This page contains one of a set of 24 transcripts including remarks made by interview participants at the Metaverse Roadmap Summit at Stanford Research Institute in May 2006. Each person was asked a series of five questions regarding the future; only the most “telling” responses were transferred from the recordings into these transcripts, thus, some of these interviews will include five question-answer sets, some will have four or fewer.
To jump to another interviewee’s set of answers, click on the person’s name below.
Corey Bridges is co-founder, executive producer and marketing director, the Multiverse Network. He previously worked at Zone Labs, Netflix, Netscape, Borland, and The Discovery Channel. The Multiverse Network is a company aiming to become the world’s leading network of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and 3D virtual worlds. Bridges specializes in market creation and growth for new products and has built and launched a number of technology platforms. He has collaborated with tech expert John Dvorak on multiple books.
What is your greatest fear for the future of networked technologies? I’d hate to see crushing regulation come in. I’d hate for there not to be a revolution that lets people really experiment in this space. I’d hate for there to just be this continuation of only big companies like Microsoft and Google sort of setting policy by what they do, and the companies they acquire, the places they decide to explore. I don’t think we’re really locked in right now, I mean the internet has changed everything. But I’d like to see that openness continue. I worry that if the healthy ecosystem of smaller companies getting involved I’d worry if that ecosystem started to wither.
What is your most fervent hope for the future of networked technologies? My most fervent wish for the future of networked technologies is that it becomes economically feasible for tens of thousands, maybe millions of people to get an experiment in that space. That’s what I’m dedicating my life to doing – is to making it affordable for people to get in and experiment and kick the state of the art downfield by a lot. To take the power out of the hands of the huge companies and put it into the hands of individuals and startups so you can get real innovation, get some really interesting stuff built.
What technology will have the greatest impact on our everyday lives the next 10 years? Within the digitally enabled world – parts of Asia, North America, Europe – (I see) sort of an extension and deepening of what we have now, which is ubiquitous computing, as we move into wearable computers. Lots of people have PDAs, you have the cell phone that’s a camera, maybe a BlackBerry device. That’s going to be completely mainstreamed, more so than now. We’re going to see different input and output devices, so you don’t have to lug a laptop around with you. You bring some glasses along with you thtat have a little monitor on them for a quick check of whatever graphical data you need. I’m looking forward to someone creating typing gloves, so I can just type wherever I am … Basically, ubiquitous computing – a mix of the virtual and the real. I think there’s going to be a convergence of the wired and analog world and it’s not really going to make sense to place an arbitrary boundary or definition between the two of those. I think it’s just going to be big mashup of the wired and the non-wired and that’s going to be the world 10 years from now.
Looking out more than 10 years, what development will have the greatest impact on society? The most important technological development I see on the horizon. This might take us on sort of a sci-fi path. I believe the Singularity is coming. I don’t know if it will happen in my lifetime, potentially my kids’ lifetime. Being able to extend the human lifespan is sort of the end result of the technologies and things I would like to see happen. Once you start to extend the human lifespan, then you get increasingly better technology to continue to extend the human lifespan, and successive generations can live longer and longer, which can lead to all sorts of literally world-changing and life-changing things to be done that we couldn’t even conceive of now. So extending the human lifespan, keeping humans productive and sharp well into their 100s is going to be really something we’ll see, perhaps not in my lifetime, but perhaps my kids will get to see take advantage of that sort of thing.
What do you think policymakers should do to ensure a positive future for networked technologies? Stand aside. Don’t get in the way. The most important thing, policywise, is to not create many new regulations. Protect the people who need protecting. There are going to be issues of copyright infringement and predators and things that need to be dealt with. Other than that, try to stay hands-off.