The technology sector is, without a doubt, one of the fastest developing sectors and the rate of progress is increasing with each passing year. For someone to have predicted how the internet would progress from its humble beginnings in the 1960s, to how people interact with it today, it would have been almost impossible to imagine.
It is equally difficult to predict how the internet will continue to progress in the future, however, leading experts can agree on which are the most realistic predictions to expect in the coming decade.
In the past, people would connect to the internet in various ways, whether using a dial-up modem, using a SIM card or connecting to a Wi-Fi network. All of these options mean that there are periods of internet connectivity as well as periods where one is offline. In the future, internet connectivity will constant and seamless, forming a Universal Internet that does not require human interaction to connect. The flow of information over the internet will become so seamlessly interwoven that it will feel imperceptible.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
While virtual reality technology is not new, it has been slow to take off since it was first introduced in the 1980s. With the significant success of VR devices such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, there has been a huge resurgence in terms of interest. Now that mobile devices are becoming powerful enough to enable the integration of augmented reality, both AR and VR will become more available in everyday devices and continue to be integrated in daily life.
Privacy will become a Commodity
Bearing in mind that internet access is becoming more constant, and that people use social media and other apps on a daily basis, personal privacy will continue to become an ever bigger concern. There is a possibility that privacy could be a commodity that only the rich will be able to afford; with this is mind, there are likely to be a number of companies offering various levels of privacy at a cost. People have made trade-offs for their privacy in exchange for convenience and perceived immediate gains; this trend is likely to continue in the future.
Maturity of the Internet of Things (IoT)
There are already several connected devices on the market, which as light bulbs, refrigerators and doorbells. In the future, this will expand to health monitors, vehicles, currency and possibly every device that people use on a daily basis. It is also predicted that voice assistants in the home will become more commonplace.
It is no secret that machines are already replacing humans in the handling of manual repetitive tasks, however they are also starting to impact on more high level tasks, such as writing. In the future, it is predicted that the need for people to perform work will decrease, with the exception of highly specialized fields. Software, becoming more sophisticated and intelligent, to provide more resources, whereby maintaining a balance. While there is undoubtedly going to be problems to be addressed with regards to joblessness, there are short-term drawbacks that will lead to a more connected world in the long term.
Mars to have Internet Access
Of course, Earth is so far the only planet to make use of internet access. There are a number of planned missions to send the first explorers to Mars in the near future, and they will certainly need to communicate with family back home on Earth. There are plans to enable internet access on Mars by launching satellites in orbit around Mars, which would be able to transmit information between Mars and Earth within 24 minutes per upload.
The prominence of the 3D printer will continue to rise significantly. It is predicted that all homes of the future will have access to a 3D printer, potentially laying the foundation of a fully DIY economy. In this way, instead of physically buying an item in a store, it would be possible to simply purchase the ability to print the desired appliance.
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