The Future of Networking: Trends & Challenges

Instructor: Stephen Perkins

Stephen is a technology and electronics expert who has a passion for the work that he does.

The networking industry, in particular, is about to see a significant boost in attention over the next few years. This lesson will take you through some modern trends in networking, as well as their benefits and challenges.

Modern Networking Trends

As our electronics continue to advance and move forward, technology is a particular industry that is continually subjected to yearly trends. Trends are a significant and essential part of any industry, especially in the field of technology. They help drive new ideas and concepts that eventually manifest themselves as new products, services, or advancements, benefiting consumer use in our daily lives. Networking, in specific, is starting to see some exciting trends that are particularly interesting and helpful for consumers. Some modern examples include the leap into:

  • IoT devices in our homes
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Voice over IP
  • Video over IP

We will discuss each of these with their benefits and challenges below.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

A prime example and often talked about topic of interest, IoT devices, are the buzz right now as the market is getting ready to explode in a big way. An IoT device can be defined as any object that can connect to the internet and operate without human interaction. Examples include washing machines, door locks, kitchen appliances, and even our vehicles! It is easy to see why this untapped market is ready to take off.

Providing IoT connectivity to each of these objects will fit right into our daily lives quite nicely, making the consumer market the perfect target for this kind of technology. The magic of IoT is that we can turn ordinary objects that we never thought of as 'smart' and give them new features and functionality like never before. For example, an IoT connected washing machine will be able to send a push notification to a smartphone once the cycle is complete. The convenience factor is very high with technology, and we can expect the adoption rate to grow exponentially over the next few years.


  • Always connected
  • Information is always available
  • Processes are automated
  • Cost-effective


  • Consumer adoption rate
  • Wireless standards must advance first
  • Security concerns
  • Privacy concerns

Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous computing, also known as pervasive computing, goes hand in hand with the idea of IoT connected devices. This is the act of embedding computers, typically microprocessors, into everyday objects to give them a constant means of connectivity with one another. They are always connected to the internet, allowing information to pass between them at all times.

Ubiquitous computing helps to reduce overall computing strain by allowing these devices to perform more straightforward and specific daily tasks instead. Not having to rely solely on conventional computers means a higher range of flexibility. This can also reduce the processing power needed to complete a particular goal. For example, Amazon's Echo and Google's Home devices are always connected and are the central hub for communicating with other devices. They are entirely standalone mobile units that never need to rely on an external computer to carry out operations.


  • High level of efficiency
  • Always connected
  • Real-time information
  • Increased productivity
  • Cost-effective


  • Privacy concerns
  • Security concerns
  • Consumer adoption rate

Voice over IP

Voice over IP (VoIP) started gaining traction back in the early 2000s when a service called Skype was introduced to the public. With VoIP, we can connect to the internet and use a network to place voice calls without the need for a physical phone line. This was a breakthrough technology that helped to move us forward in how we thought phone calls should work.

No longer tied to a physical phone line in our homes, VoIP helped to pave the way for Wi-Fi calling functionality and other such applications on our current smartphones. For example, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are now some of the most popular applications we use on our phones to make voice calls online.


  • Widely available service
  • Easy to use
  • Cost-effective
  • Group calls

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