A recent report by the Technology Strategy Board, UK's national innovation agency, suggests that the Internet is heading towards facilitating converged services.
It describes the future Internet as "an evolution rather than [a] replacement."
According to the study, "The Internet was initially about communications and then a means of delivering services. The next stage in this progression is a convergence of services, together with massively shared data. Converged services and shared data open up the opportunity for highly efficient, value-added, contextually aware decision support to both business and citizens."
In other words, the Internet will not just be facilitating commerce, it will become the platform for providing new and better services to netizens.
We're seeing this now through the emergence of cloud computing, and "the Internet of Things." The former allows users to store, access and process their information via the Internet; the latter to virtual representations of uniquely identifiable objects in the real world. A UK university consortium, for instance, has developed technology to form “social network for objects," which combines and makes accessible information regarding real-world objects, such as geographical location, stories about previous owners, video clips and tweets.
These are game-changing innovations and technologies that will surely affect how businesses are conducted and services are delivered to internet users. The question is, is our country's legal and regulatory framework for ICT ready for the future of the Internet?
-- Ixara Maroto, 14th post