Seamless access to information



I have written about in some past blogpostings e.g. view live your social network, we recently saw the Microsoft buzzed video on seamless access to information and Today I saw this  TED video in the same line of thinking calling it “sixth sense” (via bright) , which you should see now:


This is cognitive ergonomics today. When I studied it, we were still in the stone age thinking of concepts as “collaboration” and “how to miniature devices” or even “how to create a good gui”. Progress goes so very fast. It’s not a matter of “do I want it or is it useful”, while you are thinking about that specific concept, the world already moves to the next step, letting you think about something that is already widespread or you will be the person fighting against the concept of the radio.

The most logical thing to-do is to visualize the near future, in lets say 10 years. Just following these logical developments: the seamless access to information, the fully connected world, social networks either decentralized or centralized, intelligent home servers, the integration of brain with technology, free solar power as sole energy source  and you can pretty much form a mental image of what the world will look like in 10 years.

It doesn’t mean the normal practical concept in life will disappear. You will still need to work for your money. There will still be wars and the illogical patterns in society will still be there . For you personally the question might be what you will be doing in 10 years and if it benefits you to now already start thinking ahead, since having that skill is one of the prime advantage of being a human being.

imageLet me give you an example: some people would watch the TED video and start thinking on the real “practical” implementation of wearing a mirror, a camera and so on. They have, in general, a very limited view of understanding “anything”  or even the capability of having a vision.

Some  would think glasses with the same functionality would be handier. Others realize the ongoing progress in our understanding of brain processes and would think of adding a chip next or in the brain to make this technology available (or discuss moral implications or other reasoning or personal feelings on why not to).

These are all still basic thoughts.

Thinkers make the next step.

The services and information which is available within the spectrum that “we vanilla/out-of-the-box humans” can see is what you can see in the video as some examples: seeing product information on a product in the supermarket or a tagcloud on someone you meet. These are things that without a doubt will enter our electronic media markt folders one time or another.  These are the final practical goodies which are economically viable and enter mainstream thought.

However by adding computational power to our brain we could easily “skip our eyes”. It would remove the boundaries of the limited scope of our visual system in which we only have access to a small part of the spectrum.  It would remove the ridiculous process of the sensors in our eyes catching light in “2d” and which then gets transformed to a sort of 3d image in our brain full of limitations and bugs and most of all a very bad way to register events in time resulting in a vague buggy solution called “memory” (which is in the end not at all what we all think it is).

What will follow after we have added that “chip” (to have seamless integration with information in a fully connected world) (which is what all leading IT companies are working on) is that we will extend the technology to extend our senses to annotate ALL information in “reality”. We could annotate or provide services in realms that are yet invisible to the out-of-the-box human beings currently alive.

It will mean that I will see the radio signal of my favorite radio channel before my eyes entering my radio (if at all radios will still exist because we could just as well add the conversion directly in the same chip). Meaning: we can see the radio frequency before us AND we can listen to it, we can even “smell it” (next paragraph), where after we can build tools (we are humans we build tools)  to manipulate it, in real time, annotate it and create a market of services and products in the yet invisible world, seamlessly. You will be able to label your favorite frequencies.

The addition of these buffers between our understanding and the outside world will make the word “senses” very vague. In a sense we will gain  a lot of more senses. It will probably become a marketplace of new senses to buy and products available for these senses.

What happens next will be interesting. Since we argue about facets of reality and discuss on all kinds of forums what reality is and if ghosts exists and so on. In the next technology run we will actually “be there” in the reality and actually can “see 2.0” it. We will see everything that is materialistic, we will zoom in on the smallest particles or we will zoom out to the complete universe. all from a single person’s point of view. We will see right through bodies and can detect any faults, diseases or problems including social tags and stumble upon my right top shoulder’s favorite cells.

Everything will be explainable which will leave no room anymore for something that is not explainable. Thoughts and feelings of people will be “visible” in every way you can think of and future additions of what we currently can think of.

In summary: by making reality transparant we will all realize that we form integrated part of that reality (since we will be able to sense anything and really anything including the additional information on what we sense) which will finally end the stone age for all of us.

If I now type something I have to supply you with e.g. a wikipedia link to click on and look up more information. In the next run, everything you look at will instantly display this information. So if you then are on a vacation trip you will look at a building or even a medicine man dancing naked around a tree for rain and immediately see the context, the history on it, and the research which show that dancing naked around a tree will provide no rain. Important here is that your thought processes will be visible for others and can immediately be enriched with information if you make the wrong thought process or if you are missing out on information. Since that is all visible in the complete spectrum (x-ray everything).

It’s not about “hmm I don’t want this or I don’ t like this because or I will never buy it…”, it’s more like “this will be next. period. (dot)” now adjust.

An additional remark might be that while all of this is happening in the civilized iron tower of the world  many parts of the world are consumed with hunger, wars, (religious) fascism, infiltrated with crime or other evil and much worse. Technology and further insights in who we are will not have effect on these elements. While we might create a heaven for ourselves in our iron tower parallel work needs to be done to solve these problems we will have to change humanity drastically and completely but this obviously another blog post but still an interesting question on science in general or our societies in general. Are “we” at all interested in solving these problems? Not everyone agrees on that while we in general do agree on the possibilities of having “e-mail” at home. We like to have that luxury.