To say the world has become one big technological hub is no news at all. If just by reaching one’s pocket for one tiny gadget and hitting a key or two gets one connected to the rest of the world in seconds, imagine what next we are up to!
Sixty-three years ago, when Vannever Bush introduced the concept of the memex – an idea that is credited for inspiring the hypertext system – not many believed in his “over the top” dream. Many, even more inconceivable ideas have been realized since that time: the World Wide Web and the Internet are at the top of the list of technological breakthroughs the world has, and continues to experience.
It is not strange for anyone to think the world has reached the highest point it can, in terms of technology. Where we are right now as a people, and what we have technologically, is more than many can ask for – if not just too much to handle – considering all the extra burdens that this new way of life has brought upon us. Piracy and copyrights laws have become next to impossible to regulate because of the internet. Pornographic and all sorts of offensive materials are now among the most accessible everywhere in the world. Scams are the order of the day. Well; doesn’t every good thing come with a price? If you can bank from the comfort of your couch in minutes without uttering a word; if you can sit in your living room and talk face to face with someone who is thousands of miles away from you – then isn’t it fair to say that sometimes, the good has to be accepted with the bad and the ugly?
But wait a minute! If you think technology has reached its wits end, or the curiosity of scientists has finally reached the point of satisfaction, you may well be hallucinating – because the world may be headed toward the next big marvel: the Internet of Things! Just imagine a world where all the information we currently depend on our web browsers to find, can be accessed from practically anywhere, in a manner that is appropriate to our location and context, at any time. Imagine a world where the walls in your living room – the key to your door, your desk, your cooking utensils, your shoes, your briefcase – all have the ability to ‘think.’ Imagine all of these having connection to the internet and giving you access to any information. Ubiquitous Computing (ubicomp), Pervasive Computing, Physical Computing, Ambient Intelligence, Everyware or Tangible Media are some of the names you can call it. But whichever name sits well with you, just imagine all the excess baggage that may come with it. Hopefully, human beings will have something left of privacy; whatever form in which it comes.