In a recent Internet Data Corporation (IDC) study, researchers came to the conclusion that, by the year 2020, we might need to buy even more data storage because the digital universe is expected to reach approximately 40 zettabytes. The proposed IDC number might seem a little bullish given that the current digital universe registers in at 1.8 ZB. Analysts predict that the amount of data created, consumed and replicated doubles every two years. At that rate, the following numbers can be derived:
In addition to the need for increased data storage space, the demand for hardened storage equipment will proportionately rise as well. In the year 2010, less than 33 percent of data needed protection. The IDC estimates that rough 16 ZB (40%) of data will need protection in 2020.
For early adopters of the Internet in the 80’s to HTML, HTTP, and URL innovators in the 90’s, the potential uses of Internet technology were limitless. As the Internet picked up speed in the mid-90’s, many speculators viewed the Internet as a fad that was soon to fade out. Nearly three decades later as computer technology has become fully integrated into society, it is obvious that the Internet is a prevalent and driving force in every aspect of civilized humanity.
From the invention of the Internet to the addition of mobile Internet accessible devices, one might ask: When do we hit the brick wall of innovation? The answer is simple; not any time soon. Twenty years from now, emerging technology is predicted to become one massive Wi-Fi network. We already see cell phone towers popping up around the country. Before long, there won’t be a square inch of that is not capable of getting cell phone reception. Couple that with rapid advancements in data-streaming and it is not hard to see a merging of Wi-Fi and cellular data into a massive Wi-Fi network that extends from border to border in every country.
It is only a matter of time before producers of television content begin to recognize the potential advertisement profit of streaming directly to consumers and cutting out the middle-man. Stand alone gaming consoles as the single entertainment center for households are rising in popularity as Internet bandwidth increases and prices decrease. With gaming consoles, users can combine gaming, Internet, TV in a single device. As the concept of cable companies becomes increasingly archaic and high-speed wireless Internet replaces the need for cable and DSL, a shift to data streaming in 5 to 10 years is both possible and probable.
In the next twenty years, there are sure to be new game-changers that emerging technology will bring about. Based on what we know about advances in technology and a little intuition about the direction of where we will be in 20 years, the opportunities are endless. One thing is certain; the brick wall is nowhere in sight.
Frank is an internet enthusiast, mostly for high speed satellite internet in rural areas.