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What Will The Internet Become?

Minority Report

When I was a kid, I read lots of Golden Age sci-fi – Bradbury, Clark, Asimov – and although there were computers and sometimes even networks, nothing there approached what we have today.

These fine men of sci fi’s past couldn’t have imagined the vast, interconnected network we have today, even though they did a pretty good jib with many aspects of the future.

As I write near-future sci-fi, I wonder if I am similarly limited in my ability to see into the future of information tech. I find myself writing about people using keyboards and tablets and computer screens, very much the interfaces of now.

One of the things I loved about the 2002 film “Minority Report” was the awesome user interface Tom Cruise used, a huge transparent screen that he could interact with using a flick of the wrist.

Then there’s the AI and vocal recognition tech of films like “Her”.

So looking into your own crystal ball, what do you think the near future (let’s say 10-30 years) will bring in terms of the internet, and the interfaces we use to interact with it?

What new services will arise, and what gadgets will we use to connect to them? Will the keyboard go the way of the dodo?

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1 thought on “What Will The Internet Become?”

  1. I suspect as voice recognition software continues to improve, that it will eventually replace the keyboard. I have mixed feelings about that, TBH. For many years, I believed the words in mt head flowed down my arms and out my fingers through my pencil onto my legal pad. Teaching myself to type instead of writing everything out by hand seemed to slow down the process tremendously as my brain re-wired itself. Once that was done, however, it was unthinkable to go back to pen and paper. The ability to edit and shift entire passages around was simply too valuable!

    I know many people who use VR software to write these days, who say they wouldn’t have been able to finish their most recent story without it. I’m still having a love-affair with my keyboard, though. The learning curve for VR software is long and it eats a TON of memory. But I’m sure like everything else, eventually I’ll make the switch along with most other people.

    That having been said, however, I do not own a tablet. I recently went into a computer store looking for something to replace my dying laptop. The sales guy made a hard bid to sell me a tablet, but I finally stopped him with a raised hand. “I’m a writer.”

    “Oh!” Comprehension dawned. “You want a keyboard, then.”

    Yes. A real honest-to-god keyboard that goes clickety-click as I hammer out my words. I was visiting with a group of writer friends last fall, and after breakfast we were all sitting around at our laptops, catching up on emails, checking social media, and working on stories. There was silence except for the clatter of keys.

    One of my friends looked up and smiled. “Ah, the sound of my people.”

    We all laughed, but she was *right*. :D


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