Google 'evangelist' sees web, brain implant link

By TIM HUME , on 08-27-2009 03:33

Published in : Tech, The Internets

Views : 3014    

The man regarded as one of the founding fathers of the internet is in the country - and he says the future of the web is in our bodies and in outer space.

Vint Cerf, vice-president and "chief internet evangelist" of tech giant Google, foresees the introduction of internet capability to existing neural interface technology such as cochlear implants, allowing, as an example, web radio played direct from computer to brain.

He is also involved in work to send internet infrastructure into space to create "a communications backbone between space-faring nations".

Cerf predicts the falling cost and rising sophistication of programmable devices will allow the internet to be widely embedded in inanimate objects, leading to revolutions in automated shipping and inventory control.

Some of these capabilities are already starting to be realised: Cerf's wine cellar is internet- enabled, sending him a text message when temperature and humidity levels become unfavourable.

Widely regarded as one of the fathers of the internet for his part in writing the TCP/IP protocol that underpins every page on the web, Cerf is in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at a conference on the problem of depletion of web addresses.

Those available under the IPv4 protocol are projected to run out in three years, necessitating the switch to a new IPv6 computer protocol with the capacity to provide internet address space to everyone on the planet. But more than half of top New Zealand companies in a recent survey had no plans to upgrade their web presence to be compatible with the new protocol.

Cerf acknowledged Google's market power led some critics to view it as "the 800-pound gorilla", but said he believed the company acted consistently with its core mission of "making information more widely accessible".

"Nothing is stopping anybody developing the next search engine. If there's a belief Google has a lock on the search engine, think again. There's nothing we can do to stop you moving to another engine if it does a better job for you."

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