The Internet was born just 25 years ago and that quarter of a century has seen enormous changes in the digital world. So many in fact, that it is difficult to predict what our digital lives will be like in the networks in the future. A US think-tank, the Pew Research Center, decided to give it a try, and in collaboration with the Imagining Internet Center, in 2014 surveyed 3,000 researchers and experts as to how they saw the Internet of 2025.
Highlights from the study see the Interneat acting in a grid system, just like electricity within 10 years. The so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT), will see advances in artificial intelligence, the development of more intelligent machines and devices, the expansion of sensors that make the functioning of our everyday environment, buildings, house and workplaces a lot smarter with a constantly increasing bandwidth and speed of connection which experts read as the Net becoming less evident but far more omnipresent. Access to our basic needs on all levels are growing at such a rate that there is already evidence to back this up.
In a second aspect of the prediction, experts agreed that fundamental human activities such as thinking, working and even our form of being physically present, will change drastically over the next decade. In the better connected countries, networked machines will organize the information we receive and our work activity will be alongside robots and intelligent tools. As far as the concept of “presence”, there will be major changes with holographic technologies, such as virtual tours, becoming popular. Obviously, in these ever-expanding digitalised societies, data exchange issues related to personal privacy will become a major issue: the exponential increase of personal information circulating over networks will result in a greater risk of companies and governments trying to gain control of it.
The responses of the 3,000 experts who took part in the study, have also concluded that humans and their institutions are basically incapable of adapting to the sheer speed of technological advances and often, even now, do not respond adequately to many of the most basic problems until faced with catastrophe. With this in mind, some experts fear that states, in order to protect themselves, will allow the Internet to rush on uncontrolled to an inevitable crash which will see the development of as system of local Internet networks which will not function within the presently existing parameters. The nature and integrity of the network as we know it at present, is also referred to in an annex to the study, highlighting that 2015 is crucial in view of the importance of fighting for a free and neutral internet, in which large companies and governments can not discriminate against anyone or limit access to content or connection speed.
A few weeks ago saw the launch of the new Layout [scur.cat/AZZ9Z2], an app that allows users to create “collages” made up from photos stored on Instagram [instagram.com]. It has been developed by the same people who built Facebook, as well Hyperlapse [hyperlapse.instagram.com], a service that allows the recording of short videos using the “time lapse” technique. These are two of the many apps which can enrich the Instagram experience.
Another is Instasize [munkee.co], which makes it easier to edit photos to suit Instagram's unique square format. Like Layout, it also provides the option of making collages. Instapan [www.getinstapan.com] solves the problem of panoramic landscapes using the format of the network: it suggests instead, transforming the images into panoramic videos.
Latergramme [www.latergram.me], allows a calendar scheduling format: users can enter or leave scheduled reminders and automatic publication of an image on the date and time indicated.
Photorepost [photorepost.com] lets us collect videos and photos we find on Instagram that we like and upload them to our own wall. And there is Textgram [textgram.me], which proposes creating customized images with texts from dozens of templates. Inspired by the Pinterest network [pinterest.com] Instadash [instadashapp.com] was designed to transfer photos from Instagram onto your computer screen.
And to print the pictures posted on the Facebook social network , we have the choice of a number of apps such as Prinstagram [printstagr.am] and Origami [www.origrami.com].