The Future of Email
The Future of Email
[The following is an editorial by TechCast sales rep Yannis Kalfoglou and Jordan Fantaay. Together they form part of the founding team for Fantoo, a service that is looking to redefine email.]
Early in the history of our company, Fantoo, and quite to the surprise of our trademark attorney, we successfully trademarked the slogan, "Future of Email." At that point, redefining the future of email was our vision, but we didn't have a clear picture of what exactly the future of email would be. Many, many pitching sessions and industry networking events later, that image has become much more focused.
Email is essentially a stack of software protocols. And in all fairness it has solidly met society's communication needs for many years; billions of messages are sent daily, and that stack of protocols is still the backbone of communication for the connected world. What has changed in the last 20 years though is our expectations of electronic communications (as bandwidth and storage capacity grow) and the dependence on electronic communication in real- or near real-time. With apologies to William Gibson, the future of email is already here. And while it's not evenly distributed, it's already chipping away at email use.
You probably know it as "messaging" and currently is takes many successful forms, each of which relieves a pressure from (and compensates for a failing of) traditional email. Whether its Google Hangouts, iMessage, Twitter, Skype chat, Facebook messages, SnapChat or Yammer, more services are popping up every year that continue to eat away at the core of email use. But the big question is will anything ever completely replace what we know today as email?" Do people really want that?
We think they do. When it comes to communication, we need to acknowledge that pictorial elements are gaining prominence again (a tip of the hat to our hieroglyphic communicating ancestors). We think pictures will be a fundamental mode of future communication. People communicate using text in many different ways - tweets, IMs, etc. - and there will be new, imaginative ways to use pictures as the unit of communication. Services like SnapChat and Vine are only the beginning.
Additionally, the vast amounts of data flowing through email regularly lead people to complain about being overwhelmed. The ability to comprehend the reader's context and to semantically comprehend the details of the content being transmitted - through a gamut of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence's machine learning and semantic technologies - has not been tapped or executed to the degree it could be. We believe this is the next big technological change that has the potential to affect and define the future of email.
So as you look at the future of electronic communication, look at ways the next generation is communicating with images. And look toward these early forms of artificial intelligence to fundamentally shift how we interconnect as a species.
[Image credit: Konstantin Malanchev via Wikimedia Commons]
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