The next big computing platform won’t be Mac or Windows. It’s already here and it’s the web! And the drive to offer the most compelling window to the web possible, via the browser, is intense.
What will your web browser look like in 2015? Five years doesn’t always bring dramatic change to technology – today’s desktop PC, for instance, isn’t that different from its 2005 predecessor – but browsers are undergoing major changes that will alter our day to day computing lives.
Not only will web browsers become a common place in cars, but they’ll also incorporate voice recognition, text-to-speech and touchless gesture controls for applications where keypads, touchpads and touchscreens can be inconvenient or dangerous while driving, for instance. Browsers will stream internet radio to our cars, and perhaps even adopt a 3D-style interface – only without the clunky glasses.
Google envisions a future where the browser runs all your applications, including eye-grabbing 3d games, seamless language translation and even grammar correction. Although some of these features exist in rudimentary form today, they’ll be far more capable come five years time.
As today’s tech-lab projects enter the mainstream, the browser will take on a new look and feel. AMD’s Fusion Media Explorer, a 3D browser designed drag-and-drop uploading to Facebook and other social networks, and even has rotating 3D interface for browsing media files. Startup company Eyesight Mobile Technologies is developing touchless gesture controls for Android phones: wave your hand over a front facing camera, for instance, and you can flick through your photo gallery.
Meanwhile, Google is building voice recognition and text-to-speech functionality for browsers, and Opera has pioneered voice-activated and mouse-gesture browsing. And Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors and Mercedes are each experimenting with ways to add browsers to vehicles.