This book, the first to examine the astonishing developments in Information Technology, predicts the seamless merging of communication, computing, and consumer electronics in coming years. The authors are leading futurologists who explore the significance of these developments and their radical impact not only on business and economic systems but also on the very structure of society. Computers will talk to one another; new textiles will control the body's temperature; smart buildings will monitor and alter heat, light, music, decoration, and mood. People will work in local technology centers, while retail outlets will give way to personal agents who choose goods from the Internet. As networks link individuals far and wide, governments will find it harder to control what happens within their boundaries; sophisticated new surveillance techniques could threaten individual freedoms and cyberwars could wreak terrible technological destruction. Will we accept that our species could make a great evolutionary leap forward by becoming part human, part machine?