Even though it really doesn’t seem like it (especially considering just how dependent our modern life is on the Internet today), in the grand scheme of things, the Internet is really still a baby and we have absolutely no idea how it’s going to more, grow, and change in the future – though we have some ideas about what’s coming up next.
Web 2.0 was the name given to websites and graphical interfaces, not to mention the entire infrastructure of the web, that really transformed from a strictly HTML/text based information network to the rich multimedia experience that we all enjoy right now.
But the Internet of Things is the “next big thing” in the world of online connectivity, and that’s where we stop interfacing with the Internet through our computers, laptops, and smartphones and instead start interfacing with the Internet through EVERYTHING!
The Internet of Things sales are poised to hit $1.3 trillion in 2020
According to information published by the International Data Corporation during the Worldwide Semiannual Internet of the Things Conference, people all over the world will be spending nearly $1.3 trillion in 2020 on these new technologies – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Right now, the Internet of Things is really only starting to come out of the gates. Companies are starting to build products that are designed with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi right in them without the traditional interface that most people are familiar with.
These products are designed with programs inside of them to leverage Internet it available assets on a server side, with the products themselves acting as the client. This is a streamlined approach to push updates, transfer information, and create a real conversation between the device and powerful technology on the server side without any cumbersome “middlemen” in between.
Manufacturers report spending nearly $178 billion in producing Internet of Things products in 2016 alone, with the transportation and utilities industries also spending almost the exact same amount of money in technology and production of these new products.
The forecast projects the Internet of Things to grow faster than almost any other segment
There was a real fear about manufacturing moving away from more developed nations in the West and heading overseas to places in Asia where it was much less expensive to produce “dumb” products, but thanks to the Internet of Things it appears as though the tide is going to turn and the West is going to get right back into the swing of things when it comes to manufacturing “smart” products.
This is going to drive a lot of industry and commerce over the next 20 to 50 years, as most everything that we use on a daily basis will be designed with the Internet in mind. No longer are you going to have to worry about being connected at any one particular time, as you will be connected ALL the time.
Your products will run more efficiently, will download their own updates on a routine basis without any interference, and will generally become smarter over time. This may reduce the amount of “upgrading” that folks are so prone to do these days, as manufacturers will become a lot less dependent on producing hardware updates and instead focus a lot more on software side of grades that can be transmitted through the Internet of Things.
Japan in particular, as well as the rest of Asia, have been diving wholeheartedly into the Internet of Things and finding new ways to pioneer technology that will become fundamental in our day to day lives going forward.
Welcome to the future
There’s definitely a little bit of fear and trepidation regarding where we are headed with this new shift in direction (plenty of people have seen the movie Terminator, for example, and no one wants you whole internet-enabled toasters on the rampage), but for the most part people are very excited about the potential that this new technology can usher in.
We may be staring down the gun barrel of the next Industrial Revolution, one that fundamentally changes our way of life the same way that the last Industrial Revolutions are able to. At the very least, these are very exciting times, and it will be wild to see how everything shakes out going forward.
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