If you were to take some time to consider how the internet has grown over the past decade, you might either be shocked to notice just how far we’ve come or surprised at some of the more novel developments. Yet now think forward a few years, perhaps even all the way out to the year 2030 and think of where we might be in terms of our ability to communicate with each other (and with organizations and companies). The numbers will likely put the stats of this year, impressive as they are, to shame.
We would like to whet your palate regarding what might come around the corner much sooner than you think. Here are a few major avenues to think about:
Connectivity and the Internet of Things
As was predicted by many, the Internet of Things is effectively in full effect, if not having reached its full potential yet. More than 100 million Alexa devices have been sold, and that is just one brand, and on the grander scale, Alexa is still a product with a lot of development left behind it. As more devices become WiFi enabled or have other connectivity, the range of options we will have for both control and customization will grow exponentially.
From a marketing or business perspective, this means more opportunities to make sales or pitches to people, as the advertising will at least try to make its way into space (as it does with all things). Additionally, synergy will likely be emphasized within brands, and consumers and regulars alike might have to answer some difficult questions.
Greater AI and Algorithm Usage
Despite the protests of some of the more prominent figures in the tech world, AI research is progressing and over the next decade, we will likely start to see the greater prevalence of “smart cars,” fully connected to the internet for navigation and more. We might even get a few fully self-driving cars, depending on how they might integrate themselves onto the roads and how complimentary government policies are on the matter.
Similarly, algorithms will get smarter, more sophisticated, and more accurate.
Connectivity Will Be a Non-Issue
As satellite networks come more into play for the average person and 5g networks (and beyond) get adopted, we can anticipate that bandwidth will no longer be as much of an issue as before (and it currently isn’t truly an issue to those that have gigabit internet).
This might not be as much of a game-changer for the average person in America or Europe, but people elsewhere in the world will be able to join the world wide web like never before and will quickly become proficient. This will open up new markets, workforces, and more for businesses, and likely affect the economy greatly.
Smartphones and All-in-One Devices Taking Over
We’ve already seen it to some degree, but many people (especially casual users) might come to the decision that they simply don’t need a full home computer or laptop and instead work just from their smartphone, perhaps with the help of peripherals and additional screens.
Given their greater connectivity, growing app development, and a level of processing power that increases each generation, the truly all-in-one device doesn’t seem so far away.
People have tried to predict the future before in totality, and they were nearly all wrong. It would be foolish to make the same mistake, and therefore it would be best to simply say that over the next decade one should expect the unexpected, especially during the back half of the 2020s.
Who knows what scientific and technological breakthroughs will occur, or what events will shape world demand for certain goods, services, and innovations? Stay aware and read ahead or get left behind.
Privacy and Cybersecurity Will Continue to Be Key Issues
Not everything about the growth of the internet will be a net positive, and there are some main problems that countries and the world as a whole will have to tackle (whether they want to or not). As more wealth is controlled online and through information networks, and as more information is held on people (either by those individuals or by companies), more criminals and criminal organizations will attempt to take advantage.
Perhaps most concerningly, toolkits allow people with little to no programming knowledge to conduct basic attacks, and scams are at least in part getting more sophisticated to trick an increasingly savvy user base. Expect the arms race to continue into the next decade
On the slightly less likely side of things, if a quantum supercomputer is developed with the capabilities that experts suggest one would have, the world would also have to contend with the fact that cybersecurity as we know it would effectively become obsolete. Similar developments in other fields might do the same, and a massive-scale breach could change our relationship with technology, causing more government restrictions.
One could easily write a whole book on this topic, but sadly we do not have space here to provide one. There is much more research to do, and you as a professional or interested consumer can and should read more about the topic or the subtopics that are most relevant to you. Many of the most relevant technologies for the years to come already exist but have yet to see the full-scale implementation, so it’s quite possible you could benefit from early adoption. Keep talking about and staying abreast of these issues, and you’ll be happy you did.