There’s a lot of talk about ‘the Outerweb’ right now. It’s a great term and way of looking at what augmented reality, or “AR” might mean but I think it goes beyond this, and the clever people at TrendOne have encapsulated this as “the explosion of the internet into the real world.”
They go beyond a definition that refers to technology (mobile devices, in-windshield displays, etc.) that can overlay information from the Web on top of objects in the real world and look at how connections are occurring between devices data, video and social networks.
They highlight a contact lens technology that allows you to visualize the social networks another person may be accessing on their mobile device in quite scary manner. This is not just pointing your Phone up at a building, and getting an overlay of information about the building but rich levels of data links and connection between the digital and real world. This idea of an outernet is in truth a speculative idea right now. Indeed the idea of a web of things and the principles of the semantic web have been talked about for a long time without really happening.
Yet I feel there are a number of developments converging that will make the Outernet more likely; firstly the widespread deployment of the next generation of protocol IPV6 and it’s potential functionality is a major enabler, and importantly it’s ability to enable the mass connection of mobile devices.
Secondly the prevalence of video images again largely via mobile computing devices will make the connection of images with data highly desirable.
Lastly, and perhaps the biggest driver, is the spread of local based services, and social networks such as Four Square that connect to locations and the hyper local connections that are emerging in many urban areas. Added together these trends could well make the Outernet the next big thing.
So the term “outer Web” means the extension of the information outside the normal confines of broadband networks and into the real world, mainly via the screens of wirelessly-connected mobile devices. The outernet then is this idea taken further to include the connections and networks between computing devices within this mashed up world in many way shadowing the difference between the worldwideweb and the Internet itself.
What’s your call Outerweb or Outernet?