What does the World Wide Web hold for us over the next 25 years?

What does the World Wide Web hold for us over the next 25 years?

What does the World Wide Web hold for us over the next 25 years?

First published in Hampshire Business
Last updated

IT IS the technological innovation that has changed the lives of billions of people across the planet.

Twenty-five years ago, the first site on the World Wide Web was created by an academic nowworking at the University of Southampton.

Hampshire Chronicle: Professor Tim Berners-Lee

Since Sir Tim Berners-Lee, above, launched the world’s first website, info.cern.ch, the world has revolutionised the way people interact and carry out basic tasks like buying food and paying bills.

And the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter have become part of everyday life for millions of people.

Hampshire Chronicle:

But, 25 years on from the ground-breaking moment Sir Tim set up the first, basic Web page, experts are divided on how the Web will influence life in the future.

However, they are united in the view that its impact will have more and more dramatic effects on the lives of every person on the planet.

The Pew Research Center, an American thinktank, collected the views of thousands of experts on the future of the Internet.

Hampshire Chronicle:

They believe it will have an ever increasing role in politics and major changes within countries, pointing to the Arab Spring, where social media helped to spread revolutions that toppled a number of governments in the Middle East and North Africa.

And they also believe it will play an ever more important role in health, with new devices able to detect the risk of diseases and health problems.

Professor Les Carr, from the University of Southampton’s Web Science Institute, agrees that healthcare is one of the areas where the Internet could make a big impact.

Hampshire Chronicle:

He said: “You already have apps for phones which allow you to track your movement or how many steps you’ve walked or run.

“So there will clearly be ways of monitoring health and health issues, like diabetes for example, that will come online.”

In the immediate future, Prof Carr believes some of the most important improvements that will be made will be to how the Internet works.

He continued: “There is the 4G wireless network which is being rolled out.

“This is going to speed up access hugely.

Hampshire Chronicle:

“People talk about the Web and how wonderful smartphones are, but all of us know you don’t have to go very far on a train or around the city centre to discover there are lots of dead spots for Internet access.

“So there is a lot of potential to improve the infrastructure.

"I think a lot of the big changes in the near future will be at Internet level – improvements to wiring and wireless and how to make it faster.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

Looking further into the future, Professor Carr, above, says it is hard to predict exact changes, but there are a number of things he expects to see.

He continued: “Looking forward, new technology could allow your oven to send you a message that the front door has told it that even though everyone has left the house, it is still on.

“Or it might be that I could send a message to my home’s heating system saying that I’ll be back in half an hour and to turn the heat on.

“Or you could be able to download an entire movie within seconds.

“Given how far off something like Google, where you type in a question and get millions of answers within seconds, would have sounded 25 years ago, it might not be as far-fetched as it sounds.

“There is also a downside to improving Internet access, such as the loss of privacy, but there are a lot of opportunities that the Web is going to offer.”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:47am Mon 17 Mar 14

skeptik says...

In it's infancy, I can see the office buildings now full of employed folk being emptied. Progress closed the mills. the huge engineering workshops. Why then do folk not realise that in years to come I will probably buy my insurance and much more from a data base with all of my life history and my risk to the company, without human intervention - look back ten or twenty years and ask yourself - did you see the IT revolution as it is today, then imagine the future, maybe the low wage low skilled job will be the lot of more of us.
In it's infancy, I can see the office buildings now full of employed folk being emptied. Progress closed the mills. the huge engineering workshops. Why then do folk not realise that in years to come I will probably buy my insurance and much more from a data base with all of my life history and my risk to the company, without human intervention - look back ten or twenty years and ask yourself - did you see the IT revolution as it is today, then imagine the future, maybe the low wage low skilled job will be the lot of more of us. skeptik
  • Score: 0

11:20am Mon 17 Mar 14

southy says...

Government and big corporations want total control over the internet, governments want people like Murdoch to have that control so you are controlled over what you see, read, hear and what you post and say, the freedom of the internet is coming to an end
Government and big corporations want total control over the internet, governments want people like Murdoch to have that control so you are controlled over what you see, read, hear and what you post and say, the freedom of the internet is coming to an end southy
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree