It’s really hard to predict the future, especially so when it comes to technology and the likes. Here are some of my suggestions on what I think might happen to the internet 10 years from now. I’d be lucky if any of my suggestions here were to happen by then. Either they happen earlier than expected, or they don’t happen at all… But, there’s no harm thinking what the future might be like for the Internet.
Ok, nothing breakthrough about that. But I suppose we’ll get Internet coverages on our mobile devices in all sorts of weird places… Even out at sea… You truly can’t get lost now can you? I suppose mobile Internet should also be price affordable for all, if not low cost. And of course the speed and connectivity would be at an incredible rate. To quote Louis Nauges, president of Microcost, a French information technology firm:
Mobile internet will be dominant… By 2020, most mobile networks will provide one-gigabit-per-second-minimum speed, anywhere, anytime.
credited from Petitinvention.wordpress.com
I suppose the cost of owning your own domain and website would be much cheaper by then. Therefore, the possibility of owning a space on the Internet should be more feasible and affordable for all.
The boom of the cottage industry
Cottage industry? You got to be kidding me… That is so last century… So industrial revolution. Well not exactly… Blogshops are quite commonplace and easy to set up, in fact the cost to run a business online can be relatively cheap (i.e. free hosted blogshop via blogger/livejournal) Or even sell them through Ebay. This decreases the barriers to entry for individuals to own their small businesses. While “working at home” might seem like a dream for some, perhaps in the next decade it might become a viable second career for many. A flexible second income and opportunity to explore alternative career ambitions… It’s happening now, but I can’t wait for it to start booming.
I think this is a really morbid point to mention. But I think it’s the most important point I can think of that is potentially becoming a problem for the development of the Internet. Some may argue that China and other authoritarian countries might loosen the control over their country’s Internet access over time but this may not be so. Just looking at Singapore, the amendments to the Sedition Act and even across the causeway where Malaysian bloggers/journalists are getting arrested for writing “unsavory” articles, it’s quite a scary future to blog. The boon that Web 2.0 promises (i.e. free speech and user generated content) may be gone by Web 3.0… If we’re not careful.
Some of us may argue that the Internet is like the Wild West. How is it possible for governments to control a domain not confined by geographical boundaries? Well… Governments are already starting to work together to create more censorship on the Internet, even to the point of criminalization of undesired content, all discussed at the Seoul Declaration in 2008.
Well hopefully the Internet will improve itself to become a better global network and not succumb to lawlessness or even censorship. Then again technology improves exponentially, so what might come for 2019 is still very much unwritten.
Civil Society Seoul Declaration Sets Out Broad Policy Framework, iCommons.org, 1 July 2008
Internet’s future in 2020 debated, BBC, 24 September 2006
What is a cottage industry?, Wisegeek, n.d.