The internet is ever changing, and the changes made are often so minor that we barely notice them. The biggest changes that have been made have been so gradual, we willingly accept them as the norm almost instantly. But, if you look back ten years, a lot has changed. We use our smartphones more often to make purchases, we’re able to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots instead of wasting our data and we can sign agreements/contracts online with very little fuss. So, what’s in store for the next ten years?
It’s convenient to be able to walk into a coffee shop, sit down and connect to the free Wi-Fi while you sip on your hot drink. But, what if you didn’t have to connect at all? What if you had a constant stream of connectivity so you never have to manually connect again? In the next ten years, connectivity will be a thing of the past and a universal internet will be freely available to all. It’s something that’s been in the pipeline for a long time. It’s all about convenience because convenience sells.
The one big problem with the internet is identity fraud. Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy for someone to conceal their true identity online and pretend to be someone else, whether to make false declarations or gain access to private documents. It’s even easy to make card purchases with someone else’s credit card. However, the global identity verification service is on the rise. It’s already something many businesses are using because they can do business online while making sure the person is who they say they are. It includes facial recognition, ID and document verification and it can even be done on your smartphone.
Virtual reality is very much in use already. It’s popular amongst gamers, especially on the PlayStation VR where gamers use headsets to virtually enter the world of the games they’re playing. It’s even used with smartphones, like Samsung, to simulate experiences, like rollercoaster rides. However, the future of virtual reality and augmented reality is so much more than that. Virtual reality could change ecommerce businesses in a way that’s never been seen before. Imagine doing your online shopping and being able to see 3D versions of clothing or go on a virtual tour of the store, stopping at products you like. It could completely change the way consumers go about shopping online.
For some people, the rise of artificial intelligence is scary. Unfortunately, there’s another downfall to the addition of AI in businesses – fewer jobs. As AI technology advances, machines are becoming more capable of doing human jobs. Anything from customer service calls to writing out e-mails could be covered by a machine in the near future. For businesses, this means less expense, but for the people currently working those jobs, the future could be bleak. However, there is a strong focus on businesses perfecting customer engagement, and that may not be achievable with machine responses. Time will tell.
Lack of Privacy
Have you ever noticed the ads that come up on your social media accounts after you’ve used a search engine for something? If you’re connected to the internet, you aren’t able to keep your personal details as private as you would like. The same goes for mobile phone apps you’ve downloaded. It’s likely that many people will have to pay companies to keep as much of their privacy as possible in the future. Everything you do online will be seen as a potential sale for one business or another, so expect lots of ads thrown into your ‘private’ spaces.
We currently have smartphones, tablets, watches and even some alarm clocks. But, in another few years you’ll be able to get your hands on a variety of different products that connect to the internet. Imagine going to your fridge and talking to Siri or your health monitor logging your heart rate and connecting you to websites that could help you to improve your cardio. Everything around you will be logged on and ready to make suggestions to make life more convenient for you. But, will that make us feel suffocated or will we accept it along with everything else?
It’s already starting. You can find out more about Bitcoin here. It won’t be long before we can forget about the paper and coins in our wallets and just use an online currency for everything. Along with contactless payments, it makes purchasing what we want a breeze.
Watch this space for new advancements!