A View of The Future

A speech given to the IDSA/IBM Designabout on Pervasive Computing at Pallisades, New York on December 3, 1999

By Bruce Sterling

   Let me get right down to virtual brass tacks here, and tackle the issue at hand. I want to talk about my favorite variety of so-called "pervasive computing."

    This is a new, young concept, still in search of its identity.  It's yet another little electronic frontier, but there seem to be two main parts to it.

    The first kind of pervasive computing is the kind where data falls out of the sky, and oozes out of the walls, and I've got some kind of hardware device on me, and I'm computing with it.  The data is the pervasive part, and I'm focussing it for my own purposes with some GUI gizmo.   That is the high-bandwidth  wireless Internet.  I have no problem believing in that.  It's not at all farfetched.  A lot of money is going there, and impressive things will be done.   But since I'm a science fiction writer, I don't find it all that attractive.

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