If Mr. Cerf and about two dozen other pundits Red Herring interviewed about the future of the Internet are right, in 10 years time the barriers between our bodies and the Internet will blur as will those between the real world and virtual reality.
Automakers, for instance, might conceivably post their parts catalogs in the virtual world of Second Life, a pixilated 3D online blend of MySpace, eBay, and renaissance fair crossed with a Star Trek convention. Second Life participantswho own the rights to whatever intellectual property they create onlinewill make money both by using the catalog to design their own cars in cyberspace and by selling their online designs back to the manufacturers, says Danish economist and tech entrepreneur Nikolaj Nyholm.
Todays devices will disappear. Electronics will instead be embedded in our environment, woven into our clothing, and written directly to our retinas from eyeglasses and contact lenses, predicts inventor, entrepreneur, author, and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Devices will no longer be spokes on the Internetthey will be the nodes themselves, he says.