Mobile phones will become the primary Internet device for most people by 2020, largely due to their increasing computing power, predicts the "Future of the Internet," a new Pew Internet & American Life Project report. "Telephony [will be] offered under a set of universal standards and protocols accepted by most operators internationally, making for reasonably effortless movement from one part of the world to another," the report says. The report, based on a survey of 578 Internet activists, builders, and commentators, also predicts that despite the widespread access to other cultures and viewpoints on the Internet, Internet use will not make people more socially tolerant. The report says that some survey respondents even suggested that the divide between the tolerant and the intolerant could widen due to Internet-based information-sharing tactics. The report also found that 55 percent of experts believe that by 2020 people will routinely interact in artificial spaces through virtual worlds and other types of augmented reality.
Voice activation and touch interfaces will be common by 2020, predict nearly two-thirds of experts, and "air-typing" will become common because small handheld devices will display a full size virtual keyboard on any flat surface. A majority of experts, 78 percent, believe that the current Internet architecture will not be completely replaced by a new system in 2020, but search, security, and reliability will have been improved by next-generation research.
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