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Summary:

The world today is more plugged in than ever before. The question now is: Are there still new frontiers that can benefit from added connectivity? We pulled aside a few tech industry leaders who spoke at the GigaOM RoadMap 2011 conference to find out.

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Thanks to the billions of broadband-enabled devices that have cropped up in recent years, in many ways the world today is more plugged in and connected than ever before. But the high level of interest and investment in the technology industry at the moment shows that many folks out there still believe there is lots of growth yet to be realized.

The question now is: Where, exactly, will the new developments be? Where is there still big potential to add connectivity that can make our lives better? I pulled aside a few tech industry leaders who spoke at the GigaOM RoadMap 2011 conference just before they each took the stage last week to find out. As you’ll see in the videos embedded below, they each had definite opinions on the subject.

  • Tom Conrad, the CTO and executive vice president of product for music streaming pioneer Pandora Media, says that his company is working on making its technology available everywhere there are people, from cars to refrigerators:
  • Matt MacInnis, the founder and CEO of iPad textbook company Inkling, thinks that individual students should be more connected while they’re studying. Essentially, the end of the “bookworm” reputation could be nigh:
  • Things started to get really interesting with Frank Moss, the tech industry veteran who led Tivoli Systems through its IPO and subsequent merger with IBM in the mid-1990s, and more recently worked as the director of the MIT Media Lab from 2006 to 2011. According to Moss, the next frontier for connectivity lies within our own bodies — right down to the cellular level:
  • Salim Ismail, the global ambassador and founding executive director for Singularity University, also believes that the realm of connected devices should expand to inside our own bodies. He took it one step further than Moss, though: Eventually, he said, technology will be used to measure things like luck, consciousness and self-awareness. It’s fair to say my mind was a bit blown by this one:

What do you think? Are there still untapped opportunities for connectivity, or have we as a society hit the saturation point for plugging in? If you have any insights, please weigh in using the comments.

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