"One Internet Year is the equivalent of Seven Calendar Years" 1
• Moore's law. This law indicates increased hardware functionality at decreasing cost and increasing bandwidth—both occurring at a factor of 2 over 1 to 1.5 years. By 2005, computing components will be 1/10th of today's price. Data traffic is expected to grow 10 to 20 times and be 90 percent of all traffic, with Internet/IP access becoming the norm. British Telecommunications Laboratories expects to see 24 million handsets in use by 2003. Increasingly, mobile and wearable devices will provide access. Advancing miniaturization will provide 1-mm imaging and camera devices that can explore information at the nano level.
• Increasing reality. Connecting real-world data to computing devices capable of handling it effectively is coming closer. This won't involve simply faster rendering or more accurate modeling, but digital media information that represents the real world and synchronizes with it.
• Ubiquity. Current trends for technology to be less in your face and more in the background (invisible computing) will lead to increasing ubiquity of devices and interfaces. All forms of information will be digital—audio, movies, interactions, publications—with consequent copyright and intellectual property rights implications. The legal ramifications of the digital world of cyberspace and its exploitation are immense.
• Convergence. Multiple access points to the same data will require the repurposing of information to suit different media, whether movie, game, documentary, or digital book. The traditional distinctions between different media will become blurred. 2
• Content (text, data, audio, video)
• Platforms (PC, TV, Internet appliance, game machine)
• Distribution (wired, wireless)
Rae Earnshaw is Dean of Informatics, and Professor and Head of Electronic Imaging and Media Communications at the University of Bradford, UK. His research interests include imaging, graphics, visualization, animation, multimedia, virtual reality, media, art, design, and the convergence of computing, telephony, imaging, digital media, networking, and broadcasting. He obtained his PhD in computer science from the University of Leeds. He is a member of the editorial boards of The Visual Computer and IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications; editor in chief of Virtual Reality: Research, Development, and Applications; vice president of the Computer Graphics Society, chair of the British Computer Society Computer Graphics and Displays Group, and a fellow of the British Computer Society. He is a member of ACM, IEEE, and Eurographics.