The smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets are getting even more functional and capable than the old personal computer ever did. Keyboards will increasingly seem antiquated in coming years as we move towards voice recognition and gesture recognition technologies.
Voice recognition and interaction with our gadgets is everywhere. I saw my mother-in-law using Google Translate on her iPhone to translate her words into Spanish so the lady helping take care of her 96-year old father can understand her better when they get confused with each.
Voice interaction with our gadgets will indeed continue to grow exponentially. Nuance is the purest play on this, but I lost faith in management’s ability to execute and create shareholder value a long time ago. Microsoft, Google and Apple are all investing billions in voice interaction and there’s no doubt that we’ll all be talking to our devices just like Captain Kirk used to do on the Starship Enterprise.
Likewise, in another decade or so, we’ll see gesture and movement interaction with our technologies becoming ever more mainstream. Just like Captain Picard used to be able to go into a “holodeck” room that could simulate any environment and/or historical scenario on his starship Enterprise, so too will we be actually simulating the actual movements of players and feeling the contact from the tackles when we play Madden 50 in another 25 years.
Don’t believe me? Look back at EA Sports’ first Madden game and compare it to Madden 25 which came out last year. Madden History Evolution of Madden (1989-2013)
People will also find that being able to gesture to their devices to get interaction with them will often be much more convenient than actually talking to the devices all the time. Simple talks like turning the volume up or down when you’re watching a movie on your gadget that’s projecting a live holographic video feed from Shanghai of Superbowl LXXVI (in the year 2031) into your living room will be easier than asking it to turn the volume down while you’re talking to your grandkid. A few weeks ago, Apple bought the company that supplies the Xbox Kinect with its gesture recognition technology.
Looking out over the next decade or two, there’s still a lot of growth for technology in general and for our biggest and longest-held Revolution Investing positions. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are clearly the four best positioned and easiest ways to bet on this Roddenberry-esque future. And as always, I’ll be keeping on top of any new and exciting ways to get in front of the trillions of dollars that will be made getting us to the 22nd Century trends that are being put in place already.