Wednesday, February 17, 2010

4 Predictions About The Web Of The Future

Predictions are usually left until the end of the year, but there are some trends that seem to be giving us an idea of what we'll find commonplace in an Internet world not that far away (5 years or less). All of these are good news for musicians, by the way. So if I may, let me give you my 4 predictions about the Web of the future.

1) Speed will no longer be an issue. Depending upon which study you read, the United States ranks between 13th and 28th in the world regarding Internet speed. That looks to be addressed soon with initiatives from the FCC to raise the bar to 100mbs, and from Google to significantly top that. With much of the rest of the industrialized world already over the hump in terms of a big speedy pipe for media delivery, it will be interesting when that limitation is finally breached in the US. While we already watch short videos with no problem at all, and even the last bastion of media limitation, the long form movie, is already being delivered with regularity, full 1080p (and not the severely compressed kind) and 3D movies with full interactivity beckon as we hit the blazing speeds of the future.

2) The computer will not be our prime interface. You might think that this prediction is based upon the upcoming release of the iPad, but our Smartphones have already pointed the way. In the not too distant future, our computers will be used for what they do really well, which is input data, while everything else will be used for access and viewing of Web content, including phones, tablets, the new generation of televisions coming on the market, and some other "output" devices that hasn't come into every day view yet. 

3) Social Networking will continue to dominate. Just about all social networking is still rising all over the world and that won't stop any time soon. Humans are social by nature so connecting via the Web is just an extension of what we already like to do. Even those that are normally anti-social in the physical sense are able to interact via social networking. As Internet speeds gets faster and we get more and more devices that we can use as an interface, expect that interaction to increase, but also expect new ways to interact via a host of new apps.

4) Piracy will finally be held in check. Not completely eliminated (when has that ever happened?) but somewhat thwarted via IPv6, a technology that's been around for some time but never fully utilized. Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) will finally replace Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4 - what we use today to assign a specific address to a website) simply because we running out of Internet Web addresses. But along with more addresses than we can ever use (79 octillion more!!) via IPv6, we get the ability to put a unique code on every frame of film or video every made, every second of every song and every paragraph of text. There are a lot of very smart people (some of which I know personally) that have this worked out already, and pretty soon the timing will be right as the world realizes that new websites are no longer possible with IPv4. This one technology has huge implications on so many facets of our connected world, so it will be a lot of fun to see how it plays out.

The future for the Web is indeed speedy and bright. Can't wait for it to get here.

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