Megatrend: Outernet

We have now reached the point where almost every step people take leaves behind two prints: one can be seen in the real world, while the other is made in the digital realm. Mobile communication technologies let the internet jump out into the street and become the outernet.

Sitting at their desktop computers, people used to be more or less separated from their immediate surroundings as they explored the depths of the World Wide Web. The internet was more like a temporary alternative to the real world.

Today, people have constant access to the internet through their smartphones and wearables, while their direct surroundings are also full of instant connections to the web. This means that not only we humans are “always on”, but so too is life itself. The state of being online and offline at the same time can be described by the adjective phygital.

The outernet has made the digital world as important to us as oxygen and we now take it for granted to such an extent that we hardly notice it any more. It integrates seamlessly into all devices and aspects of our lives. Not only individual users profit from the breadth of the possibilities, as companies also use the outernet’s technical infrastructure to offer their customers new channels.

The aim for the future is to be able to consider every movement in the digital sphere too. All other interfaces that become part of everyday life expand the scope for action and human possibilities exponentially.

These are the macro-trends of the Outernet:


You can find worldwide best practice examples on all 16 mega-trends in our online tool, the Trendexplorer:

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