Understanding The Device Agnostic Internet
The internet is an information distribution and communications platform, a unique hybrid telecom infrastructure. Websites, apps, social networks, etc. are software that sit on top of it. It was invented by the U.S. government to replace the other legacy platforms in our world as they are antiquated, unstable in a natural or other disaster, are limited in reach and expensive to manage and run.
Beyond being unique in its multi-platform functionality, the internet as a platform is also one-of-a-kind in that it is device agnostic. What that means is that no one set or specific device is required as an access point. It can (and will) be any object of any kind — providing that it has internet connectivity capability, it will connect to the platform.
This won’t just be ‘mobile’ devices and objects, or things you can move around. It’ll also be ‘fixed’ devices, too. And in both mobile or fixed, it won’t just be small consumer devices but everything — cars, houses, buildings, kiosks, toys, appliances, you name it. Or as it is commonly called, ‘the internet of things.’
The important thing to remember when thinking of ‘things’ is that it means ‘everything’ — that is how the internet has been designed since the day it was created and that will be its future place in our world moving forward. The early stages of this environment are already happening now.
It’s also important to understand that in a device-agnostic platform environment, the device plays a fairly less significant role, as no one set device is required as an access point. What that means is a greater variation of devices that can be used, and therefore an emphasis on one device or another is a likely mistake. Many devices will exist in the eco-system and more significantly, will be used in different ways for different reasons.
It will likely not be any one device that is ‘king,’ or that eliminates the other, but a variety that are used by the user’s choice for whatever reason, purpose, need and situation they are in at any given moment. This is because access and usage has more to do with the platform functionality itself than the device. Just because all devices (fixed or mobile) can access the internet universally, it does not mean they will all be used for the same purpose or functionality. The internet is far beyond a ‘media’ platform, but communications, utility management, access control and all kinds of other uses — the future use of it as a platform in our world will have more to do with this than what ‘object’ or ‘thing’ is being used at any given moment. That’s not to say that devices and objects aren’t important — they certainly are and will continue to be. But, they’re interchangeable pieces in the future and should be recognized as such.
Just the same, as new devices (and things, in general) enter the eco-system, they will appear as if their usage will be explosive, and even dominate. But this is natural as part of a scale/proliferation of something new — things always appear larger than they are during this time. It’s a likely mistake at most and early at the very least to assume that in an adoptive cycle something will remain and sustain at its adoptive growth cycle. It’s far too early to say that tablets will or will not be the future - but based on what the internet is as a platform and here to do, they will exist but be a part of the picture. Not the whole show.
Meanwhile, what’s most dynamic to recognize and understand is that we’ve only just started entering the ‘internet of things,’ and there is much more to come. Second to this is that the internet is not just device agnostic but multi-platform functional, which means that it isn’t just a ‘mobile’ platform, but a fixed one too, and it’s not just distribution but communications and all the other things referenced above.
That’s the future ahead and the one to plan for.