... because life's too short to do anything ALL the time . Creativity and positivity are my "hiraeth"

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Future of the Web

Since we last spoke (yes, yes, yes, it was a while ago) I've been given a task. Homework, if you will.

As part of my Foundation Degree in Social Media (year 2 now I am) I have to do LOADS of coursework. It feels like loads anyway. And I'm using my blog to facilitate one of my pieces. Hope one doesn't mind.

So, what do I have to do? Write a blog, obv.

What about? The future of the 'net.

So here goes:

I find it quite hard to imagine what the future will bring as far as the internet goes as it has already surpassed anything I could imagine before. If some one had told me 20 years ago that you could keep your entire and infinite collection of music in a cloud I'd have had them sectioned.

I think the buzz word of the future will be "integration". It really already is but I think it will quickly progress to new ways of interaction. We've seen the shift away from the search engine and towards the app already and I think there's more of that to come. Up until recently we accessed the internet via a computer screen, now the vast majority is done via smart phone. And a lot through an app rather than Google. There are already refrigerators that are connected to her Majesty's interweb so that we never run out of milk or Yakkult. I think that's how it's going to be. Less "screen based" more appliance lead and integrated into everything.

I can't begin to think how a washing machine might benefit from connectivity other than the reordering of detergent - although having said that it could be possible to set it to work via your smart phone to ensure your precious cream slacks don't have to lie creased up in a drum for a moment longer than they need to.

In my kitchen, I have a beautiful "old" analogue Roberts radio that I use all day every day. If I'm not listening to it then my dogs are.

My daughter and her boyfriend were in the kitchen; it was the first time he'd been to the house and he was fascinated by it's appearance and the fact that it has chunky buttons you need to push in and dials to turn. She, however had never batted an eyelid at it up until now.

He's examining the FM/MW/LW buttons etc. and turns it over. Baffled by the luggage tag of frequencies, he says to her (they think I can't hear) "so how does it work then?" "No idea" she says. "I don't even know how it's connected to the internet."

True story. I think that's a little insight into the future. Everything will have connectivity.

Google glasses are quite topical at the moment and I enjoyed the fact that the new BBC Sherlock 3 parter's ultimate "baddie" was utilising a version of said glasses. Whether they'll be anything like he was using, who knows. But they're going to happen for the average Joe, not just tech wizards and the mega-wealthy. I can't see how, but then I didn't see satnav coming. I dreamed about it; but not being a technical whizz, I wasn't aware that it could possibly be even likely.

Cloud technology has to improve I believe mainly due to the phenomenal and infinite barrage of information constantly being added to the already phenomenal and infinite barrage of information that exists. I think that the inconvenience of storing things in hard format, be that on a disk, hard drive, pen drive is something that will soon end and we'll all be able to access all our information anywhere we need to. I know that services like "take me to my pc" have existed for years through Citrix I think but I think it will quickly become a given. No more putting of hard drives in the freezer to repair them. Has that ever worked?

Passwords. They're on borrowed time really aren't they. And good riddance to them too. There are currently supercomputers capable of using algorithms that can generate something like 39,000 password guesses per second. "Special characters" don't stand a chance against that. I listened to a really interesting programme about passwords on Radio 4 yesterday.

Invalid Password: The Password, the History of Failure

Medical technology is the area I think we see a lot of "miracles". Think MRI scans and ultrasound. Already there's 4D capability with neo-natal ultrasound and  this will quickly become usual I think. I think that once technology proves a significant financial benefit to the NHS we'll see uptake of devices and equipment that monitors constantly, rather than having to get a GP or Nurse appointment for a test. Blood pressure monitors, blood sugar monitors, that sort of thing. People will be able to go home from hospital sooner knowing that they are being monitored constantly and because of web connectivity the results can be calculated and presented in real time. Infection rates will be down and care costs with it. This should free up resources and THEORETICALLY improve care standards, I would say.

Also medical apps. My best friend has severe Diaphragmatic Endometriosis and she uses an app to collect, monitor and manage her symptoms so that she can present her surgeon with a comprehensive and accurate representation of her current and recent states. This is now acceptable to forward thinking consultants and medical leaders.

We have auto complete and "you may like" suggestions and code designed to funnel information down to us, I think this will really take on a new life. I think in the future, the web is going to be whatever we want it to be, based on our usage, preferences, history, personal information and web content so much so that we will see it as almost being psychic. Everyone will have their own agenda, appearance and ability to access more readily the bits that really are of most interest to us. Glad I'm not writing the code for it.

There are some (me) who are looking forward to the adaptations and revolutions that the internet will no doubt go through in the near future. The same generally that anticipate it changing and enhancing their lives, allowing them to free up time from mundanities in order to spend our precious time on more meaningful activity (candy crush). But there are those (mostly Hollywood screenplay writers) who envisage a much darker outcome.

The whole "machines taking over the world" theory. I don't know if it's naive of me to think that a human will always need to programme the machines that take over the world, but, what can I say? I'm a glass half full kinda girl.

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