Michael Rogers Gives Opening Keynote at CEDIA Future Home Experience 2015

Michael Rogers spoke to a standing-room only audience about what he called the “virtualization of America and the world” in last night’s Opening Keynote at CEDIA Future Home Experience 2015.

Rogers, known as “The Practical Futurist,” insisted that more and more of the things we do every day are going to be in the cybersphere. The virtualization of our lives, he suggested, is just starting.

“It will completely reshape the way we live at home,” he said.

Rogers started off the evening with an anecdote about his childhood, reminiscing on his 8-year-old self that was mesmerized by the idea of a flying car. This, he said, was his first contact with what he considered the future.

The Practical Futurist, however, commented on how the future of technology isn’t really that far away from a flying car. Technology is growing at an exponential rate. Soon, he said, we’ll live in houses that have personalities and engage in conversations with us.

By the early 2020s, humans will be living in three types of reality — real, augmented and virtual. Here are, in my opinion, three hot topics that Rogers explored in his keynote speech speaking to this prediction.

A virtualized life. It’s just a matter of time before we are all connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We will never be disconnected from the Internet — consciously or unconsciously. Children will not know what it means to live in an offline world. Online time will be all the time.

Smart devices. Wearable computers, Rogers said, are pretty much inevitable by the early 2020s. All of our devices will be connected to the network in which we are in. The idea of ambient telepresence — using high-definition screens with localized audio — will enable humans to personally interact with each other despite being thousand of miles away. Smart glasses, too, will allow humans to experience an augmented reality daily with the use of bluetooth technology.

Digital personalities. We are going to create digital personalities in the virtual world that accompany us in the same way that our personality accompanies us in the real world. Rogers referred to research that is apparently already being done about the possibilities of virtual therapy, and he commented on Generation Z’s ability to form and maintain meaningful relationships via the online realm. In the coming years, we will all be accustomed to some type of digital personality in which we are letting our softwares become a part of our lives the way that the younger generations have grown up relying so much more on technology; we’ll see our software as potential therapists and personal assistants — all things that as of now “might freak some of us out,” according to Rogers.

Rogers brought an optimistic, futuristic outlook to the stage last night to speak about the reality of what we are all expecting to happen in the upcoming years regarding technological change and innovation. We are the future of technology, and “this is our future to build.”

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers, “The Practical Futurist”