Of course on one hand we are no where near as advanced in manned space flight as described in those books.
But I think there is more than a kernel of truth to the title of the 2010 movie - "The Year We Make Contact." Though I doubt it will be with any alien monolith.
Instead 2010 is when globally mobile phones really explode both in terms of smart-phone and the low-end.
Already in 2009 we saw mobile phone subscriptions hit 4 BILLION. There are 7 Billion people on the planet. Which means there is only very few other technologies that have type of reach - we call them fire and the wheel.
While I'm constantly amazed at seeing how the lowly mobile phone has helped improve lives of people in particular in the poorer parts of the world, I want to focus a bit more on the smart-phone market.
This week there were two major phone related announcements.
The first was of course the Google Nexus One. My thought on it is that I agree with one of the TechCrunch op-eds on it - that Google and Apple are tag-teaming the telcos in how we buy our phones. In particular in the next couple of years as new chips emerge that can put multiple radios into a single slim device will make it much easier for handset manufacturers to have one device that can work with multiple providers. I don't think either Google or Apple will knock the other one out. But they could knock some of the other players out. Though with 4 billion consumers in the world - you could probably make a nice business with a very small subset of that even if it meant that nobody in the US has ever heard of you.
The second was the launch of AppMakr. AppMakr lets you convert RSS feeds into a branded, dedicated iPhone application for about $200 US. Meaning you can sell it or give it away for free on the Apple iTunes store. With or Without ads. Since I've made a personal goal for 2010 to actually publish my personal fiction - AppMakr really intrigues me. I foresee it as a cheap way to provide a branded delivery mechanism of short-stories/novellas - something not really easily done with other self-publishing mechanisms. I know it's limited to Apple (though that's still a sizable market) but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't extended to at least Android and possibly others in the future.
There is of course implications to identity in all of this but I don't have anything concrete on that to share at the moment.