If you think of it, 17 years ago many people around the world couldn’t even understand the Y2K phenomenon and what the internet really meant. With the rise of smartphones, the internet has become the hidden gem revealed to almost everyone. Nowadays, it’s everywhere, and it continues to evolve.
Almost every day, there are new changes and developments happening that improve our connectivity. We can see new apps that replace several manual tasks, and new devices are being launched that are accessible by many people.
Technology changes very fast as when a new software app is developed, we learn to use it, and before we finish learning it, there is a new version or update that is ready to replace it. This is also how mobile devices evolved from analog cell phones to smartphones. Obviously, the internet will continue to evolve in a way that will go beyond our imagination.
Today, we will go over six predictions for how the internet will change over the next 10 years. Let’s get started!
1. Internet Connectivity in Outer Space
Recently, internet connections were only possible at home and at work. With the development of Wi-Fi technology, we can now access the internet almost anywhere. Of course, there are still some remote places on earth where Wi-Fi connectivity is impossible, but the time will come when the world becomes one big Wi-Fi zone.
What about outside the earth? Nowadays, some companies are developing their own vehicles that can travel in the suborbital space for tourism purposes. When space tourism is established, there is a great chance the internet will soon allow connectivity in outer space. It’s most likely that travelers will feel nostalgic without being connected to the internet while orbiting the earth.
2. The Internet of Things Will Become Predominant
Today, what we know about the internet is that all websites are connected to one another, and that the primary devices which make such connections possible are servers, computers, smartphones and tablets.
The Internet of Things, on the other hand, is actually not the connection of many devices to the internet. Rather, it’s the interconnection of many devices. One classic example is the use of a remote-controlled device, while another example is GPS tracking. In the future, self-driving cars and smart home devices will surely become prevalent.
3. Privacy Will Become a Privilege
In principle, privacy is one of the many human rights we enjoy today. We protect it and live by it. However, there is a trend that is slowly destroying it. In this informational age, it seems very difficult to protect our privacy, especially now that almost all companies require customer data. The internet has become the means to trade in our privacy with a marketing grid.
In the future, privacy will become a precious commodity only the rich can afford to buy. Even today, it seems we need to start investing to protect our privacy, let alone in the years to come.
4. Automation Will Eliminate Manual Jobs
Apparently, the future of technology is geared towards automation. This movement actually started in the Industrial Revolution, and it evolved slowly throughout the century. With the rise of the internet, automation has become widespread. Nowadays, there are many new productivity apps that can be performed by what used to be done by a team of people.
Automation will not only take place in the manufacturing setup. It will also happen in our home where all our household chores can be done by just a click of a button. The time will come when every company will also be reduced to a single software platform. There are some virtual companies these days that are run not by people but by apps, and the owners just sit and enjoy their passive income.
5. Augmented Reality
We all know about virtual reality, and it seems this technology will still need further improvement before its full potential is realized. Behind the scenes, there is a growing trend towards the development of augmented reality technology. This technology is like virtual reality in the sense that it satisfies our thirst to view things in amazing ways. The difference is that this technology will help us see reality in a much smarter way.
The first attempt to realize this technology is the recently launched Google Glass, and was followed by Microsoft’s Holo Lens. Although these devices are still in the process of further redevelopment, more and more innovations like them will surely be developed in the next 10 years.
6. Internet Connection Will Become Free
Today, we get connected to the internet because we pay for this subscription for a certain period of time in which we can renew later. There are also prepaid options which many users can also take advantage of. However, all of these are paid services and in the next 10 years, there is a probability that internet connections will be free.
The above predictions are based on the way technology has developed recently, but we don’t know when this will take place. Besides, nobody can predict the future. Did anyone ever imagine 10 years ago that smartphones today would exist?
Actually, what many experts predicted was the introduction of smart watches with which one could communicate with another person live and face to face. Yes, it happens not through smart watches but through smartphones. Therefore, the internet has the potential of so much more than we ever imagined.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.