Technology is poised to transform our world over the next decade. Computational power is not increasing at a linear rate – rather, it is increasing at an exponential rate.
Therefore, we can expect more change in the next 10 years than we had experienced in the last decade. One cannot really predict the ‘exact’ changes that technology will bring about – after all, disruptive technology is called ‘disruptive’ because it is so unpredictable – but by looking around we can get a very good idea about the changes that will take place over the next decade.
One technology that will bring about great change over the next decade is the Internet of Things. Today we are seeing the world where the number of things connected to the internet is more than the number of people. This is hardly a surprise as it is common to see a person owning multiple gadgets connected to the internet – smartphone, tablet, desktop PC etc. Connectivity that seems limitless is supported by the transition to IPv6. Sensor networks employing low-power sensors are something we can all look forward to.
Today what we are facing is not Exabytes of data, but Zettabytes. It is actually a flood of data. One simply cannot comprehend the depth of this flood of data. In fact, it is predicted that a large percentage of this data will be in the form of video. Such a flood of data will need networks which are advanced enough to handle it well. Another technology that many already know will change the world tremendously is the Cloud. In fact, the cloud may end up storing a large pool of the flood of data. Revenue from global cloud services may see an annual increase of about 20%.
Network performance has increased at an astonishing rate over the last 2 decades. Over the next decade, one can expect network speed to their homes to increase by at least a million times. Beyond focussing on 40G and 100G, we are seeing the development of new network forms. Terms like ‘interplanetary network’ and ‘quantum networking’ may become quite commonplace over the next decade.
We are witnessing the world that is shrinking by the minute. In fact, social networking is leading to widespread changes like the Arab Spring – what would’ve taken decades to happen in the past, is now happening within months and years. What we are seeing is events getting captured, distributed and absorbed, in ‘real time’.
Another change that we will witness is that of power – both of production and consumption. With the growth of population and the creation of more cities, there will be a great and ever-increasing demand for power. We will need to look for efficient methods to produce and supply power to meet this demand. In fact, it is predicted that solar energy will be one of the major methods that we will employ to meet this demand, in the form of ‘solar farms’. Other technologies/events that will cause great change over the next decade include 3D printing, increase in the robot population, advances in medicine etc.