Emerging Trends | Youth
April 22, 2016

Vision of the ICT industry in 20 years: competition winner

To celebrate ITU’s 150th anniversary, the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communicationsheld an essay competition for junior high school students on the theme, ‘the image of the information and communications after 20 years.’ There were over 70 entries from around the world which were judged by an expert panel, including ITU150 Award laureate, Ken Sakamura.

The winning essay was submitted by Rino Nakama, Grade 7 student at Kumamoto City Higashimachi Junior High School. She won a personal meet-and-greet with ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao.

Below is Rino’s winning essay.

Dear 33-year-old self,

Hello, is that me in 20 years’ time?

Now in 2015, I am 13 years old. I am talking on a smartphone. Do you remember when “smartphones” were a huge hit? It’s the cellphone that you can use to access the Internet, email and SNS with, as well as make phone calls.

20 years have passed since 2015. What kind of communication tools are you using in 2035?

Wow! People all over the world are required to be implanted with microchips which are registered with personal identification! And they have a GPS function? I guess that the number of accidents and incidents must be fewer than in 2015. You are so lucky you live in a safe world. We want that system in our time.

The functions of cellphones surely have evolved significantly. I can’t believe it! Did you just say that cellphones are on exhibit only at the museum? You are talking with something like an ultra-miniaturized hands-free headset? Not only talking, there is a mode that enables conversation inside each other’s brain by catching brain waves when connecting to a terminal of personal identity chips to the synapse of a neuron!? That sounds like telepathy! That is a very useful function for patients who suffer from intractable diseases and have difficulty speaking, such as ALS, and for elderly people whose hearing is becoming less with age.

That reminds me of Alexander Graham Bell. As everyone knows, the starting point of his invention of the telephone was because his mother was hearing impaired. When Bell was young, he found that it was easier for his mother to hear when he spoke with his mouth on her forehead. That was the origin of ‘bone conduction’ technology, wasn’t it?

I hope that telecommunication technology collaborating with iPS cells can be achieved one day.

My dream will be realized in my future?

Is it a secret until 20 years have passed?

It was really nice to hear about the outstanding progress in communication technology. It’s so filled with hope and enormous potential. I hope we can make an effort toward achieving our dreams to meet our future self…

Communication has limitless possibilities. At present in 2015, along with the rapid spread of the smartphone, there is no denying that there are adverse effects along with all the conveniences. The telephone that Bell invented was meant to express feelings to others, and not to hurt people through misuse. 20 years later, when I am 33, I sincerely hope that communication technology will have come in use for peace and security for people all over the world in various fields, such as medicine, transportation, and even outer space.

“Hello, 33-year-old self. Do you live happily?”

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Vision of the ICT industry in 20 years: competition winner

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