Digital Identity

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Digital Identity in the Future Internet?

The future internet will provide a much more interactive experience than what we see today, and more importantly, have a much larger impact on our identities, social interaction and life patterns than what we know as a given today. It will be incorporated into our lives at a different level than today, being more integrated into our clothes, our homes, our furniture, our appliances etc. My focus is on the impact on our social and digital identity and interaction.
We all have heard of or maybe even tried the known virtual reality tools of today. With advanced software connected to a helmet and some "gloves", we are able to move in virtual space and perform virtual actions in this world. Though this is not exactly what I predict, it is the closest I can get to describe the ways of interacting with the future internet.
So, we can imagine this type of virtual world in each our internet sites. An internet site is a then world we can “enter” rather than a site to look at with minimum interaction. Analogue to the traditional museum experience, why not walk through the halls of the Van Gogh museum virtually, but with such a quality and appeal to all senses, that it could replace the experience of actually being there? These sites will all appeal to more of our senses and the sites will encompass an entire virtual world that would make the user not only a visitor, but a co-producer of the experience - and thereby enabling him/her to experience the sites in a completely different way and furthermore even develop the sites.

Possibilities and Consequences:

To a large extent, this type of internet sites would remove many geographical borders and boundaries.
We already know of conference calls and video conferencing from our professional life, giving us two dimensional either sounds or image or combinations of both. The future sites will enable us to conduct meetings in a (virtual) meeting room and experience to be in the same room during the meeting, interacting with the participants in a real manner, sensing not only through sight and audio, but also with the ability to touch and even smell. We are thereby experiencing not only the sound and image but it will completely resemble the experience of “being there” in person.
Through such a virtual media, extended to the fullest, one could imagine a normal day that would start with participating in a meditation session in India in the morning, one could take a walk on the Chinese wall in the early afternoon, have a meeting in NY in the late afternoon, go to the Opera in Vienna during the evening, and go out with friends from all over the world at night. However, all this would be done through the future internet site and not by physically traveling the world.
Having the thoughts of McLuan in mind, this type of maelstrom could have huge effects on our society, social interaction and ways of communication, if we are not able to successfully understand the patterns and attempt to control them. The future sites I am drawing out now could make any type of human interaction obsolete. Why even leave your house in the morning? Why meet anybody at all? Will we have digital marriages? It may remove the need for office space, but also the need for social interaction. So the question remains, if we are able to control the maelstroem and keep emotions and social interactions antact, rather than live our lives completely on-line?

- Lars Eriksen

Driving Forces:

Balancing Loop1:

  • Embodiment of identity
  • Need for social interaction
  • Development resistance

Balancing Loop2:

  • An ethical loop creating tech. resistance

(... all used in a larger scheme, that I yet do not know how to upload)