I read a while ago that the availability IPv4 addresses will soon run dry much like fossil fuels will. However, fast forward to the future and I reckon we’ll have moved onto something completely different: the Human Network Protocol. Think about it, people are assigned a HNP address and this then becomes their mark for life. Everything will connect to this single address and you as a person and individual will become merely a node, in digital terms of course. Buy a camera, register it to your HNP and there’ll be no need to manually upload photos to Facebook (or whatever the global hub will be) because your HNP will already be associated to it. Your ‘social graph’ will become more valuable to the Government that your Social Security or NIS number and it’ll supercede these eventually. You’ll carry a single portal to your social graph in the form of a mobile device, and you’ll always be connected and accessible from that device. No more multiple email addresses, no more phone numbers, your HNP will be your single and unique identifier.
Here’s an interesting thought. This device will monitor your health and body, and instantly alert the emergency services if there’s a trauma or attack about to happen and dispatch help and a diagnosis to aid them. You walk down the street and wander into a shop, the shop’s systems pick up your HNP address from the device and you’re checked into the store (a la Foursquare) automatically, therefore your movements are tracked, your whereabouts known, your spending habits recorded. No need for cards as it’s all tied to a single accounting source via your HNP.
You go to work, automagically checked in, and work is processed and routed according to your HNP, social graph and role profile. Even your digital interactions with colleagues at work is extrapolated so hidden talents can be exposed, nurtured and utilised by a variety of processes in the organisation. You contact a company to complain about their service and they know who you are instantly, no more button pushing or IVR telephony processes.
But where does all this integration end ? Does it end ? Should it end ?
Could future society conceivably be that connected and should we let it be ? We’ve seen what happens when there’s a Facebook outage and half the internet collapses without the famous ‘Like’ button….
Who knows. But where we are now and how we let companies like Facebook and Google shape our future is important. In a socially networked world we are actually being dictated to by the companies we seem to rely on so much for our interactions online….
Addendum: Gartner says the personal cloud will rise in 2014…..does it need a human protocol to govern it ?