Take a few seconds to imagine your life without the internet. No email, no downloading, no Google, no Facbeook, no online banking, gaming or shopping. Seems so unimaginable — and kind of awful — no?
Of course, it’s not going to happen. In fact, experts agree that by 2030, we’ll be so connected that many aspects of how we live now will be virtually unrecognizable when history students use their virtual-reality glasses to peer back into the comparatively ancient habits of folks in 2013.
The days of logging onto the internet via a desktop PC, for example, will seem quaint. Online connectivity will be ubiquitous, wireless and seamless. Full mobility won’t be a feature of online communications – it will be an expectation. Oh, and we’ll also likely be wearing the device that bridges our on- and offline worlds. Things you never thought would be online will be.
The opportunities for this growth in connectivity are exciting. And Rogers will be there to provide fast internet access and reliable service every step of the way.
Still not exactly sure how life will change by 2030? The short answer is: dramatically. Let’s take a peek into the future, shall we.
Shopping: A Customized Experience
The suburban shopping mall isn’t likely to disappear in the next 15 to 20 years, says Mitch Joel, renowned technology commentator and president of digital marketing agency Twist Image. But he does predict a new, highly customized retail experience, where the line between online and real-world shopping will become indistinguishable – possibly with the help of web-connected glasses akin to Google’s recently introduced Google Glass. Want to shop with your friends on the other side of the country? No problem: “You’re not just going to shop with your buddy, you’re shopping with your whole social graph, some of whom will be with you and some won’t,” Joel explains.
Dave Evans, chief futurist at Cisco Systems Inc., takes the prediction for the internet-based shopping experience of the future even further: “I can envision standing in front of your TV, being physically scanned and seeing clothing specific to you that you can try on virtually, in your own home. We’re already trying some of these ideas out.” And with the development of 3D printers, you may be able to download and produce products ranging from t-shirts to jewelry at home.
Rogers Will Be There: When you’re shopping online, you want to be reassured that your information is safe. Rogers Online Protection is free software that offers firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware. Rogers Online Protection Premium goes further, with malware and fraud protection.
Working: Collaborate From Anywhere
Richard Worzel, a well-known Toronto-based futurist, predicts that global collaboration among workers will increase dramatically in the coming years, particularly as language translation software becomes perfected, allowing for seamless interaction between business across cultures. He notes that the use of telepresence technology will also sky- rocket, offering the opportunity to put people from multiple locations in one room virtually, while also instantly sharing images, documents and video. “It will make collaboration more dynamic, immediate, and location won’t be very important,” Worzel says.
Rogers Will Be There: In the future, more of us will be working from home, requiring a fast, reliable home internet connection. Rogers will be there. Just look at Rogers Hi-Speed Internet today: its service just keeps getting faster. Many of the internet tiers have recently gotten a speed boost.
Social media as we know it, says Cisco’s Evans, will become less of an event and more of a process – not to mention a facilitator of positive interactions. Evans predicts that in the future, virtually every decision will be influenced by our personal social graphs, while robotic or virtual telepresence – imagine a robot that displays your face in person at a specific event, such as a trade show, while you interact a continent away from the comfort of your living room – will enhance our ability to attend events or spend time with friends like never before.
He adds that research will also be influenced by our social interactions, with machines becoming increasingly adept at learning our preferences and catering to our specific personal or business information needs. “We’re seeing huge advances in machine learning, like Apple’s Siri, or IBM’s super computer Watson that understands language in the same way that humans use and understand it,” Evans explains. “We’re going to see a lot more machine learning that’s going to help us parse through all this information we’re learning.”
Rogers Will Be There: As we rely more and more on technology, there will, of course, be a learning curve for many of us. Rogers knows this, which is why it offers Rogers TechXpert™. Starting at $9.99/month, Rogers TechXpert gives you access to tech experts by phone or online chat, whom you can contact any time for the help you need for your home tech.
Worzel predicts that the line between real and virtual worlds in gaming will become practically non-existent, while augmented reality through wearable technology, such as glasses, will allow for completely immersive, multiplayer experiences. On the entertainment front, online technology will allow for everything from movie audiences participating in films to attending a Rolling Stones concert at Wembley Stadium through a robotic avatar – assuming technology allows Mick and Keith to keep rocking well into their 90s. “Entertainment will become much more immediate and global,” he says.
Evans goes so far as to compare being without the internet in 2030 to being without electricity today – in other words, completely unthinkable. The fascinating future, he ventures, will be online all the time. “The internet will be pervasive in every industry,” he says, “and will be a required tool for everything we do.”
Rogers Will Be There: When you’re gaming or watching movies on your device, you’ll need a super-fast wireless network. Rogers is committed to providing the fastest mobile network technology available. Proof: the Rogers LTE network is Canada’s fastest wireless internet, with maximum theoretical speeds up to 150 Mbps. (See rogers.com/lte for legal and details.)