The Pew Internet & American Life Project surveyed internet leaders, activists and analysts to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020. The headline is that the phone becomes the primary device for online access. Ars Technica summarizes:
More than three-quarters of experts and 81 percent of overall respondents agreed that the mobile phone would be the primary Internet connection tool in 2020, largely due to the “bottom” of the world’s population relying on mobile communications to get online. And, although more than half of experts and stakeholders feel that copyright protection technology will no longer be widely available as of 2020, they do feel as if the arms race between content owners and crackers will continue, as the remains of DRM are beaten to death.
That’s not all that will change over the next 11 to 12 years, though. 57 percent of total respondents believe that the demarcation between work and personal time will disappear thanks to the Internet and technology that keeps us constantly connected….The panels were evenly split on the issue of personal and corporate transparency online, however, and whether it will actually affect the general public in any meaningful way. Although they generally believe that transparency will increase thanks to the increased threat of being outed for past indiscretions, respondents were unsure of whether such a change in behavior would spur more public forgiveness or social acceptance.
Other predictions include that we’ll see new and improved voice recognition and touch screen interfaces and the Internet architecture will continue to improve but its underlying architecture won’t fundamentally change.