Overtime things change in different ways. Sometimes things in technology get better with time, while others become obsolete and lost forever to newest fad. It’s easy to see this, as it happens nearly every day, especially with consumer electronics like cassettes and VHS tapes. Nowadays, there’s mp3’s and DVR’s. The same thing has happened with the internet. Fads have come and gone, but the concept about the internet has continued to morph and evolve over time.
Back in the early 1960’s some really smart guys at MIT started envisioning a world network that connected computers across the globe. This network became reality soon after that and by the early 1990’s consumers were able to purchase internet service at a reasonable cost. At this point in time, the internet was still more of a want than a need for almost everyone. Somewhere in the late 1990’s businesses began to heavily leverage the potential capabilities of the internet and thus it became essential for business operations.
Over time the internet has grown to provide more things than we could have ever imagined. From social networks that allow us to keep in touch with old friends to ecommerce sites that allow us to purchase literally anything online. The technological revolution of the internet has allowed for new industries to be created and effectively a part of life for many people around the world.
In thinking back on the technological advancements of the 20th century, there are the obvious things that were revolutionary, like airplanes, cars, microwave ovens, etc… Nothing compares to the internet. Someday I’m going to be able to tell my kids that I was using the internet before there was Facebook and Twitter. Google wasn’t even a word, it was gibberish. When we wanted to get online we had to hang up the phone and listen to an annoying set of buzzes and beeps, and then we’d have to wait sometimes a full minute just for an image to download.
So where are we today? We use the internet for everything today. As I’m writing this in Google Docs, I’m engaged with a couple Skype conversations and uploading some files via FTP. All this while being employed by an organization that solely markets to businesses that want to improve their presence on the internet. Everyone I know uses the internet on a regular basis, with almost everything that we do. Standard television is being replaced by Netflix and Hulu, while at the same time online gaming has never been more popular.
What does the future hold for the internet? Upload and download speeds are reaching new heights every day. Especially here in Kansas City, where Google Fiber is setting a new bar for “high-speed” internet. New ideas and concepts are being developed every day. Mobile internet technology is pushing the limits of what was once thought impossible. Here are a few ideas that will likely become reality in the near future.
- Cars that drive themselves on the road using a combination of mobile internet signals and GPS navigation. This concept has already been proven to work, it’s just a matter of making it consumer ready.
- High-speed wireless internet anywhere you travel. Not just stumbling across a wifi hotspot, or using your phone as a 4G hotspot on the go, but truly having a full high-speed wireless network that is an umbrella across the globe so that wherever you are, you can be connected.
- What else? We’d love to hear what you think the next big thing is going to be when it comes to the internet, but don’t tell us that the “new” myspace is going to change our lives! (It won’t…)