I have been thinking a lot on the expansion of the current Internet into the ubiquity of our daily life. Many pointers raised my interests towards this idea that every actual object could have its virtual counterpart, its expansion of sensorial perception outside the boundaries of the hic et nunc paradigm. The last one came from a discussion with Peter Waller. He was mentioning this idea of “The internet of Things“:
The EPC network (Electronic Product Code), using tiny RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags, will enable computers to automatically recognize and identify everyday objects, and then track, trace, monitor, trigger events, and perform actions on those objects. The technology will effectively create an “Internet of things.” RFID will fundamentally impact the industries of manufacturing, retail, transportation, health care, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and government, offering an unprecedented real-time view of assets and inventories throughout the global supply chain. And in the process, whole new vistas (and challenges) will open up to software developers.
Then I was connecting this idea with the principle that in the Internet2 project, the renewal of the current Internet, the current IPv4 will be replaced with the newest IPv6 protocol, which will raise the address space from 4,294,967,296, or approximately 4.3 billion, to 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456.
Considering that the world’s population is approximately 60 million, IPv4 cannot allocate an address for every person on the planet. Should the same number of addresses be allocated to everyone in IPv6, the number of addresses per person would total 100 billion times 5,600 billion
Considering that the earth surface is calculated as 1015 m2, we can calculate a density of 3,4 x 1021 addresses/cm2(approx). Math apart, we can conclude that there will be a huge density of these addresses per square centimeter surface of the earth. The usage of such addresses is currently thought for accessing single computers, as containers of resources, but what if these addresses could target each object on earth: e.g., the washing machine, my car, my swiss knife, my corn flakes package, …
Well, we can imagine thousand of thousand of applications if we will be able to attach a virtual identity to each object of our daily life and if these identity would be accessible everywhere at everytime. Which is the new paradigm.