The Pew Research Center recently released "Future of the Internet III: How the Experts See It."
Since they didn't ask me, I am not sure how they came up with the title. Anywho, here are some of the article's "brave" prognostications about the Internet of 2020...
- The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
- The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
- Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
- Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing "arms race," with the "crackers" who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
- The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.
- "Next-generation" engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.
To all of these I say, "Well duh!" These predictions are so 2008!
Blue Skunk readers, gaze deeply into your crystal ball, Koi pond, or wine glass and do BETTER than the Pew's "experts." Cripes, 2020 is what (20, take away 8, let's see...) about 12 (exponential) years away.
I'll start you off...
1. Equipment. No more clunky iPods requiring pocket space and thin white cords. We'll all be wearing glam geek glasses with the computing power in the stems, holographic images on the lenses, and cochlear implants wirelessly transmitting sound. (Those voice you now hear from the toaster might be real!)
2. Content. Paper textbooks and reference materials will all be completely replaced by e-books - all accessed online, most written in in a Wikipedia-type arrangement. Actually, short text will be the only reading anyone under 30 will do since most complex information and communication will be done via audio, visuals, and iconography. Read for fun? The same people who now think going to the opera is fun might.
3. Interface. Internet III in 2020 will basically be Second Life in 3-D on Virtual Reality steroids. Let's walk into the virtual library and pull down those audio books we want to listen to. Visit to the sexy librarian avatar. My daemon (a blue skunk, of course), an intelligent agent that follows me from place to place on the Internet, will always be with me and use my past buying habits, learning experiences, and mistakes (should I make any) to offer suggestions and advice whenever I ask.
See you in 2020. Let's hear your bold predictions!