America Online's chief executive Steve Case this week predicted a second wave of the internet that will make consumer technology simpler and more accessible.
"We are in a period of metamorphosis. We are about to usher in the next revolution," Case told a packed house during his keynote speech at Internet World 2000 in Los Angeles today.
The difference between the internet, PC, TV, hi-fi and telephone will blur rapidly as consumers demand products that fit seamlessly into their lives, he added.
Case predicted that in the near future, users would see the take up of video on demand, music that is stored on home servers, portable jukeboxes, and communications that are integrated through the PC, TV and other devices.
"We will make people's lives easier, not more complicated," he said. "Consumers ultimately are the key venture capitalists. They decide what will be a success, but they shouldn't have to be systems integrators and put all the pieces together."
Case also unveiled Netscape 6.0 web browser and a range of internet devices that AOL developed with PC maker, Gateway.
"Content is the key to the march of the net. Consumers will not stand for the mediocre, biased or uninteresting. The diversity of voices is the internet's strength," he said.
Case added that the need to bridge the technological divide was fundamental to the development of society. "As Bruce Springsteen said: 'nobody wins unless everyone wins'. To move forward we have an obligation to society," he said.
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