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I wrote a piece of text about personal information management, some 14 years ago. The term PIM, back then, was a hot trend. PIM was referring to the technology that could handle your calendar, email, and any other messaging needs - plus any pieces of information that you simply needed to have always available. Long story short; there were a dozen different brands of PDAs - personal digital assistants. They were typically clamshell smartphones, with a black&white or color display, without native mobile data connection. Internet was available through WiFi in local networks.

What we know now, is that smartphones came, saw and conquered.

However, the question remains:

are our information needs met in an optimal way by this new era of intelligence?

For backgrounders, if you're curious, take a peek at my original Future Email System -article.

Since 2005 a lot has happened:

  • technically our devices have become much more capable: in terms of device memory, speed, etc
  • we have even more messaging channels (media)
  • in business, various collaboration platforms reign currently
  • the volume of messaging has probably increased
  • digitalization has enabled us to take care of many real-world services online (think: dentist reservations, car maintenance, groceries, etc.)
  • number of passwords we need daily has increased somewhat (my estimate being around 20-40 per person)

In the near future, some trends to anticipate:

  • strong authentication may obsolete the user of passwords in near future: less hassle, easier & better security in accessing services
  • 5G mobile networks (2020-> onwards), as continuation to 4G, might bring a nice performance + usability boost to digital services, especially those that we access while on the road: faster and more ubiquitous
  • basically as IT advances as a profession, services should cost less (not clear whether it is the whole truth)
  • as people get online and use more smart services, some "network effects" (synergy) should make also a positive change

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