There are and have been many predictions on the path Wi-Fi will take and the role it will assume. The concluding chapter of Going Wi-Fi, published in 2003, gives 20 predictions â€“ 10 of which I believe have come true. Some predictions are far fetched. A faculty member at the University of Texas at Dallas predicted that by 2007 mobile communications devices will “be voice-controlled and use heads-up holographic display[s].” Unfortunately for many, it doesn’t look like 2007 will embrace this kind of future.
Nevertheless, these predictions were very insightful, covering the topics of business (maybe a wireless PBX), medical care (24hour vital monitoring and reporting), etcetera, but something was missing. And that was any allusion to the growth of social networks, virtual identities, or the like. Social networking, used in a broad sense, is big now, but the spread of wireless, I believe, will transform the revolution; connecting people, groups, and intelligence in ways never before possible.
We, the participants in the MySpace generation, the blogging generation, and others are connected to an identity, and/or identities, in cyberspace. The strengthening of that bond is parallel to the spread of Wi-Fi (most importantly, free Wi-Fi) and the doggedness of cellular; simply, more convenient, efficient, and economical access to the World Wide Web.
The blogosphere and projects such as WeFeelFine.org have been invaluable to sequentially interpreting the status of society as a whole. However, the nature of blogging is not conducive to real-time feedback. Wi-Fi, the great Last Mile, offers this.
Moblogging, radar.net, mobile video sharing, elements of Web 2.0, to name a few are the current tools moving a nearly synchronous Info Strada. What does the future hold? I believe the exponential growth of social networks and their assimilation of mobile communication devices is foreshadowing a trend towards increased Interconnectedness.
As it becomes easier to mirror ourselves and our lives virtually, it becomes more significant to mirror the state of cyberspace as a whole, and relay it back to its elements. Components seeing themselves as an integral part of a whole, then acting and reacting based on the state of the collective, the world â€“ this is the model for self-consciousness; and a step for progress.