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Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) just released their annual Visual Networking Index (VNI). This report of predictions will help provide insight as to what we can expect in the near future regarding technology. Their recent findings indicate that there will be a huge rise in data traffic. This growth will expand from 369 Exabytes of IP traffic from all over the world to 1.3 zettabytes in the year 2016.

The reason for such a huge increase can be attributed to the influx in usage of mobile internet devices and smart television sets. Furthermore, Cisco says that the amount of data will be way more than the traffic transferred between 1984 and 2012.

The total number of network connections is expected to increase from 10.3 billion (2011) to 18.9 billion (2016) completing a total number of 2.5 connections per person on Earth. Even more interesting, many people are ditching the traditional computer (PC) in favor of smartphones and tablet computers. Last year, PCs made up about 94% of all consumer internet traffic and that number is expected to drop to 81% by 2016.

Another notable trend is the rise of video on the net. Cisco’s findings indicate that the number of video viewers on IP will double in the next five years. If this trend continues, the number of Peer-to-Peer file sharers should decrease. Last year, P2P files counted for 77 percent of internet consumer traffic and it’s predicted that number will fall to 54 percent four years from now.

These predictions are interesting and I certainly believe that they’re also accurate. In the last few years alone, PC sales have declined as many consumers are opting for tablet computers like the iPad or Kindle. The increased use of smartphones has also contributed to the decline. It seems that more people would rather purchase something that allows them to communicate and access the internet wherever they go. I don’t think this means that laptops and personal computers are going the way of the dinosaur, obviously there will remain a small but nonetheless important market of people who will need larger and more powerful computers but I think the landscape of technology has changed and will continue to change. People demand things that are fast and on-the-go