We take a lot for granted these days. Everyone is using the internet today, but I can still remember a time when it was used by a minority.
From Minority Use To Being “Taken For Granted”
It was around 1998/1999 that I used the internet for the first time. I vividly remember how the 56K Modem made some of the most bizarre sounds I’ve had ever heard. Back then very few people were using the internet, but it was rapidly growing and large telecommunication providers kept promoting it literally everywhere. Even fewer people realized the potential of the internet and what a profound effect it would have on our lives and economies.
Who’s Pushing It Forward These Days?
More than 50% of the worlds population still have no internet access.
Google has invested millions and millions into project such as Google Loon, a project that aims to bring the Internet everywhere, even to the most remote places on this planet.
As you can imagine, there are some pretty remote places on this planet. New Zealand for example is a country with very secluded settlements, so reaching everyone is a pretty difficult undertaking:
But also other companies like Facebook and Mozilla are helping to make the internet affordable for everyone.
Facebook has its own campaign that is trying to make the internet as cheap as it gets. Their internet.org campaign is trying to bring the internet to people with very little income in India, Kenya and other developing countries.
Mozilla is yet another company trying to push the boundaries. With its $33 smartphone that is available on one of India’s leading eCommerce sites ‘snapdeal.com’
3 Billion Internet Users By 2015
According to emarketer.com, 3 billion people will have internet access by 2015 and 3.6 by 2018.
Unsurprisingly, Brazil and Indonesia will be among the 5 biggest nations on the internet. Ever since 2007, China had the most internet users and by now China has more internet users than the entire population of the USA.
It goes without saying that China will reach a billion internet users by 2020 (of 1,3+ billion people). China’s population growth rate is a mere 0.47% and it is expected that the population growth rate of the biggest nations (China, India, US) will turn negative eventually. The Deutsche Bank estimated the world population will peak at 8.7 billion by 2055.
What Are The Consequences?
Countries such as Nepal, Kenya, India and many others are underbanked. Receiving payments sometimes takes weeks. Digital currencies solve this problem and will rapidly increase internet use in developing countries.
China has overtaken the US in almost every aspect, except innovation. Hotspot-Innovation and the “Local Food/Products Movement” are among the most important trends that prevent an economic collapse. For this reason, the FED and other institutions in the US are welcoming digital currencies. They are aware of the paradigm shift and know that they need to prepare their economy for the banking revolution. It will be interesting to see how Russia and China respond to this development.
What Other Trends Will Shape The Internet?
Facebook has heavily invested into virtual reality. Although, Facebook is grossly overvalued at this point, they have set themselves up for future growth by buying headset-maker Oculus, but it’s still unclear whether consumers will accept this technology. Google Glass has created a very bad public image of augmented reality and virtual reality as well.
By 2020, most of the internet communication will include some form of holographic interaction. Digital avatars will be common. 3D scanners are already cheaply available and companies will emerge that will take body scans to the next level, allowing everyone to put a digital copy of themselves online.
Mind to PC:
It is also obvious, that new peripherals will emerge. Mind-to-computer interfaces will emerge, making it possible to control search engines using thoughts. This sounds like science-fiction, but it is not. In fact, the technology is already available and it won’t be long until this will go mainstream. 6 years are sufficient for this development to play out.
The most important development right now is the IoT (Internet of Things). Every “smart” device will have its own internet connection by 2020.