In my "Engineering Design" class, we have to figure out what the world of 2020 will be like.
Brilliant. This is the sort of question we all should be asking. I'd like to see the final results.
communication: No one will have a POTS line. You'll have a digital network connection in your house, maybe ip6, all voice traffic will be carried over that digital network, your cellphone will be like a sidekick, it might have thin parts that fold out to make the realestate bigger when you need it, it will use your home network when at home and other networks when not at home. It will be able to project content onto the wall. Long Distance will be included in the price of whatever you pay for network access. Its possible that the internet will submerge into a MMORPG style virtual reality environment, but it remains to be seen. There might be a standards war over that in 15 years.
The media industry will be quite blurred with blogs and independent music/film. The copyright battles will be near their peak at that time. Movies, music, and news will come as often from proam indies then from "industry," but you'll turn to the same source for both kinds of information and it may be hard to tell them apart. You'll have internet radio in your car. Reputation systems will matter more then editors.
Comptuer security problems will constantly plauge what we'd today call telecom and television infrastucture.
South Korea will do for communciations technology what Japan did for manufacturing in the 80s.
information availability: You'll search wikipedia instead of searching google. You'll pretty much have everything instantly available to a device that fits in your pocket. We're almost there today. A lot of the good information will be produced by proams.
geographic location: What do you want? Your digital devices will know where they are. Your cellphone will easily map your location, show you where you want to go, and give you directions. You'll be able to leave virtual notes for people connected to physical locations, like a bulletin board connected to every bar. Often, the way to get news about major events will be to ask an internet service what pictures were submitted from a particular physical location at a particular time. Everyone will have devices in their cars which report their driving habits to their insurance company, in exchange for a cost break for most. Some orwellian use of this technology will go on, particularly with regard to minors.
government structure: This is a US centric response: I don't see many structural changes occuring in a 15 year timespan, other then the final nails in the coffin of the idea that the commerce clause restricts federal authority. Politics will increasingly be influenced by internet based open information sources like blogs and wikipedia. Voters will be more informed about particular issues. You will see more ballot refer... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]
RE: The Year 2020