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Almost 20 years ago, Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates released a book titled ‘Business @ the Speed of Thought’ where he made bold predictions about how technology, the internet and general way of life will change. That was in 1999, now in 2017, Markus Kirjonen, a business student, has revealed that many of these predictions have in fact come true.
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Online debate sites: Gates said: "Online communities will not be influenced by your location, but rather, your interest." 2017: People from all over the world can come together on sites such as Reddit or Twitter to debate, talk and express opinions, especially during worldly events.
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Targeted advertising: Gates said: "Devices will have smart advertising. They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences." 2017: Many internet sites are able to gather data on users and see their interests and purchasing trends to which they can run targeted adverts.
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Personal assistants and IoT: Gates said: "'Personal companions' will be developed. They will connect and sync all your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data. The device will check your email or notifications, and present the information that you need. When you go to the store, you can tell it what recipes you want to prepare, and it will generate a list of ingredients that you need to pick up. It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you're doing." 2017: Many renowned tech companies are developing personal assistants.
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Mobile phones: Gates said: "People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices." 2017: The industry is flooded with a range of smartphones, as well as other devices, such as tablets and smartwatches, that have similar functions.
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Online surveillance: Gates said: "Constant video feeds of your house will become common, which inform you when somebody visits while you are not home." 2017: Now home or office owners are able to monitor their spaces by viewing surveillance directly on their mobile phones.
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Social media: Gates said: "Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events." 2017: The internet is flooded with social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
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Quick payments and smart healthcare: Gates said: "People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet." 2017: There are many websites and apps, such as Dubai Now, that allows quick payments, or even online doctors that can help with queries.
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Online recruitment: Gates said: "Similarly, people looking for work will be able to find employment opportunities online by declaring their interest, needs, and specialized skills." 2017: LinkedIn is a popular site among job seeks, as well as Bayt.com and indeed.com.
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Price-comparison sites: Gates said: "Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries." 2017: It is easy to use internet search engines like Google, to search for products but sites like Skyscanner are created to price compare.
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Website links on live TV: Gates said: "Television broadcast will include links to relevant websites and content that complement what you are watching." 2017: Many adverts link to a website or companies use QR codes to link back to their websites.