Jim Louderback is the former editor-in-chief of PC Magazine and chief content officer at Ziff Davis. Currently he is the CEO of Revision3, a Internet TV production company. We asked him about inventions past and future.
What is the most influential tech invention of the past century?
The microprocessor to me is clearly the top invention, because from it, all else has come. It’s a malleable tool that’s on the same level as fire—it makes so many other things possible, including the Internet, cell phones, and personal computers.
What device or technology hasn't yet been invented that you wished would be?
I want my contact lenses to have a see-through video screen on them, so I can overlay data from the Internet cloud onto the real world. I want to see a person and instantly know his or her name and how we are connected. I want a visual map in front of me that shows me how to get where I want to go and not get lost. I want to paint the world with colors of my own choosing.
How will technology change our daily lives 20 years from now?
My contact-lens vision will be real. We will have full-on video telepresence with our friends everywhere we go. We will be liberated from space and time and will be able to virtually be in meetings, have dinner with our family, and travel—all without leaving home. Oh, and the cell phone will be kaput. The phone itself is a transitional device. In 2032 we will consider anyone carrying a computer around in her pocket or purse to be as quaint as someone using a Motorola StarTAC today.