is a well-written and thought-provoking book. It should go right to the top of your business reading list for 2015.