Trendwatching.com has identified a trend called life caching. What is "life-caching"? It's the emerging capabilities for...
|...collecting, storing and displaying one's entire life, for private use, or for friends, family, even the entire world to peruse. ...[it] owes much to bloggers... millions of people have taken to digitally indexing their thoughts, rants and God knows what else; all online, disclosing the virtual caches of their daily lives, exciting or boring. Next came moblogging, connecting camera phones to online diaries, allowing not only for more visuals to be added to blogs, but also for real-time, on the go postings of experiences and events. And that's still just the beginning.|
Trendwatching notes services like Nokia's Lifeblog, which uses the Nokia 6620 as the hub of a collection service for notes, videos, high-res (1.1 Megapixel) still photos, sound clips, etc. and is capable of delivering the life-cache to an Internet blog site.
Think Gmail's 2+ gigabyte limit and miniatured high-density MP3 players that are worn on a lanyard (like the iPod Shuffle). Microsoft Research's Rick Rashid had a neat sound bite:
|...you can store every conversation you've ever had in a terabyte. You can store every picture you've ever taken in another terabyte. And the Net Present Value of a terabyte is USD 200...|
Three interesting ramifications to the life-caching trend that I see:
Security - if you're able to carry around a USB flash card that centralizes your music, photos, videos, documents, etc., then security will be a huge concern. You don't want to lose the equivalent of your entire life to a stranger. So... how can you protect your data?
Privacy - publishing an increasing percentage of your life-cache to the Internet raises a variety of privacy concerns. Will the bad guys (and it's difficult to even identify who the bad guys are these days) get hold of your data in such a way as to compromise your identity, subsume your credit or otherwise cause heartache? With life-caching, the ChoicePoints of the world aren't disclosing the data the bad guys require... you are.
Counter-googling - attendant with privacy issues is the one-to-one marketing trend called counter-googling, in which legitimate companies build up directories of useful information about customers and prospects based upon the public life-caches they've assembled. Companies will know more and more about you -- even without the ChoicePoints of the world -- and will use that data to target your whims, desires and weaknesses to extract additional dough from your wallet.