Visions on Tomorrow's Internet

September 1, 2011
By H. Mosher

You can't consider the future of computing and the Internet without looking at what software giant Microsoft and Internet heavyweight Google are up to. Rita Boland continues her Semaphore Series on the topic by tapping the expertise of Lewis Shepherd from Microsoft and Vint Cerf from Google in 'What's Now and What's New.'

Highlights include cloud computing, semantic computing, quantum computing, IPv6, application-data mashups, intelligent transportation, and more.  Shepherd explains how the Xbox Kinect is a prelude to other "natural user interfaces" where the user provides mimetic input cues, rather than using a keyboard, mouse, or other physical controller. Cerf alludes to the economics of access, and discusses Google's work to provide a high-speed internet network for Kansas City. And both discussed the big role of  clouds and "big data," that opens the door to projects like Be a Martian and various Google Earth mashups, such as the newest Google Crisis Response application that just launched yesterday.

We explored some of these topics recently on Facebook, asking readers "What excites or interests you most about the future of the Internet?" Among the answers? Integration across devices, platforms and sites, wrote one reader. "The way in which the new uses of tools are defined by the user," wrote someone else--an interesting point when you consider that Twitter started out as a text-messaging service and Facebook began as a site where Harvard students could socialize.

What ideas do you have about the future of the Internet and computing? Do you foresee the role your company will play?  Comment here or at the Facebook link above. We'd love to hear from you!

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