Monday, July 27, 2009

The World In 2020: The Mobile Device Will Be The Primary Connection Tool To The Internet

Pew Internet & American Life Project Report / The Future of the Internet III / Dec 14, 2008

A survey of internet leaders, activists and analysts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, artificial and virtual reality become more embedded in everyday life, and the architecture of the internet itself improves.

They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives.

Here are the key findings on the survey of experts by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that asked respondents to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020: The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020. [snip]




The Evolution of Mobile Internet Communications / Prediction

The mobile phone is the primary connection tool for most people in the world. In 2020, while "one laptop per child" and other initiatives to bring networked digital communications to everyone are successful on many levels, the mobile phone—now with significant computing power—is the primary Internet connection and the only one for a majority of the people across the world, providing information in a portable, well-connected form at a relatively low price.

Telephony is offered under a set of universal standards and protocols accepted by most operators internationally, making for reasonably effortless movement from one part of the world to another. At this point, the "bottom" three-quarters of the world's population account for at least 50% of all people with Internet access—up from 30% in 2005. :

Compiled reactions from the 1,196 respondents

81% Mostly agreed / 19% Mostly disagreed / *% Did not respond

Expert respondents' reactions (N=578)

77% Mostly agreed / 22% Mostly disagreed / *% Did not respond

Overview of Respondents’ Reactions

A significant majority agreed with the proposed future. The consensus is that mobile devices will continue to grow in impact because people need to be connected, wherever they are; cost-effectiveness and access are motivating factors; the devices of the future will have significant computing power; there is fear that limits set by governments and/or corporations seeking control might impede positive benefits—expected "effortless" connectivity is dependent on their willingness to serve the public good.



Versions Of The Full Text Of The Future of the Internet III Available At






Select Responses From Survey Participants Available From


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