Someday, the Internet as we know it will seem old-fashioned

What to expect from the Internet 25 years from now.

Someday, the way we use the Web and Internet will seem quaint and old-fashioned.

Just as AOL's or CompuServe's dial-up service were once cutting-edge gateways to the online life.  Or client/server connections between mainframes and PCs -- with not-so-graphical interfaces mimicking the mainframe's "green screen" inside a PC DOS screen -- were at the forefront of a technology revolution.

Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society, spoke to FastCompany's David Zax about the way the online world may look 25 years down the road. By then, it may be hard to believe we only accessed the Internet in a one-dimensional way through a computer screen.

Instead, we may be calling the Internet from up our sleeves, St. Amour predicts:

" Today, our experience is we pick up a device, a phone, and so on. In the future, there won't have to be that second step--it will just be with us at all times... Literally we will be checking email by looking down at our sleeve, maybe touching part of the sleeve, or possibly blinking our eyes. The user interface will be much more seamless... I think the ability to call up the Internet on any surface that's in front of us--our sleeve, the back of our hands, the back of the seat in front of us--a lot of those technologies actually exist today, but just are not at the right cost points."

The Internet will be ubiquitous to the point where it connects devices, objects, appliances, vehicles, and everything else all around us. St. Amour cautions, however, that "some social and cultural acclimatization" will need to happen to prepare society for such pervasiveness.

Don't expect the Internet itself to change much over the next 25 years, however. "We won't be scrapping this Internet for many, many decades," she point out. "That's not to say there won't be other Internets or other structures that both build on and evolve from this one. The Internet is basically a series of building blocks that allow future Internets and future applications."

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