Sometimes it’s hard to notice how much technology has changed. There is never a sudden overnight change, a leap from having a basic cell phone capable of carrying out phone calls and texts to a smartphone with apps, internet connectivity and GPS. It’s gradual and that means we often don’t notice just how much things have actually changed around us.
Take the internet, for example. The ability to connect anywhere and everywhere via WiFi was a huge step forward and changed the way we interact with the net. Yet it was never hailed as one big technological change, it just kind of happened over time and now we take being able to get online in coffee shops and on public transport as a given.
So how is the internet going to change in the next 20 years? Here are five possible ways:
Internet connections will be permanent
We’ve moved on from the days of “dialing in” to the internet with a dial-up connection and we’ll soon move on from connecting to a WiFi network with a security key. Eventually, we’ll be permanently connected to a streamlined universal internet where overlap between systems will mean that no individual connection will be required.
Speeds will continue to increase
For mobile devices, 5G internet is nearly here. It is expected to be nine times as fast as current 4G networks – while 4G downloads at an average of 56 megabits-per-second, 5G will be working at speeds of up to 490 megabits-per-second. That means that general web design speed will increase, meaning businesses will need to contact professionals for help on how to improve their websites for the general public.
You’ll work from home
With increased connection speeds both via mobile networks and in the home, the role of the traditional office will disappear. Why spend time and effort traveling in to work, when you can connect from home in an instant? Meetings can be carried out over Skype or the like as improved connections mean that buffering or dropping out is a thing of the past.
The internet will connect everything and anything
“The internet of things” is the term given to the way in which refrigerators, alarm clocks, household lighting, and televisions are already all connected. In 20 years time, your vehicle, wallet and health monitors will join them. Your car will talk to your house to tell it you are on the way home so your heating is on when you arrive, your electronic wallet will tell the refrigerator when you’ve bought food at the grocery store and your shower will be ready for you when your health tracker informs it you’ve been on a 10km run. As information flows more freely, our lives become more managed.
Earth might not be the only planet with the internet
SpaceX founder Elon Musk is on a mission to colonize Mars and that could mean the red planet becomes the second planet in the solar system to have access to the internet. Satellites orbiting around Mars will provide an internet service in order to relay messages back to Earth so that the settlers can stay in contact with those back home, although it will take something like 30 minutes to transmit the data back and forth.
Feature image: Pixabay.