From Kurzweil’s Age of the Spiritual Machines from 1999:
It is now 2009. Individuals primarily use portable computers, which have become dramatically lighter and thinner than the notebook computers of ten years earlier. Personal computers are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and are commonly embedded in clothing and jewelry such as wristwatches, rings, earrings, and other body ornaments. Computers with a high-resolution visual interface range from rings and pins and credit cards up to the size of a thin book.
Computers have been embedded in clothing and jewelry for a couple of years now…more so on the DIY scene than in mass production. The laptop/portable computer prediction might have been more of a common sense prediction, but none-the-less still holds true.
Regarding Computer Memory and Digital Objects:
Rotating memories (that is, computer memories that use a rotating platten, such as hard drives, CD-ROMs, and DVDs) are on their way out, although rotating magnetic memories are still used in “server” computers where large amounts of information are stored. Most users have servers in their homes and offices where they keep large stores of digital “objects,” including their software, databases, documents, music, movies, and virtual-reality environments (although these are still at an early stage). There are services to keep one’s digital objects in central repositories, but most people prefer to keep their private information under their own physical control.
Uh, hello SSD drives (which see the tipping point for a higher usage of them with prices falling). Central repositories for digital objects? How about iTunes, XBMC, or any other media-center type software/hardware solution? Services to keep one’s digital objects in central repositories? One need look no further than Flickr, delicious, or even more broad services such as Amazon’s S3 service.
Cables are disappearing. Communication between components, such as pointing devices, microphones, displays, printers, and the occasional keyboard, uses short-distance wireless technology.
Computers routinely include wireless technology to plug into the ever-present worldwide network, providing reliable, instantly available, very-high-bandwidth communication. Digital objects such as books, music albums, movies, and software are rapidly distributed as data files through the wireless network, and typically do not have a physical object associated with them.
I’m not even going to go into detail here. Look at technologies that have become widely used in the last ten years such as WiFi, Bluetooth, and more recently with the advent of high-speed cellular networks.
I dunno, maybe I’m just rambling, but I think Kurzweil is the bees-knees.