Future History Of Web Computing

April 19, 1999 7:40 AM ET

An educated look at the next 66 years of the Internet, as Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Laboratory for Computer Science marks its first 35 years.

2000 One megabyte of storage costs one cent.
2001 Real-time "smart" videocassette recorders
2002 True desktop computer, where 3-inch-by-3-inch desktop is screen
2002 Intelligent global positioning systems
2003 Chameleon devices
2004 Handheld or smaller computers as ubiquitous as personal computers
2005 Software that learns by doing
2006 E-mail without digital signatures is automatically trashed.
2006 Medical kiosks in shopping malls
2007 Computing wallpaper; voice-controlled, keyboardless computers
2008 Computers that take notes
2009 Built-in speech interfaces; majority of U.S. households have high-speed 24x7 Net access.
2010 Computers that understand spoken words in context; composable computing - personally scripted use of devices attached to the Net
2011 Actual names used as Internet addresses; collaborative "regions" envelop mobile workers.
2012 Individualized knowledge access
2013 Three-dimensional, life-size scenes on digital screens
2014 Artificial "genetic" programming
2015 Computers that comprehend what they read
2016 10 percent of households worldwide connected to the Net
2018 End of coin slots in Coca-Cola machines
2019 Net economy reaches $4 trillion.
2020 Programmable pharmaceuticals
2021 You're always on camera.
2025 First ground war fought over access to information
2030 All objects become artifacts tracked on Net.
2035 Unstructured conversations with computers
2065 DNA-based computing

SOURCE: MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, [email protected] Week estimates

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