The Future of the world wide web’s (WWW) social dynamics and other developments…

Google Glass or something else…?

Other changes and advances to come:

Listening capabilities

Enhanced Wi-Fi capabilities

Social media in the future

Yep, I did put world wide web in lower case, it was intentional but only because the future is going to be different, five, ten years from now in how we interact with the web and each other as well as what will be needed to navigate the newer, more complex environment yet to come. It may be much better but time will tell.

At a recent cybersecurity chapter meeting, we had a three person panel state some of their observations for what it ‘might’ be like in five years, on the social networking/media scene – the web and in real life. Well, a couple of folks indicated that Google Glass would be the big thing to come at that time.

That had me thinking, right there on the spot and afterwards that that likely is not going to be the case.

Google Glass or something else…?

In five years, Glass may well be passé; the future is likely to be contact lenses instead of the actual physical Glass, or even implantable contact lenses (ICL).  Last year, I had previously been reading up on and researching ICL for a cybersecurity risks paper I wrote recently. What I found was that work on contact lenses and ICL has been going on for some years now, while not explicitly for social networking or searching the web but you can extrapolate on the possibilities.

The University of Washington (one of my alma maters) has been working on computers on contact lenses (1) for some years now, as has Samsung, a group out of Switzerland and even Google (2).

Then there is ICL and/or IOL (3) – implanted into the eye (behind the cornea and removable), which has been on the market since ~2000 around the world but only recently in the U.S.   Imagine researchers embedding computer components into the ICL / IOL…

Computer on contact lenses

 

ICL - IOL

 

 

And just as well as social dynamics, there are possible malicious applications; some criminals (or other nation state actors) having a miniaturized computer chip embedded on an ICL and a crooked (or patriotic?) ophthalmologist implants it… think theft of intellectual property, covertly.

This is just futurist food for thought (with real world outcomes) – as you dwell on what the future will bring. Checking the web for some kind of info with just a eye muscle twitch and then digging deeper with yet more eye muscle twitches. Don’t get me started on any other futuristic thoughts such pairing the lenses with some kind of computer chip embedded into the skull…

Other changes and advances to come:

Listening capabilities

There are the new advanced hearing aids (4) by Soundhawk, which appear to be leaps ahead of most of their competitors.  In several years, these could go beyond people who need them to hear better, they could be used as part of a better web experience. These hearing aids are adjustable enough to drop out extraneous noise, allowing only what the wearer wants to focus on, via Bluetooth.

Enhanced Wi-Fi capabilities

We are going to have high and heavy Web and Wi-Fi usage – for many purposes. Some, like Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com/details.asp?sku_id=3179&skuitem_itemid=1555), indicate that the time is not quite now for 1 Tbps Transport Networks with regards to the coming shift to 400 Gbps backend / backbone network transport.

I would disagree with the Heavy Reading folks, we will need speeds up to 1 Tbps sooner rather than later as more and more devices in this age of the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to grow, if not exponentially then at the very least geometrically. Look around, there is going to be much more Wi-Fi (and possibly cellular) traffic at ever expanding scales of bandwidth; i.e. while I don’t have a fridge that talks to the ‘Net, some people do and that is going to grow.  Then too, remember the talk of IPv6 with its unimaginable number of IP addresses IPv6 allows as well as embedding RFID chips in nearly everything for tracking, sensing and sharing info – that is going to happen, then what do you think the level of ‘Net traffic is going to be like.

More advances continue to occur in this area – and it “ain’t gonna” stop at 802.11 a/b/g/n standards. The capabilities will increase in range and data speeds – we already see increasing use of microcells and femtocells (5 & 6) by wireless providers (AT&T & even Cisco) to offload some of the burden and congestion from the monstrous large cell towers. Micro and Femtocells are hand held sized cubes that can be placed anywhere to boost wireless signals – in the home or at a bus stop or on the side of a building or throughout a conference hall.

As we continue moving forward with technology, there is going to be much more need and extensive use of bandwidth.

There will be more people who are constantly on their smartphones watching videos (or TV or sports). Think about significantly more people using the video calling function on their phones as data plans drop (hopefully) in price and more people using their PCs/laptops/tablets to make video calls over something like a Skype – there is going to be more data on the ‘Net, whether it is Wi-Fi, Fiber or cable.

Remember the old cartoons, TV episodes and movie clips of people making those video calls at anytime, anywhere – more people are going to be doing this. Some of the telcos are continually trying to push their video calling features but to some like me, the price to use ration is still too high to just glibly use whenever and wherever…

There will be more HDTV, think 4K HDTV, which requires more bandwidth. There will be more 4K HD content, the expensively high cost of a 4K HDTV is going to come down and as ever, more people will want it.

Then, what about another possible high bandwidth application, such as vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications…?  Rest assured that is coming as well, as we attempt to make roads and vehicles safer in saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people over the coming years – especially when many of these people who die or cause the death of others should not have been driving in the first place:

–       Drunk drivers

–       Stoned drivers

–       Under-aged and inexperienced drivers showing off (yes, we know this happens because many have done the same thing in their youth – overloaded passengers, trying to impress others, etc.)

