Internet foresight 2015

Internetframsyn, “internet foresight” is a project organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, (Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademin, IVA in Swedish).
The theme is “How can Sweden become a leading internet nation by the year 2015?”

I have participated in the User panel since August 2007, focusing on how internet can be used to improve life for citizens and employers.

See my report text about work life in the year 2015 (in Swedish)
The full report can be downloaded on the Internetframsyn project web site.

Executive summary of my thoughts on how worklife should be in the year 2015:

Our work life in 2015 is based on flexibility and continuous learning. You have different work schemes depending on if you are young without children, have small children, are single, have teenagers or if your children have grown up and moved away. Full retirement is no longer mandatory and many more people are self-employed and have multiple careers at the same time.

There are two new keys that enables this work life flexibility in the year 2015: “Time shift“ and “Location shift“

A modernisation of our work culture using new internet-based technology and new standards enables us to work to a larger extent independent from regulated work hours (Time shift) and traditional places of work, like an office (Location shift). We move from trying to balance work and life to integrating our work into our life. The focus of the work culture moves from worked time and presence at the work place to the productivity and social abilities of the individual.

Time shift and Location shift requires development of improved internet based tools and social media technologies in order to increase the flexibility in many types of work. The goal is to develop new methods that enables a much richer and more personal communication that is independent of time and place, thereby increasing our productivity and decreasing personal stress and environmental pressure.

Scenario: Radio Revival

Personal radio in your mobile

Executive summary:
Radio breaks free of channels and timetables and adapts itself to your preferences, anytime, anywhere. The combination of mobile broadband, smartphone apps and vast media libraries lets you enjoy radio the way you want it.

– – – – – – – The scenario – – – – – –

The rain drizzles down on this very grey Monday morning as Anna boards the bus for her daily 30-minute commute.

-I wonder how long I would stand this without my daily radio theatre”, she ponders while she takes a seat and whips out her mobile and wireless headphones. She selects a new drama in the radio theatre menu.

Her profile is set to 25-minute episodes to fit her commute time and seconds later she is immersed in a much more exciting world of adventure. As she leaves the bus, she almost longs for the ride back, to learn what will happen next.

Meanwhile, her husband Mike is sitting in his car just outside the city, swearing at the heavy traffic. He is facing a 3-hour drive to an important supplier and cannot find any music station on the radio that he likes. -Why don’t I try a book instead”, he mutters and selects the Audio Books menu on his mobile which is sitting in its dashboard cradle. As he browses the different categories, he notes that there are language courses too.

-OK, this is my chance of updating my Spanish. I will take an hour of Spanish lessons, after that I will enjoy that new Tom Clancy thriller everybody’s talking about.”

Their son Bobby is just coming home from his summer job delivering newspapers. His earplugs are still booming with a medieval war drama as he lies down on the lawn to experience the battle climax, with massive sound effects and big trumpet fanfares.

He then starts with his next assignment: mowing the lawn. To kill the next boring half-hour with the mower, he switches his mobile to his favourite music forum. An alert pops up on the display: -New single by Jupiter in your Mix”.

Bobby has opted for receiving promos and ads since he doesn’t want to pay for the shows. The Mix music show is auto-composed daily according to his personal music preferences, with news, songs and interviews with his favourite artists.

Humming and mowing, Bobby decides to buy a download of the new single and pay a bit extra also to send it to his girlfriend, all with two clicks on the mobile.

/Henrik Ahlen 🙂

-You may never know what results come of your action,
but if you do nothing there will be no result”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Scenario: The Gym 2.0

Interactive support for personal motivation

Executive summary:
Fitness centers need to take their customer service to a new level and attract many new members. An experienced personal trainer can be very efficient in motivating members to continue their training and providing essential instructions on how to operate the training machines and set personal goals. But to hire a personal trainer regularly is too expensive for most people.

The Virtual Personal Trainer is a feasible and cost-efficient solution to this, offering most of the same services and helping with the daily motivation. A -real” personal trainer can monitor many more members that are their VPTs and sell individual coaching a couple of times per year. This scenario is based on existing technology.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Robert”™s mobile beeps about an incoming SMS from his Virtual Personal Trainer:

-Message from your VPT: Your last training session was 7 days ago. Hope to see you today, come and get your strength back!”

Robert has worked long hours lately, skipping his sessions at the gym. He feels tired, so the thought of going there now makes him think of many other things he needs to do. But he knows by now that he will be energized if he gets it done, so he heads to the gym anyway.

Arriving at his gym, the electronic tag in his membership card is detected at the door, pulling up Robert’s profile page on the receptionist’s monitor. The receptionist glances at the monitor and then smiles at Robert.

-Hello Robert, it’s been a while, have you been away from town?”
-No, just too much work”, Robert replies, heading for the check-in panel.

At the panel his personal training goals and statistics are displayed. His Virtual Personal Trainer greets him: -Good to see you Robert, today we will work on your triceps and legs, here is today”™s program for you”.

A printout appears, with pictures of all the exercises and data from his last session. His personal goals and progress so far are clearly shown in charts.

Robert gets changed and puts on his headband with a built-in wireless headset. He can now train to his favourite music, selected by his profile that he updates on his Virtual Personal Training website. This profile also includes visualisations of his personal goals, with photos of Robert’s body today and in one year, along with his medical data.

At the triceps machine, Robert is greeted by his VPT appearing on a monitor. The music in his headset is replaced with the voice of the VPT: -Hello Robert, time for your triceps. I have set the seat height and the weights for you. The last time you did 12 reps, so try to beat that today!

Robert pulls the handles and works hard, listening to advice from his VPT. -Too fast Robert, slow down!” -All the way down, please!” -That was 9, just 3 to go!” -Great Robert, that was 11, now just do two more, and you will have broken your personal record, come on!”

At the end of the session Robert feels relaxed and confident again. His VPT gives him a sum-up: -You are doing well Robert! You have increased your triceps strength with 12% and your leg strength with 9% the last month.

I have now updated your web site with your stats and emailed you some useful nutrition tips that will help you reach your goals. See you again on Thursday!”

Henrik Ahlen 🙂

“Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.”
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744)