Tech corner

30 years of the world wide web

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We’ve taken a little look at how the internet has progressed since it came about

A whole three decades ago, a man called Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web that led to the internet as we know it today: accessible to everyone, and continually transforming the way the world works.

Since its invention, the internet has continued to change radically every day, with new ways to navigate the online world coming from every direction. We’ve taken a little look at how the internet has progressed since it came about, and what we might expect from the future.

How popular is the internet today?

Currently, more than half of the world’s population is online, and there are close to 2 billion different websites available for them to access at any time. Asia holds the record for the highest number of internet users, accounting for 49% of the world’s total, closely followed by Europe.

The invention of smartphones meant that internet access for the wider population was easier than ever, and in 2019 more than 63% of all mobile phone users are expected to access the internet from their devices.

For those who don’t have access to the internet from their homes, there are plenty of places they can visit to get online for a while, such as internet cafes, libraries and coffee shops. Free Wi-Fi is also available at a variety of shopping centres and even on public transport, making it easy for people to get online whilst out and about.

How is it the internet helping businesses?

The internet is a staple for almost every business currently operating in the world. Whether it’s via a website or social media accounts, the use of the web is vital for businesses both big and small when it comes to marketing and sales.

Though online shopping sometimes causes issues for the physical high street, it also makes daily life easier by offering speedy delivery of gifts and groceries direct to your door, as well as access to items that simply aren’t available in brick and mortar stores.

Online banking and money transferring sites are also great tools when it comes to safely sending transactions and storing funds around the globe.

What can we expect from the next 30 years?

It’s predicted that the following three decades will bring fantastic enhancements that make the internet even more integral to our daily lives. Examples range from transportation, with traffic congestion reduced thanks to smart tech using predictive and responsive algorithms, to healthcare customised to an incredible degree due to all GPs having access to your in-depth medical history and any other data that will help them to reach an effective diagnosis.

Meanwhile, there’s a very high chance that at least one new social media platform will appear, perhaps offering a fun interactive element that right now in 2019 is simply make-believe.

And as for our homes and workplaces, you can expect a sharp rise in smart devices, virtual assistants and a genuine Internet of Things, with everything from your calendar to your automated vacuum cleaner and even your fridge keeping on top of your various schedules, errands and housekeeping.

Who knows, perhaps in 2049 the streets of Hull will be filled with driverless cars too? Only time will tell.

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