–       Angry drivers

–       Older drivers driving far beyond when they should have stopped driving

Whether many of us like it or not, we will have V2V communications in the future, cars talking to other cars/trucks/buses to prevent T-boning or head on collisions because someone was not paying attention…

Social media in the future

As for social media in the future, I’m not quite sure what to think of it or what direction it is going in. But that is only because there are so many people getting online and the ever so many opinions about what is hot for their group, whether they are
teens, pre-teens, senior citizens, professionals, singles, etc., etc., etc.

Who could possibly and really know what is going to be hot in five to ten years from now…? I believe it was Joe Touch (USC) who indicated that everyone is going to be online all the time, primarily because it will just be there, “you won’t be offline.” I believe the same thing.  Being online will be ubiquitous – online access will be everywhere, all the time – unless you actively turn off your online access, which I would do just to maintain my own sanity and personal space – I do not need to be online all the time, available for anyone at any time…

Someone else, Daren Brabham (a professor at USC) states that “we will grow accustomed to seeing the world through multiple data layers.”

He too, is right I believe because most likely, many things or areas are going to have layers of data with serious depth if you want to dig deeper to gather more info or whether you just want to do some skimming to glean quick surface info on someone or something. It will be up to you, when and where and whatever site allows it, to determine how deep you want to go.

It will be a very data rich world – think “better” Big Data… or at the least, much more unstructured data formats. At the very least, five to ten years from now, as computing processing power continues to grow (and yes, I’m pretty sure quantum computing will be in a better position to live up to its potential, as well as compression schemes to handle that data) – we’ll be able to do better crowd sourcing and collaboration to help solve more national and global problems – that is, outside of the R&D, Think Tanks and University environments.

Maybe for something like building a more efficient and MUCH more inexpensive desalination plant to get salt water converted to cleaner water to cities and farms as we continue to remain in drought conditions around the globe.  Oh, and desalination plants with a portability option to move it when necessary…

So, if groups like Heavy Reading believe we aren’t ready for 1 Tbps transport soon, they should think again. The IoT, more Smart Phone / tablet / other mobile device usage, 4K HDTV, online gaming growth, V2V (cars, trucks, buses, planes) and other ‘Net traffic WILL force the change and growth to prevent the massive congestion that is sure to come if forward thinking is not done.

Besides the references below, I can provide many, many more but you probably have already seen or read about them yourselves.

– –

References:

1 – www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/washington-university-developing-computer-like-contact-lenses/ Nov 2011

2 – www.technologyreview.com/news/515666/contact-lens-computer-like-google-glass-without-the-glasses/ Jun 2013

3 – What is Visian ICL? http://visianinfo.com/ & Verisyse lens www.urmc.rochester.edu/eye-institute/lasik/procedures/verisyse.cfm – ICL vs IOL (intraocular lenses)

4 – www.sfgate.com/business/article/Soundhawk-s-Rodney-Perkins-has-an-ear-for-hearing-5105589.php Dec 2013

5 – www.techrepublic.com/blog/data-center/pros-and-cons-of-using-femtocells/

6 – www.alcatel-lucent.com/solutions/small-cells

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Vehicle to Vehicle conversations – are most of you ready for this?

I’m hoping that many of you have heard about this by now, about how the Dept of Transportation is pushing to mandate a law for Vehicle to Vehicle communication to avoid/reduce accidents.  (Here’s a few links – www.politico.com/story/2014/02/sources-dot-to-announce-mandate-on-talking-cars-103022.html & http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57618258-76/us-to-push-for-mandatory-car-to-car-wireless-communications/ & http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/automobiles/197265-dot-clears-the-road-for-smart-cars)

Well, here we go, down a possible slippery slope.

It will be a great technological plateau to reach as it will reduce vehicular fatalities (very possibly), bodily injuries (again, very likely), accidents and expensive body work repair – even on older cars for which many people cannot afford to fix in some of the dire paycheck to paycheck situations.

However, you just know Homeland Security: Dept of Justice, law enforcement / State, County & City officials, et al, are all going to be salivating, errrr, looking at this as well. Even though, at this point, there is supposedly no data collection.

But, suppose there will ‘also’ be another mandate down the road where some officials believe that it will be beneficial to actually collect and store data – in order to begin data mining for:

  • Criminals and parolees to see who is violating or has violated their probation/parole status (we might really want this one),
  • People with outstanding parking and speeding tickets
  • People (male or female) who are skipping out of their spousal/alimony support
  • People who are violating restraining orders
  • People who are violating the laws/rules of being too close to children at grade/junior/high schools.

I mean, this list could go on and on – do you owe money to the IRS? And let’s not forget about those boyfriend/girlfriend and/or spousal issues where one is spying on or stalking the other and uses this information for mischief or harm.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have my car converse with another car or truck or bus to avoid getting ‘me’ T-Boned. But I would only love it if I know that there is no data mining of my privacy.

I would especially love this tech if I knew that it was not going to be hacked and used to my detriment by petty or serious criminals.

I would NOT love this tech if we are entering the true era of BIG Brother or of 1984 (the movie) and/or the danger of people who believe they can completely rely on this tech without using their own eyeballs, brains and commonsense… Rear end collisions and T-Boning could still occur but let’s hope not. Then there are the folks who constantly and illegally use their cell/smartphones for texting while driving – they are going to erroneously think they will have more warning time to write “one more” sentence without looking up and around.