3InternetMobileThe first few days of the year are traditionally the time of retrospections and outlooks, so on our look-out for more predictions related to digital marketing, we came across a Pew Internet and American Life Project study. Although their forecast has been published timely, it has regrettably not one real staggering new prediction in store. Instead, it provides a bunch of commonly known projections, but I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the gist:

  • More than three-quarters of the expert respondents agreed that the mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • Heightened social tolerance may not be a Web 2.0 result, as communication networks also expand the potential for hate, bigotry, and terrorism. And although transparency of people and organizations will increase, that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness. Some respondents believe that the concept of “privacy” is changing and be threatened by emerging innovations; tracking and databasing will be ubiquitous; reputation maintenance and repair will be required; and some people will have multiple digital identities or will withdraw.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020 and by then user interfaces will offer advanced talk, touch, and typing options, and even a fourth “T” for think. Indeed, a number of respondents projected the possibility of a thought-based interface—neural networks offering mind-controlled human-computer interaction. Many expressed concerns over rude, overt public displays by people using ICTs and emphasized the desire for people to keep private communications private in future digital interfaces.
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment, and regulators will not be able to come to a global agreement about intellectual property. Further, it is expected that more content will be privatized and be controlled most probably at the hardware level, through Internet-access devices such as smartphones.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time, and between physical and virtual reality, will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.
  • “Next-generation” engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch. Respondents who wrote extended elaborations to their answers projected the expectation that IPv6 and the Semantic Web will be vital elements in the continuing development of the Internet over the next decade.
  • Augmented reality and interactive virtual spaces might see more action, according to the study. Some respondents noted that by 2020 augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will have reached the point of blurring with reality and offer new opportunities for conferencing, teaching, and 3-D modeling - provided that user interfaces are much more intuitive for AR and VR to become more universally adopted.

Probably all of us working in the industry would have been able to come up with this prophecy, without running an additional study, but it for sure raises expectations for 2020.

By Daniela la Marca