FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Content Networks

With more of our life "content" being digital and, in many cases, online, how are we supposed to keep it all together? PDAs handled that in the past, but our content today is too complex and too rich. Laptops and web browsers are a solution, but they're specific to a device. When you get a new laptop or borrow a friend's PC, your bookmarks and links are lost.

The solution may be a rich "content network" that links all of one's online information together, using searchable tags and service-oriented architecture. Student and interaction designer Thomas Stovieck is developing one approach that would allow content networks to be accessed via multiple devices. Content would be navigable, searchable, and interacting; two devices in proximity to one another could, for instance, synchronize their calendars.

We will surely see more solutions such as this as more of us rely on mobile devices, and our online content becomes more complex and more important. "Content" will ultimately include not just our calendars and photo collections, but our bank accounts and legal credentials. Accessing and sharing them in a controlled, secure manner will be one of our biggest technical challenges in the coming years.

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