The Future of the Internet

I found this and wanted to share it. It’s a nice summary of what we can probably expect to see the Internet do for the next few years.

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There is a presentation there that I hope you will brows through, even if only quickly. The presentation outlines a possible progression from our current, socially oriented Internet to an intelligent Internet, passing through various stages. The next step, according to the author, is for information to get smarter. According to him (and I completely agree) it would be too much work to continue trying to program our applications that handle data to be smarter. That requires a lot of code, a lot of complicated algorithms and a lot of headaches.

We’ve had this idea since the beginning of computing that data is just data and programs need to handle the data. What if the data helped the program by doing more of the work of categorizing, tagging, tracking and associating its information? Intelligent data is the first step toward an information net that is better and more advanced than the one we have.

Of course, more speed never hurts. There is, in existence, another “Internet” of sorts that will continue to grow unti one day it could replace our slow, archaic network. Granted, many advances and changes have and are taking place to help our current information superhighway keep up with the times. However, this one was built from the ground up to be faster, smarter and better in every way.

Other emerging technologies like virtualization, cloud computing, quantum computing, advanced data storage and new human/computer interfacing techniques will eventually turn computing and the Internet into a wild, exciting new place where so much more will be possible than today. All of this will eventually become part of an idea I love called augmented reality.

Augmented reality (AR) is a wonderful thing, in my opinion, because it means computers, the Internet and the vast stores of information and computing power they offer are used to enhance every day life. In my vision of AR the setup is biologically integrated into the individual. Perhaps breakthroughs in nanotechnology and quantum physics could one day lead to quantum computers built, maintained and run by bacteria or bacteria-sized nanobots. Such a system could easily dwell inside the body and get its power from food we eat, heat we generate and any number of additional, available power sources inside the human body.

With a faster, smarter Internet at their disposal, these super-fast quantum nanocomputers would be able to deliver important information directly to our brain. Driving directions could be delivered straight to our very own central processing unit and we would just know how to get where we were going. Visual information could be integrated directly into what we are already seeing. A concept model car or proposed construction plan could be delivered to our visual cortex and be inserted directly into the scene we are looking at. Repair instructions for your vehicle could be delivered to your brain, and virtual arrows would point to the part that needs attention next. This is AR in the distant future.

Before we get there, if we ever get there, there will be many other ways AR will play a significant role in the future of computing. With virtualization, for example, having the computers locally (the bacteria) would be unnecessary. The computing power would simply be delivered over the net. More and more we will see things like this be delivered as a subscription service rather than something you own. Computing power, data storage, applications, etc. will all be subscribed to, delivered and handled over the Internet.

I know I wrote about much of this before, but I wanted to focus more specifically this time on the computing aspect, especially after seeing that presentation and the associated article. Please leave comments and feedback – I want to know what you think.

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