June 8, 2008

Always-On

Posted in Web tagged , , , , at 12:30 am by Andrew McMillen

Seth describes a world whose eyes and ears are synchronised via technology:

So, very soon, you will own a cell phone that has a very good camera and knows where you are within ten or fifteen feet. And the web will know who you are and who your friends are…. This is going to happen. The only question is whether you are one of the people who will make it happen. I guess there’s an even bigger question: will we do it right?

Complete connectivity is difficult to imagine. I understand the principles of the notion, but my thoughts remain firmly grounded by its logistics.

Speaking locally, the biggest barrier to overcome when discussing an always-on world is the price of data transmission.

I can’t see this barrier being lowered in the near future. It’s unfortunate. Australia has always been behind in terms of broadband cost and speed. ISP policy has traditionally placed harsh restrictions on bandwidth, too.

The effect that these data limitations have had on Australia’s web economy are obvious. It’s frustrating to read about US-based technological advancements while using an internet infrastructure that’s at least five years behind.

Phone-streaming services like Qik are financially unfeasible in the current data climate. My recent research into internet plans for a phone upgrade confirms this. Until the price of data transmission lowers, there’s little point in such an investment. The always-on notion is admirable, but out of Australian grasp for the foreseeable future.

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