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WEB OF WONDER

What's next for the net?

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The first thing that one is likely to notice in the future is the relative absence of the two main devices that one used to get connected to the Internet — smartphones and computers. It is not as if they have become extinct. It is just that almost every device that has a power chord plugged into it — from the microwave to the humble house iron — can go online. The result: you can check your appointments on the fridge door, send a mail to your microwave to bake a particular cake. Just about everything will be online.

Just do it...digitally
If you are already amazed at how simple book tickets for films and flights have got, thanks to the Internet, get ready to be really stunned by what confronts you in 2020. For, just about every task that you can think of will have gone online, leaving you with just the most basic thinks to do physically — from spotting parts of your house that need cleaning (using dust sensors that communicate with your vacuum cleaner) to packing gifts (printer-scanner-copier-packer, anyone?). Yep, a digital life it will be.

On cloud nine...literally
Almost a decade ago, the-then CEO of Sun Microsystems Scott McNealy had made a profound comment: "The network is the computer." And in 2020, this will certainly be the case. Hard drives and portable storage is likely to be history, as people will be storing everything on the cloud online and will be able to access it irrespective of location and device. Oh, and most of the applications and software will run off the internet too — the net, in essence will be one large computer running everything. Just like Scott predicted!

Just say the word!
The reign of English as the lingua franca of the internet is likely to be nearing its end in 2020, as other languages too make their presence felt in cyberspace. By this time, voice recognition too would have improved by leaps and bounds, allowing most of us to do our tasks by uttering them. So you might be able to walk into a cafe and holler "chai" into the tablet menu to place an order for tea.

Everyone's connected, everywhere
It might have taken 3G ages to reach most parts of the world but by 2020, we reckon that whatever holds you back from going online, it won't be connectivity. Access to the internet will have improved substantially to the point of being as much a part of our lives as electricity and drinking water are right now.

Quo vadis? Security matters!
With just about everything and its grandmother going digital and online, security would have an entirely new connotation. It might well have moved beyond routine usernames and passwords to facial, voice and fingerprint recognition in most places to ensure that the wrong person does not meddle with your information... and heck, your life. Extremist organisations might turn to knocking out services and servers to draw attention to their causes.

Reader's opinion (3)

Naresh P AMay 7th, 2011 at 12:50 PM

It is understandable that internet becomes ubiquitous & may challenge the existing social struture beyond comprehension & offers world of oppurtunity for generation next.

Divya May 2nd, 2011 at 15:01 PM

I don't think this is necessarily good news. Living a digital life may be tempting but it is not in the best of our interests. I don't know how many people have seen Disney's WALL-E but if you haven't, please do! A digital life will only make us lazier and more unproductive than we already are.

Doctor ShankarApr 16th, 2011 at 11:06 AM

it makes interesting reading. The shadow will become real. We all will become slaves of technology. I do not in anyway quesstion the advantages. But let us study the flipside so that we can adjust the future accordingly.
Dr. K. Shankar

 
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