Tech Heads: Cisco's Dave Evans predicts the future

We talk to Cisco's chief futurist about his predictions for the technology of the future - from cyborgs, parallel universes and internet telepathy to the ultimate fate of humanity itself.

IT Pro: What do you mean by a reset event?

Throughout history there have always been events that reset the clock. It could be something like a pandemic. It could be both positive and negative. It could be a massive breakthrough in renewable energy. It could be an asteroid hitting the planet (it's happened many times before). It could be a war. I'm very optimistic and try not to concentrate too much on the dire aspects of life, but the reality is that things happen throughout history and they always have. If a reset event occurs, it could put us back a bit and that could reset the timescale.

That world {travel between parallel universes} is totally realistic physicists have proven mathematically that it can be done.

Dave on the future of the internet in a nutshell.

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The number of devices connected to the internet will grow exponentially. Today we have roughly 10 billion devices, give or take. In the next nine years, the number will grow to 50 billion devices - within a decade, every single device that has an on or off switch will be connected to the network.

We will create orders of magnitude more date. In 2008 we created five exobytes of data, that's about a billion DVDs worth of information. By the end of this year we will create 1.2 zettabytes of information. By 2015 almost one zettabyte of information will flow across the network. That's 44x increase since 2009.

The network is going to become much, much faster. We're going to see much richer devices connected to it and richer data sent across the network. Every device you can imagine - people, livestock, trees, shoes - will be connected to the network. Everything's going to get connected to the network.

It's going to be a very different world.

Dave on one of his favourite TV shows.

I love Fringe. That world [travel between parallel universes] is totally realistic. It could be hundreds of years before we could transition between them [parallel universes], but physicists have proven mathematically that it can be done.

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