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What's Next?

Written by Mike Minehan on .

Well, on the internet, it's going to be video, video, and more video in various forms.

According to Business Insider, video will grow to 82% of IP traffic in 2021. Live video is expected to increase 15-fold from 3% to 13% by 2021.

Here's a look at how the infrastructure of the internet is changing in response:

Business Insider also predicts that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will increase by 20 times befoire 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 82 percent.

VR isn't just the domain of computer games. It's currently finding many more applications in education, medicine and science.

Typically, VR produces artificial scenes in software and renders these as an immersive experience in 3D sight and in stereo sound. It also generates its own 3D world that changes in real time as you interact with it.

VR needs a computer or console capable of high speed graphics because generating scenery and events that also follow your own movement requires a whole lot of processing power.

The rapid growth of VR is illustrated by a Youtube search using the term 'virtual reality'. This returned 9,210,000 results, and Google returned 21,700,000 results on 22 December, 2017.So this is not an insignificant development.

Here's a look at the use of VR in art, usuing an electronic tool called Tilt Brush:

The difference between VR and Augmented Reality is that instead of immersing us in a total VR world, AR brings components of the virtual world iinto our perceived real world. In AR, elements are augmented, or enhanced by computer-generated real-world sensory inputs such as sound, graphics, or GPS data.

AR iinvolves hardware and software that is not as technically demanding as VR, and modern mobile devices such as smartphones and tabliet computers are suitable AR platforms.

In particular, AR is transforming the world of commerce and entertainment, but also, simply providing immediate access to useful information and graphics. 

Education is also embraciing AR, where content can be accessed by scanning or viewing an image with a mobile device:

More and more, this software is being designed for simplicity of use, and, yippee, we don't need to become computer geeks to use and enjoy it.