It’s the end of the Internet as we know it.
Last Thursday, during an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt made a jaw dropping prediction about the future of the web when he argued that one day “the Internet will disappear.”
Rest assured, Schmidt was not referring to an extensive global Internet provider outage. Instead, he was making a point about the economics of technologies as they mature. Schmidt predicts a future where the Internet is all around us:
“There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it. It will be part of our presence all the time and we will be able to interact with things going on around us.”
This technological disappearing act is not a new concept. In fact, it is how we know technology has matured.
As recently noted in Forbes, a great example of matured technology is the automobile. Before cars could parallel park themselves, they were extremely unreliable than the horse and carriages they were attempting to replace. The driver, at that time, had to be a mechanic to manage the constant breakdowns. There was even a time where Sunday afternoons were spent working on the car to ensure it worked properly for the next work week. Today, teenagers can be drivers and our cars have sensors that can practically tell us what is wrong. We don’t have to think about how to fix our cars, for the most part, they just “work.” And soon there will be self-driving cars on the road.
A motorwagen from the 1880s (top) and Audi’s A7 self-driving car (bottom)
So the Internet will not disappear, it will just be all around us…even in our cars that pick us up from work.