Parag and Ayesha Khanna of the Hybrid Reality Institute make their case that the Information Age is already behind us:

Mankind is now experiencing its fifth and most intense technological revolution, and we are transitioning into the Hybrid Age. Most people believe we are still living in the Information Age, but in fact we have already reached an inflection point, a brewing storm that will once again drastically change individual life and society. The revolution in the nature of technology is fundamentally distinct from previous ones in five ways:

Ubiquitous. Computers have exponentially become more powerful and cheaper at the same time.  This trend is expected to continue for at least another decade, after which molecular computer is expected to accelerate the trend for even faster, cheaper and nano-scale computers. (Already today’s smartphones used by teenagers to text friends have as much computing power as the Apollo spacecraft that traveled to the moon in 1969.) Soon extremely small computing machines and sensors will move from our smartphones and laptops into every single object we encounter in our daily lives, including being embedded in our own bodies. Hewlett Packard estimates that by 2015, there will be one trillion devices connected to the Internet constantly recording and sharing information. By 2020, we will literally live in technology.

I was lucky enough to spend some time mind-sparring with the Khanna’s and a few of their Hybrid Reality colleagues at a recent salon. HRI’s take on the future is a wonderfully rare one, in that technology is viewed through the lens of people: culture, society, and art dominate the conversation, not the next great gizmo.