The MIT Technology Review asked different people what the future of the web will look like. Besides "mobile" and "higher access speed" there were also some interesting converse thoughts.
Bjarne Stroustrup - Designer of the C++ programming language
The total end of privacy.
Mena Trott - Cofounder of Six Apart
I can easily see someone putting 75 percent of their day online. But it won't all be public. The majority will be for that person's eyes only; it will be more a record for that individual.
Leah Culver - Cofounder of Pownce
Open standards will always be the future of the Web.
Jonathan Zittrain - Professor of law
An abandonment of open standards and services (like the collective hallucination that is our distributed e-mail system) and a return to the gated communities
Richard Stallman - Founder of the Free Software Movement
I see a danger in the Web today: doing your computing on servers running software you can't change or study, and entrusting your data to U.S. companies
Marc Benioff - Founder of Salesforce.com
Companies such as Salesforce.com, Google, and Amazon are making it possible to create and run powerful business applications in the cloud, and that will change the economics of the software industry forever.
Sony Ericsson announced the main feature of its new K980: To copy-paste text from books and journals by using the camera. It has never been easier to comment a passage of a book.
Comments of books can be made available online for others.
Whenever you find a remarkable passage in a book, just hold the camera of your mobile phone over it, mark the desired text and save it for later commenting or directly make a note.
If you photograph the book cover, the title of the book is automatically added to the comment entry as meta information.
Arguments: Students all over the world would be happy to have an easy way to digitally comment books in order to make a summary of the book and to facilitate research. The main reason why this has not been implemented yet is probably the performance needed for Optical Character Recognition. Another cause can be the limited possibilities to mark text (no touch screen and low screen resolution) and to enter comments on current mobile phones (only keypad).
A very interesting component of this scenario is also the sharing of the comments via internet. Books could become more and more annotated and commented like blog entries.
Can you think of any other causes that hinder the implementation of such an application?
Shoot & Translate - a J2ME application with OCR that translates text. But from the information given it is not clear whether the OCR-part happens on the phone or on a server.
knfb Mobile Reader - an application that reads photographed documents aloud. Especially useful for blind people. Only for Symbian 3rd Edition phones.
ABBYY Mobile OCR SDK - The one year old video on that site shows a mobile OCR application in action. Altough it looks a lot like a pure demo application. The OCR is done by using an already prepared image of a business card.
The World Wide Web is 15 years old. Therefore the BBC asked some of the leading figures in the web community about their hopes for the future of the web.
Some interesting points how the web could look like in the future:
A mobile, pervasive/ubiquitous web
Computers, mobile phones and sensors will be connected in one web as suggested by Tim O'Reilly. Wendy Hall and Mitchell Baker point to the problem of presentation and access of information on mobile devices. Personalization could be a solution for that problem. Mobility makes it possible to adapt the information access to the context of the user. On a small mobile screen, you would like to have only the information that is valuable in your current situation, otherwise you would be flooded with information. For example: A search result on your mobile phone for restaurants, should give you first the restaurants that are nearby, and that maybe your friends rated positively.
So we are going to see the phone network merge with the web, sensor networks merge with the web. I think we will even see the power network merge with the web.
What we are really building is a global brand where all the computers in the world are connected, where all the devices in the world are connected, sometimes intermittently off and on, and all the people are connected.
Professor Wendy Hall
Everything is going mobile. And I think the big issue about access was you need a computer at the moment to access it properly. [...] You will be able to access it. The technology and the interfaces will change so that it's much more accessible on a mobile device.
Mitchell Baker - Mozilla Foundation
In 15 years the web will be everywhere; in ways we don't know.
The web in that sense will be informational and the presentation of information will be in a way "we" like it.
A semantic web
Some predict that the web will be semantically annotated to find and combine information faster. Robert Cailliau also has a critical statement about the Semantic Web.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
In a hundred years, 15 years will seem to be just the infancy of the web, when the semantic web wasn't even completely deployed.
Professor Nigel Shadbolt
The future is the Semantic web
In much less than 15 years I think we need to figure out what the social impact is going to be of the Semantic web. I am not sure this is a good thing.
I don't know who is controlling it. And because it works by onotologies, who decides on what basis I am going to see things?
Very interesting is also how some of the interviewees used the opportunity to make advertisement for their companies...
Scenario 1: I walk into a bar and bump into a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while. I ask him for his contact information so we touch our NFC enabled devices for a split second and we’re now in each other’s address book. He not only gets my name and phone number, but a list of all the services I’m currently using and have set to public. All of this data generated via my publicly declared services is pulled down and aggregated onto his device and is listed under my entry in his address book, think of it as FaceBook’s Newsfeed, but open and 100% under my control. Later that night I decide I want to let him access my personal blog so I go into my device and grant him the ability to see my private blog entries. He doesn’t have to do anything since the list of services I use is in my contact card and when I manipulate permission settings they automatically update for the people who have me in their address book. My friends will always knows what I’m up to and I don’t have to tell him to check out a particular website to see my data, it is my data after all, the fact that I have it being displayed on service A versus service B does not and should not make a difference.
Scenario 2: I walk into a bar I regularly enjoy coming to with friends and sit down at a table. Since the bar is in my address book it knows I’m a trusted party, I tap my NFC enabled device to the corner of a display near me and a menu appears with meals and drinks based on my previous orders, not only that, I get to see recommendations and ratings my friends left the last time they were in here. This information isn’t hosted by the servers in the bar, instead the UI pulls data that my friends left for this particular establishment which is either hosted on their devices or in their storage clouds. I can read it because they’ve granted me permission. I use my mobile device as a remote control, the touch screen acts as a trackpad, to order a drink and pay for it. Around 10 seconds after I finish making that purchase the screen fades out and the basketball game with my favorite college team shows up, this is possible because my mobile device is smart enough to know my preferences for the type of media I like to consume and can communicate that information to the display.