Technologist: Full immersion in the cyberworld is coming

Spending time online may actually help children prepare for the new communication methods they will use in the business world

Although many people already are engrossed in cyberspace, judging by the amount of communicating, socializing and commerce conducted online, we're at the advent of what will be a near total immersion in technology and the Internet, according to a technologist who spoke Saturday at the World Future Society conference in Boston.

In the next 10 to 20 years people will separate themselves from the physical world and adopt lives of virtualization, said Michael Rogers.

"When I say the virtualization of America I mean literally all of what we do is going up into the cybersphere," he said.

The era of replacing laptops with other devices has already started and the device that takes the place of laptops will further the process of virtualization, Rogers said. This device could be a descendant of the iPhone or a smaller version of a laptop, but in five to 10 years "we're going to end up with something new."

While a smartphone's small screen and keyboard may prevent it from replacing a laptop, Rogers noted that some phones now come equipped with pico projectors to display images and sensors that display a large keyboard on a flat surface.

Wireless connectivity will prove crucial in the constantly connected world. Fortunately, these new smartphones will always be online since Wi-Fi connections will be ubiquitous in 2020, a move motivated by revenue, he said.

"Phone companies can't make money on voice, but they can on data," Rogers said.

To capitalize on universal wireless, smart devices such as sensors in bridges and technology systems in cars will contain chips that allow them to transmit their data to the Internet.

"To kids born in 2019, we'll have to tell them what offline is," said Rogers. "Online will be the normal course of things."

And these kids will be equipped to deal with the new methods of communicating that technology introduces to the workplace, according to Rogers.

The next generation's ability to form, maintain and make use of virtual relationships will bode well as more companies will conduct meetings with telepresence systems, he said. The population of the U.S. and the cost of moving people are increasing as the cost of moving data is decreasing, conditions that will foster virtual meetings.

"We're just getting to the point where wealthy companies are buying telepresence rooms," Rogers said. "As it comes along, this first generation of millennials will be perfectly suited to use it."

But before this vision of virtualization occurs, government regulation is needed to tame the Internet and increase online safety, he said: "We're at the point where we need the rule of the law."

The government will also get involved with Internet regulation to collect taxes, he predicted.

"The Internet will be the best place for tax evasion," he said, noting that China regulates its virtual currency.

Protecting intellectual property will become even more critical as people further embrace the Internet and adopt the belief that everything online should be free, he said. While consumers purchase songs from Apple's iTunes store, 95 percent of music is still illegally downloaded, Rogers claimed. Online piracy will next extend to books and television, he said.

"Artists and creators need a way to make money," he said. "The enforcement piece is a big part of the pie."

While technology is poised to play an even greater role in society, Rogers advocated that learning knowledge still has its place in the virtual world.

Some of the experience learned by baby boomers will be lost as that generation retires and companies should do what they can to make sure that knowledge is passed along, he said.

When consulting companies, Rogers advises enterprises "to make sure that as you create the next-generation of infrastructure you have senior people involved."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetwirelessNetworkingsocial networkingPhonesWiMaxconsumer electronicsInternet-based applications and servicesWLANs / Wi-Fi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?