It’s 2016 now, and the internet is a far cry from what it looked like a decade ago. It’s changed and altered many aspects of everyday life. For example, ordering food and goods, and doing everyday shopping is now done more often online than in person, and thanks to the advent of smartphones, we’re more interconnected than ever before, able to check social media while walking into work.
Believe it or not, the public web is only 25 years old; and if all that has changed in just a few years, what could it look like in another 5 years? Or 10, or 20? According to research done by the Pew Research Center, in which they sourced answers from roughly 1,500 technology experts, the answers might surprise you!
How We Rely on the Internet
The internet has already started becoming an essential utility, like water or electricity; in some modern homes, some important functions, like home security or temperature control, rely upon a sound internet connection. But that may only become more true as more and more new homes are built with tech in mind. And as workplace expectations continue to shift the onus on employees to answer and respond to emails and other work needs at home, it’s quite possible that more and more people will be taking their work home. In fact, recent advances have allowed any smooth household surface to be used like a touch screen, allowing for interfacing with the internet.
Now in 2016, big data has begun to allow us to look at consumer behaviors, and allowed businesses to fine-tune everything they do thanks to increasingly detailed information on how consumers behave. How they buy, when they buy, and what web-based tools they can use to encourage spending have all dramatically increased. But big data is affecting other fields, too! For example, it’s being used in healthcare to find new cures for diseases, to average out which treatments for known problems are more effective, and even to suggest which patients might be at risk for specific conditions.
What does all that mean? Mostly, that we’ll be even more aware of our own subconscious behaviors, and we’ll be able to establish new breakthroughs in sciences where large amounts of data and information about populations can yield interesting information.
Virtual Reality Web Surfing
Can you imagine browsing the internet in virtual reality? Because that might just be only a few years into the future. The Oculus Rift technology has made significant steps towards making this a reality for many. Websites like Best10websitebuilders.com might soon be rating which website builders allow you to build or code for VR experiences!
Access to Larger Computing Power May Cause Problems
One of the more significant problems posed by people having ever-more access to computing power is that the internet’s more nefarious users will be able to do ever-more damage with ever-increasing scope. And unfortunately, organizations can rarely respond quickly enough to secure themselves adequately, as more and more successful hacking attempts against large organizations are proving. This means that governments and organizations might increasingly invade privacy and monitor the web-browsing and internet behaviors of individuals.
Improvements to Education
As global access to the internet and resources like online encyclopedias, online classes, and learning resources increases, larger and larger populations will be better and better educated, resulting in reduced barriers to entry for jobs and more opportunities to more individuals. In fact, widespread internet access may reduce the need for brick and mortar schools and universities, and more and more learning may be done digitally or virtually.
The ever-increasing need for individuals to be connected will inspire entrepreneurs, inventors, and other individuals to create new technologies which are less reliant on increasingly expensive rare metals and fossil fuels, which are currently necessary in the manufacture of many common technologies and swiftly being depleted or are experiencing shortages.