The future of the Internet
In my last article I mentioned how the Internet combined devices into a single source. In particular I wrote about how a simple device like a Smartphone combined television and Internet to complement telephone service. That is something I predicted over 25-years ago but what is coming is going to synchronize your whole world for you and it will make your life better to some regard and less personal in others.
Geo-synching and those cookies that install when you shop or browse for anything online will become so standard that your phone will be able to figure out what you are doing, where you are going, and how to customize the experience, as much as possible to your preferences, because it will evaluate everything you have done in the past and combine the data to accommodate you.
Enjoy the scenic route? Your phone will know it and it will know when you need to arrive as well. Something that already happened while driving using my phone for directions, as I approached a bridge the phone warned me of construction. The navigation device in the car knows where traffic has slowed and reports the speed of traffic.
If you are still able to get lost with a navigation device you won’t need to worry about who speaks your language? Language barriers will fall by the wayside in the future. You will be able to translate any language almost instantly if you need to stop for directions and asking a question to someone that doesn’t speak your language will not be a problem, your Internet device will understand and translate instantly. Communication will become so commonplace between devices it will not matter what language a person was brought up to speak.
In reflection, when I was in school we thought there would be a time that people could communicate so well that they would actually talk through their problems instead of making war. That day has come but the cause of war hasn’t decreased. Perhaps as long as there is profit to be made by making bombs war will always exist and war will always be a factor if the Internet comes under the control of companies that may decide on what content to display or not, who you can talk to or not. We certainly need to be guarded when it comes to allowing the control of information by government selected sources.
Other changes to the Internet will include multiple channels just like the television of today. One for shopping and one for social networks, one for banking and another for governments, yet more for universities and schools as well. There will be personal “private networks” for families and buffer zones for friends of the families. Where content now is open, it will close off just as if you had to enter a password, but there will be no passwords as we know them today, only access permission or denial. Need to get a file from a friend and the friend will be notified beforehand to grant access permission.
Today you have access to the entire world and tomorrow you will still have it, but it will be more personalize, privatized, and secure. Your devices preferences will be stored in the cloud and you will have multiple clouds based upon preferences. Change your device and the cloud remains and your new connection will automatically sync to the cloud. No DVD’s to buy or store, they will be in your cloud. Family pictures and history will also be stored in the cloud. Home schooling may just become the norm too and your entire test history will be in your cloud for future generations to see. No more bullies at school and less in person social interaction and for those in my field of web design, they will become life designers and I hope we build a beautiful world.
Here is a list of ten inventions I imagined back in the nineties:
- Free online learning with Open Universities for all. Here is a sample.
- Mobile computing with wireless Internet everywhere including the most remote areas of the world.
- Nearly a currency free economy based on a barter system of services or product exchanges.
- Instant access to vital areas as it concerns survival. Health, Protection, and Food delivery foremost, especially pizza and beer.
- A free exchange of ideas or plans so scientist could collaborate or doctors could work together for cures.
- Inventory management from the cash register to the production facilities so waste is reduced in the production method and storage facilities would be smaller.
- Highways that would adjust speed limits to traffic patterns to allow for quicker/safer transportation or streets that know when children are playing. STOP SIGNS that know you don’t know to stop so they say GO instead.
- In queue government services based upon appointments set before leaving home so you could manage your day.
- In queue repairs to roads that are reported by drivers. No more pot holes.
- Cyber tracking of criminals, scammers, and bad people in general.
As you can see some of these things have come to life and yet there are others that need to be invented. Here in the United States we have a Department of Homeland Security. At present its main job is to stop people who commit horrible acts of terror but in the future it just may have a department that will investigate all acts of crime such as cyber crime and shut them down at the source. This may sound like the ideal protection system or not but one thing will be sure, in the next few decades personal privacy is going to be lost and government access to everything you do will be seamless. George Orwell was right! Just a bit early.
I also foresee religion evolving to accommodate people’s lifestyles. Humans need something to believe in bigger than them selves but what we have believed in over the centuries has evolved and will continue to evolve. This will happen more quickly now there are information resources free accessible to everyone. As we approach Easter Sunday we know that we can research and discover the meaning of those bunnies. Fertility goddess you say, yep, but how did a fertility goddess get involved in Christianity? You can look it up and see for yourself how religion changed then and it will happen again.
At some point the Indian class system will combine with your credit history. Don’t pay your bills and you are demoted, do something great and a promotion just may take place. But promotions will not be too common because once they have you down you will stay there for a long time. The new “one-percent” that controls everything will not be the rich; their money will be worthless because technology/convenience will be the new currency. Online stores will deliver next day and FedEx just may make many of the products you use at a facility near you just before they pack it in the truck. Manufacturing facilities will be smaller and serve a localized region instead of making products at one central location. Three dimensional printing will become a thing of the past just like the Betamax. I don’t know what will replace the “3-D printer” it but it will include a seamless assembly process.
Google will change to show you how to do everything through audio-visual streaming. Ask Google and it will not only show you but offer to have someone do it for you or teach you instead. But even Google as we know it will be gone because someone will pass a law to break it up just like AT&T. Baby Google’s will exist and they will serve specialty pages of information. I doubt we will call them pages then however, perhaps screens.
The future will be accommodating and appear very private but it really will not be private at all. Search companies will have endless records of everything you did and predict what you will do next. Governments will know your entire history, credit companies will fit you into a class of customer, and merchants will send you coupons before you realize you want the product, perhaps on an estimate date of when you realize you want the product. Friends will become closer and there will be many you never meet in person.
The future is coming fast. You better prepare for it now.