Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell on the future of software

November 13, 2010 | Source: CNET News

“The biggest thing for the near future is auto-cars, which will change everything,” said video game pioneer Nolan Bushnell. “The costs are there right now. The Google car actually was cost-effective. Think of no traffic congestion, highways that can hold 30 times as much traffic. Half the energy costs. Insurance will drop to a fraction of what it costs now. People don’t understand how horrible the average driver is. The number of body shops will be 20 percent of today. It’ll be disruptive, and they will not go away without a fight. Of course, bars will do a great business because drunk driving will be OK.

“The first phase will be to keep the seat belts and seats facing forward. After a while the passenger compartment will become a more communal experience, with a table, a desk, a video screen, etc. Think about being dropped off at a restaurant and the car parking itself a mile away for $3. … The only issue is how powerful will be the Luddites.”

Bushnell also sees three other important trends in the future of software.”One is the elimination of credentials. People are not their credit cards or passports and those are subject to fraud that is costing us billions of dollars. The physical metrics are better and cheaper and will be deployed. You will walk into a restaurant and pay by looking into a camera or by using your thumbprint. No identity thief will be able to do that. You can access all your accounts and board a plane naked. Another will be the cloud containing all our medical information with layers of security. This will help solve the genome problem by sharing your DNA and medical condition but with identity stripped off. Another is personal robotics.”