The Future of Communication

The Future of Communication

On Day 1 of CommunicAsia 2014, Toby Ruckert – CEO of Unified Inbox welcomed the delegates with a short vision of how technology and data may impact our lives in the coming years.

We’ve included highlights of this speech below.


“The Future of Communication”I remember buying my first modem in 1992 and getting my first mobile phone in 1994 – the excitement of no longer being time or location bound in order to communicate with friends or family was very real, incredibly empowering and came with certain competitve advantages.

We got used to that initial freedom quickly and with the rise of the internet, social media and OTT, the second wave consisted mostly of digitization of as many forms of communication as possible.

The success of taking communication online had behavioural side effects. In certain age groups for instance, virtual communication realities often surpass the physical ones which have made us less capable of communicating well with each other.

The question of “what’s the optimum amount of connectivity” is one that we still have to answer.

Apparently, even the military is trying to figure out, how the use of Facebook is affecting the soldier’s morale when being able to stay in touch with friends and family vs not being able to do so.

Eventually however, we’ll adapt, and digital communication itself will turn into a much deeper and more immersive experience for instance with the help of telepresence rooms, augmented reality or new devices such as smartwatches or smart glasses.

On the software side, smart assistants will help us to sift through enormous amounts of data which we’re creating every day, pointing out what’s most relevant for us to see and know about right now, while respecting our rights for privacy and the lifemode we’re currently in.

From a government perspective, big data analytics, especially in relation to M2M, is particularly interesting and already in use today.

Whether it’s to warn citizens in the case of emergencies – by broadcasting messages through the channel they’re currently on, or, by detecting bumps on the road in having smartphones automatically send an SMS each time they’re shaken up at a particular GPS location, so that somebody can come and fix the road.

In fact, the matter of privacy along with security and how to manage and organize our digital life holds a trillion dollar opportunity for the entire industry, especially for TelCo’s. In future – so governments permit – people will be able to choose the provider they trust and move data seamlessly between them.

After years of building the necessary infrastructure and services, “Software is now eating the world” as Marc Andreessen famously put it 3 years ago already. Today, there is hardly an industry which is not affected by it.

I believe that the future of communication will see an even more holistic and integrative approach between software, devices and human-machine interaction.

I realized this a few weeks ago while testing Google Glass. (read more on Toby’s blog)

Whether a device like this will become mainstream or accepted in society is something I don’t know.

What I do know is that everything is getting connected, integrated and unified. The moment I put on Glass, it’s involuntarily connected to me, my smartphone, the internet and everything around me.

The so-called “internet of things” therefore is much more than what we can fathom today. It’s not only a link between machine to machine, between context and content, but ultimately leading the way for living and non-living things to connect and communicate with each other.

This gives rise to certain trends which will play an important role in Communication over the next 5-10 years, such as:

  • Unification, especially UC (example Glass)
  • Context awareness
  • User centric experience (prescription glasses)
  • Any 2 Any (device to device)
  • Affordability (difference of having access to a product and being able to pay for it)


In this interview with Channel News Asia, Toby takes the opportunity to expand on these ideas of how the typical day may look in 2020.

By | 2017-05-29T15:04:03+00:00 June 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Gulraiz Khalid
UIB Director of PR and MarCom Gulraiz covers the latest news on IoT, AI, and technology-enabled productivity.