Steve Jobs is putting the world to work

Today Steve Jobs announced that ten million vPods have been sold and that his World of Work enterprise has created more than ten million jobs. The workplace is virtual and proprietary, but it creates real jobs.

The vPod helps you get there. “Buy one and you can travel from home to work in less than a second”, states Jobs matter-of-factly, but that is what we have come to expect from him.

The vPod encapsulates the whole body in the work space and movements are synchronized with 3D virtual reality, making cyber sickness a thing of the past.

In this virtual workplace altered appearances are encouraged – one of the reasons why vPods are so popular with pensioners returning to work – but identity fraud is not possible, even guaranteed by Jobs. World of Work, or ‘WOW!’, everyone agrees, is better than reality.

WOW! is all about face-to-face networking. Deals are made with a handshake. Everything is ‘recorded’ and instant playback makes record keeping redundant. Workers can now focus on designing and creating knowledge products, from paintings to tax returns.

Knowledge workers are flocking to WOW! – most to work, but many to play one of Pixar’s award winning games.

Jobs has once again reinvented the way we work, and play.

(Read the full story in the Analysis/Synthesis section – for subscribers only)

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

1913 – 2001: Model T to HT
October 1913: Henry Ford introduces the moving assembly line. Eventually, Model T’s roll off a production line every 10 seconds of every working day. The automobile changes the way people live.
December 2001. The Segway® Human Transporter (HT) is unveiled as the first self-balancing, environment-friendly transportation device. “As big a deal as the PC”, said Steve Jobs. Designed to revolutionize personal transportation, the Segway fails miserably. Its 10 microprocessors with the processing power of three PCs, could not outperform 3.3 million years evolution of learning to walk upright.

2001: iPod launched
November 2001. Steve Jobs releases the iPod. Eighteen months later it is a smash hit, enjoying a 65 percent market share of the digital audio player market. iPod becomes a must-have fashion accessory. Following years of defeat by Microsoft, IBM and Dell in the PC market, iPod puts Apple back on the map.

2004: Actors imitated
October 2004. DreamWorks releases Shark Tale, an animation film making use of 3D Rendering software supplied by Pixar. The same software was used in Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix Reloaded and many more. What sets Shark Tale apart is the resemblance between the animated characters and the voice actors. Animators studied how the actors moved and even their facial expressions were captured (with some features being exaggerated of course).

2005: Gates promises “digital bliss”
January 2005, Las Vegas. Bill Gates says Microsoft will help millions of consumers stay seamlessly plugged into a world of ‘digital bliss’. He explains that proliferation of broadband internet access and the falling price of data storage are compelling people to put more aspects of their life into digital form. During the demonstration Gates experiences two system failures – a bad omen for Microsoft’s ability to deliver on Gates’ promise.

2006 – 2011: Global warming; mPod launched
December 2006. A month ago the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that the US is threatening the existence of 155 000 Inuit (Eskimos) as it is substantially contributing to global warming. Lawyer Ed Fagan, acting for the Inuit, filed a class action against the US Government, making global warming a human rights issue.
July 2010. President Hilary Clinton over-reacts on global warming, rising oil prices and a growing trade deficit and places ‘severe restrictions on use of automobiles’. Having never signed the Kyoto treaty, policy makers are now trying their utmost to undo the damage already done. Microsoft uses the opportunity to offer remote access, claiming that knowledge workers need not travel at all. They claim that their MS Office suite 2010 will remain the pillar of the productive economy. Gates has the ear of Washington, no longer the automakers and oil companies, but all work and no play makes Gates a dull boy.
June 2011. Steve Jobs launches the mPod as the ultimate accessory to the iPod. The mobile pod is a single wheel upgrade of the Segway personal transporter. At half the size and price of the Segway (with twice the looks), mPod sales skyrocket. Some say it is a direct consequence of Clinton’s restrictive legislation on automobiles – ironic seeing that (then senator) Clinton voted against the introduction of its predecessor back in 2002.

2015: Jobs and GM launch the vPod
January 2015. With great fanfare Steve Jobs and General Motors unveil the vPod. They claim that the virtual pod is the cure for cyber sickness. Cyber sickness is caused by our sense of balance, when a disparity exists between visual and audio inputs and the physical orientation of the body. Steve Jobs’ practical solution is to simulate real movement when encapsulated in the vPod. The vPod uses the mPod’s auto-balancing technology synchronized with simulations generated by Pixar’s 3D rendering software. He has Microsoft and IBM to thank for reducing Apple computers to the back-offices of animators and storytellers. Steve Jobs’s Pixar produced films like Shark Tale and their proprietary 3D rendering software became an industry standard for ‘life-like’ animation. Even facial expressions are captured in the virtual representation of the user.
2016. The vPod is a run-away success with companies and individuals flocking to the World of Work (WOW!) to do business. When an audit firm now hires you, a vPod is delivered to your door the following day. A surprising emerging market is sales of vPods to pensioners returning to work. Steve Jobs pledges to provide an enhanced vPod with active-passive control to assist people suffering from restricted movement. “For the younger generations we will produce software to turn the vPod into a personal gym,” he said smiling.

2017: Gates fails on promise
December 2017. Lawyer Ed Fagan, files a class action against Microsoft for what he termed “the inhumane separation of people through technology”. The hot-line opened for sufferers from depression, cyber sickness and general loneliness is inundated with calls from remote workers, who after years of staring at a computer screen feels that life has passed them by. What Gates gave them was at best a 2D version of reality.

Jan 2018: Jobs’ World of Work
January 2018. Steve Jobs announces that World of Work now has more than ten million employees.

There are many examples of people living to be true to their name, with Otto Titzling, the inventor of the brassiere, one of the more famous. This should have been a cue that Steve Jobs would not be content with entertainment only. He is putting the world to work. Who’s to say that Fagan will not succeed with his class action against Microsoft? Only time will tell how Gates lived up to his name. Was he open or did he close us in? When compared to Jobs, maybe his only crime is a failure of imagination.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.