“I am not a number. I am a free man!”
Earlier this year the availability IPv4 addresses ran dry, much like fossil fuels will in the future. While IPv6 is slowly being adopted the number of addresses available, some 3.4×1038 in fact, far outweigh any projections for the number of connected devices that require one by 2025, especially when taking into account the 50 billion or so expected by the Internet Of Things. But this presents an opportunity to reshape how humans interact not only with the internet and connected devices, but how they are treated as citizens by their governments.
You see, instead of having separate Passport Numbers, Social Security Numbers, National Insurance Numbers, Tax IDs, Driver Licence Numbers, you will be assigned a single Human IP address. Like IPv4, IPv6 supports globally unique addresses by which the network activity of each device can potentially be tracked, and whilst this can conjure up all sorts of privacy concerns, by assigning each person a globally unique address the same can be applied.
The evolution of wearable technology points to devices and chips which will be embedded by 2025, rather than worn explicitly. If a single chip is embedded within the human body, or encoded within cells, then in theory every human would become a hub or a node, addressable and traceable within the larger IOT ecosystem and every owned device assigned to that Human IP address. Your ‘social graph’ will become more valuable to the Government than your Social Security or NIS number and it’ll supercede these eventually.
No more multiple email addresses, no more phone numbers, no more employee ID, no more passwords; your HIP will be your single, and unique, identifier.
But the possibilities don’t end there. In 10 years your very DNA could encode your entire life, and every interaction that takes place. One gram of DNA can hold the equivalent of two petabytes of data, the theoretical limits of data storage on DNA go way beyond what is physically possible using today’s methods. A DNA-based storage system requires no maintenance, no electricity and no backward compatibility requirements to retrieve the data.
In other words, humans could well become the ultimate ‘thing‘ within The Internet Of Things.
Humans struggle against being known as just a number, but the reality is within 1o years we could all just very well become one anyway.
This article was written by Theo Priestley from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.