Kiara Boboff attended the Oxford Scholastica Computer Science Academy in 2016.
She is currently in her final year of High School in San Francisco, and aims to study Computer Science at university next year, before going on to revolutionise the tech world!
A constant stream of notifications bombards our everyday digital lives. News headlines, Snaps, iMessages, calls, and updates overwhelm our screens. Beyond signaling the arrival of an email, these pressing alerts highlight the immense lack of communication between apps. While residing on the same bright display, applications vehemently avoid cooperation resulting in far too many banners on our lockscreens.
These contemporary machines are conveniently inconvenient and inconveniently convenient. This juxtaposition is explained by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” Regardless of our qualms, technology powers forward but user capability cannot progress without the streamlining of app cooperation.
In ten years prosthetic limbs, autonomy, currency exchange, space exploration, and digital glasses will make headlines and push boundaries. But what about the everyday text message? The Instagram post? The quick selfie? The world might lack flying cars in ten years but our everyday relationship with our phones will differ vastly. Right now user efficacy is weighed down by organizational strains such as small monitor sizes, single screen displays, poor app-to-app syncing, and clunky interfaces—just to name a few. The common frustration of displaying side-by-side screens, such as homework and notes for a student, presents a rather archaic design considering the vast range of information available on the device.
Ironically, our devices store and present all the materials we need yet sabotage our efficiency through excessive separation between applications. For example, weather and calendar applications should exist in tandem. Raining today? Probably best to reschedule that outdoor picnic. Instead of scrolling, tapping, and squinting in search of our calendar, the weather forecast and our plans should collaborate. This very basic example leads to questions regarding why moving between apps requires more steps than cooking dinner.
In the next ten years, our smartphones, computers, and tablets will ditch individual apps for a single, comprehensive platform. With the rise in AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities, our devices will anticipate our searches, bookings, and messages. Our devices will learn our habits so the parking meter is prepaid as we park outside of Safeway. Just like when the screen, keyboard, and mouse were integrated into a sole laptop computer, our apps for fitness, weather, notes, shopping, and texting will coexist.
Envision a companion to our lives, equipped to help instead of frustrate. Companies are already moving towards this level of cooperation with Facebook purchasing Instagram and Amazon purchasing Whole Foods—just to mention a few. Pesky forgotten passwords, awkward picture cropping, redundant information, and three different music platforms will be nothing but a distant memory as technology molds to our lifestyles. Hopefully in ten years, instead of fifty notifications, we will just receive one with all the information we need.