The Future of the Information Highway
More people are using the information highway to retrieve information for
work and pleasure. It is estimated to be about a million users a month.
In a few years time, almost everybody would be using the internet for
almost every purposes. For example, shopping, learning, meeting people and
many others. We can see, the future of information highway will change the way
we live, learn work and play. It will be different life from what we are experiencing.
The main definition of the information highway is to allow people to communicate,
collaborate and information any time, anywhere. Right now, it only uses the
telephone lines. In the future, computer, television and telephones cables
will be combine as one. Connections will then be wireless. It will support
remote computing and communications.
This advance information highway, will allows millions of computers
to plug into the infrastructure to search and retrieve information. It will
cause an 'revolution in knowledge and learning'.
With the advances in technology, new softwares and applications will be made
available to the user. The video "Information at your fingertips 2005" shows
some applications that might take place in the year 2005.
One of the applications is the "wallet P.C.". It functions like a wallet,
with the extra features of a computer. The user would be able to use the
wallet to keep money, photos of love ones, retrieve information, send and
receive messages and keep a personal planner. It is not only usable, it
is also portable. An ideal wallet for people who wants information immediately.
Another applications is the use of flat panel display. It is like a monitor and
the functions of the display is the same as the monitor. It is use almost
- health care
- police work
In health care, the patients could be treated while still in the ambulance.
This will increase the health care services to the public. In police work,
police would be able to collaborate with experts, get information even before
arriving the scene of crime. This help the police to solve crimes. In business,
every companies would be using EDI and EFT to provide customers with better
services. In education, multimedia would make the subjects more interesting
to the students. In home, a central control could be used for controlling
the temperature, the lights, and the security.
The third applications is the television. The television programs will be able
to provide interactive entertainment. Examples, the user watching a news report
is able to select sections of the news that he wants to watch and skip the rest.
He is also able to interact with the talk show host. He is also able to change
the endings of shows. By then, everybody could watch almost anything from all
over the world. This increases the knowledge.
The next application will help the user to navigate the internet with ease and
speed. There will be better navigations aids, it will be easier to use and
The list of applications mentioned are just a few that we can expect from the
All this new technology provides gains from which we can benefits from. The
- rich communications
- electronic commerce
- health care and government services
- new educational approach.
With the technology, we will be able to get a wide variety of information
from all over the world. Business will be done electronically. EDI and EFT
will come into place, all business will be able to enjoy the advantages of
EDI and EFT. The technology is able to improve health care and government services
to the public. There will be new approaches to education. Students will
be able to attend 'classes' on the internet, they would not have to go to
school. Everything could be done from home.
The gains from the technology is very attractive, but there are some concerns
that we have to deal with. There are four main concerns:
- easy of use
- privacy, security and universal access
The first concern is the ease of use. The new applications has to be easy to
use and user-friendly. It should not be complicated, like the VCR. The second
concern is privacy. Privacy was one of the main concern in the past, it
is still a concern in the present and it will be a concern in the future.
The main reason is that all the information allow universal access.
When there are universal access, there exists the problem of privacy and
security. Right now, there are no ideal solution to the problem. The last
concern deals with fear. Many people are afraid of the changes that new
technology will bring. The changes will affect the lives of the public in
many aspects. It could affect their social life, working environment and
After hearing so much about the future, the gains and the concerns. One
question that remains on everybody's minds "Will all this technology be
possible in the year 2005?".