New York, New York
Most capital spending goes into technology in one way or another. As businesses start to spend, the technology industry will benefit. One new technology that is exciting is local-area wireless, which is growing very quickly: It’s in hotels and coffee shops and up and down city streets. It got its start in university towns, Silicon Valley, and downtown New York, but it will spread. Soon you’ll be able to walk through the airport and have online access anywhere.
Wireless will make computing more sociable. Instead of going to some corner or finding some special place to log on, you can stay where you are, with other people, while you connect. It becomes a shared activity, like watching television, rather than an individual one.
Another promising area will be identity management: managing and controlling access to personal information. For starters, it’s going to be the focus of an interesting commercial market, which will be filled with companies looking to manage identities for online services. These companies will have to learn how to handle their customers’ rights to control their personal data. The real winners in this game will be those who understand that people want to regulate their information without being confused by the tools that help them do it.
Esther Dyson is chairman of EDventure Holdings, publisher of the technology- industry newsletter “Release 1.0,” and sponsor of the PC Forum and High-Tech Forum conferences.