6 minute read.

What does the future hold for the web?


Paul Anthony / October 20, 2013

Posted in: Archive


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Sometimes its fun to do a little star-gazing, and having considered that we are pretty much living in the future now, I wondered what it might be like to experience the Internet and some technology advances in anything from five to ten years. Here’s just a few of my own thoughts on what the internet has in store in the next couple of years – feel free to reblog your own, or leave a comment.

Faster, Always on internet

The internet is going to get faster, and become more omnipresent. We’ll pretty much become always connected, and this will give rise to even more innovation in terms of wearable computing. The speeds we are currently experiencing on our own broadband connections is likely to become so fast that hosting your own website rather than outsourcing the infrastructure is feasible. Software downloads and streaming take off for video game consoles, giving rise to more and more on demand gaming subscription models. SteamOS, having positioned itself cleverly now will become a major player in the gaming market, due to its hands off approach to hardware, (ala Android) and burgeoning community of gamers. Software companies follow Adobe in moving to always-online subscription based models for software to combat piracy.

Websites become easier

DIY hardware web server in a box solutions will come as a complete website software that any person can pick up cheaply and get a website online with including domain purchase. Existing hosting companies will have to diversify into other markets as they no longer become the gatekeepers to getting websites online, and their fast pipe to the web is no an advantage to using them.  Open source software such as WordPress and Magento will come bundled with setup wizards allowing anyone to point and click build their own site quickly and easily without technical help. Plug your website in a box solution into a router, and away you go. Instant .com.

Darknets grow in size

With the expose of how much we are being monitored on the regular internet, and privacy becoming more of an everyday concern, as Wired have recently pointed out the Darkweb isn’t just becoming a place for criminals and paedophiles. Projects such as Hyperboria and Project MeshNet offer sites not available on the regular web, and geeks not just scoundrels are exploring them and building upon them with increased frequency. Just as File-Sharing services have already taken off over anonymous networks, so too will the regular web follow. Google will begin indexing the Darkweb and Chrome will natively facilitate connections over Tor.

Decentralised Social Networks become more popular

Teenagers continue to use shorter sharper connections to communicate, today kids are spending more time watching videos and looking at photos than reading statuses. Not only that but having their own space online and identity that can be shaped and customised (Tumblr) – is important to them. Facebook isn’t cool and is losing teens.

Growth in multiplatform advertising campaigns

With more and more young people engaged in other advertising mediums, when watching TV they are online and vice versa, it stands to reason that we’ll see smarter advertising campaigns to capture the “Lean back” audience rather than the “Lean forward” one.  With the proliferation of internet ready TV’s and their capabilities we’ll be sure to see additional viewer interaction with the advert we are watching, when we are watching it. With Google continuing to forage into the home entertainment sector, you can bet your bottom dollar that knowing the TV shows you watch will both enhance your ‘profile’ and further dictate buying patterns so expect tailored, personalised advertising in the living room. Narrowcasting rather than broadcasting will become the norm.

3D Printing becomes everyday

With 3D printing devices available in every home, there will be a surgence in product design. Just as the web has given everyday people (like me!) the ability to reach an audience and publish; 3D printing will provide anyone with the ability to design and create products in the home. There will be 3D printing shops on the high street, supplying materials and offering the purchase of really high end designs (the internet of course already way ahead with open source free models).

The Internet of things

It’s pretty obvious that more and more everyday objects are going to become internet enabled. We’ve already got Smoke alarms that are internet ready, and Door locks, and baby monitors and fridges and lights and although not yet consumer ready – self driving cars.  These items will become not only more affordable, but more commonplace and everyday. Kitchens will have built in Internet ready apps for recipes such as this DIY option. Rooms will pick up your mood from sentiment analysis on statuses on social networks, and provide appropriate music.

Streaming killed the radio star

Internet ready radio becomes standard in car entertainment, and gives much more choice. More people become broadcasters in their own right via internet radio, and the resulting choice of ad free internet services has the same impact on radio, as online has for traditional newspaper businesses. Services such as Spotify and Netflix become even more mobile, with apps available in car, providing streaming content on the move wherever you are.

Big Data becomes more widespread

Smaller companies begin taking seriously the competitive advantage of recording all and customer processes and detail. Google launch a Big Data product for small business that provides point and click customer modelling and intelligence at affordable pricing on top of Big Query.

Mobile

Mobile software will no longer require native code to perform well with difficult computation problems, the browser will become the platform, with manufacturers releasing intermediate APIs that now allow developers to natively control the camera, the gyroscope, the microphone, the all other I/O devices available on your phone via HTML and Javascript. These API’s will become part of the HTML spec.  JIT compilers become optimised such that native code we are experiencing now will be possible in Javascript. Battery power will be enhanced by solar charging built directly into the phone material itself. Mobile Internet usage exceeds Desktop usage (India having already done so May 2012, other countries follow suit).

Wearable Computing

App markets for wearable computing devices will explode, and we’ll see widespread usage of these devices.  We’ll be able to get first person perspective of sporting events from participants in the sport. Televised/ For better or worse, we’ll become more connected all the time. Wristbands monitor our sleep, and exercise regimes playing an integral role in our general fitness. Google glasses hit the news headline having been used in major surgical procedures. Skinput without wires becomes commercially viable.

Acquisitions

Google acquires Gigya to enhance its profile of customers and their interests on social networks, and Uber in pursuit of robo taxis. Apple acquires Nuance voice recognition software. Facebook acquires Snapchat and other cool teen hangouts in pursuit of a younger audience. Etsy acquires 3D printing marketplace Shapeways.

Tagged:
  • big data
  • facebook
  • fun
  • future
  • social

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