Predicting The Future

Predicting The Future

Few weeks ago I was invited by a popular portal to share my opinion about „The three most extraordinary things that can / should happen in the Internet industry in the next 3 years”. Becuase there was not enough space to  extend my thoughts, I decided to write an article here, where there is no characters limit.

Whenever a question about the future of the Internet industry is rised,  it reminds me of the Epic 2014 whose creators led quite interesting narration, but did not predicted one important thing – Facebook. In this context, the most surprising thing would disappear or marginalized the role of Facebook in the next three years. It is hard, however, to believe today, but if you look on the internet industry in a broader perspective, really anything is possible.

Before we come to conclusions regarding future of Internet industry, please let me share with you some information about previously mentioned movie and the movie itself.

EPIC 2014 is a movie released in November 2004 by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson (with great background music of Aaron McLeran). The movie was based on the presentation they gave at the Poynter Institute.  The movie is presented from the viewpoint of a fictional „Museum of Media History” in the year 2014. It explores the effects that the convergence of popular News aggregators, such as Google News, with other Web 2.0 technologies like blogging, social networking and user participation may have on journalism and society at large in a hypothesized future. The film popularized the term Googlezon and touches on major privacy and copyright issues raised in this scenario. [source: Wikipedia]. Let’s watch the movie now:

The problem with predicting the future of the industry lies in the fact that apart from a great number of projects that you can more or less predict, somewhere in the „garages” there are people who are creating even greater number of projects that only them (creators) believe, and most people probably if you would hear about the details you would think that creator is mad.

However, it may be one of the projects that will change the industry, and perhaps the world as it has already happened in the past. But ok, let’s play and let’s think extraordinary things that can / should happen in the Internet industry in the next 3 years:

1. 3D Print will be available for everyone. There is only one thing that stops that revolution. There are the prices of 3D printing. The day when 3D printing becomes cheap (as cheap as usual printing is) will be remembered as a first day of the next revolution. 3D Print can change not only the online industry but in fact everything in the world. Just imagine that you can print at home prosthetic hand or leg. Imagine that you can print any item for your home & garden that you normally should buy at the shop. Imagine that sky is the limit and check the list of things less and more important you can print. I think that most of the people do not appreciate 3D Print, but this is mostly because of the prices today. You probably asking now what 3D Print has to do with Internet industry, right? I think much more than you realize at the moment. Imagine just how big influence 3D Print can have on e-commerce – how many new shops can appear. Imagine how many new things, devices can appear in existing e-shops.  But that’s only the beginning. Just let’s go to the point number 2.

2. Internet of Things. Imagine that we have cheap 3D printing. Imagine what talented people, talented young programmers with clear heads and great imagination can do with that. If you still have a problem with imagination, let me just show you the areas that IoT can be used: environment, water management, production, transport, energy, well just put here whatever you want. Imagine not only intelligent houses but also let’s call it intelligent health and just intelligent life. Imagine how many medical examinations which today are at least not pleasant, thanks to IoT may be as easy as drinking a glass of water. According to Gartner in 2020, there will be over 25 billion of IoT devices. Also in next four years, IoT analytics revenue will grow 500% according to consultancy Deloitte. According to the same company revenue of IoT in the Middle East reached $2 bn last year.

3. BigData. Do you remember Minority Report movie with Tom Cruise? OK, let’s no go that far, but let’s imagine how the world can look like if we can predict more, faster and cheaper. And what’s more important – on time. Object connected to The Internet generate data. Many objects produce many data. From some point, we have enough data to analyze and to draw conclusions. How can we use the data? The sky is a limit, seriously. Example. Inrix, which is big data company, launched its connected car analytics platform. Thanks to the service using real-time GPS they can monitor the number of vehicles pass a particular location daily. That helps to deal with traffic, but not only, but it’s also just a one of possibilities. Significant potential for big data it’s in medicine and general healthcare. You may remember that Google was able to predict flu better than any government. But what if we have big database collecting data from doctors, hospitals, drugstores, search engine, weather forecast – basing on that information predicting is much easier. It’s even hard to overestimate the potential the cheap and fast methods of big data analysis on e-commerce and advertisement. You probably heard the story about Target and pregnant women.

Now, just connect 3D Printing with Internet of Things and Big Data – all available in inexpensive and easy way. If you can’t imagine that, please check that website „Internet in Real Time” to see how many data is generated every second only on most popular online services. Now multiply this by whatever big number you want.

I believe that these three trends will make a huge influence on Internet industry but in fact on everything on the Earth. And then predicting the future will be much easier, but still one day may appear someone who will create something bigger that Facebook, Google, Amazon altogether and change the game. Expect the unexpected.

The narration of the movie Epic 2014 you saw earlier ends with the statement: „Perhaps there was another way.” I think it’s the best summary.