Intel IQ: How Internet Access Can Help ‘Shrink’ The World And Connect Cities

Intel IQ: How Internet Access Can Help ‘Shrink’ The World And Connect Cities

By democratizing access to the internet, we could enable solutions for the entire population.

Carib Guerra
  • 17 october 2012

Internet connectivity is arguably the single biggest driver of information, innovation and opportunity available in the world today. Metaphorically speaking, the Internet is the new universal language, a communication conduit for every person regardless of age, education or socio-economic status; with the Internet, a nearly boundless cache of information exists only a few clicks away, but all that possibility and promise will go unrealized if the world isn’t able to get online.

A number of emerging services are looking to solve the issue of access, exploring new ways to network the planet and achieve faster connection speeds without the need for costly infrastructure or top of the line technology.

How did we get here?

Back in the 1960s and 70s, researchers all over the world—like the ARPANET team pictured above—were working on methods of transferring information from one computer network to another. These interconnected computer networks would later evolve into the global phenomena of internetworking or, more simply, the Internet. Then in the 1990s British engineer and computer scientist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, developed the commercial WorldWideWeb as a way to organize, view, and share information on the Internet through the use of Web browsers.

In just 20 short years since the creation of the Web, more than 2 billion people worldwide have been connected. That means that nearly a third of humanity now has near instant access to an estimated (by Google CEO, Eric Schmidt) 5 million terabytes of data. It should be noted, though, that a lot of this data is likely cute cat videos— as evidenced by the haunting image below. This grainy cat-like image was spit out by Google’s artificial intelligence program after it was shown a pool of 1 million random pictures from the Internet to see if it could recognize distinct visual patterns.

But there are are also terabytes of helpful information like Wikipedia, which was as large as 1.2 terabytes even in 2006. We’re creating more data than ever before- it has been estimated that humans created more data in 2009 that in the previous 5,000 years combined- and of course, one of the first things we did was put all of that knowledge online. Every basic mathematic, scientific, and creative concept that makes modern civilization possible is free to all—all, that is—who have access to the Internet.

As the Web grows larger and more advanced we’re effectively removing barriers and moving towards open access. A new web browser like Google Chrome will automatically translate webpages between more than 60 different languages. And on the other end of the spectrum, the controversial practice of peer-to-peer sharing has effectively eliminated the economics associated with accessing virtually any form of ‘paid’ media. But none of these advances matter for the other 4 billion people who can’t connect.

Some may not have computers or, if they do, there simply may be no way for them to get online. Frederico Pistono, co-creator of WiFli Global, a venture that aims to provide free Internet access to every person on earth, explains the potential of Internet access in a blog post:

We know there are many challenges—access to clean water, food, cheap energy—but we realize that access to information can enable the solutions to all of the problems we face as a species. We’d rather teach people how to build a fishing rod, instead of feeding them fish all the time. Imagine what would happen if the 4 billion people who are not participating in the global conversation could access the sum of all human knowledge. Imagine what they could create, what they could invent, what they could do if they had that possibility.

Continue reading the rest of this story at iQ by Intel.

With the help of iQ by Intel, is exploring how technology impacts our lives. iQ by Intel connects readers to the trends and discussions that are moving our planet forward. To read more inspiring stories about how technology is unleashing the world’s human potential to create a better future visit iQ by Intel.


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Tegan Monique Gaan


Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.