Over the past thirty years we have seen the devices we use to log into the internet become smaller–and a whole lot cheaper. Instead of a large desktop computer with a cumbersome hard drive, everything we need to communicate, research and make transactions is included in whisper thin cell phones. Our modern society looks at our cell phones at least once every six minutes, as noted by Demos Helsinki founder Roope Mokka. He sites that the internet will become so much a part of our environment that it will cease to be. How could this be possible? The theory is that technology will become smaller and smaller to the point where it will no longer exist, according to Business Insider.
It will no longer be a separate entity known as technology, it will be part of us. This melding of man and machine was the stuff of science fiction–now it is inching its way toward fact. What we used to call technology, like houses, city infrastructures and cars, are now givens in everyday life. They were once the new thing, made possible by what was the hottest technological advances of the time. It used to be a big deal to go to the photographer to have a wedding photo taken, and dad broke out the Brownie and invested in some expensive film and flash bulbs for that family occasion. Now, professional photographers are all but a dying breed as virtually every cell phone has a camera and tech makes it simple to take and self-edit a selfie.
We’ve come a long way, but not far enough–and the new idea for items like wearable tech like Google Glass, which is wearable technology that are augmented reality glasses, according to Mashable.com. Project Glass is causing quite a stir, as it is part of the Internet of NO things, which blurs and will eventually eliminate the distance between humans and tech. The result will be a shrinkage of information and communication sites and an controlling dependence on technology. Instead of our controlling the devices, they will control us, ensuring that we avoid everyday inconveniences due to human error. We will live in a world that is not exclusively virtual reality, yet not reality either. If we are wearing our tech, there’s nothing to log into–it’s with us 24/7 and instead of every six minutes, our existence will be guided by tech with every step we take. There will be no more “wi-fi hotspots” as the internet will exist in the atmosphere like the air we breathe. We are no longer dependent on the machine–we become the receiver.
People who love tech have a need to use it constantly. We “check in” on Facebook as we go about our daily errands, and tweet about virtually move we make. Social media is so popular because it’s free–or is it? . Every time we say we “like” something, that data is used to move us toward something to see or buy. Facebook, however, creates no content of it’s own, and Uber, the most popular transportation service, owns no cars. This odd fact was pointed out in a blog on Caffe!ne.com. So we are accelerating into aa world where we create the content, so there is virtually nothing ‘on” the internet unless we make it so. The popular multi-player avatar game, Second Life, was nothing but source code. The company, Linden Labs, stuck and island on it, and invited folks to build on it. Instead of “If you build it they will come,” the modern motto is “they will come and build it”. And we build it, constantly. It’s no more a separate part of life, tech is our life.
Is this a good idea? Some say The Internet of No Things can’t come fast enough, yet others see it as loss of control. The blogger at Caffe!ne sites that it takes literally seconds to summon a cab, so the writer says “We all want more of this….and soon please.” Wired, on the other hand, points out the flaws of such as system including hackers who can really wreck havoc with our lives, especially if everything we do is controlled by data, that is vulnerable to attack. Imagine a chip implanted in a person infected with a virus?
Demos Helsinki takes an honest approach and rationally discusses the pros and cons. They warn that we will be trading efficiency for choice, giving an example of the fastest route from place to place instead of taking the back road, or scenic route. The company does say that this will support the miracle of energy making energy, through digital and physical worlds colliding. It will also bring about the end of ownership of tangible items, we will be owning data. They note two agendas that affect the world of technology, the Conservative, which wants to maintain order, control, and the status quo; and Progressive, where energy and technology is used to solve social and environmental problems. Demos Helsinki is a company that is following a progressive agenda, and they say we don’t have to worry about when the Internet of NO Things will arrive–it’s already here!
The Internet of NO Things is currently being tested and practiced by Demos Helsinki, and other contributors, in their Naked Approach program. In the About section of the website, the Internet of NO Things aka Naked Approach, gives their basic mission statement, quoted as: “In our vision, the digital surroundings will form an “omnipotential” environment around the user, providing all the information, tools, and services that the user needs in his or her everyday life in the Hyper connected society of 2020’s and 2030’s.”
So what will our everyday lives be like once we are all “hyperconnected”? Can this “omnipotent” environment be trusted? Who will control it, and how will we know? If we are given everything that we need, what will be left to create? As 2020 is just around the corner, there is much to look forward to–or dread–depending on how you look at it. It will be hard not to get on board with this new tech. When was the last time you passed a phone booth? Everything from college applications to banking is done online. As technology advances, it will be hard to opt out of this new melded world of Google Glasses and other accessories that you won’t be leaving home without in order to function in this new world.