God help us, we're in the hands of engineers.
Did you know for example that you can connect your refrigerator to the Internet, allowing it to detect what kind of products are being stored inside, sending you text alerts when you're low on milk?
What about online toilets? The Satis is a Japanese-manufactured Internet ready toilet and can be controlled using a downloadable app, allowing users to raise and lower the toilet seat, as well as trigger a bidet function and flush. Naturally, as it’s online, it’s susceptible to hacking and there have been many accounts of pranksters breaching the software and causing serious chaos at the commode.
If you want something with less splashback, then you could look at Parrot Flower Power, a small plastic device that you stick in the soil next to your favourite plant (is there such a thing?). It will measure how much sunlight your plant is getting and tell you when it needs watering; which we suppose is helpful if you're into that kind of thing.
The ultimate goal has to be in connecting the human brain to the Internet, which we admit sounds a little sci-fi, but it's actually a lot closer to reality than you think.
You might ask what the point is of getting the brain online? Well, theoretically you could learn and absorb knowledge much faster and even switch off certain areas of the brain that cause Parkinson's, depression and OCD. You could also call, text and send emails just by thinking.
Just last year, a team of researchers successfully achieved brain-to-brain human communication. It works by recording the electrical currents in the brain as a human subject has a specific thought. The electrical currents are then decoded into binary language and sent to the receiver, who would then see the binary string as a series of bright lights in their peripheral vision. For example, if the light appeared in one location it was a 1, and the second location meant it was a 0. This information could then be decoded and transmitted as words.
By using brain implants, scientists have been able to restore damaged memory in rats and improve the IQ of monkeys. The technology is still very much a work-in-progress, but in the future it could be applied to humans, helping us to learn things instantaneously and have perfect memories, whilst communicating with each other with the power of the mind.
At the present, we think of unified communications as a series of tools and software which helps you to collaborate better with colleagues. Usually, it will involve a piece of software that manages communication streams in one place.
A brain implant that connects you to the Internet could seriously take unified communications to the next level, allowing us to collaborate seamlessly with our minds. You could, in theory, share the images in your brain to a monitor, allowing your colleagues to literally see what you're thinking. It all points to a future where everybody is flawlessly connected. However, this may not be all it's cracked up to be - and there are some pitfalls to be wary of.
There are some immediate problems that spring to mind when you think of having your mind and thoughts manifested into images that can then be accessed via the Internet. Yes, just as with the phone tapping scandal of previous years, you can only imagine the next step would be to have people's brains hacked. Malicious hackers could infiltrate your brain and steal thoughts, ideas, security codes and passwords for their personal gain or agenda.
Law enforcement agencies could legally access your mind in order to prevent crimes and maybe even solve crimes without you having a choice. The implications of such technology can be just as scary as it is exciting - and we haven't even mentioned how bad spam could be. Browser pop-ups are already incredibly annoying. Imagine getting a virus in your brain and being subject to endless pop-ups advertising weight loss pills and dating services.
If you don't like the sound of this future, then you could always resist the temptation of having a brain implant. You will miss out on the powers that being seamlessly connected to the Internet will bring, but on the flip side will remain in control of your brain.
But what do you think? Would you be up for entering the metaphorical (but literal) Matrix? Would you choose the blue pill or the red pill?
For more news and stories relating to IP technology, stick with us here at Telappliant. To have a conversation about how we can unify your communications (minus the brain implant), contact us using one of the buttons below.